Government

McCrory working to restore historic-preservation tax credits

December 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory said last week he is assembling a coalition of architects, real-estate professionals and civic leaders to reinstate North Carolina's historic-preservation tax credits, which will expire Dec. 31 ("Getting out of rehab," May).

State revenues $190M below forecast

December 12, 2014

(WRAL.com)

North Carolina's revenues are $190.1 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, according to the latest report from the Office of the State Controller. 

DENR must run tests to prioritize coal-ash cleanup

December 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State environmental regulators need to gather more information about possible groundwater contamination at Duke Energy's coal-fired power plants across the state before they can determine which ash ponds first need to be excavated or capped. 

Legislators work to close retirement tax loophole

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A state legislative committee debated a draft bill that would prevent state employees from rolling private-sector retirement accounts into tax-exempt state accounts. Supporters of the bill say the loophole costs the state $1 million a year.

AG Cooper to appeal utilities commission ruling

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper plans to appeal a ruling that allows utilities to collect a 6.9% rate from customers though the state legislature lowered the corporate income tax rate to 6% this year. 

State Ethics Commission issues belated review of fracking panel

December 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Now that the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission has completed its primary task of writing safety rules for fracking, the State Ethics Commission has flagged 12 of its 14 members for potential conflicts of interest, including investments in energy stocks and energy consulting work. 

State lawmakers still at odds over Medicaid reform

December 8, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

In a legislative subcommittee meeting last week, GOP leaders of the N.C. House and Senate still expressed differing opinions on how to contain Medicaid costs. Sen. Ralph Hise, a member of the DHHS oversight panel who supports contracting with managed-care companies to help manage Medicaid, says it is "feasibly impossible" for the state to expand Medicaid at this point.

NCDOT presents new 10-year transportation plan

December 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Transportation released a 10-year State Transportation Improvement Program, which replaces a 1989 law that gave less priority to the needs of North Carolina's urban areas. The new program includes the DOT's commitment to help fund about 500 highways projects and a 17-mile light rail line from UNC Hospitals to Duke University. 
Related: Tolls planned for 3 Charlotte area roads

Some teachers object to education materials funded by Koch family

December 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction recommended Wednesday that state high school social studies teachers use a curriculum prepared by the Bill of Rights Institute, a Virginia-based organization funded by the conservative Koch family.

NC DOT could require fracking companies to pay for road repairs

December 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation may require energy companies to pay for any needed road and bridge repairs after fracking for natural gas. Some rural N.C. roads were not designed for the heavy truck traffic the practice will bring. If state legislators approve proposed safety rules, fracking could begin as early as spring 2015.