Brewgaloo 2018

Brewgaloo!: Don’t Miss Hopportunity Knocking at this North Carolina Brewing Staple

Thank you ResortsandLodges.com for the writeup!

Learn all about Brewgaloo in this interview with Shop Local Raleigh Executive Director, Jennifer Martin.

https://www.resortsandlodges.com/travelblog/b/brewgaloo/

Taylor’s Wine Shop Now Hiring!

Now Hiring Sales Associate, Raleigh

Taylor’s Wine Shop is currently hiring for a motivated and positive sales associate/clerk/cashier. Must be able to work mornings and weekends, this is a full time position. No experience necessary however knowledge of wine and craft beer is a plus. We offer paid training, flexible schedules among other perks. Must be 21+. Duties include but not limited to working on cash register, cleaning duties, stocking inventory, promoting local products and customer service.
You will need reliable transportation to get to work. The ability to interact with customers and on a team with your co-workers will be important, customer service skills are desired.  We look forward to working with you!!
You can send your resume with your best contact phone number to taylorswineshop@yahoo.com or apply online at http://taylorswineshop.com/careers/

NC in Review and how it affects you

Legislative Update

NC Legislature

The 2015 General Assembly Wrap Up

The General Assembly has concluded its 2015 legislative session, after being in Raleigh for more than eight months. The majority of the session was consumed with putting together a state budget to fund government over the next two years. The state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 is 21.7 billion dollars, which is an increase of 3% from FY 2015 appropriations. FY 2016 is similar to the pre-recession appropriation of 21.4 billion dollars in FY 2009. The three largest categories of the General Fund spending are education 57%, (which includes K-12, Community Colleges, and the UNC system), Medicaid 17%, and public safety 11% (which includes, corrections, juvenile justice, and the Highway Patrol).

NC Spending
After making significant changes to the tax code over the last two years, the General Assembly continued the trend in 2015 by rewriting tax laws this year as well. The finance provisions of the budget expands the sales tax base to include some services. It applies the sales tax to repair, maintenance and installation services on motor vehicles and tangible personal property. This expansion is effective 3-1-16.

Below is a synopsis of the tax package:
Tax Package
• Cuts Personal Income Tax Rate by 0.26% to 5.499%
• Increases Standard Deduction in 2016 from $15,000 to $15,500, non-taxable;
• Unlimited deduction for both Medical and Charitable;
• Maintains Corporate Income Tax rate reduction trigger (Current forecast has us hitting the trigger in 2016 dropping rate to 3%);
• Phases in Single Sales Factor over 3 years starting next year (study market-based sourcing);
• No extension of the Solar Tax Credit or R&D Tax Credit.

The General Assembly took a number of actions to increase transportation funding this session including ending the transfer of over 200 million dollars from the Highway Trust fund to the General Fund. They changed the motor fuel tax rate to produce a more stable source of revenue, an increased DMV fees.

Below is a synopsis of the transportation areas of the budget:
Transportation Highlights
NC Transportation

The 2015 General Assembly Wrap Up

The General Assembly has concluded its 2015 legislative session, after being in Raleigh for more than eight months. The majority of the session was consumed with putting together a state budget to fund government over the next two years. The state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 is 21.7 billion dollars, which is an increase of 3% from FY 2015 appropriations. FY 2016 is similar to the pre-recession appropriation of 21.4 billion dollars in FY 2009. The three largest categories of the General Fund spending are education 57%, (which includes K-12, Community Colleges, and the UNC system), Medicaid 17%, and public safety 11% (which includes, corrections, juvenile justice, and the Highway Patrol).

After making significant changes to the tax code over the last two years, the General Assembly continued the trend in 2015 by rewriting tax laws this year as well. The finance provisions of the budget expands the sales tax base to include some services. It applies the sales tax to repair, maintenance and installation services on motor vehicles and tangible personal property. This expansion is effective 3-1-16.

