Today @NCCapitol (June 20): Mega-dumps and high speeds on today's calendar

Posted June 20, 2013

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, June 20. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.

TAXES: House and Senate negotiators were continuing to discuss the pending tax overhaul bill Wednesday as the two chambers wrapped up business for the day. The state Senate returned House Bill 998, the vehicle for this year's tax return, to its Finance Committee rather than debate the bill a second time and set up a potential conference committee.

"We're waiting on the House to send us a proposal," Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, told reporters after session. The top Senate leader said he still favored the measure his chamber gave tentative approval earlier this week. But he acknowledged the House and Senate had differences that needed to be bridged if a tax bill is to pass this year.

"One of the biggest issues we're dealing with are the revenue projections," Berger said. House leaders, including Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, have said they worried the Senate plan would not raise enough money to provide for the basic operations of government. 

HOUSE TODAY: Lawmakers put the brakes on discussion Wednesday of a bill that would allow for speed limits to rise to 75 mph. That measure is back on the calendar for today when the chamber meets at 11 a.m. 

SENATE TODAY: Lawmakers will debate a bill that would remove many environmental restrictions on landfills and, critics say, clear the way for mega-dumps that receive out-of-state trash. WRAL.com will carry the Senate session live at 11 a.m. Check the Video Central box on the home page. 

The Wrap @NCCapitol (June 19) The Wrap @NCCapitol (June 19) COMMITTEES: For a full list of committee meetings, see the main @NCCapitol page. House Environment will take up Senate Bill 151, a proposal to allow coastal jetties, better known as terminal groins, to be built to protect coastal inlets. 

WRAP: Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie and reporter Mark Binker talk over the latest action on tax reform, the puppy mill bill and other news from Wednesday in The Wrap @NCCapitol

BILLS: Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed legislation that repealing the last remnants of the Racial Justice Act while trying to restart executions in North Carolina. McCrory's final signature followed months of debate between Democrats and Republicans on the law's intent and the way it has played out. Republicans say it was so poorly crafted that it has allowed nearly all of the state's 156 death-row inmates to launch appeals under the law regardless of their race. They say the law impedes the will of unanimous jury decisions.

That bill was among dozens of pieces of legislation the governor signed Wednesday. Click here for the legislature's running tally of bills signed by the governor. A list of bills still pending on his desk is here.

The Price of Protection Who should pay to clean Jordan Lake? WATER: Jordan Lake, a sprawling, 46,000-acre manmade lake in Chatham and Durham counties, serves as both a water supply for about 300,000 people and a recreational area for more than a million residents around the Triangle and state. From the beginning, the lake has struggled with pollution and water quality problems, but lawmakers continue to debate about who should pay to clean the lake.

To address the longstanding problem, the General Assembly passed the “Jordan Lake Rules” in 2009 to cut pollution and runoff flowing into the lake from upstream sources by 35 percent. Last month, the state Senate passed a bill that repeals the rules for everyone in the Jordan Lake watershed.

A WRAL special examines how the state will deal with pollution in the lake and what it means for the Triangle's water supply

MORE NEWS: Other stories we were following Wednesday included: 

RURAL CENTER: In a release late Wednesday, the NC Rural Economic Development Center announced its board will conduct a review of grants made by the Center in the past five years. That comes after a News & Observer report on politically connected individuals, including State Budget Director Art Pope, landing Rural Center grants for their businesses.

PUPPIES: North Carolina first lady Ann McCrory urged lawmakers Wednesday to take action on a bill that would establish basic standards of care for large commercial dog-breeding facilities and help ensure that dogs are treated humanely. McCrory was joined in an afternoon news conference by Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, the sponsor of House Bill 930, as well as Ernest and Ricky Bobby, two dogs rescued from puppy mills in eastern North Carolina.

PLAYING POSSUM: North Carolina will have six new state symbols under a bill that is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. Among other items, the measure recognizes the whirligigs of Vollis Simpson as North Carolina's official folk art and the Virginia Possum as North Carolina's official state marsupial.

NONPROFITS: Leaders of North Carolina nonprofits asked lawmakers Wednesday to reject a Senate tax reform proposal that would do away with state deductions for charitable contributions and cap sales tax refunds for nonprofit groups. North Carolina Center for Nonprofits director David Heinen said the Senate plan would hurt more than 250 groups across the state, from hospitals and hospice groups to private universities and food banks.

SPECIAL NEEDS: Senators expressed skepticism Wednesday over legislation that would provide grants of up to $6,000 a year to families of special-needs students to pay for therapy outside of public schools. The Senate Education Committee didn't vote on House Bill 269, and Chairman Sen. Jerry Tillman said he wants more information about the cost of the proposal.


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  • rushbot Jun 20, 2013

    new nc license plate slogan....FIRST IN GARBAGE .. ...thanks gop..i guess you all think your legislative pro-pollution policies weren't going to trash our state fast enough..

  • teleman60 Jun 20, 2013

    The daily cliche is almost laughable - " I'm a conservative BUT..., I voted for McCrory BUT... I'm a republican BUT!!!!

    Raleigh will be drinking sewage laced water while developers who would have had to clean up their mess before it flushed into Falls Lake are free to POLLUTE SOME MORE!

    You go boys! Need to line up them voters for their cup of WATER and sales tax hikes on everything being passed at a NIGHT session coming soon! People need to check out the bills FORBIDDING lawsuits against businesses

  • Cock a doodle doo Jun 20, 2013

    Soon will be the day when we can fly down US 64 to see the beautiful piles of trash from the mega dumps along the pristine shores of Lake Jordan.

  • lrfarms27572 Jun 20, 2013

    As a conservative I will say that I am highly displeased with the resurgence of the landfill bill. I believe there should be some changes to it but what is being proposed is a sure fire way to open the door to a lot of other "garbage" that we do not need or want in this state.



  • linkz145 Jun 20, 2013

    Down with the phony fiat fraud polluting environmental terrorist surveillance police state crony corporatocracy. Profit Over People No More!

  • Hans Jun 20, 2013

    "No one drives at 70 mph on a highway with posted 70 mph. Why are our elected officials wasting valuable time debating an issue that is a non issue. Raise the speed limit to 75 and all it will do will be to give those who speed anyway, an excuse to raise their normal cruising speed to 84 or higher." - cwinslow
    June 20, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Agreed. You can go about 80mph in a 70mph zone and not get pulled. That's plenty fast enough. Waste of time.

  • burnstock99 Jun 20, 2013

    Some real gems to debate...lord help us.

  • Typical WRAL Commenter Jun 20, 2013

    The out of state dump trucks can do 75mph, allowing them to cover our state in their trash much more efficiently.

  • cwinslow Jun 20, 2013

    No one drives at 70 mph on a highway with posted 70 mph. Why are our elected officials wasting valuable time debating an issue that is a non issue. Raise the speed limit to 75 and all it will do will be to give those who speed anyway, an excuse to raise their normal cruising speed to 84 or higher.If our elected officials are this out of touch with reality, it just gives more credence to needing to clean house and get an Apple computer to Govern the masses. I doubt that Hal could do any worse than what we now have, at the State and National level.

  • ddcover Jun 20, 2013

    North Carolina should get a new slogan, " North Carolina, a trashy, fracking state, that you can fly right through"