Pardon Our Dust
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The week at the General Assembly was abbreviated in addition to being slow, as only two committees met and budget chairs continued to deliberate. The state did receive some positive news as the federal government approved Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for counties in the mountains to be declared a major federal disaster area. The declaration will bring federal funds to the region to help them begin to rebuild.
There also was a glimpse of good news in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 case count has decreased over the last week in the state of North Carolina. As of this morning, in the state of North Carolina, there were 6,290 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 3,815 individuals hospitalized, and sadly, 15,004 confirmed deaths. There have been 10,739,794 doses of the vaccine distributed in NC, which is about 67% of the total adult population.
As we all continue to feel the effects of the global pandemic and adjust to a new normal, we want to highlight a few ways our clients across North Carolina have worked to support residents and make this time a little easier for those throughout the state. Read more about what our clients are doing to help by clicking here.
For more information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, click here to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website, and be sure to stay up to date on the latest federal guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here.
The Senate and House budget leaders met Wednesday, and the budget subcommittees will likely meet next week, according to interviews with Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). Berger said the process has reached agreement on some of the topline figures.
According to reporting, one consensus that has been reached is the reduction of franchise taxes on businesses by about 25%. The cutback of two bases of the franchise tax, which are used to estimate taxes on corporations doing business in North Carolina, was part of the original Senate budget proposal. In 2019, when Republican legislators introduced and passed a similar standalone measure to roll back the franchise tax, Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill.
The future of this legislative session is still to be determined. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee met, which was the only Senate committee to meet this week. At the start of the meeting Chairman Sen. Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico) told members “At this point in the process we don’t know if this is the last time we’ll see you or not.”
The Joint Redistricting Committee held their first of thirteen public hearings on redistricting on Wednesday in Caldwell County. According to reporting, around 50 people showed up for the hearing in Lenoir. The committee heard from members of the public, including a few local leaders and the state president of the NAACP. Most speakers asked for transparency in the redistricting, and local leaders asked that Caldwell County be left whole in one district. Currently, House Redistricting Committee Chair Destin Hall represents all of Caldwell.
There will be twelve more public hearings. Next Tuesday the committee will hear from the public in Forsyth, Pasquotank, Durham, Nash, and Pitt County.
Upcoming Legislative Meetings
Tuesday, September 14
4:00PM Redistricting Public Hearing at Forsyth Community College
Wednesday, September 15
11:00AM House: Judiciary 3
12:00PM House: Judiciary 2