Rich Ducker calls Senate Bill 612 “a real Christmas tree of a bill – all sorts of things hung on it.” But the biggest issue, says the public law and government specialist, may be a “sleeper issue to some people.” And that’s language that could prevent local environmental ordinances that are any more stringent than state law—something that would likely do away with Buncombe County’s steep-slope ordinance and other regionally specific rules.
They had to keep rolling out chairs Tuesday night for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions. And in a nutshell, the program message was that the status of public education in the state — which has been quantifiably climbing for years — is about to take a drastic plunge. (photos by Max Cooper)
According to a March 14 list compiled by Guns & Ammo magazine, North Carolina ranks 17th in the “Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.” That’s higher than neighbors Tennessee (23) and Virginia (24) but beneath South Carolina (14) and Georgia (13). New legislation currently before the General Assembly, however, could nudge the state out of the middle of that pack.
Citizen access to the legislative process in the state has taken a solid step forward via new features on the N.C. General Assembly website, and Buncombe County legislators are taking solid steps forward in the Statehouse itself. Meanwhile, in recent legislative action, Doc Watson and Ruth and Billy Graham are proposed for native accolades.
The N.C. General Assembly has stirred up some high-profile controversies during the first few weeks of its 2013-2014 long session. Meanwhile, with much less fanfare, several important bipartisan bills also found their way forward in the opening weeks. One is an ambitious attempt to establish a Public Infrastructure Oversight Commission.
Draft legislation in the N.C. General Assembly would eliminate some 102 state boards and commissions, including the WNC-oriented Mountain Resources Commission and its accompanying Mountain Area Resources Technical Advisory Council. Both were created in the 2009 to address balancing growth and development in the mountains with the preservation of natural resources and farmland.
While the all-important $19.7 billion state budget labored its way through the General Assembly en route to Gov. Bev Perdue’s historic June 12 veto (the first time a North Carolina governor has ever rejected a budget), legislators also pushed a number of other bills along the Statehouse corridors toward the June 9 crossover deadline (after […]
In the midst of budgetary rancor, there was a trace of bipartisan support in the Legislature last week for reforming state election law and saluting the North Carolina’s Boy Scouts.
The new Republican majority in the state Legislature came ready to play on Jan. 26, the first day of the 2011 session, immediately introducing bills to forbid contraints on “health care freedom” and to amend the state constitution to prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development. Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville, representing the […]
The North Carolina General Assembly continued to claim the spotlight last week as Republicans took control of both the House and Senate for the first time in more than a century. In a series of articles, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported "Statehouse Power Shift to Usher in Changes." Republicans "appear poised to lift the cap on […]
New faces in leadership positions and new initiatives on the legislative agenda were the highlights of the N.C. General Assembly’s first week of the 2011-12 session. Involuntary annexation, a federal health care rebuff, and use of eminent domain were among the first bills out of the gate.
The new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly came ready to play on the first day of the 2011 session yesterday, Jan. 26, with WNC legislators in the starting lineup. Sen. Tom Apodaca (R) of Hendersonville even changed the traditional rules of the game.
Controversial as well as quiet bills made it under the legislative-crossover wire last week. Samples here, as well as a rundown of WNC’s primary bill sponsorships, illustrate the variety of subjects on the General Assembly’s plate.
To manage an anticipated monetary settlement in the long-standing “Road to Nowhere” controversy in Swain County, the state legislature has approved the establishment of a Swain County Settlement Trust Fund, to be managed by the state treasurer. The bill has moved now to the governor’s desk.
Legislation approving bigger trucks on state roads has passed without opposition in the N.C. Senate, and now moves to the House — despite warnings from the N.C. Highway Patrol regarding dangers on winding mountain roads.
Looking over their shoulders at rising gas prices and a warming slice of the globe, Buncombe County’s three N.C. House members are supporting improved energy efficiency in state-owned vehicles.
A possible program to promote lower carbon emissions from North Carolina vehicles took a step forward this week in the General Assembly, with the help of two WNC legislators.
The United Way’s annual overview of the state budget and economic forecast takes place Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The N.C. General Assembly has extended the crossover deadline for nonmoney bills from May 17 to May 24, giving pro and con forces another week to wield influence over what stays on the table.