Snow Days

The North Carolina General Assembly this week did not live up to Speaker Moore’s (R-Cleveland) warning that the “quiet days” at the NCGA were done. Inclement weather postponed any planned legislative action on Tuesday and most of the day on Wednesday. The House was also expected to unveil an omnibus economic incentives bill, the introduction of which has now been postponed until next week. Rep. Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), a senior co-chair of the House Finance committee and one of the anticipated sponsors of the legislation, said Wednesday that the bill is still in draft form and that he hoped the bill would be introduced next week.   

Quick primer on Assembly’s debate about incentives – Stanly News & Press   

The House returned Wednesday afternoon for a full Appropriations committee meeting to hear Senate Bill 14, sponsored by Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow). The bill quickly passed through the Senate last week and would transfer $100,000 from the Department of Public Instruction to cover litigation costs for the Rules Review Commission, which is being sued by the Board of Education. The bill would also take $275,000 in unused funding for vacant positions, to cover staff costs for the Academic Standards Review Commission. It also ensures adequate funding for the Coal Ash Commission to carry out its responsibilities. The House held no-vote sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, the bill is expected be heard in the full House early next week.   

Budget tweaks pass House committee – WRAL

The Senate Wednesday held a Workforce and Economic Development committee meeting, which received an update from the Program Evaluation Division on the status of the state’s current workforce development system. According to the report, there are 17 workforce development programs administered by 5 different state agencies. Senate Majority Whip Sen. Tillman (R-Randolph) suggested that he would like to see all of these programs put under one roof in the community college system and suggested that he may introduce legislation to do so.   

Unlike the House, the Senate did have action on the floor this week. In a vote of 40-6, Senators passed Senate Bill 15, the unemployment insurance legislation which had been withdrawn from the calendar last week. The bill would make changes to a state board that reviews unemployment insurance appeals. It would also require recipients to show a photo ID to collect their benefits as well as increase the number of weekly required job contacts for individuals receiving unemployment insurance from two to five. This legislation is very similar to a bill that the Governor vetoed last session and the General Assembly failed to override.   

Unemployment changes clear first vote in Senate– WRAL   

NC Senate OKs unemployment bill; McCrory vetoed similar bill – WNCN