2014 NC Senate

Politics & Government
9:31 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

NC Senate Tentatively Approves Bill That Would Cap Sales Tax At 7.5%, Limit Wake County

The North Carolina senate has tentatively approved a plan to limit the sales tax to 7.25 percent in most of the state.
Credit Luz Bratcher via Flickr

North Carolina's sales tax would be capped at 7.25 percent in most of the state under a plan tentatively approved by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.

The proposal would make it easier for most counties to raise sales taxes to the limit. It would also pull back the ability some counties currently have to implement raises above that limit.

The purpose is to even out sales taxes and create fairness between populous and not-so populous areas, bill supporters say.  

Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), says many people in rural places don't spend their money there.

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Politics & Government
10:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Republican Sales Tax Proposal Would Keep Wake County From Light Rail Plans, Democrats Say

A Senate committee is recommending a plan to limit the sales tax to 7.25 percent in most of North Carolina.
Credit MIKI Yoshito via Flickr

A state Senate committee is recommending a plan that would curtail the ability of four of North Carolina's most populous counties, including Wake, to raise their local sales tax.

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Politics & Government
6:23 am
Tue July 22, 2014

NC Senate Committe Relaxes Restrictions On Proposed County Tax Legislation

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on a measure that would limit sales taxes to 7.5 percent.
Credit Walmart via Flickr

A North Carolina Senate committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on a measure that would restrict how much counties can raise their sales taxes and what they can spend the revenue on.

The Senate finance committee approved last week a bill that would allow counties to raise their sales taxes by a half-percent -- and to use the new revenue for either schools or for transportation costs.

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Politics & Government
7:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, July 21

The North Carolina General Assembly's Legislative Building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The state House and Senate are entering their fifth week of negotiations over the state’s $21 billion budget. The Senate is scheduled on Monday night to take on at least one other major piece of legislation and two bills intended to beef up policing in North Carolina.

Medicaid Overhaul

The point of this legislative session is for the General Assembly to make adjustments to the state’s budget. But talks are moving so slowly, that Senate leaders last week said they might as well take up an overhaul of the Medicaid system.

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Politics & Government
7:28 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Police In NC Could Start Tracking License Plates On State Highways

The North Carolina Department of Transportation could give law enforcement agencies photos of license plates on state highways under a new proposal tentatively approved by the state Senate.
Credit Flickr user Tom

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a bill that would allow police to use photo cameras on state roads to track license plates.

The idea is that the cameras would take pictures of license plates, and police could use them to, for example, find a fugitive. Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford) says that could have helped Guilford County investigators on a recent case.

"Had this technology been available, at a right of way, it would've been possible to track down the individual who had committed the crime," Robinson says.

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Politics & Government
10:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Moped Drivers: Should They Be Requried To Register Their Mopeds And Buy Insurance?

Credit Lars Elmo via Flickr

A North Carolina Senate committee wants to require moped owners to register their mopeds and buy insurance.

In North Carolina, mopeds owners can travel on roads without registering their vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicle, owning insurance or having a valid driver's license.

Some members of the General Assembly have been trying for years to change that. Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville), told the senate finance committee on Tuesday morning that there's no financial liability for a moped driver if he crashes into a car.

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Politics & Government
8:32 am
Wed June 25, 2014

NC Senate Tentatively Approves Plan To Close Duke Energy Coal Ash Ponds Within 15 Years

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Credit Riverkeeper Foundation

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a plan to close Duke Energy’s 33 coal ash ponds within 15 years.

The plan prioritizes four ponds that Republican lawmakers say are the biggest contamination threats. Duke would have to dig out all the ash and take it to dry storage.

Some Democrats want more ponds to be made high priority.

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Politics & Government
7:49 am
Tue June 17, 2014

NC Senate Leaders Want Duke Energy To Close Its Coal Ash Ponds Within 15 Years

Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

At the North Carolina General Assembly, key members of the Senate will take their first vote today on a coal ash proposal. Lawmakers have been grappling all year with possible contamination from 33 coal ash ponds Duke Energy has across the state.

The problem is not new. North Carolina has been accumulating coal ash for most of the past century. Power companies burn coal to generate electricity, cool off the remaining ash with water and then pour it into ponds and keep it there.

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Politics & Government
4:14 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

NC Senate Committee Recommends Candidate Who Could Tip Balance Of Worker’s Compensation Commission

A North Carolina Senate committee has recommended a conservative member for the state commission that hears worker’s compensation claims, a placement that critics say would make a majority of the board more likely to side with businesses.

In a 20-minute hearing Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Commerce Committee recommended Charlton Allen to the state Industrial Commission, a six-member board that is similar to a court and makes decisions when workers file compensation claims against their employers and on the state’s eugenics compensation fund.

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Education
4:52 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Senate Bill Would Require Charter Schools To Disclose Salaries

Credit WUNC File Photo

A Senate Education Committee has approved a bill that makes certain that charter schools are subject to the same public records and open meetings laws as traditional public schools.

The bill comes at a time when charter schools are thriving in North Carolina - 26 new schools are set to open in the fall.

Charter schools are run by private nonprofit boards, but get public money from the state. For that reason, lawmakers say charter schools should be bound by the same state public record laws as traditional schools.

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