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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 9, 2017

NCSBA Legislative Update – June 9, 2017

NCSBA Legislative Update
JUNE 9, 2017

 



BUDGET NEWS

Negotiations began on a budget compromise on Monday after conferees were named by House and Senate leaders.  Talks are still ongoing and are expected to continue into next week.  One of the big hurdles remains the tax plan.  The Senate proposed to cut $1B in taxes over two years.  The House offered a tax cut package that is roughly one-third of the Senate’s.  Despite the differences, Speaker Tim Moore publicly stated that he believes a deal could be in place by July 1.

NCSBA has put together a document that compares all the major funding and policy provisions in each budget pertaining to public schools.  The document illustrates just how different the two budgets are (the provisions that are similar are highlighted in yellow in the document.

Click here to see the budget provision comparison document.

Here are a couple of other documents associated with the budget:

Click here to see the line-item comparison of all the money provisions.

Click here to see a document on NCSBA’s positions on the budget that was shared with the appropriation chairs.

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS

The US Supreme Court this week affirmed a lower court ruling that found almost 30 of North Carolina’s state legislative districts are racially gerrymandered and therefore illegal.  This ensures that state lawmakers will have to redraw state legislative districts.  The only issue now is the deadline by which the new maps have to be drawn.  The Supreme Court’s ruling instructed the lower court to reconsider whether the maps and new elections using the new districts must be done in 2017 or a later date.  State lawmakers have been arguing in court filings that creating new legislative districts AND holding a special election in 2017, as originally ordered by the lower court, is not practical.

Soon after the Supreme Court’s decision, Governor Roy Cooper called for a “special session” to create new legislative districts.  General Assembly leaders responded by declaring the request “unconstitutional,” on the grounds that since a legislative session already is underway and conducting normal business, there is no “extraordinary occasion” that the constitution says is needed to call a special session.  Legislative leaders also noted that there is no need for a special session since the lower court hasn’t yet provided direction as to when to redraw the maps.

ANTI-PENSION SPIKING

A state court has made a key ruling on the anti-spiking law.  The court last week ruled that State officials did not follow proper procedure in developing the formula used to determine when the anti-pension spiking law has been triggered and a school system needs to provide reimbursement.

This ruling came from a series of lawsuits brought by four local school boards- Johnston, Wilkes, Cabarrus, Union- after they were told they owed pension contributions to the State because their superintendent salary arrangements were violating the anti-pension spiking law.  The court ruled that officials should have held a public hearing and solicited public comment before approving the formula that determines when a salary arrangement is “spiking” the pension system.  As a result of this finding, it was ruled that the boards did not have to pay the money requested by the retirement system.

The Treasurer’s office has announced that they intend to appeal the ruling.

**If your LEA has either paid or been assessed under the anti-spiking law you need to consult with your board attorney.**

OTHER LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Guns/School Property

After a lengthy debate the House this week advanced a comprehensive bill to loosen a number of the state’s concealed-carry gun laws.  HB 746 contains some provisions that apply to concealed guns on school property:

– It clarifies that a concealed-carry permit holder may have a firearm at a school-sponsored extracurricular activity if that person is participating, chaperoning, or watching and the activity is occurring at a public place.

– Allows an individual to drive in a locked vehicle on a public road across educational property with a weapon if the individual stays in the locked vehicle and only allows others to enter or exit the car.

– Authorizes a concealed carry permit holder to carry on educational property that also serves as a place of religious worship if the person is on the property outside the operating hours of the school.

The bill passed 64-51, with some Republicans joining all House Democrats to vote against.  If the Governor vetoes the bill there won’t be enough votes in the House to override unless some of the Republicans who opposed switch their votes.

Teacher Prep

SB 599- Excellent Educators for Every Classroom, was approved by the Senate Rules Committee this week.  This is the legislation from Senator Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, that would restructure the state’s teacher prep system to allow for more alternative teacher prep programs and replace lateral-entry with a residency program.  The next step for this bill is the Senate floor.

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Sean HolmesNCSBA Legislative Update – June 9, 2017