Political Notebook: House includes historic preservation tax credits in $21B spending plan
It pays to save history, or at least that is what state lawmakers in the N.C. House decided on telling constituents this week in the budget.
Lawmakers in Raleigh decided to extend the historic renovation tax credits, and that’s good for Salisbury as well as outlying municipalities across the county.
For more than 12 years, the state has offered historic renovation credits to entice developers to redevelop historic properties.
The program was slated to sunset this year.
While Gov. Pat McCrory wanted to tweak the program, Senate lawmakers cut it out of their budget.
The same was true for the House up until Wednesday when the House appropriations committee added the item at the request of N.C. Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union.
N.C. Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, said the county and Salisbury in particular have been some of the state’s most prolific users of the tax credit.
The credit was instrumental in restoring “a good number of commercial and residential buildings” within the city and across the county, Warren said.
“In our society, technology has helped us move so quickly that it is easy to forget where we came from. If you don’t remember, you’re bound to repeat your mistakes,” Warren said. “It is absolutely critical we maintain as much of our history as possible.”
Since the House made some significant amendments to the Senate’s version of the budget, Warren said he is predicting senior members of the budget committees from both chambers likely will sort a hybrid out in conference.
“The House version has a 5 percent compensation increase for teachers, keeps teacher assistants and reinstates the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program,” Warren said.
Warren also said House members want to reshape the structure of government in order to save millions, including moving the State Bureau of Investigations to the Department of Public Safety to streamline all law enforcement agencies.
N.C. Sen. Gene McLaurin, D-Richmond, said although he is pleased that House members addressed some of the concerns he had with the Senate’s budget — he still has some reservations.
“We’re still not there yet. Over the last few weeks, citizens have called and written emails stating their concerns,” McLaurin said. “We need a sustainable long-term plan to raise teacher pay to the national average, and I will continue to work toward a final budget that will protect our teachers and teacher assistants and give students the tools they need to be successful.”
In much the same way a majority of the seats on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners are up for grabs this year, four of the seven seats on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education also are opening up.
The terms for Dr. Richard Miller, the board’s chair, and Kay Wright Norman, the board’s vice-chairwoman, are set to expire as well as those of board members L.A. Overcash and Jean Kennedy.
Miller represents the district’s northern area while Norman represents the western area.
Overcash presides over the western part of the system and Kennedy represents a special district.
Elections officials said candidates can begin filing for the school board seats on July 18.
Filing closes at noon on Aug. 15.
Two supervisory seats for the soil and water conservation district also are up.
Although filing for the pair of seats already started, the window for candidates to file closes at noon on July 7.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-8th District, is looking to not only beef up security at the nation’s airports, but also make Transportation Security Administration officials accountable to Congress.
As chairman of the subcommittee on transportation security, Hudson stepped up Tuesday to introduce H.R. 4802, or the “Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act of 2014.”
The bill, according to a release out of Hudson’s office, is designed to address “the lessons learned from last year’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport” that claimed the life of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez.
Hernandez was shot 12 times on Nov. 1 at LAX.
The proposed legislation would require TSA to reach out to domestic airports in order to verify they have working plans for responding to similar security incidents or acts of terrorism inside their perimeters.
“What happened at LAX last year was a senseless tragedy. I commend TSA Administrator (John) Pistole for the swift actions he took in the wake of the shooting to review what happened, confer with critical stakeholders and implement immediate changes,” Hudson said in the release. “Unfortunately, we know similar events could happen again at any time, creating chaos and causing significant destruction in one of our airports.”
The bill aims to build on Pistole’s efforts and require TSA officials assess the preparedness levels at commercial airports and continue working with stakeholders to improve coordination and communication.
H.B. 4802 would require TSA to report to Congress on the overall level of preparedness at airports nationwide, identify the best practices that exist across airports and then share them with others.
The bill also would require TSA to fill lawmakers in on the status of both active-shooter training for screening personnel as well as law enforcement reimbursable agreements that are used to offset the costs of security at screening checkpoints.
KANNAPOLIS — As she sat in the living room of the family home on Copel Street on a recent Sunday... read more