Government

Southeastern NC legislators frustrated after short session

August 28, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Legislators from Southeastern N.C. left the General Assembly's short session frustrated as film incentives were significantly reduced and prospects of gaining more than 1,000 jobs and a proposed tire plant were diminished when legislators voted against establishing a $20 million "closing fund" for corporate recruiting.

Wilmington leaders want legislature to reconvene over film incentives

August 27, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders plan to send a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory requesting he reconvene the General Assembly to discuss changes to the state's film incentive program, which they say will cost the area jobs. Legislators changed the current incentive, which has no cap, to a $10 million grant. North Carolina gave out $61 million in tax credits in 2013 to film productions.

DENR to fine Duke Energy over coal-ash pollution at Sutton plant

August 27, 2014

(WRAL.com)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a violation notice to Duke Energy over ongoing groundwater contamination at the utility's Sutton plant in New Hanover County.

Union: Tax break for airlines costs NC $10 million a year

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A union representing 33,000 airport concession and catering workers says North Carolina loses $10 million a year in revenue due to tax breaks on jet fuel costs for airlines. Currently airlines receive refunds for fuel taxes paid more than $2.5 million a year, but that sales-tax cap is set to expire in 2016.

Cannon sentence could come next week

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon could be sentenced as early as next week, federal documents show. Cannon admitted to accepting more than $50,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents. He resigned in March following his arrest.

McCrory says coal-ash commission is unconstitutional

August 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory said he is likely to sign the coal-ash cleanup bill approved by state legislators, though he believes the provision allowing the General Assembly to appoint a majority of members to an oversight commission violates the separation between executive and legislative branches of the government.

Failure to approve closing fund could cost state jobs

August 25, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

State legislators' decision not to approve a $20 million Jobs Catalyst Fund for recruiting new businesses puts North Carolina at a disadvantage when competing with other states, says John Lassiter, chairman of N.C. Economic Development Board.

Judge declares school voucher program unconstitutional

August 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A Superior Court judge ruled that a 2013 North Carolina law that allows using public money for tuition at private schools in unconstitutional. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office will appeal the ruling.

Coal-ash bill moves forward

August 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state House and Senate approved a bill that would require Duke Energy to remove ash from four of its coal-fired power plants and close all 33 ash ponds in North Carolina. The bill, which will now go to Gov. Pat McCrory for approval, would create a commission to oversee the utility's ash cleanup progress.

Legislators compromise on coal-ash bill

August 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

State legislators could vote as early as Wednesday on a bill that would require Duke Energy to remove coal ash from four power plants. Storage ponds at other coal-fired power plants could be capped without removing ash, provided the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources finds that the ash will not contaminate groundwater (cover story, April).