Vicki Boyer's blog

Business Likes Renewable Energy

We have already heard that Apple, Facebook, Google and the American Biogas Council have advised NCGA NOT to do away with North Carolina's renewable energy requirements. The Republican majority in the House insisted on passing such legislation anyway.

Now, Triangle Business Journal is reporting, four more companies have added their names to this request:

NC Reps on the TPP

Right before the vote, the TransPacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) seems to be picking up steam. The Hill has published a Whip list of House Representatives and where they stand on this issue. I pulled out just the NC Reps so it would be easier for you to see who you need to contact to tell them that Fast Tracking any trade negotiation is un-American---Congress needs to do its job and get into the details of this. And to tell them the TPP is bad for Americans.

The Hill's Whip List: Trade bill picks up momentum

Freezing Renewable Mandates Doesn't Make Sense

1. There is no guarantee energy costs would be lower without the renewable mandates. Over time, costs go up, not down.

2. Access to renewables has put off the need to build new power plants, thus keeping costs lower than they would be as the costs of new plants are paid for by the consumer. The cost of renewable energy may be higher than the cost of standard energy, but the cost of new power plants is much, much higher than the cost of a solar farm.
Solar energy has created 23,000 jobs in North Carolina. Cut the mandates and lose jobs. And this General Assembly is all about jobs.

Judicial election changes in North Carolina

Can our court system be gerrymandered? If there's a will there's a way.

HB 222 will change elections for the State Supreme Court and the State Court of Appeals. Under this bill, judges currently serving on these courts could choose to run, or not run, for reelection. If running for reelection, the citizen’s choice on the ballot would simply read, Vote to Reelect, or Vote not to Reelect.

American Theocracy

HB 2, allowing Magistrates to opt out of marrying gay couples when they have a strong religious aversion to doing so, just passed its third reading in the House and will be sent to the Governor. Most of us were raised to have a polite aversion to discussing religion in the public realm. We have to get over that. Now.

Unfortunate Changes to HB 465

Unfortunate changes were made this morning to HB 465. Other legislation proposed by Democrats, Sen Jeff Jackson amongst them, has been lumped into the Extend-Waiting-Period-For-An-Abortion bill, putting all Democrats at NCGA in the unfortunate position of potentially voting against good measures or voting for the 72 hour waiting period. Either of which could be used against them in the next election

The bill has also been given a new and wonderful name:

Women and Children's Protection Act of 2015.

Who would want to vote against that!

Out of Order

I had never heard of Texan Wendy Davis until social media alerted me to her filibuster of the Texas legislature. I was able to watch online as she, and Texas Democrats, held the floor until time ran out for the abortion bill. This was the first time I ever realized that parliamentary procedure could be absolutely riveting!!

It continues to fascinate today, and is used effectively by Republican leaders at NCGA. There are many ways to get rid of a proposed bill, something you don't like, one of which is to Table the Bill. Another is to rule the suggestion is Out of Order.

Research the research

Rep Jay Adams R of Catawba, warmly quoted a friend of his during yesterday's House Finance Committee meeting. The discussion at the time was on an amendment setting parameters for corporate tax relief for research efforts, and it appeared that Adams was in agreement when this friend said to him,

"..research is what you do when you don't have anything else to do…."

A bit of regulation for Bitcoin in NC?

NCGA is the first state legislature seeking to regulate Bitcoin.

HB 289, is a 16 page bill that would regulate Bitcoin processors as 'money transmitters.' It passed the House and is under consideration by the Senate.

Rumor has it the bill's sponsor, Rep Steve Ross (Alamance, R), is acting on behalf of the NC Banking Commission. Rep Ross is a Vice President & Investment Officer at Wells Fargo Advisors.

The Results Are In.

The results are in.
A survey of school superintendents from around the state is now available. It remains to be seen what conclusions our NC policymakers will draw from these statistics.

Of the most significant issues facing our schools today, the respondents to the survey overwhelming agreed that teacher pay, insufficient school funding and teacher morale were at the top of the list of issues facing NC schools.

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