Tax referenda question

July 30, 2007

I’ve had reporters call and ask about the referenda provisions of the County Land Transfer Tax contained in Section 31.17(a) of the budget conference report and the 1/4 cent sales tax contained in  Section 31.17(b).  Some folks are confused about the language about the referenda being advisory. 

A favorable vote in a referenda is a preresquisite to levy the tax, but a favorable vote does not require the county to levy the tax. A county could have a referenda on both issues the same day (with separate questions on the ballot), and if both pass, decide which one to levy, or still decide to levy neither.  The law does prohibit a county from having both taxes in effect at the same time.  A county could not have a ballot that said:

  [ ] Transfer tax  [ ] Sales Tax [ ] None of the above 

and decide the winner is the category with the most votes.


Stats on 2007 Session? We got ‘em

July 30, 2007

( NOTE: Stats you will see when following the links below may differ as the session continues. Bills includes bill, joints resolutions, and resolutions.)

So far in the 2007 Regular Session of the North Carolina General Assembly, as of 7:00 pm Thursday, August 2, 2007:

  1. 401 bills have made it all the way through the process, with 337 laws enacted and 64 joint resolutions ratified
  2. 161 bills are on the Governor’s desk
  3. 12 bills are being ratified Thursday.
  4. There are 7 bills in conference committee.
  5. The House has passed 270 Senate bills, while the Senate has passed 355 House bills, for a total of 625 bills that have passed both houses (many of those bills have moved on to categories 1-4 above, but some are pending concurrence votes)
  6. The House has passed 499House bills while the Senate has passed 368 Senate bills, for a total of 867 bills that have passed at least one house. (many of those bills have moved on to categories 1-5 above)
  7. 3644 bills were filed, 2072 House bills and 1572 Senate bills..

Until adjournment of the session, the Governor has 10 days to sign public bills, with day one being the day after the bill is delivered, and the deadline at midnight at the end of day 10. If the session adjourns on Thursday, August 2, 2007, the Governor has 30 days after adjournment to act on bills.  That 30-day period would conclude at midnight, Saturday, September 1, 2007.  If a bill had been sent to the Governor before adjournment, but the 10 days had not concluded, that bill is subject to a new 30-day clock.


Budget conference report

July 27, 2007

The Conference Committee on House Bill 1473, the 2007-2009 North Carolina State budget filed its report at 10:15 om this evening. The Conference Committee substitute is here, while the committee report (which explains the differences between the Governor’s budget and the enacted budget, and details many appropriations) is also online.

Both are .PDF files, the bill 1371kb, the committee report 652kb. A lengthy list of links to various budget documents is also online.


54 bills on the Governor’s desk

July 24, 2007

Missing a bill? It may be on the Governor’s desk. As of 3 pm on Tuesday, July 24, 2007, there were 54 bills piled up there. The Governor has 10 days to sign bills, with day one being the day after the bill is delivered, and the deadline at midnight at the end of day 10.

The link in the preceding paragraph will be good all session, and is usually no more than a couple of hours behind deliveries of bills.  The Enrolling Office has been delivering bills to the Governor’s office twice per day.

UPDATE 10 pm Wednesday 7/25: it’s now 71 bills pending, with 17 more bills delivered to the Governor Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning and afternoon.

UPDATE 9 pm Thursday 7/26: Yikes, it’s now 82 bills pending, with 11 more bills delivered Thursday afternoon!


LeRoy Clark passes – last legislative staffer from Capitol

July 23, 2007

When he retired in 2002 as Senate Reading Clerk, LeRoy Clark was the last legislative employee to have served when the General Assembly met in the Capitol. Clark was elected Senate Reading Clerk June 1, 1959 and served the remainder of the 1959 session, and also served 1963-1966 and 1975-2002. The State Legislative Building opened in 1963.

LeRoy died July 18, 2007 at the age of 83. A Wake County native, he was born May 18, 1924 and was a decorated World War II veteran.


The 1940s on Halifax Street

July 23, 2007

Last week, I posted about several North Carolina legislative employees who have been working here more than 40 years. In researching that, I stumbled on one current legislative employee who lived on the site of the Legislative Building in the 1940s, and another who lived then three doors down towards the Capitol. Details below.

Halifax Street in the 40s, under the Senate chamber. 

At 216 Halifax Street (current site of Senate chamber), was the residence 1943-1947 of A.J. Jones (Gosnell), a current employee of the House Principal Clerk’s office. At 118 Halifax Street (current site of Museum of History) was the residence 1944-1948 of Rosa Kelley (Stephenson), LA for Rep. Charles Thomas.

City of Raleigh Map, August 1948 (courtesy city of Raleigh, addresses marked by me)

halifax3.jpg
(oops, 126 on map above should be 216, but the dot is in the correct place) A.J.  lived on the first floor of a two story walkup, which would have put her entry door around the center of the Senate chamber, but one floor down. In the 1945 City Directory alphabetical directory she’s listed as “Anna Gosnell, helper, Raleigh Letter Writers”. A.J. says that was her job back in 1945.

The House chamber is on the site of what was a Nabisco bakery in 1945. Note from the map above that the site of the Legislative Office Building was a rail yard in 1948, and that one spur ran all the way to Jones Street.


2007 session pace of enactments up 16% over 2005

July 20, 2007

The 2007 Regular Session of the North Carolina General Assembly is well ahead of the same point in 2005 based on laws enacted and joint resolutions ratified.  As of Friday July 20, 2007, there have been 253 laws enacted this year, a 16% increase over the 218 enacted at the same point in the 2005 Session. Ratified Joint Resolutions are up 35.7%.

