Rep. Mike Hager……this week in Raleigh

Rep. Mike Hager
Rep. Mike Hager

RALEIGH- Rep. Mike Hager’s weekly update on what is happening in Raleigh.

Budget:

This week, the House and the Senate were able to reach an agreement about the total spending that will be in this year’s budget. The budget total was set at $21.735 billion, which is a 3% increase from last year’s budget.

Now that a spending amount has been set, the Conference Committee will continue to work to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.

 

Senate Bill 720:

This week, the General Assembly passed a joint resolution to honor the lives and memories of World War II veterans. Senate Bill 720 is a tribute to the service of those brave individuals. Today, 26,000 WWII Veterans still call North Carolina home. 8,500 North Carolinians who served did not return home.

The following is an excerpt from Senate Bill 720:

“The General Assembly wishes to express its deepest and most heartfelt appreciation to the veterans of World War II and their families for their remarkable contributions and service to the people of North Carolina, the United States of America, and the free world. They held high the torch of freedom and we should be ever mindful that the task of preserving that fragile freedom is now ours.”

Senate Bill 15:

Unemployment Insurance Law Changes (SB 15) – passed it’s third reading in the House this week, and will now be sent to back to the Senate for concurrence. The bill will suspend the current 20% surcharge if the Unemployment Insurance trust fund reaches the threshold of $1 billion dollars by March 1st, 2016. This change will result in an estimated savings of up to $240 million to employers and employees across the State.

Here is a look at the U3, U4, and U6 numbers collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • U-3, total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (this is the definition used for the official unemployment rate);
  • U-4, total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers;
  • U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.
NC unemployment graph
The US Department of Labor did report this week that unemployment claims are up for the fourth straight week nationally. Initial jobless claims rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000 in the seven days stretching from Aug. 9 to Aug. 15, marking the highest level since early July.

 

House Bill 168:

Gov. McCrory
Gov. McCrory

On Wednesday, Governor McCrory signed House Bill 168: Exempt Builders’ Inventory. The bill allows a property tax exemption for any increase in the value of certain real property held for sale by a builder.

“The builder must continuously hold the property for sale. The exclusion is allowed starting at the time property is improved and should be listed for taxation by the builder. The exclusion ends when the property is sold or 3 years for residential (5 years for commercial) from the time the builder should have listed the property. The builder must apply for this exclusion annually.”

House Bill 372:

On Wednesday, the House failed to concur on House Bill 372, which deals with Medicaid reform in North Carolina. The bill will now be sent to conference committee.
Source: Rep. Mike Hager website, Market Watch, NCGA, US Labor Department