Bill would eliminate extraterritorial jurisdiction

House Bill 264, filed this morning, would go a step further than most bills aimed at the power of cities and towns, eliminating the authority of municipalities to regulate beyond their borders.
H264 Justice for Rural Citizens Main Page


Short Title:        Justice for Rural Citizens Act. (Public)
Sponsors: Representative Pittman.
Referred to:  


AN ACT to remove the injustice of extraterritorial jurisdiction by declaring that no city, town, village, or other political subdivision within the state may have or exercise any jurisdiction beyond its corporate limits.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 160A‑360 and G.S. 160A‑362 are repealed.

SECTION 2. Because citizens dwelling outside the corporate limits may not vote in an election for the officers of a city, town, village, or other political subdivision, no city, town, village, or other political subdivision in this State shall have or exercise any jurisdiction beyond its corporate limits.

SECTION 3. This act becomes effective January 1, 2014.

Revenue Laws draft agenda

The Revenue Laws Study Committee is expected to offer its recommendations for changes to the state’s unemployment insurance system. The changes were discussed at the committee’s previous meeting in December.
Here’s the draft agenda for today’s meeting via the meeting documents page for January 8, 2013:

Rep. Julia Howard
Sen. Bob Rucho
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Room 544, Legislative Office Building
9:30 a.m.
I. Approval of Minutes from the December 5, 2012, Meeting
II. Overview of Draft Report
Legislative Proposal #1: UI Fund Solvency & Program Changes Cindy Avrette, Research Division, NCGA
Legislative Proposal #2: Revenue Laws Technical, Clarifying, and Administrative Changes Trina Griffin, Research Division, NCGA
III. Approval of Final Report

Unemployment insurance meeting

The General Assembly’s Revenue Laws Study Committee meets this morning and will review the state’s unemployment insurance program and proposed changes for the upcoming session.
Audio links page here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Room 544, Legislative Office Building, 9:30 a.m.
I. Approval of Minutes from November 8, 2012, Meeting
II. Bill Draft: Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Solvency & Program Changes
Trust Fund Solvency: Benefit Changes, Contribution Changes, and Fund Balance Changes
Cindy Avrette, Research Division

Simulation of UI Tax and Benefit Reforms
Rodney Bizzell, Fiscal Research Division

Considerations for Refinancing the Debt
State Treasurer’s Office Workforce Development Initiatives Aubrey Incorvaia, Fiscal Research Division Roger Shackleford, Assistant Secretary, Division of Workforce Solutions, Department of Commerce

UI Programmatic Changes
Greg Roney, Research Division Comments from Interested Parties

III. Bill Draft: Revenue Laws Technical, Clarifying, and Administrative Changes Trina Griffin, Research Division
IV. Adjournment

Climate change is real

Prediction for Raleigh via Wunderground''s Climate Change page

Nice to hear someone running for president say it out loud.

No one with any sense is arguing that it is not real, although this year during the sea level rise debate several North Carolina legislators enjoyed waving around copies of a copy of Newsweek from the 70s that featured a teasing headline about a new ice age (guess if it’s a headline it must be a scientific consensus, right?).

The fight, unfortunately, is whether humans have anything to do with it. It should not be a big fight, but it serves entrenched and wealthy interests and so it is. Science be damned for profits. That provides the financial fuel to support the opposition, which has made denial a cottage industry for activists and a dependable source of campaign cash for politicians willing to take the right positions.
Here in North Carolina, the climate change conflict has a twist. The question isn’t whether humans are causing change, but whether we should do anything about it.

During our legislature’s debate on the subject, we saw people in opposition to new policies who probably do understand that climate change is real and man-made. But pushed by deep-pocket coastal development interests they’re determined to fight it from becoming a basis for public policy as long as possible.

While that’s damaging enough, the way they’ve gone about it has made it worse. Rather than appeal to pragmatism and cautioning against a too-fast approach in the remedies, they’re cynically using deniers to push their point. They’ve chosen to fight the science and not the policy.

The battle in North Carolina is not just about the coast. As the chart above for Raleigh and for places in the mountains and Sandhills show, climate change will affect the whole state. We may not be able to understand the effects as well as we can understand the fact that the sea will rise, but a rapid rise in temps will impact our lives and all living things around us. There are many choices ahead in what to do, but the only one sure to hurt us is nothing.

In this election, people need to know where those who want to represent them stand on this issue and whether they believe in basing policy on science at all.

Coastal Review – Sea Level Rise and Public Policy series
Wunderground – Climate Change Main Page
Wunderground Climate Change Predictions (graph) for Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Cape Hatteras

Unemployment rate up a tick to 8.3, July jobs came in at 163K

Better than expected. Look for the focus of the political spin to be on what 8.3 percent means.
Something like:
Romney Camp: Unemployment rate up
Obama Camp: People who gave up looking for work are back looking for work

Also to be debated is whether 163,000 is a large number or a small number.

The commissioner’s statement from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Commissioner’s Statement on the Employment Situation News Release

Advance copies of this statement are made available to the press
under lock-up conditions with the explicit understanding that the
data are embargoed until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Statement of

John M. Galvin
Acting Commissioner
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the
unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, was essentially unchanged.
Thus far in 2012, job growth has averaged 151,000 per month,
about the same as the monthly average for 2011 (+153,000). In
July, employment rose in professional and business services, food
services and drinking places, and manufacturing.

