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Association conference kicks off in Pitt County

More than 350 county officials from across North Carolina have gathered in Pitt County for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners' 108th Annual Conference.

"The Annual Conference is the primary educational and networking opportunity for our county commissioners, but it is also is a great celebration of all things about county government," said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard. "The Association brings counties together each year to reaffirm the premise that 100 counties working together can make a difference for all the citizens of our state and make North Carolina the best state in the nation."

Almost every county is represented at the conference, which features nationally recognized speakers in leadership development and workshops on such topics like mental health, reclaiming civility in public discourse, elections law changes and local approaches to economic development. The conference features nearly 30 hours of continuing education sessions for elected and appointed county officials.

House, Senate agree on spending target

The House and Senate came to agreement on an overall spending limit of $21.735 billion for the current fiscal year's budget. This amount will be divided between various segments of the budget and enable negotiators to determine final details, possibly before the current temporary budget expires on Aug.31. Appropriations chairs will begin negotiating their spending priorities as early as this weekend. A more detailed breakdown of each chamber's budget and NCACC budget priorities can be found on our website.

House votes not to concur with Senate tax plan


The House voted 111-2 Wednesday not to accept the Senate's latest sales tax redistribution plan, which is included in H117 (NC Competes Act) that also makes economic development changes. The current version divides local sales tax 50 percent per capita and 50 percent point of sale. The legislation will now be put in a conference committee to work out the differences. The House has named its conferees; the Senate has not.

County bill approved by House committee

The House began moving H430 (County Omnibus Legislation), passing it unanimously out of the House Local Government Committee on Tuesday. The bill addresses three NCACC legislative goals and a technical fix to help counties manage cash deposits. The bill would reconstitute the State Payment in Lieu of Taxes Study Commission, direct the Revenue Laws Study Commission to study exempting previously taxable properties from tax bases, and direct the Environmental Review Commission to study a statewide approach to aquatic weed control and funding. The bill will also allow counties to securely deposit cash once the amount reaches $250 rather than automatically at the end of each month. This legislation would accomplish three legislative goals adopted by counties this biennium: Tax and Finance Goals 8 and 9, as well as Environmental Goal 1. The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee.

House does not concur with Senate Medicaid changes

The House voted 115-0 on Wednesday against concurrence with the Senate's latest Medicaid reform plan as passed in H372 (Medicaid Transformation/HIE/Primary Care/Funds). The Senate’s modified plan would transition from a fee-for-service model to a fully capitated system with commercial insurers and provider-led entities delivering services statewide or in different regions across the state. Service providers would contract with existing LME/MCOs to deliver behavioral health services. Whereas past Senate plans called for implementation by an independent commission, this version sets up a new, cabinet level Department of Medicaid to implement the plan 12 months after Federal approval of the new system. The Senate and the House appointed conferees to negotiate differences with the bill and possibly reach a compromise on Medicaid reform.

Other bills of interest

  • The Senate Finance Committee voted this week to approve the "Uber bill." S541 (Regulate Transportation Network Companies) would require companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to pay an annual fee of $5,000 to do business in the state. The bill has been calendared and is expected to be heard in the House early next week.
  • This week, the Senate gave final approval to S446 (Dealer Loaners/Unmanned Aircraft/Brunswick Co.). The bill clarifies the authority of the State CIO to approve the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by a state or local government entity. The CIO's approval is required only until Dec. 31, 2015, the date by which the FAA must develop and implement standards for certifying and operating UAS in the national airspace. S446 has been ratified and is on its way to the Governor for signature. 

This Week at the General Assembly

This Week at the General Assembly is produced regularly while the General Assembly in in session. Visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ncacc1908 or our website to view the latest episode of This Week at the General Assembly.

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