Below is a synopsis of the tax package:
Tax Package
• Cuts Personal Income Tax Rate by 0.26% to 5.499%
• Increases Standard Deduction in 2016 from $15,000 to $15,500, non-taxable;
• Unlimited deduction for both Medical and Charitable;
• Maintains Corporate Income Tax rate reduction trigger (Current forecast has us hitting the trigger in 2016 dropping rate to 3%);
• Phases in Single Sales Factor over 3 years starting next year (study market-based sourcing);
• No extension of the Solar Tax Credit or R&D Tax Credit.

The General Assembly took a number of actions to increase transportation funding this session including ending the transfer of over 200 million dollars from the Highway Trust fund to the General Fund. They changed the motor fuel tax rate to produce a more stable source of revenue, an increased DMV fees.

Below is a synopsis of the transportation areas of the budget:
Transportation Highlights

• Eliminates the transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund;
• $440 million in additional road funding;
• $70 million in for port modernization;
• Increased funding for contract resurfacing and the bridge program, and pavement preservation fund;
• Increased funding for capital construction projects through Strategic Transportation Initiatives (STI);
• Continued funding for modernization of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV);
• Increased funding for state aid to municipalities;
• Reduce taxpayer dollars used for Board of Transportation travel expenses;
• Increases funding for airport development and the UAS program;
• Eliminates 50 Raleigh-based, non-field positions.

The General Assembly addressed many areas of economic development that are vital for many areas of the state, including reinstating the Historic Preservation tax credit so crucial for many rural areas of North Carolina. Also the General Assembly revamped the film grant to help boost the film production in North Carolina.

Below are a few of the highlights:
Other Highlights:
• $3 million for OneNC Small Business Fund
• $2.5 million annually for Rural Economic Development Grants;
• $30 million for Film Grants;
• $8 million in FY 2016-2017 for Historic Tax Credits;
Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC) funded on recurring basis, $6.9 million in FY 2015-2016 and $7.5 million in FY 2016-2017.

The General Assembly also made changes to the way Medicaid is administered by switching to a “hybrid” model in which commercial plans (insurance companies) and provider led entities, (hospitals and physician groups) will compete to run the program. This was done to try and bring more budget certainty to the state budget.

At the urging of Governor McCrory, the General Assembly approved a 2 billion dollar bond package that will go before the voters in March 2016. The statewide package focuses on infrastructure and includes 980 million dollars for the UNC system, 350 million dollars for community colleges, 310 million dollars for water and sewer infrastructure, 75 million dollars for state parks, and 70 million dollars for National Guard buildings across North Carolina.

The 2016 primary elections which have traditionally been held in May were moved to March 2016. Along with the primaries for all statewide offices, and all 170 seats in the North Carolina General Assembly.
The next session of the General Assembly will convene for the “short session” on Monday, April 25, 2016.

Get Involved!

Want to learn more about how you can be an active participant in Shop Local Raleigh’s advocacy? Contact us today and let us know you’re interested. We’ll keep you in the loop.

General Assembly action week ending 7-3-15

ON THE FLOOR

For legislative action lookup by day, click below:
Bills with House Action by Day
Bills with Senate Action by Day

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed 11 bills into law as of Wednesday.

RALEIGH – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed 11 bills into law as of Wednesday. He has signed a total of 39 bills into law since June 19.

» S.B. 534: A bill authorizing the director of the budget to continue expenditures for the operations of state government at the level in effect on June 30. This bill will expire on August 14 at 11:59 p.m.

» S.B. 455: A bill prohibiting certain investments and contracts with persons determined to be engaging in investment activities in Iran.

» H.B. 356: A bill clarifying the cap on the utilities regulatory fee reserve, setting the regulatory fee in statute and allowing the commission to raise or lower the fee.

» H.B. 55: A bill amending the law regarding pyrotechnic exhibitions authorized by North Carolina State University.

» H.B. 148: A bill requiring owners of mopeds to have insurance beginning July 1, 2016 and making clarifying changes related to the law requiring the registration of mopeds.

» S.B. 284: A bill extending the sunset provision on the authority granted to counties and cities to use special assessments to address critical infrastructure needs.

» S.B. 333: A bill requiring that the State Board of Education include specific data in its annual report on the teaching profession.

» S.B. 462: A bill clarifying that a public authority may establish, control and operate a nonprofit corporation with tax exempt status.

