Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
NCGA Update: Senate Bill 810: Affordable Housing/No Discrimination Passes Last Committee Heading to House Floor
SB 810 is supported by a broad cross section of NC organizations:
• NC Home Builders Association
• NC Housing Coalition
• Apartment Association of NC
• ARC of NC
• NC Association of Realtors
• Disability Rights NC
• NC Justice Center
The revenue plan will call for a 1-cent increase in the sales tax, a 2 percent surcharge on personal and corporate income tax liability, a tax on items downloaded over the Internet, a 10-cent per pack increase on cigarettes, an increase in the beer excise tax of 5 cents per six pack, a 4-cent per bottle tax in wine, and a 4 percent increase on tax on liquor. The sales tax increase does not have a sunset clause however, the income tax surcharge would expire in two years.
We are expecting to see finance meetings on Thursday or Friday. Yesterday, Representative Holliman stated to Laura Leslie (WUNC) that the budget conference report would be presented on Monday with votes occurring on Tuesday and Wednesday. If this happens as planned there will be no need for any additional continuing resolutions.
We expect to see House and Senate committee meetings begin to close down starting Monday.
After a very difficult session it looks like we are at an end.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a juror cannot be excluded from service simply because he or she is deaf.
Senate Bill 293: Juror Qualifications/Electronic Juror List changes our existing law to permit people who are deaf to serve as juror.
This legislation also specifies that if a person who is deaf is selected as a juror that the court will appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to the deaf person.
The United States Supreme Court recognized in Tennessee v. Lane that:
Senate Bill 293 will bring our state into compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
To vote YES for Senate Bill 293: Juror Qualifications/Electronic Juror List.
This legislation will bring North Carolina law into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Currently in the United States there are approximately 100 deaf practicing attorneys and three seated deaf US judges.
How to find your Representative:
Or call 919-733-7928
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
FY 09-10 $20,048,773,017 ($20.1 billion)
FY 10-11- $21,284,428,623
Senate included a tax package of $500 million in their budget.
House passed a budget that spent:
FY 09-10: $18,583,763,145 ($18.6 billion)
FY 10-11: $19,402,877,454
House included in their budget a tax package that raised $780 million.
The new House and Senate agreed upon budget is set at $18.9 billion which would increase the House budget by $300 million.
Friday, July 10, 2009
To avoid any unintended consequences of altering existing legislation or creating legislation that would be in conflict with existing legislation; this bill will direct the General Statues Commission to recommend to the 2010 reconvened session of the General Assembly and to the 2011 Regular Session of the General Assembly any statutory changes and drafting policies needed to make the General Statutes and administrative rules refer to a person with a disability as a person first.
Legislation similar to this bill have been passed in New York, Nevada, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, and Minnesota. Several additional states have removed the term “mental retardation” from their Department and Division names.
The House and Senate appropriation chairs spent the majority of the week working on their proposals to the other chamber. There were no joint meetings between the Senate and House Appropriation chairs this week.
There are two main issues that have caused this stand still in the budget process. The first is the significant differences on how to raise revenue and the second is once the revenue package is agreed upon how will the additional revenue be allocated to Education, Health and Human Services and Justice and Public Safety.
The Finance Conference Committee chairs are also in a stand still regarding how to raise the revenue with the House and Senate firmly entrenched in their legislative proposals.
The Senate has a package that will raise around 1.2 billion dollars the first year by radically changing how taxes are collected. The Senate package would expand sales tax collections to services while over time lowering the rate. The House uses a more traditional approach including sales tax increase and an increase in income tax for the highest tax brackets.
In addition to the debate between the appropriation chairs and the finance chairs, this week Governor Perdue set forth her tax plan. Governor Perdue presented a menu of tax options that include a temporary one-cent sales tax increase and a two-year surcharge on individual income taxpayers making at least $500,000.
It was unclear as the week ended if the Governor’s call to go above the $1 billion dollar revenue figure had any impact on lawmakers. What is clear is that there is growing concern in the House that there may not be the needed 61 votes to get a revenue package passed that goes over the $1 billion dollar mark.
This weekend Senate and House Appropriation chairs will be remaining in Raleigh to continue the budget process. In the meantime, both the House and the Senate are preparing a second continuing resolution as the current continuing resolution is slated to expire on July 15, 2009.