MVA Monitor – April 19

This week, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued his first veto since Democrats broke the super-majority in the legislature.

Despite having a short week, House members filed over 200 new bills before leaving Wednesday for a spring break. The Senate continued to meet this week and will take a break next week.

Issue Insights

State and Legislative Issues

Abortion Bill

On Thursday, Gov. Cooper vetoed SB 359, Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill quickly moved through the legislature earlier in the week, having been approved in the Senate on Monday and in the House on Tuesday. The bill would create new civil and criminal penalties for infanticide when a baby is born alive while an abortion is attempted to be performed. This is the first bill that Gov. Cooper has vetoed since the Democrats were able to break the Republican’s veto-proof majority in the legislature. The bill passed with unanimous support from Republicans in both chambers along with the support of a handful of Democrats. It is unclear whether the General Assembly will be able to override the Governor’s veto.

Cooper vetoes NC ‘abortion survivors’ bill (Raleigh News & Observer)

Finance Package

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on SB 622, Tax Reduction Act of 2019, on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by the Senate Finance chairs, would increase the standard deduction for personal income taxes, implement “market-based sourcing” for corporate income tax purposes, reduce the corporate franchise tax, extend several specific tax exemptions and credits, and impose a sales tax collection requirement on certain marketplace facilitators (marketplace facilitators are typically online platforms, like eBay, where an entity provides a market for another entity to make a retail sale). Most of the discussion centered around the proposal to reduce the corporate franchise tax. That provision would reduce the tax rate by a third over two years and would cost roughly $250 million annually when fully implemented. Democrats on the committee argued that the state can’t afford to lose that revenue given various funding needs.

Planned tax cut would save NC businesses $250M (WRAL)

Court of Appeals Appointments

On Monday, Gov. Cooper announced two appointments to the Court of Appeals. Reuben Young is the current chief deputy for adult corrections and juvenile justice at the Department of Public Safety. He has previously served as Secretary of DPS and as a Special Superior Court judge. Chris Brook is the legal director of N.C. ACLU and has been actively involved in cases challenging North Carolina’s constitutional amendment prohibition on gay marriage and seeking to overturn HB 2, the state’s “bathroom bill.” The appointments were made as a result of the retirement of Judge Bob Hunter and the elevation of Judge Mark Davis to the N.C. Supreme Court.

Cooper picks ACLU lawyer, prisons chief for appeals court (AP News)

Alcohol Sales

Two alcohol-related bills easily moved through the House without debate this week. Both bills now head to the Senate for consideration.

  • House Bill 363, Craft Beer Distribution and Modernization Act, would loosen distribution regulations by amending the state’s current three-tier distribution model. Among other changes, the legislation would add a new classification to the current system to allow brewers to self-distribute up to 50,000 barrels of their beverages.
  • House Bill 389, Alcoholic Beverage Control/University Athletic Facility, would provide public universities the option to allow alcohol sales at sporting events. Some private universities in North Carolina already allow alcohol sales at games.

Local Issues – Charlotte

Shared Transportation

Lime has recently phased dockless bikes out of a few North Carolina markets, now including Charlotte, as e-scooters continue to increase in demand. Shared transportation companies brought dockless bikes to Charlotte in 2017 as part of the city’s pilot program. Soon after, scooters were introduced and their popularity has continued to soar. Lime cites this shifting consumer interest as they wind down bikes in Charlotte.

Charlotte becomes the latest city where Lime is ditching dockless bikes. Here’s why (Charlotte Observer)

News Roundup

New rules for development near transit, multiple projects approved by City Council (Charlotte Business Journal)

6 NC metro areas grew by double-digits since 2010, but only 1 is in the top 10 nationally (Raleigh News & Observer)

Judge: Former NAACP head allowed back in General Assembly (WRAL)

Dallas Woodhouse to leave his position at NC GOP (Charlotte Observer)

ECU gets an interim chancellor who has been at helm of NC’s Golden LEAF Foundation (Charlotte Observer)

‘Elevator Queen’ and ‘Beer Queen’: Two NC Breweries Release Cherie Berry-Themed Beers (WFMY)