» S.B. 578: A bill transitioning abuse and neglect investigations in child care facilities to the Division of Child Development and Early Education within DHHS as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.

» S.B. 88: A bill assigning pole attachment disputes to the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

» S.B. 174: A bill providing that the City of Wilmington may lease from the Department of Transportation the Department’s interest in a portion of the former CSX Transportation Rail corridor within the limits of that city.

CALENDAR

1:30 PM – Session Convenes (Senate) – Senate, 7:00 PM – Session Convenes (House) – House…

IN THE NEWS

Charlotte Observer: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
Raleigh News and Observer: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
Raleigh News and Observer: Hagan: ‘My role going forward is as a citizen … not as an elected US senator’

Senate Finance Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. On Wednesday, June 24, the Committee approved two bills. H 307, Zebulon Charter/Use of Certain Fees, would amend the charter of the Town of Zebulon to make the several changes for road or drainage project fees, open space project fees, and recreation project fees.

Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources

The Committee met on Wednesday, June 24, to address three bills. H 255, Building Code Regulatory Reform, makes various changes to the laws relating to the State Building Code. H 255 received a favorable report in Committee and was passed on the Senate floor.

House Finance Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, June 24, to address three bills. H 255, Building Code Regulatory Reform, makes various changes to the laws relating to the State Building Code.

12 new bills signed into law 6-25-15

Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday announced he signed 12 bills into law:
• S.B. 7 — Known as the “biscuit bill,” it allows convenience stores to have tables and chairs for customers, which had been prohibited from providing seating. It also authorizes pushcarts to prepare and serve food at venues such as ballparks.
• S.B. 716 — Directs the Utilities Commission to make expedited decisions under certain circumstances involving building natural gas generating facilities. Modifies the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.
• S.B. 621 — Authorizes the DMV to send vehicle registration renewal notifications electronically.
• S.B. 488 — Amends family and child support law to make payments and collections more efficient.
• H.B. 812 — Makes information on grant fund awards by state agencies readily available on their websites.
• H.B. 86 — Requires DOT to pay certain costs of relocating water and sewer lines owned by school boards.
• H.B. 339 — Authorizes the Fonta Flora Loop Trail in Burke County be added to the state parks system.
• S.B. 301 — Exempts DOT from having to obtain approval from the Council of State when buying contaminated property.
• S.B. 596 — Clarifies state law regarding enforcing foreign judgments.
• S.B. 682 — Limits the use of contingent-based contracts for audits or assessments.
• H.B. 154 — Authorizes local government to enroll employees in the State Health Plan.
• S.B. 212 — Allows retired law enforcement officers who complete handgun qualifications for active officers to obtain concealed handgun permits.

COMMITTEE INFORMATION

House Education – Universities

The Committee met on Tuesday, June 16, to take up one bill.  S 478, In-State Tuition for Certain Vet/Fed Programs, makes certain non-resident veterans and other individuals entitled to federal education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Education Program or the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program eligible for in-state tuition by waiving the 12 month residency requirement.  S 478 received a favorable report in Committee and was approved on the House floor.

 

House Commerce Committee

The Committee met Wednesday, June 17, and approved the only bill on the agenda. H 482, Employee Fair Classification Act, focuses on the proper classification between employees and independent contractors. It would create a department of five employees in the Department of Revenue to enforce the current laws that distinguish between employees and independent contractors.

 

House Public Utilities

The Committee met on Wednesday, June 17, to take up one bill.  S 88, Pole Attachment Disputes, moves pole attachment compensation disputes to the Utilities Commission from the Business Court.  S 88 received a favorable report in Committee and was placed on the calendar for June 22.

