Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, March 5. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government this morning.
VOTER ID: Republican leaders promised to pursue legislation that would require voters to show some sort of identification at the polls both when they campaigned last year and in the run up to the 2013 legislative session. It now appears House lawmakers are ready to begin work on the topic.
House Speaker Thom Tillis has scheduled a news conference to talk about the issue today at 10 a.m. WRAL.com will carry the news conference live. Check the Video Central box on our home page. A recent Elon University Poll found 72 percent of respondents favored such as policy. Neither the House nor Senate has introduced a voter ID bill yet.
A spokesman for Tillis said Friday that this week would mark the start of "the process" of voter ID legislation, indicating that public hearings and discussion would precede work on legislation.
The House Elections Committee will meet on Wednesday at 1 p.m. A committee notice from the clerk says "No Bills. No Votes. This is an introductory meeting and a presentation by the State Board of Elections." It's possible lawmakers may ask about a voter registration system that allowed potential voters to sign their registration via electronic pen.
BLACK CAUCUS: At noon, the Legislative Black Caucus will hold a presser to talk about their priorities for the session. Expect to hear about voter ID during that discussion. WRAL.com will carry the news conference live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.
The Wrap @NCCapitol (March 4) MONDAY NIGHT: State House lawmakers voted 71-43 Monday night to approve a proposal to eliminate, fire or reconfigure more than two dozen state oversight boards. However, the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 10, Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, says he disagrees with many of the changes made by the House and will ask that the bill be sent to a conference committee.
Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie reviews that and other action from Monday in The Wrap @NCCapitol.
MCCRORY: Gov Pat McCrory is scheduled to chair the monthly Council of State meeting at 9 a.m. The council is made up of North Carolina's 10 statewide elected officials and mainly oversees property matters, bond issues and other ministerial functions.
Later in the day, the governor will meet with members of the Metro Mayors Coalition, a group that he helped to found. At 2:15 p.m., he will hold a news conference outside the Executive Mansion.
IF YOU MISSED IT: In other government news Monday, the Elon University Poll found voters want stricter gun laws and are withholding judgment on McCrory. Also, Democrats called for the McCrory administration rethink a controversial license design for certain immigrants allowed to stay in the U.S. under the federal deferred action program.
TUESDAY MEETINGS: For a complete list of today's legislative committee hearings, check the main @NCCapitol page. Among the highlights not already noted:
HOUSE FLOOR (2 p.m.): No bills are scheduled for floor action.
SENATE FLOOR (2:30 p.m.): The most notable bill on the calendar is the Internal Revenue Code update. This bill is typically a technical revision of the state tax code, but Democrats have used it to push for an extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is due to expire at the end of this year.
HOUSE RULES (11 a.m. / LB 1228) will hear HB 63: Support Right to Bear Arms. This is a House resolution, which means it doesn't hold the force of law outside the legislative building, but it would give a strong indication of the type of firearms legislation likely to pass the chamber this year. It also encourages the federal government not to take actions that would limit Second Amendment rights.
SENATE AG / ENVIRONMENT (11 a.m. / LOB 544) will hear three bills, including a measure to require state environmental officials to provide technical support for regional water systems and another dealing with the locations and footprints of landfills for construction and demolition waste.
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE: In other news:
NC HEALTH NEWS: "Doctors serving Medicare patients. Scientists looking for a better way to treat diabetes. HIV patients who can’t afford to buy their medications. These are but some of the many people who will be affected by the automatic federal spending cuts that officially take effect (Monday)."
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: "A bill that would transfer control of Charlotte’s airport from the city to an independent authority should “slow down,” Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday."
N & O: "Forty years ago, when North Carolina banned using deep wells to permanently dump industrial waste, some thought the issue had been decided for good. Now state lawmakers who want to turn North Carolina into the nation’s next fracking hotspot are reopening the case for injecting brines and toxins deep underground. This time, the proposal is shifting the fracking debate from the center of the state, where the energy exploration and economic benefits would occur, to tourism-dependent coastal communities where the disposal wells would have to be drilled."
STATELINE: "In recent weeks, the South Dakota legislature has been rattled over a bill that aims to make schools safer by introducing “school sentinels” — teachers, administrators, security guards or community volunteers who would carry guns to protect their schools....South Dakota is among several states considering new school safety laws in the wake of the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 young students and six adults dead."