Government

Claims of secrecy, disagreements mar search for UNC president

September 25, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Some members of the UNC Board of Governors feel they are being left in the dark regarding the system's search for a new president. Jim Holmes, who represented the board during state budget negotiations, resigned this week as chairman of the board's public affairs committee. Holmes said in an email that the chairwoman of the 11-member search committee unfairly accused him of trying to build a coalition to influence the search.

Urban legislators criticize light-rail funding cap

September 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Legislators from North Carolina's urban counties are seeking to repeal a state budget provision that prevents the N.C. DOT from contributing more than $500,000 to any light-rail project. A 17-mile proposed Durham-Chapel light-rail line could be affected; Charlotte's Blue Line extension, already under construction, isn't subject to the new law.

$2 billion bond referendum moved to March

September 23, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Senate Finance Committee moved a bond vote from November 2016 to March in an effort to take advantage of lower interest rates. The revised $2 billion bond package increases university spending from $921 million to $980 million and restores funding for a science-building renovation at Fayetteville State and new business schools at N.C. Central and UNC Pembroke.

State legislature votes to privatize Medicaid

September 23, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Under the bill approved by both chambers on Tuesday, North Carolina would contract with three companies that would offer statewide health-insurance plans for Medicaid recipients plus up to 10 companies that would offer regional plans. The conversion is expected to take years.

Senate votes to restore funds for business incentives

September 22, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Senate unanimously approved on Monday a measure that would replenish the state's main jobs incentives fund. The bill would cap incentives at $20 million a year for the next two years, though that cap could be extended to $35 million if a major employer promises to invest at least $500 million and create at least 1,750 jobs. A final Senate vote and House vote are set for Tuesday.

NC budget lowers income taxes, adds more taxes on services

September 21, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The $21.74 billion budget Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law on Friday includes new sales taxes on car repairs, appliance installation and other services. Those taxes will be offset about $400 million in personal income tax cuts.
Also: 2015 budget deal changes taxes and fees

Berger says incentives bill could be released next week

September 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said leaders of both legislative chambers have reached a compromise on a business incentives program and expect to release details next week. Speaking at the Charlotte Chamber's fall retreat, Berger didn't reveal specifics of the proposal but said he expects economic developers "will be happy."
Also: NC House approves negotiated budget in final 81-33 vote

NC lawmakers to vote on privatizing Medicaid

September 18, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Many doctors and hospitals have been opposed to privatizing the state's $15 billion Medicaid program, which Republican legislators say would be a remedy for unpredictable spending. Votes on House bill 372 are expected next week.

Lawmakers sending High Point market more spending money

September 17, 2015

(The Winston-Salem Journal)

High Point's furniture market is receiving an additional $544,528 for annual marketing initiatives for the next two fiscal years under the budget under review by the N.C. General Assembly. Overall, the authority that operates the semiannual trade show is getting $1.2 million overall in marketing funding for each year from the N.C. Commerce Department and $1.2 million from the N.C. Department of Transportation. An initial budget by Gov. Pat McCrory did not include more money for the market, which has an overall economic impact of more than $5 billion annually, according to a 2013 Duke University study.

NC Senate to take final vote on $22B budget

September 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Senate will take a final vote Wednesday on the $21.74 billion state budget after tentatively approving the measure Tuesday by a vote of 33-16. The final House vote is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Friday. Some state senators said they didn't have enough time to review the 429-page bill before being asked to vote on it.