In 2005, we got to 253 laws enacted on August 5, 2005,  16 days later in the session. As of July 23, 2005 (same point in the session) we had enacted 218 laws.  The 2005 Regular Session enacted a total of 463 laws before adjourning on September 2, 2005 over to 2006.

For Joint Resolutions, we are currently at Resolution 2007-57, we got to that point on 2005 on August 24.  As of July 23, 2005, we had ratified 42 joint resolutions. The 2005 long session ratified a total of 58 joint resolutions.

The 2005 Regular Session convened January 26, 2005.  The 2007 Regular Session convened January 24, 2007. The 2005 Regular Session ended September 2, 2005, the Governor had until October 2, 2005 to sign bills into law.


Sleepless night at the Mansion?

July 20, 2007

My office just got 11 bills signed by the Governor today for us to process, chapter into session laws, publish, and file with the Secretary of State. Six of them were signed between 3:04 am and 3:20 a.m.


Longevity at the NCGA: fifth decade for some (seventh decade for one)

July 16, 2007

A reporter recently asked me how to find the names of some Legislative Assistants (LA) who served in a previous session of the North Carolina General Assembly, that question got me thinking about how long some legislative employees and legislators have been around.

Here’s what I’ve found:

Longest-ago staff service (temporary and permanent):

1963, 1967 to date: Anne Cole — Legislative Assistant Director, started as an Assistant Enrolling Clerk for the House in the 1963 session, was gone in 1965, returned in 1967, was gone 1968-1979 and has been here on either a temporary or permanent basis since 1980. (NOTE: The Legislative Building opened in 1963.)

Longest continuous staff service (temporary and permanent):

1965 to date: (tie) Dot Barber, currently LA for Rep. Ray Rapp, started as an Assistant Engrossing Clerk for the 1965 House. Shirley Phillips, currently LA for Rep. Joe Tolson, started as a committee clerk in the 1965 House. Dot was longtime LA for former Speaker Liston Ramsey. Honorable mention: Joan Leatherman, currently LA for Senator R.C. Soles, started as an Engrossing and Committee Clerk for the 1967 Senate.

Longest continuous staff service (permanent):

1972 to date: Terry Sullivan, currently Research Director, started as a staff attorney for the Legislative Services Commission.

Longest-ago legislative service:

1967: Representative Jimmy Love, House 1967-1976, 2007 to date.

Longest continuous legislative service:

1969: Senator R.C. Soles, House 1969-1975, Senate 1977-date. This may be the longest continuous legislative service in state history.

Other interesting tidbits:

Senator A.B. Swindell (now in his fourth Senate term) was on the Sergeant-At-Arms staff for the 1967 Senate. Representative Becky Carney (now in her third House term) was a proofreader and bill typist in the 1967 session.

I’m sure if I’ve made any mistakes or omitted anyone they will be sure to tell me. Me, I started on legislative staff in 1977.

UPDATE July 17:

  1. A.J. Jones of the House Principal Clerks Office was here first, she lived from 1943-47 in a duplex on the site of the State Legislative Building (which was opened in 1963). This qualifies for an honorable mention.
  2. Franklin Freeman (the Governor’s legislative counsel) says he was chief Senate page in 1963. Sorry, I’m not counting page service, and he’s not currently on legislative staff anyway.

UPDATE July 19: 21: A.J. Jones (a current employee in the House Principal Clerk’s office) in 1945 lived in a house right under where the Senate chamber and Senate Principal Clerks office is now. I pulled the Raleigh City Directory for 1945. Listed at 216 Halifax Street was Harry Gosnell. Going north from Capitol Square, 214, 216, and 218 Halifax were the three houses on the right between Jones and Lane Street, which would have put A.J. midblock. She lived on the first floor of a two story walkup, which would have put her entry door around the center of the Senate chamber, but one floor down. In the 1945 City Directory alphabetical directory she’s listed as “Anna Gosnell, helper, Raleigh Letter Writers”. A.J. says that was her job back in 1945. A.J. said she moved to the house in 1943.  (updated July 21, Rosa Kelley said Anna’s house was on the right hand side of the street.

The House chamber is on the site of what was a Nabisco bakery in 1945.

UPDATE: July 23: Rosa Kelley (Stephenson), LA for Rep. Charles Thomas said she lived at 118 Halifax between 1944 and 1948, on the site of the new Museum of History. She was three doors down from A.J. Jones (Gosnell), and went to church with A.J. in the mid ’40s. I’ve put up a separate post about Halifax Street in the 1940’s.

UPDATE: August 16: Annie Cooper, House Principal Clerk from 1943-1968, and an assistant in that office from either 1921 or 1923-1942, had at least 46 years continuous service, compared with Dot and Shirley’s current streak of 44 consecutive years. I’m trying to find old records to see her beginning year of service, but the oldest records we have at the General Assembly date back to 1929 which show her service that year. Her daughter, Dora Cooper Beale, told me in a phone conversation this week that her mother started in either 1921 or 1923, which would give Miss Annie either 46 or 48 years of consecutive service. A trip to the Archives may be in order, and I have a call in to State Capitol historian Raymond Beck.


A busy end to the week

July 12, 2007

This week ended in a big flurry of final action on bills. Ratification is the stage where final votes have been taken and the presiding officers sign the bills. Legislative action July 11 and 12 resulted in 11 bills being ratified today (July 12), while final votes were taken July 12 on 22 bills that will be ratified Monday night.  Local bills become law on ratification, public bills then move on to the Governor’s office.  Our legislative website has a page to keep up with bills being ratified. The list of bills ratified July 12 or to be ratified July 16 appear below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »


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