NC Legislature

A bill that would immediately fire members of some of the most important state boards and commissions has advanced in the state Senate. Senate Bill 10 would sack members of the Utilities, Environmental Management, Industrial, and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. Democrats call it a blatant power grab, but Republicans say it will streamline state government.

A bill approved today by the Senate Rules Committee would eliminate and retool a number of key state boards and commissions. It would end members' terms on the Utilities Commission, Industrial Commission, and Coastal Resources Commission, among others. The bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Bill Rabon, says it will allow several key boards to be run by political appointees. Democratic Senator Josh Stein says the measure is a power grab.

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly
www.ncleg.net

Aside from a few lobbyists checking their cell phones, the halls of the General Assembly were quiet and free of protestors Wednesday. But in the House, legislators wasted no time getting down to business. An unemployment insurance bill many are watching closely will be discussed in a committee meeting today. It seeks to lower unemployment benefits so employers won't have to shoulder insurance increases.

State lawmakers convened in Raleigh today for the official first day of the 2013 legislative session. In the Senate, lawmakers re-elected Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger for another two years. In the House, Speaker Thom Tillis- also a Republican- will also serve for two more years. He told lawmakers he's looking forward to this session.

State senators gave tentative approval today to two bills that would make it harder for cities to annex land outside their previous limits.

There’s a renewed fight over education funding. Dave DeWitt reports that the loss of federal stimulus money has republicans and democrats picking sides ahead of the legislature coming back to Raleigh.

A legislative committee that's studying a method of natural gas drilling sometimes called fracking met in Raleigh today. Representatives of oil and gas interest groups as well as environmental non-profits spoke at the meeting. Ray Covington of Lee County is a co-founder of a company that has entered into mineral rights agreements with many landowners in the area.

Republican leaders in the state legislature are considering measures that could end the estate tax for North Carolinians. The Revenue Laws Study Committee met today to discuss taxes in the state. The committee plans to hold a full discussion on repealing the estate tax at its next meeting. Republican Senator Robert Rucho is a co-chair of the committee.

State lawmakers are back in Raleigh this week for a special session to vote on potential amendments to the state constitution.

State lawmakers have overriden two of Governor Perdue's vetoes during a special session today.

Lawmakers are back in session to vote on proposed redistricting maps as they do every ten years. But they're also working to resurrect a number of bills the Governor red-stamped earlier this year.

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