Raleigh, N.C. — The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to sign off on a bill Wednesday that would ask voters to cap the state's income tax at 5.5 percent.
North Carolina's current income tax rate is 5.499 percent, and the constitutional limit on income taxes is 10 percent. Lowering the rate as senators propose would make it hard to reverse many of the changes to the state budget legislative Republicans have wrought since winning majorities in the House and the Senate in 2010.
Tuesday Wrap: An invitation you can't refuse The tax measure is similar to a proposal that passed the Senate during the 2015-16 legislative session but failed to gain traction in the state House after critics, including former state State Treasurer Janet Cowell, warned it could lead to a credit downgrade for North Carolina because the state would have less flexibility to respond to fiscal emergencies.
WRAL.com plans to carry the Senate Finance Committee live at 1 p.m.
Subpoena: The Senate's Justice and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday issued a subpoena to Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks to appear at a confirmation hearing next week. The chamber's Transportation Committee is expected to take a similar step with respect to Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon on Wednesday. Those moves come even as a three-judge panel is pondering whether the confirmation proceedings are constitutional.
News conferences: WRAL.com plans to carry a pair of news conferences about high-profile issues live online Wednesday:
- At 9:30 a.m., Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, and others will speak about a bill to raise the age to be tried on criminal charges as an adult from 16 to 18. North Carolina is one of only two states to try 16-year-olds as adults.
- At 10 a.m., Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth, will host a news conference promoting state funding for youth tobacco use prevention.
More meetings: The General Assembly publishes a full committee calendar daily. Among Wednesday's meetings are a House Health Committee meeting at 11 a.m. that will discuss a bipartisan bill to curb opioid abuse and a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting at 2 p.m. to discuss a bill imposing civil penalties for those caught on camera passing a stopped school bus.