* The below information, along with the attached, downloadable file - The 4th Branch End of Session Report 2014 for MOAA Website - were received from Sherry Melton, Ken Melton & Associates, and summarize the 4th Branch analysis regarding: 1) Legislative Priorities; 2) Revenue Roadblocks for Equal Tax Treatments; 3) Future Tax Reform Plans; and 4) a Bills Report.
* The North Carolina Council recommends all Chapters read and further provide this information to members to keep them informed of important legislative issues facing the military, and taxpayers of North Carolina.
* The 2014 “short session” of the NC General Assembly finally came to an end on Wednesday, Aug. 20, seven weeks after the start of the state’s new fiscal year. The legislative session began with predictions from House and Senate leaders that they would finish the state’s business by late June or early July. Protracted disagreements over important bills (a revised state budget, insurance coverage for autism therapy, coal ash management, Medicaid reform, regulatory reform, and a new public-private economic development partnership) caused one delay after another, however. Add to the controversial issues a $445 million budget hole and the fact that 2014 is an election year and it is not necessarily surprising that the legislative session was a difficult and contentious one, or that state legislators could not even agree on how or when to finalize their work and return to their districts.
* At one point near the end of the session, there were actually up to six different “Adjournment Resolutions” eligible for consideration – some of which had lawmakers returning to Raleigh in August and November to continue work on unresolved issues that were holding up adjournment. In the end, however, the adjournment resolution that both chambers passed did not call for legislators to return to the state’s capital city before the start of the regular 2015-16 legislative session in January.
* Gov. Pat McCrory could still call the legislature into a special session for a specific reason before January, but it is unclear at this point whether he would do so. Some economic development professionals and state lawmakers from eastern North Carolina are currently petitioning the governor to do so soon so that they can work on an agreement for economic development funds, or incentives, to potentially help the state Department of Commerce land employers purportedly looking at locating in the state and bringing jobs with them.