Tuesday Wrap: Going green

Posted March 17, 2015

— Happy St. Patrick's Day from @NCCapitol.

Not so green is Tuesday's end to the moratorium on natural gas drilling in North Carolina. Democratic lawmakers concerned by the decision to roll back some of the promised rules for drilling filed bills seeking to reinstate the moratorium until tougher regulations are adopted.

Green as in money could come from companion bills filed in the House and the Senate to allow dozens of eastern North Carolina cities to issue bonds to refinance their remaining debt after selling their interest in nuclear power plants to Duke Energy. Lawmakers said the move would lower electric bills for customers in those cities and help economic development efforts in the region.

Green as in fresh produce comes from a new effort to help small grocers provide healthy food in so-called "food deserts," where people have limited access to such options.

Green as in jealousy was included in a bill that would codify the conflict of interest in intimate relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers or executive branch officials. The legislation follows an Ethics Commission opinion that such relationships were considered a "thing of value" that needed to be reported on lobbying disclosures.

In non-green news, an effort to require insurance and annual inspections for mopeds stalled in a House committee, and bills that would expand early voting and allow students to use their college IDs when voting next year were quickly buried in the House Rules Committee, where they are expected to remain for the rest of the session.


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