 

House Finance Committee

The Committee met on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.  On Tuesday, June 16, the Committee approved three bills.  H 168, Exempt Builders’ Inventory, would exempt the value of any improvements to residential real property held for sale by a builder. A builder is a person who is engaged in the business of buying property, making improvements to the property and reselling the property. Each builder would be eligible to exempt improvements for three years.  H 679, UNC Self-Liquidating Projects, would authorize the financing and construction of numerous capital improvement projects by The University of North Carolina. The projects would be financed through revenue bonds and special obligation bonds, not appropriations from the General Fund, with the exception of an infrastructure project at NCSU. NCSU is requesting $77 million in General Fund support, which has been included in the House budget.  S 140, Lake Santeetlah Occupancy Tax Authorization, would authorize the Town of Lake Santeetlah to levy a room occupancy tax of up to three percent, the proceeds of which would be remitted to a Tourism Development Authority. The Authority would be required to use at least two-thirds of the proceeds to promote travel and tourism and the remainder for tourist-related expenditures.

 

On Thursday, June 18, the Committee met and approved five bills.  H 556, Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, would authorize the establishment of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Trust Fund, administered by the ABLE Board of Trustees, to assist and encourage the contribution of private funds to accounts from which specified expenses may be paid for individuals with disabilities.  H 714, Behavior Analyst Licensure, would establish a licensure process for behavior analysts.  H 874,  Cities/Availability Charge/Improved Property, would authorize cities that operate water and wastewater systems as a public enterprise to require payment of a periodic availability charge if improved property qualifies for the issuance of a building permit and the city has installed water or sewer lines directly available to the property.  S 88, Pole Attachment Disputes, would move pole attachment compensation disputes to the Utilities Commission from the Business Court.  S 284, Infrastructure Assessments/Extend Sunset, would extend the sunset provision on the authority granted to counties and cities to use special assessments to address critical infrastructure needs for five years, from July 1, 2015, until July 1, 2020.

 

Senate Appropriations Committee

On Monday, June 15, all of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees met and unveiled the individual subcommittee budget reports for the public.  On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee debated the proposed committee substitute to H 97, 2015 Appropriations Act, and several amendments to the bill.  The bill received a favorable report and it was re-referred to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Pensions & Retirement and Aging Committee.

State Budget Differences

Total state spending

House: $22.15 billion in 2015-16; $22.41 billion in 2016-17
Senate: $21.47 billion in 2015-16; $21.52 billion in 2016-17
Governor: $21.52 billion in 2015-16; $22.23 billion in 2016-17

The House spends nearly $700 million more in the first year of the budget than senators would and spends roughly $900 million more in 2016-17. This basic difference is one of the first things the two chambers need to resolve. Lawmakers can’t decide what they’re going to spend money on until they know how much money they have to work with.

Broadly speaking, House members viewed a $400 million budget surplus and favorable economic projections for the coming year as a way to make up ground for programs that lost funding during the recent recession, particularly courts and public schools.

Senators have argued that the growth of government spending ought to be kept under control, even if revenue projections show a windfall. To that end, senators included a package of tax cuts in their budget that would lower income taxes for many individuals and corporations. As well, the Senate budget puts more money into reserves and stops an annual transfer from the Highway Fund to pay for non-construction needs, such as the State Highway Patrol, both of which are moves that limit the amount of money available to spend on other programs.

Taxes

House: The House budget raises a number of fees, including Division of Motor Vehicle fees for renewing driver’s licenses and inspections. Those increases are somewhat offset by a decrease in the gas tax. However, the House budget does not make major adjustments to North Carolina’s income or sales taxes.
Senate: Senators included a sweeping tax reform proposal in their budget bill. The measure locks in cuts to the corporate tax rate and expands the amount of income on which individual taxpayers don’t pay any income tax. The bill also repeals a privilege tax levied on banks and makes other changes to lower taxes for businesses.
Governor: McCrory did not suggest any sweeping change to income or sales taxes in his budget proposal.

The Senate tax package expands the state sales tax to include certain services, such as car repairs and veterinary care. As well, it shifts where sales taxes go once they’re collected.

Under current law, 75 percent of the sales tax goes to the county and city where the purchase is made, while 25 percent is distributed across the state based on population. Over the next four years, that formula would change so that, effective July 1, 2019, 20 percent would go to the county where a purchase is made, while 80 percent of sales taxes collected across North Carolina would be distributed based on population. Most counties would be given the option of raising their local sales taxes by a half-cent to offset the shift.

