Today@NCCapitol (June 4): Retention elections, environmental laws on calendar

Posted June 4, 2015

NC Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, June 4. Here's what's going on at the legislature and around state government.

HOUSE: The state House meets at 11 a.m. and will be taking up some familiar bills. In addition to finishing work on an omnibus alcohol bill, the chamber is scheduled to take up a compromise version of a bill reforming the State Environmental Policy Act. That measure changes when environmental studies must be carried out on government-funded projects. WRAL.com plans on carrying this meeting live online. Check the Video Central box on the homepage.

The veto override for Senate Bill 2 remains on the calendar. However, Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, told reporters Wednesday that he doesn't expect a vote on the bill this week. House leaders are waiting until a handful of backers of the bill who have been absent can return to legislative work.

SENATE: The state Senate meets at 12 p.m. and, like the House, will be taking up the SEPA conference report, as well as a handful on non-controversial bills.

TAXES: In addition to working on their budget this week, Senate Republicans are also hammering out a tax and economic development bill behind closed doors.

Sens. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, and Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said that a bill was in the works, although both doubted it would be formally introduced this week. Others in the Senate point out Republicans have been working on a tax bill for weeks.

Should a bill emerge, it will likely contain many of the items that Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger talked about when he visited a gathering of National Federation of Independent Business members on Wednesday. He talked about lowering personal and corporate tax rates, limited renewal of existing economic development programs and a move toward single sales factor taxation – an item that would benefit large manufacturers. Brown acknowledged that adjustments to the state sales tax system, which could move some revenue away from urban centers to rural areas, are also being discussed.

THE GOVERNOR: Gov. Pat McCrory continues his push for a $3 billion bond package with a "Connect NC" roundtable discussion and tour of the State Highway Patrol Training Academy in the morning.


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