Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, March 14. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government this morning.
PANTHERS: A bill that would allow the City of Charlotte to use existing local taxes to pay for improvements to the Panthers football stadium is in the House Government Committee today. It's one of nine bills on the committee's 10 a.m. calendar.
The NFL franchise has asked for millions in taxpayer funding to upgrade its stadium, a request that has been embraced by city officials but largely rebuffed by state-level officials. Both House Speaker Thom Tillis and Gov. Pat McCrory have said state taxpayers should not put money toward the stadium.
The measure on today's committee agenda – as it is currently drafted – does not create any new taxes or pledge state support. Rather, it merely allows Charlotte to re-purpose existing taxes.
THE REST OF THURSDAY AT THE NCGA: The House floor session will be a skeleton session with no votes taken. The Senate has only one local bill on the agenda. And aside from House Government, there is only the usual crop of 8:30 a.m. budget subcommittee meetings on tap for the day.
MCCRORY: Gov. Pat McCrory is on the road today, stopping at the Southeastern Venture Conference in Charlotte and touring downtown Hickory at 3 p.m. UPDATE: Just after 9 a.m. this morning, McCrory's press office sent word he had cancelled his public appearances for today.
ESC: Folwell will take over an enterprise that has come in for frequent criticism, the most recent of which hit Wednesday. The state Division of Employment Security continues to trail the rest of the nation in determining who is eligible for unemployment benefits, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. The state was accurate in only 12 percent of cases for initial eligibility, down from 27 percent a year ago, federal records show.
PRAYER: As the ACLU launches another lawsuit against a county for sectarian prayers, lawmakers show no signs of backing off their practice of offering explicitly Christian prayers to open their sessions.
WEDNESDAY: In legislative action on Wednesday:
- The state House approved proposals to evaluate Internet access in schools statewide and to improve access to campus police records at private colleges and universities.
- The Senate sent a measure that would transfer control of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport form the city to a regional authority to the House. Senators also approved a bill that would allow murder charges to be brought against someone who injures a child in utero if the child dies of those injuries after birth.
- A day after dozens of people spoke for and against a plan to require North Carolina voters to present photo identification before casting their ballots, five people considered experts in the field of voter ID made their cases Wednesday to lawmakers.
- Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, has filed a bill he said will end North Carolina's de facto moratorium on the death penalty. Among other measures, it would wipe away the last vestiges of the Racial Justice Act, a measure that allows death row inmates to challenge their sentences based on statistical evidence.
- A proposal to ban people under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds could get a House vote next week after its approval by a subcommittee Wednesday morning.
- North Carolina cities and towns would have less authority to control home appearance and design under a bill approved Wednesday by a House committee.
- A legislative committee has agreed to let the North Carolina Education Lottery keep its name for now but wants new advertising restrictions on the games.
- A House committee has slowed down consideration of a bill that would ban North Carolina state agencies and local governments from accepting consular cards issued by foreign governments as acceptable ID for any government purpose.
NULLIFICATION: "Interest in challenging Washington is booming....States’ rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s focused on civil rights, and more recent efforts have been driven by the Second Amendment. Today’s movement is broadening into new subjects, from drugs and health care to homeland security. As the perception of an ever-growing Washington has flourished, so has the drive to push back on more fronts and in novel ways," reports Stateline.