Professional and business services employment increased by
49,000 over the month. Computer systems design added 7,000 jobs,
and employment in temporary help services continued to trend up

In July, food services and drinking places added 29,000
jobs. Employment in this industry has grown by 292,000 over the
past 12 months.

Manufacturing employment rose by 25,000 in July. The motor
vehicles and parts industry had fewer seasonal layoffs than is
typical for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted
employment increase of 13,000. Employment continued to trend up
in fabricated metal products (+5,000).

Health care employment continued to trend up in July
(+12,000). Over the past 2 months, job growth in health care
averaged 12,000 per month, compared with job gains averaging
28,000 per month during the 12 months ending in May.

Employment in utilities decreased by 8,000 in July,
reflecting a labor-management dispute. (In the establishment
survey, workers who are off payroll for the entire pay period
that includes the 12th of the month are not counted as employed.)

Average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls increased by 2 cents in July to $23.52. Over the past
12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.7 percent.
From June 2011 to June 2012, the Consumer Price Index for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 1.7 percent.

Turning now to data from the survey of households, the
unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, and the number of unemployed
persons, at 12.8 million, were essentially unchanged in July.
The labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, and the
employment-population ratio, at 58.4 percent, changed little over
the month. These indicators have shown little movement thus far
in 2012.

Among persons who were neither working nor looking for work
in July, 2.5 million were classified as marginally attached to
the labor force, down 256,000 from a year earlier. These
individuals had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the
survey but wanted a job, were available for work, and had looked
for a job within the last 12 months. The number of discouraged
workers, a subset of the marginally attached, was 852,000 in
July, also down from a year earlier.

In summary, payroll employment rose in July (+163,000). The
unemployment rate, at 8.3 percent, was essentially unchanged.

House rejects Senate sea level rise bill

The North Carolina House just voted 114-0 not to concur with the Senate’s version of H819, Coastal Management Policies.
Citing the controversy over the sea-level rise language in the bill Rep. Pat McElrath, the sponsor of the original house version, asked that the bill be sent “into study” provided that conferees can be appointed.

With the legislature getting ready to pack up, that likely means the end of the sea-level rise legislation for this session.

New version of sea-level rise bill

[Update: Here’s the link to the full bill via WRAL] (pdf).

Hot off the press. Here’s the new language in the proposed H819, which governs sea-level rise prediction in the state. The language is different in some areas from the version that kicked up a fuss in recent days. There’s an easing in restrictions for use of other-than-linear models by local governments and researchers. But the bill clearly prevents any regulations from being put in place based on models using accelerated sea-level rise.

The new language is not yet available on the NCGA site, but here’s what the bill says regarding sea-level rise and how it is to be used and measured.

(b) The General Assembly does not intend to mandate the development of sea-level rise policy or rates of sea-level rise. The Coastal Resources Commission, in conjunction with the Division of Coastal Management, shall have the authority to define sea-level rise and develop rates of sea-level rise for the State.
(c) The Coastal Resources Commission shall be the only State agency authorized to define rates of sea-level rise for regulatory purposes and, if developed, shall do so in conjunction with the Division of Coastal Management. The Commission and the Division of Coastal Management may collaborate with other State agencies, boards, commissions, other public entities, or institutions when defining sea-level rise or developing rates of sea-level rise. These rates shall be determined using statistically significant, peer-reviewed historical data generated using generally accepted scientific and statistical techniques. Historic rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant, peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends. Rates of sea-level rise shall not be one rate for the entire coast but, rather, the Commission shall consider separately oceanfront and estuarine shorelines. For oceanfront shorelines, the Commission shall use no fewer than the four regions defined in the April 2011 report entitled “North Carolina Beach and Inlet Management Plan” published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The oceanfront regions are: Region 1 (Brunswick County), Region 2 (New Hanover, Pender, and Onslow Counties and a portion of Carteret County), Region 3 (a portion of Carteret County and Hyde County), and Region 4 (Dare and Currituck Counties). For estuarine shorelines, the Commission shall consider no fewer than two separate regions defined as those north of Cape Lookout and those south of Cape Lookout. In regions that may lack statistically significant, peer-reviewed historical data, rates from adjacent regions may be considered and modified using generally accepted scientific and statistical techniques to account for relevant historical geologic and hydrologic processes.
(d) Any State agency, board, commission, or institution that develops a policy addressing sea-level rise that includes a definition or rate of sea-level rise for the coastal-area counties shall use only the definitions and rates of sea-level rise developed by the Division of Coastal Management as approved by the Coastal Resources Commission.
(e) The provisions in this act shall not prohibit other State agencies, boards, commissions, other public entities or institutions, including academic institutions within The University of North Carolina or any county, municipality, or other local public body from engaging in studies and dissemination of studies of sea-level research for non-regulatory purposes. Collaboration between academic institutions including those within The University of North Carolina, the Division of Coastal Management, the Coastal Resources Commission, and other State agencies, boards, commissions, or other public entities or counties, municipalities, or other local public bodies regarding generally accepted, peer-reviewed scientific and statistically significant sea-level research is encouraged.
(f) All policies, rules, regulations or any other product of the Commission or the Division of Coastal Management related to sea-level rise shall be subject to the requirements set forth in Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.”