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State Government
Governor McCrory Signs 16 Bills Including Measure to Support Those with Developmental Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 07 July 2016 10:18
Governor Pat McCrory has signed 16 bills into law, including legislation which protects consumers and supports those with development disabilities.
 
"A central philosophy of our team since day one has been to help those who can't help themselves, while encouraging those who can," said Governor McCrory. "These bills bring needed security and support for all North Carolina families, including those with disabilities."
 
House Bill 1033 waives the fee for a special identification card issued to a person with a developmental disability. Under current law, an applicant for a special identification card can have the fee waived for exemptions including being blind, at least 70 years old, physically or mentally disabled, or homeless. 
 
House Bill 287 enhances and improves consumer protections and transparency related to motor vehicle maintenance and repairs, long-term care insurance and consent to rate issues. It also studies how to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.
 
In addition, the bill makes amendments to various insurance laws including increasing the criminal penalty for large-scale fraud committed by an insurance fiduciary; strengthening commercial auto rate evasion reform; reforming North Carolina's captive insurance law provisions; enabling the establishment of a state-based private flood insurance market; enabling insurers to receive restitution from convicted defendants; and exempting certain Accountable Care Organizations from department regulation. 
 
Other bills signed by Governor McCrory include:
 
House Bill 842 - An act to protect access to Medicaid waivers by dependents of members of the Armed Forces.
Senate Bill 19 - An act to adjust the uniform fee for recording deeds of trust with the register of deeds in order to comply with closing disclosure requirements established by the federal Truth in Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts.
Senate Bill 792 - An act setting the limits of contractor liability under state information technology procurement contracts.
House Bill 1035 - An act authorizing the Local Government Commission to require basic financial training for finance officers of certain local government and public authorities.
House Bill 567 - An act to modify the minimum acreage requirements in certain tracts of land used as cemeteries.
House Bill 960 - An act to modify the ability of a member of the teachers' and state employees' retirement system to purchase credit for employment in a charter school operated by a private nonprofit corporation and to require cost estimates for statutory changes to service purchase provisions.
House Bill 289 - An act to enact the North Carolina Money Transmitters Act as requested by the Office of the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks.
House Bill 242 - An act to make various changes to the Charter School laws.
House Bill 253 - An act to amend provisions of the Justice Reinvestment Act.
House Bill 523 - An act to direct the Division of Motor Vehicles to use a certain designation on drivers licenses when listing the race of an applicant who is American Indian.
House Bill 533 - An act to modify when the lien for deferred taxes on land eligible for Present-Use Value classification is extinguished in order to promote sales for land conservation uses and to allow a taxpayer to contest a denial of a claim for refund which the Department of Revenue determines to be outside the statute of limitation.
House Bill 594 - An act to modify the requirements for motor vehicle dealer records retention, availability for inspection by the Division of Motor Vehicles and format.
House Bill 678 - An act to make various amendments to the laws regarding the Innocence Commission.
House Bill 817 - An act enacting the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act of 2016. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2016 10:31
 
North Carolina Welcomes Largest Ever Containership to Port of Wilmington PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 07 July 2016 10:12
North Carolina officials welcomed the largest containership to visit the Port of Wilmington. The Hanjin Baltimore, measuring 984 feet in length and 140 feet in width, is the first of many post-Panamax vessels to be served at the recently updated container port in North Carolina.
 
"Our state ports are an important asset for creating jobs and connecting North Carolinians to opportunities around the world," said Governor Pat McCrory. "This important milestone shows our commitment to supporting our ports and overall economy is paying off and keeping North Carolina globally competitive."
 
The expansion of the North Carolina ports is a key part of Governor McCrory’s 25-year Vision for North Carolina. That includes providing access for the Panamax vessels, expanding access to the ports inland by developing intermodal train service at the Port of Wilmington, and pursuing opportunities to develop intermodal facilities along the I-95 corridor to improve the movement of goods through North Carolina and along the East Coast.
 
“This is an important day for our Ports and for the State of North Carolina,” said Executive Director Paul J. Cozza. “We’ve been working diligently on modernizing our ports and to see our plans come to fruition by proving that the Port of Wilmington is big ship ready is a great feeling.”
 
Built in 2005 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the Hanjin Baltimore has served various Far East trade lanes in its tenure. Holding 7,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), which are containers 20 feet long and eight feet tall, the vessel is approximately 63 percent larger than any ship that has ever visited the Port of Wilmington.
 
“This vessel not only signifies improving global trade but it also represents the future,” said Chief Commercial Officer Greg Fennell. “If there was ever a doubt that we could not accept a post-Panamax vessel, this ship puts that debate to rest.”
 
Recent infrastructure advancements allow North Carolina’s Ports to improve upon its operational efficiencies, to keep cargo moving and to remain congestion free. The Port of Wilmington will be prepared to handle even larger post-Panamax vessels, up to the 10,000 TEU class, by later this summer.
 
“This landmark event is the product of a North Carolina Ports infrastructure investment plan to meet shipping industry requirements,” said Tom Adams, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal taking place last weekend, the Port of Wilmington is adding new cranes, an enhanced berth, a wider turning basin and will have further expansion in the future.”
 
North Carolina's Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro, link the state's consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port activities contribute statewide to 76,000 jobs and $700 million each year in state and local tax revenues.
 
HB2 Fix - Legislature Restores Right To Sue In State Court For Discrimination PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Sunday, 03 July 2016 06:26

 

Raleigh - North Carolina lawmakers have reinstated the right to sue for wrongful termination based on discrimination in state court, but they left intact the measure dealing forcing transgenders to use public restrooms that correspond to their birth gender. 
 
Members of the House voted 82-18 in favor of the fix. Senators voted 26-14. The measure heads to the desk of Governor Pat McCrory who sought this change prior to this year's legislative session. 
 
Governor McCrory is pleased the General Assembly has acted on his request and restored non-discrimination protections in state courts. This action reinstates all statewide non-discrimination protections that were previously in place," McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said in a statement.
 
The law was passed to overrule a Charlotte ordinance that required businesses allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 July 2016 06:37
 
Speaker Says Partial HB2 Fix In The Works PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 01 July 2016 15:25
Raleigh - North Carolina lawmakers will likely repeal a small piece of House Bill 2 dealing with the right to sue for wrongful termination. 
 
WRAL reports that House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Friday that a technical corrections bill would likely carry the change to House Bill 2, a measure passed in March that curtails LGBT rights and deals with bathroom use by transgender individuals.
 
Part of that bill removed the right to sue in state court for wrongful termination due to age, sex, race or other forms of discrimination. The proposed fix, Moore said, would restore that right.
 
Gov. Pat McCrory has pressed for that change since the law first passed, and it appears to be the only piece upon which lawmakers in the state House can reach broad agreement.
 
Lawmakers passed one other House Bill 2-related measure Friday. The bill, which is now on its way to McCrory's desk, would set aside $500,000 of disaster relief money to pay for litigation related to the law.
 
Moore acknowledge having conversations with the NBA. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said the league might look to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte if the law remains on the books.
 
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