Old North State Report - April 7, 2017
With the House Bill 2 saga behind us (at least for now) and the “crossover deadline” of April 27th looming ahead (when non-fiscal bills must pass one chamber or another to remain eligible for consideration), the pace of the legislative session was brisk this week.
The Senate, voting along party lines, approved the "Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut" on Wednesday and will likely include it in their version of the state budget. The Senate GOP says it will benefit nearly every taxpayer. House lawmakers are touting their own plan and Governor Roy Cooper is against it, saying businesses don't need any more tax breaks. The fiscal note on Senate Bill 325 (with additional details) is available here:
Despite all the legal wrangling and political controversy, the confirmation process for Governor Cooper’s cabinet has gone more smoothly than expected. The Senate voted 44-0 to confirm both Mandy Cohen as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Machelle Sanders as Secretary of the Department of Administration. Senate committees unanimously approved Michael Regan as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality and Tony Copeland as Secretary of Commerce. Both nominees should receive a floor vote next week.
Companion bills in both the House and Senate were introduced this week by GOP leaders (and with the strong support of the North Carolina Hospital Association) to revise involuntary commitment laws with the goal of improving behavioral health:
Senate Bill 628 (“Various Changes to Revenue Laws”) was introduced by the Senate Finance Committee chairs this week and, as its title suggests, contains a number of tax-related provisions. Many of the provisions are technical efforts to resolve lingering questions about how the state and taxpayers should interpret changes made over the last few years:
House and Senate leaders continue to work with the NC Economic Developers Association to refine the state’s job creation programs. Senate Bill 660 (“Economic Development Incentives Modifications”) was introduced by Majority Leader Harry Brown as part of his continuing efforts to aid the more distressed areas of the state:
The House added a number of provisions which ease rules on business, government, and environmental protection in this year’s regulatory reform bill. It now returns to the Senate for concurrence or a possible conference committee:
Lawmakers are preparing to take a “spring break” starting next Wednesday for a week over the Easter holiday. We will bring you news as it occurs.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.