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.

Budget compromise bill is released

September 15, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The bill includes funding for teacher assistants and driver's ed programs and restores funding for historic-preservation tax credits. Other provisions include $13.6 million for the N.C. Biotechnology Center and the establishment of an $84.8 million fund that would help rural counties pay for education and economic-development projects. The N.C. Senate will vote on the bill at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Legislators reach budget compromise

September 14, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. House and Senate leaders said late Friday they have reached a budget agreement, though they declined to provide details. House Speaker Tim Moore said the budget will be unveiled in the first part of the week, with a vote expected later in the week.

McCrory signs bill to overhaul unemployment law

September 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Thursday that will require people seeking unemployment benefits to contact at least five potential employers a week; the law previously required two. The bill also contains provisions to help prevent fraud, such as requiring job seekers to show a photo ID in order to receive unemployment checks.

The issues slowing down state budget talks

September 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

With the state budget more than two months overdue, legislators hope to settle on a budget agreement by Friday and to vote by the end of next week. Unresolved issues include funding for teacher assistants and driver's education programs and income tax changes.

NC film incentive program to get $30 million

September 9, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

State budget leaders agreed to allocate $30 million in the 2015-16 budget for film incentives, an increase from the $10 million allocated to the grant program for the first six months of 2015 but still significantly less than the previous program, which expired at the end of 2014.

McCrory signs bill to regulate ride-hailing apps

September 8, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

A bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday requires ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft to pay an annual $5,000 permit fee and conduct background checks on drivers. Drivers also will be required to carry insurance during and between rides. Uber, which helped craft the legislation, applauded the regulations. The company said in July it plans to add 5,000 more drivers in the state.

Legislators want to tweak state driver's ed program

September 4, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State senators are looking to make changes to high school driver's education programs following a recent study that shows a lack of consistency in overseeing the programs. Also, budget negotiators say they are close to a resolution on funding for teacher assistants.

NC test scores show little improvement

September 3, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Student scores on state standardized tests remain relatively unchanged from the year before, according to new data that was just released for the 2014-15 academic year. A News & Observer analysis shows 72% of schools received a grade of C or better based on their scores. About 88% of the schools receiving Ds and Fs were high-poverty schools.