“The sales tax distribution would literally be a new tax on millions of people in North Carolina,” McCrory told reporters on Thursday. “It’s going to be a hidden tax that’s going to be transferred to county and local governments.”

Meanwhile, House leaders have spoken forcefully against a piece of the plan that would require large nonprofits to pay more in sales taxes every year.

Without settling on how much they will change taxes and fees, House and Senate leaders will not be able to determine how much money they will have to spend.

Bonds

Governor: McCrory has proposed borrowing nearly $3 billion to improve roads, build new university buildings and make other capital improvements to the state. Such a bond issue would have to be authorized by voters through a referendum either in November or the following year.
House: House leaders set aside money to pay costs associated with borrowing, and the House budget includes a backup provision that calls for $269.5 million in two-thirds bonds – money the state can borrow without voter approval – if nothing akin to the governor’s bond package passes.
Senate: The Senate doesn’t contemplate any new borrowing in its budget.

Moore, R-Cleveland, said the state was unlikely to call for as much borrowing as McCrory has asked for, and both Moore and Berger said they would like to find other ways to pay for transportation needs other than borrowing.

Medicaid

House: House leaders set aside money to begin remaking the state’s health insurance program for the poor and disabled in their budget, but they have put the nuts and bolts of the process in a different bill.
Senate: Senators spend more than 90 pages in their budget bill laying out how they would like to see the Medicaid system change.
Governor: The governor sets aside funding for a Medicaid transition. Although his budget doesn’t delve into details, McCrory favors a transition process much more closely aligned with ideas put forward by the House.

Under current law, most doctors, hospitals and other medical providers who care for Medicaid patients receive a fee for each service that they provide. Both the House and the Senate want to change this so that those who care for patients have more incentive to keep people healthy.

The House Medicaid plan would rely mostly on “provider-led entities,” groups of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers that would assume responsibility for a particular group of Medicaid patients. A PLE would get a set amount of money per patient and make money by keeping that patient healthy, and therefore spending less on care. House leaders envision a transition that would take five years.

Senate leaders would rely much more heavily on managed care organizations – large insurance companies – but allow for the type of PLEs envisioned by the House. They demand a much faster two-year transition. The Senate bill also would turn Medicaid over to a new oversight board, taking it out from under the purview of McCrory, who said he objects to such a move.

Lawmakers in the House and the Senate have been debating how to fix the Medicaid system for years. Including reform efforts as part of negotiations could delay a final budget bill, but Senate leaders insist they are committed to arriving at a compromise this year.

“The Senate’s position is that it is enough of a priority that we need to take the steps necessary to solve that issue … this time and not continue that to some other time,” Berger said.

Teacher, state employee pay

House: House leaders provide a 2 percent across-the-board pay increase for teachers, state employees and retirees. The budget would raise the salary of starting teachers to $35,000 per year and would pay for teachers to move from one salary step to the next.
Senate: Senate leaders say they provide an average 4 percent raise for all teachers, although the specific amount depends on how long a teacher has served and where they are in the series of salary steps. Like the House, the Senate budget raises starting teacher salaries to $35,000 per year, but it does not fund an across-the-board pay raise for teachers or state employees or a cost-of-living increase for retirees. Like the governor, the Senate budget sets aside money for agencies to target raises for high-performing employees.
Governor: Like the House and the Senate, the governor’s budget would bring starting teacher salaries up to $35,000 per year. It would then focus pay raises on teachers in much sought-after specialties, such as math and science, or who are identified as high-performing. McCrory also provided funds for targeted pay raises so that state agencies could retain certain high-performing employees or keep those in hard-to-recruit positions, such as prison guards.

Teaching assistants

House: House leaders keep the number of teacher assistants steady.
Senate: The Senate budget would both decrease state tax support for teaching assistants and not replace money from the lottery that had gone to TAs. The net affect would be to lay off roughly 8,500 TAs over two years.
Governor: The governor’s budget leaders keep the number of teacher assistants steady.

Many educators argue that teachers in lower grades rely on teaching assistants the help manage students who cannot be left alone and often need extra hands-on assistance. However, Senate leaders say they would rather shift money away from teacher assistants and hire more teachers so that overall class sizes would be reduced.

