Raleigh, N.C. — The state House gave preliminary approval Tuesday to legislation ending the ability of residents to use protest petitions to fight controversial rezoning efforts.
Supporters of the bill say the maneuver violates the rights of a property owner, while critics say the protest petitions give neighbors a voice in how places near their property are developed.
Meanwhile, the Senate passed a bill that would provide an extra $5 million for the JDIG business-recruitment fund through the end of the 2015 fiscal year in June. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla panned the move, saying it was a Band-Aid fix and that a proposal in the House to expand state incentives programs is far better.
A House committee passed bills that would require moped operators to have liability insurance but dropped a requirement for safety inspections and that would repeal a state law prohibiting property development in future highway corridors.
Tuesday was also a big lobby day at the Legislative Building, with school voucher proponents and vaccination critics descending in droves on lawmakers.
The state Supreme Court is still deliberating the legality of North Carolina's school voucher program, but legislative leaders said Tuesday that they hope to double the size of the program to accommodate interest.