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General Assembly Update
This Thursday, April 30, marks the General Assembly’s crossover deadline for non-budgetary bills to pass at least one house in order to be eligible for consideration during the current biennium. With the approaching deadline, there was a flurry of activity on bills of importance to Mecklenburg County.
Senate 159- Senator Tarte’s bill to address how unpaid taxes are collected on transferred properties that saw a value increase during the revaluation redo passed the Senate after Sen. Tarte amended the bill on the floor to state that no interest will be collected while taxpayers are engaged in a payment plan. We will continue to work with Senator Tarte and other members of the delegation to push for the changes recommended by the Board and to seek clarification on potentially ambiguous language in the legislation.
House 128- This legislation that would require referendum for the issuance of Certificates of Participation received an Unfavorable report from the Local Government Committee. The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners worked in opposition to this legislation. An Unfavorable report is a rare procedural move that not only defeats the bill, but prevents the provisions of the bill from being considered as part of other legislation.
House 634, 721 and 760- These three bills all could potentially impact work done by LUESA. H634 and H760 revisit legislation that failed in the previous session which would potentially nullify locally passed surface water regulations and remove the BOCC’s authority to impose local regulation in the future that it may believe are necessary to achieve its goal of having all County streams fishable/swimmable. H721 reduces the amount and time for which a bond is held for new development. The County and municipalities regularly use these bonds to pay for roads, sidewalks, and storm water controls when a developer is unwilling or unable to complete the necessary work. H634 and H721 have passed the House. H760 is scheduled to be heard in the Regulatory Reform Committee this week.
House 373 – This legislation which has passed the House will delay by two years the requirement that all voting machines use a paper ballot.
House 616- This legislation will provide a cost of living increase of 1 percent to local government retirees.
If you have any questions about legislation being considered by the General Assembly, please contact Brian Francis at 980-314-2905 or Brian.Francis@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Mecklenburg Delegation Meeting
County staff assisted the Mecklenburg Delegation in hosting their first Delegation Public Forum. The forum provided the opportunity for members of the public to speak directly to legislators about issues before the General Assembly. Public Information recorded the forum, and it can be seen here: https://youtu.be/kVdILAoTfOw. MEDIC and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Reach Agreement on Assignment of Benefits
Blue Cross/Blue Shield and MEDIC have reached a preliminary agreement that achieves the Board’s legislative goal of having all insurance providers remit payment of claims directly to MEDIC. As this agreement accomplishes the Board's legislative goal, we will no longer pursue H 715.
I’d like to express my thanks to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for working with us to reach a solution that benefits MEDIC, their consumers and taxpayers. I’d especially like to express my gratitude to Rep. Dan Bishop who facilitated the negotiations that led to this agreement. County Employee Wins Statewide Award
I would like to congratulate Ms. Julie Berger from the Office of the Tax Collector on being named the 2015 North Carolina Tax Employee of the Year.
Ms. Berger received this award on April 16 at the North Carolina Tax Collector’s conference in Greensboro.
Winners of this award demonstrate a willingness to provide new and creative ideas to the area of collection techniques, challenge themselves and others to promote the best customer service to residents and are motivated to set high standards for staff to follow.