State parks, zoo and aquariums

Governor: McCrory has argued that state parks, the North Carolina Zoo and state aquariums should be taken out of the Department of Environment and Neutral Resources and turned over to the Department of Cultural Resources. This reshuffling, he said, would allow DENR to focus on regulation and Cultural Resources to focus on running state attractions.
House: House leaders ignored this recommendation from the governor.
Senate: The Senate budget has the realignment suggested by the governor.

Economic development

House: The House budget quadrupled the size of the state’s grant program for film and television productions and restored a tax credit to those who rehabilitate historic properties. House leaders also passed a separate economic development bill that would put more money into North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant program, the state’s primary economic development fund. The bill also includes money for a refocused rural economic development program and extends tax breaks for airlines and large computer data centers.
Senate: Senators crafted a more modest expansion of the JDIG program but would allow for more spending to lure a large manufacturer that planned to hire more than 2,000 workers. Senate leaders have argued that changes to the state’s tax code would also help lure businesses to the state.
Governor: The governor sought an expansion of the JDIG program similar to what the House has passed. He also has encouraged lawmakers to expand grants for film incentives and renew the historic preservation tax credit.

McCrory has been calling for lawmakers to pass an economic development bill since January. It’s unclear whether the House and the Senate will include those changes in the budget or a separate bill. In 2014, disagreements over economic development issues prompted the two chambers to let the issue drop entirely.

“The House passed exactly what we wanted,” McCrory said, adding that that the Senate budget doesn’t renew JDIG for a long enough time period.

ABC OMNIBUS

Alcohol Sales
Visitors to North Carolina’s growing number of craft distilleries will be able to take home a souvenir of spirits rather than have to drive to the nearest ABC store, under a bill Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Friday. Distilleries will be able to sell one bottle of alcohol to a customer once a year. They will have to keep electronic records of sales with customers’ names, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers to ensure the limit isn’t exceeded. The change puts distilleries on the same footing as wineries and breweries. “We heard from business owner after business owner across the state about ABC provisions that were impeding company progress,” House Majority Leader Mike Hager, a Republican from Rutherford County, said in a statement.

House Bill 909 also:

  • Bans the sale of powdered alcohol.
  • Creates permits for selling antique liquor that is at least 20 years old.
  • Allows the sale of alcoholic cider and unfortified wine in growler containers for off-site consumption.

The governor announced signing 15 other bills into law:

  • B. 795 — Increases the size and cost thresholds for when state environmental reviews must be done on state projects, meaning fewer reviews will be required.
  • B. 25 — Restricts when counties and cities can impose zoning ordinances related to design and aesthetic control.
  • B. 163 — Technical changes to the North Carolina Captive Insurance Act as recommended by the Department of Insurance.
  • B. 190 — Modifies the State Health Plan as recommended by the State Treasurer.
  • B. 262 — Updates the Surplus Lines Act.
  • B. 366 — Amends reporting and meeting requirements for the Permanency Innovation Initiative Oversight committee.
  • B. 560 — Makes it a felony to assault hospital personnel and licensed health care providers carrying out their duties in a hospital.
  • B. 154 — Clarifications to the Good Samaritan Law.
  • B. 487 — Updates obsolete provisions of the N.C. Health Choice program as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • B. 16 — Repeals outdated insurance reporting requirements, as recommended by the Department of Insurance.
  • B. 511 — Makes statutory changes related to credit unions.
  • B. 60 — Allows nonexpiring, permanent civil no-contact orders to be issued against sex offenders on behalf of victims. Allows extending orders in street gang nuisance abatement cases.
  • B. 83 — Amends the law on filing or recording of false liens or encumbrances.
  • B. 99 — Defines firefighter for purposes of the Local Firefighters’ Relief Fund, the Statewide Firefighters’ Relief Fund, the State Fire Protection Grant Fund, Volunteer Safety Workers Assistance, and the Rescue Squad Workers’ Relief Fund.
  • B. 161 — Authorizes Supreme Court sessions to be held in Morganton not more than twice a year.