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NCSBA Legislative Update – May 17, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 17, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It was a quiet week at the General Assembly. The House had no-vote sessions on Monday and Tuesday and few committee meetings during the remainder of the week. The House did debate and pass HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility (Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford), which is on the NCSBA Legislative Agenda (see below).

The Senate also had minimal committee and floor action, but the Senate Appropriations Committee chairs have been working behind closed doors to meet their end of May deadline for budget passage. Like the House, the Senate will include a tax reduction package in their appropriations bill. The Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Rules Committee approved SB 622: Tax Reduction Act of 2019 (Tillman, R-Randolph; Hise, R-Mitchell; Newton, R-Cabarrus) to increase the standard deduction for individuals, reduce the franchise tax for corporations, require sales tax collections by out-of-state sellers, and make other minor tax changes. The total cost of the tax changes is $5.3 million in FY 2019-20 and $144.6 million in FY 2020-21. With the exception of one democrat in support, the bill passed second reading on Thursday with a 26-19 vote along party lines. Third reading is scheduled for Monday night.

 

House Bill 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility

This week the House approved House Bill 667 (Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford) on second reading by a vote of 93-5 and on third reading by a vote of 107-5. The bill increases the Article 46 sales tax that counties can levy for “general purposes” from 1/4% to 1/2%, upon approval of voters in a referendum. The maximum county tax will be capped at 2.5% for 94 counties and 2.75% for Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake counties. 42 counties have approved an Article 46 tax since it was enacted in 2007 and may ask voters for another 1/4%. The remaining counties may ask voters for 1/2% but in 1/4% increments. The bill allows counties to specify on the ballot that the tax will be used for either general public purposes, public education purposes, or both. Public education purposes include the following:

  • Public school capital outlay or retirement of public-school debt,
  • Teacher salary supplements, and
  • Financial support of community colleges.

Click here to read the legislative staff summaries of HB 667, which includes a chart of county tax rates.

Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school construction and capital.

 

Meetings with Education Chairs

Now that the Crossover deadline has passed, the Governmental Relations team is meeting with House and Senate Education Chairs and their policy advisors to discuss education bills of interest or concern to NCSBA. The team is encouraging Education Chairs to schedule bills for a vote in their committees. We are working with legislators and legislative staff to amend bills that do not conform to our legislative agenda.

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – May 14

This week’s meeting consisted of commission member work groups presenting their draft priorities. Priority topics include finance and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. This meeting brought a change in dynamic as members heard more perspective from each other concerning how their previous and/or current career experience can help shape the commission’s priorities.

There was discussion on advocating for a tiered teacher salary schedule that would help close the teacher wage gap between low-wealth and high-wealth districts. Many members also voiced support for the idea of adding the teaching profession to the CTE (Career and Technical Education) pathways program. During the presentation by the assessment and accountability work group, commission member Police Chief Moore of Rocky Mount expressed concern about students being arrested at schools by SROs (school resources officers) rather than being given administrative discipline, which he believes is contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline and reducing students’ opportunities to be successful after graduation. All members expressed their desire to see students flourish and hope to promote equity as they continue to formulate their priorities.

Click here to access all agenda items and attachments.

 

May 20-24 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, May 20

1:00 pm – Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (audio)

 

 

 

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

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

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

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – May 17, 2019