Last week, Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) released his budget proposal, outlining his priorities for North Carolina over the next two years. For their part, legislators considered a wide range of bills from education and economic development to driver safety.

Economy and Economic Development

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: Wilmington-area Legislators File Bills to Revive Film Tax Credits 

A group of Wilmington-area Republican legislators are hoping a two-fisted approach to film production grants – simultaneous bill filings in the House and Senate – will bolster support for reviving the incentives.

NEWS & OBSERVER:Tax Credits Loom Large in NC Budget Debate 

Legislation that is now moving quickly in the North Carolina General Assembly--and the budget proposed Thursday by Governor McCrory for the next fiscal year--includes at least seven specific tax credit programs that are characterized as needed to preserve or generate jobs.

GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: Governor McCrory Moving Away from Uniform Raises for NC Workers 

Governor McCrory's two-year spending plan offers neither all public school teachers nor rank-and-file state employees across-the-board raises. Rather, the governor emphasizes improving pay for certain teachers and targeting state employees in hard-to-fill or dangerous law enforcement positions.

Education

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: Legislators Push for School Calendar Flexibility 

Legislators who want to change state law that dictates the start and end dates for public schools are hoping there is power in numbers, just not the ones with dollar signs in front of them.

Energy

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Keep Wind Farms Farther Offshore, Secretary Says 

North Carolina’s environment secretary has urged a federal agency not to sell wind energy leases within 24 miles of the state’s coast, a limit that advocates say would largely block wind farms.

Healthcare

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Medical Examiners Get Boost in McCrory’s Budget Proposal 

Gov. Pat McCrory’s new budget proposal seeks nearly $4 million in new funds to fix North Carolina’s troubled medical examiner system. Under the proposal, rolled out last week, the state’s 350 medical examiners would get training and higher pay for each case they handle, and the state would hire more than a dozen professional investigators over the next two years.

In The Courts

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Legislatures Appointment Power Argued in Landmark Case 

The hearing, which took place in a courtroom at Campbell University’s School of Law, sounded at times like a law school symposium as attorneys argued arcane points of constitutional law. At issue is whether the legislature has the power to appoint members of certain commissions or whether the governor has the sole authority.

Transportation

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Vote Likely Ends I-485 Carpool Lane 

A transportation committee voted unanimously Thursday against creating a carpool lane on Interstate 485 in south Charlotte, a decision that likely ends discussion about using the extra asphalt on the highway. The debate focused on an extra-wide shoulder on I-485 between Interstate 77 and Johnston Road. The N.C. Department of Transportation widened the highway in December, and the project greatly improved traffic flow.