Raleigh, N.C. — Two proposals that have been floated before resurfaced Wednesday, and lawmakers backing each expressed confidence that 2017 would be the year they passed.
House lawmakers filed a "raise the age" bill that would allow most 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes to be prosecuted in juvenile court. North Carolina and New York are the only two states that routinely try teens younger than 18 as adults. Those ages 16 and 17 who commit violent crimes would still be tried in adult court, under the proposal.
The Senate Finance Committee quickly approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would cap the state's personal income tax rate at 5.5 percent. The current rate is 5.49 percent.
Last year, former State Treasurer Janet Cowell spoke against a similar proposal, saying limiting the state's ability to raise revenue during an economic downturn could hurt North Carolina's credit rating.
Meanwhile, a House committee passed a trio of bills that would reduce Gov. Roy Cooper's ability to make judicial appointments by reducing the size of the Court of Appeals and giving lawmakers the power to fill District Court vacancies and appoint special Superior Court judges.
Martha Geer, a retired Court of Appeals judge, spoke against the first measure, noting it would only add to the workload of the remaining judges.