Government

Panel sides with McCrory, says legislative appointments violated separation of powers

March 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A three-judge panel ruled Monday that the state General Assembly violated the North Carolina Constitution when it appointed members to the Coal Ash Commission, established to oversee cleanup of coal-ash ponds across the state, and two other commissions.

NC's economic-development agency could keep recruiting records private

March 16, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The state's new public-private economic-development partnership will be able to withhold some public records related to failed recruiting efforts. Records will still be kept confidential during the recruiting process, but if a company decides not to come to North Carolina, only a limited amount of information would be disclosed afterwards.

Kluttz on statewide tour to promote historic-preservation credits

March 16, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Susan Kluttz, secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, visited Wilmington Friday as part of a 24-stop tour across the state to advocate for the reinstatement of historic-preservation tax credits. The credits, which expired at the end of 2014, allowed renovators to claim a 20% to 30% tax credit for qualifying expenses ("Getting Out of Rehab," May 2014).
Related: Historic tax credit program gets support (The Wilson Times)

NC has fourth highest number of ACA signups

March 13, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

North Carolina trails only Florida, California and Texas in the number of residents who qualified for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. About 515,000 North Carolinians qualifed for federal aid, 190,000 more than in 2014.

State Senate OKs Trudy Wade's Greensboro redistricting bill

March 13, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The N.C. Senate approved a bill proposed by Sen. Trudy Wade that would shrink the Greensboro City Council from nine to seven members, eliminate at-large members, eliminate the mayor's vote and extend council terms from two to four years. The controversial bill will move on to the N.C. House for consideration.

UNC governors begin search process for new president

March 12, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The UNC Board of Governors appointed a nine-member group that will nominate a search committee and two other committees to begin the process of finding a successor for UNC President Tom Ross, who will leave the position in 2016.

Legislator proposes replacing gas tax with annual fee

March 12, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville introduced a bill that would replace the state's gas tax with an annual fee of $201 for all drivers. The state House and Senate have passed bills that would reduce the current gas tax in the short term, though Democrats call the measures tax increases because the tax was scheduled to fall to 30 cents per gallon this summer, which is lower than the proposed rate reductions.

NC environmental agency fines Duke Energy $25M

March 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources fined Charlotte-based Duke Energy a record $25 million for groundwater contamination at its coal-fired power plant in Wilmington. The agency hinted that more fines could be levied for violations at other Duke plants. 

Attorney general asks Ritz Carlton about CIAA charges

March 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

A deputy attorney general from Roy Cooper's office sent a letter to the manager of the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Charlotte, asking for information about why it added a 15% surcharge to lounge customers during last month's CIAA basketball tournament. 

NC pension fund returned 6% in 2014

March 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina pension fund, which provides retirement benefits for more than 900,000 teachers and other state employees, gained 6.2% in 2014. Real-estate investments increased 19.4% and alternative investments, including hedge funds and private equity, gained 14%. Stocks, which account for 44% of the fund's assets, rose 3.7%.