Mayor and Town Council
Ralph D. Karpinos, Town Attorney
Adoption of Legislative Agenda for 2007 Session of N.C.
February 26, 2007
The attached resolution would
express the Town Council’s position on a number of local and statewide
legislative subjects for the 2007 Session of the North Carolina General
The General Assembly convened in January to begin what is
traditionally referred to as a “Long Session,” in which the members of the
House and Senate have an opportunity to consider a wide range of proposed bills,
both state-wide and local bills.
The deadlines for submission of local bills have been
established as follows:
Local Bills are due to Bill Drafting by March 20 and must be filed by March 28
Local Bills are due to Bill Drafting by February 27 and must be filed by March
Rules of both houses now establish
limits on the number of “blank bills” that may be introduced. House Resolution
1, adopted January 24, provides that a bill containing no substantive
provisions may not be introduced in the House. Senate Resolution 1, adopted
January 24, limits to two the number of bills which contain no substantive
provisions that may be introduced by any Senator.
Prior to this evening the
On October 23, 2006, discussed potential topics for legislative
consideration in 2007;
On January 31, 2007, held a public forum to receive public comment on potential
topics for a legislative agenda;
On February 12, 2007, discussed potential local and statewide
legislative issues of interest and developed a list of topics to discuss with
the Senators and representatives whose legislative districts include some part
of the Town of Chapel Hill; and,
On February 19, 2007, met with Senators Bob Atwater and Eleanor Kinnaird
and Representatives Joe Hackney, Larry Hall and Verla Insko to discuss the 2007
Session of the General Assembly and legislative matters of interest to the Town
Based on the Council’s prior discussions,
its meeting with the Delegation and the specific topics which were discussed
with the Delegation, the following list of issues has been prepared to
tentatively reflect the Council’s interests in local and statewide legislative
matters for the 2007 Session of the General Assembly. We understand, based on
comments from members of the Legislative Delegation, that the Council should
consider indicating its priority ranking when it sends its list to the
- Authority for local publicly
financed campaigns for municipal elective office.
- Real estate transfer tax (if
not considered as a statewide bill).
- Authority to provide incentives
to encourage energy efficiency and conservation in new development.
- Authority to require private
developers to contribute to public art or provide art as part of new
- Reconsideration of a local bill
to authorize an additional tax on utility bills to provide funding to put
overhead power distribution lines underground.
- Authorization of a $1.00
per-ticket fee on tickets priced at $30 or higher for events at large
venues, with the revenue being earmarked for public transportation and
public safety funding.
- Support for additional revenue
options for local governments, including:
- Real estate transfer tax,
perhaps earmarked for specific public uses such as transportation
improvements or open space preservation.
- Gas tax.
- Vehicle registration fee.
- Half cent sales tax.
- Support for flexibility in
using transportation funds historically earmarked for road improvements
for other transportation-related needs, including signal systems, public
transportation and bicycle and pedestrian oriented improvements.
- Support legislative review of
the formula used to distribute state and federal moneys for transportation
improvements across the state.
- Support for other legislative
initiatives and incentives that will encourage and promote the use of
energy efficient construction methods by public agencies and the private
sector, including but not limited to:
- Authority to provide
incentives (grants or rebates) to private property owners installing
renewable energy producing systems in existing as well as new
- Authority to require private
development to meet energy conservation standards as part of construction
by adjustments to the state building code.
- State grants or other
incentives to local public agencies whose construction projects meet energy
conservation standards or which install renewable energy producing
- Support for legislation that
promotes development and use of renewable energy resources.
- Support enactment of
legislation to promote waste reduction and reduce the waste stream going
into local landfills, including the recycling of beverage containers, a
beverage container deposit act and other initiatives that promote the
growth of the recycling of materials as an industry.
- Oppose proposed legislation
that would allow cutting of trees along highway right of way to enhance
visibility of outdoor advertising signs.
- Support adjustments to increase
the scope of the homestead tax exemption.
- Support for legislative efforts
to study/reconsider State law on the imposition of capital punishment.
- Support the League of
Municipalities’ position regarding protecting the State’s current annexation
- Oppose any proposed
Constitutional amendment defining marriage as only the union of one man
and one woman.
- Support the repeal of the North
Carolina Defense of Marriage Act.
- Include sexual orientation as a
category under North Carolina hate crimes law.
- Support the repeal of N.C.G.S.
95-98 and replace it with a law that would establish collective bargaining
rights for public employees.
State funding issues:
- Support for additional funding
- Mental health treatment
- Technology to enhance
emergency services communication and communication between the justice
system and public safety personnel
- Pre-kindergarten educational
- Gang awareness and
- Fire protection services
provided to state facilities.
- Support State funding of the
State Highway Patrol 800MHz trunked radio system known as VIPER (Voice
Interoperability Project for Emergency Responders).
- Support an adjustment to the
law enforcement supplemental retirement program to provide that each
agency where a retiree worked shall contribute a pro rata portion of the
That the Council make any
adjustments to the attached resolution it
deems appropriate to express the Council’s interests and priorities and then
Following tonight’s meeting we
will forward the Council’s adopted resolution to our delegation. Where
feasible we will include draft language on local bills and references to other
bills that have been prepared in prior years that reflect the local bills of
interest to the Town.