While certainly far from perfect, the 2016 budget bill had several features conservatives could support, including : tax cuts, expansion of the opportunity scholarship program and aggressive setting aside of funds in the rainy day fund. Of course there are items we would have liked to see addressed, such as moving to a merit pay system for educators and eliminating corporate welfare programs like the film production grant fund; but Civitas Action believes on net that the state budget is a net positive. The conservative vote is yes. RCS #1430 (91-22)
This bill would require winners of state lottery games to report their winnings to the state department of health and human services if they are receiving food benefits. The purpose is to ensure that people who are in far less need of government assistance due to lottery winnings are transparent about their financial status. Civitas Action supports efforts to reduce welfare fraud. The conservative vote is yes. (74-39)
The City of Charlotte bathroom ordinance allowed transgender individuals to use the public restroom of the sex they identify with. HB 2 clarified that under the North Carolina Constitution, it’s the state and not the local cities or other municipalities that is responsible for enacting new laws that regulate and impact commerce. HB 2 also clarifies that public bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers are limited to persons of the same biological sex. HB 2 ensures that women and children will enjoy privacy when using the restroom and not be forced to shower or change in front of men. It sets a statewide standard regarding the use of and access to restrooms in public facilities across North Carolina. Civitas believes that the repeal of the Charlotte ordinance will provide for the privacy and protection of the women and children of our state. The Conservative vote is yes.
The original House version of HB 3 contained just one proposed amendment to the state constitution: an amendment that would restrict the state's approved use of eminent domain to "public use" and eliminating and "public benefit". Civitas Action opposes the government's ability to take privately-owned property, especially when not for a specific "public use" like roads or schools. The conservative vote is yes. RCS #8 (113-5)
This bill would increase the fees on several professional licenses for various professions - mostly in the healthcare industry. Civitas Action believes the government should not be in the business of forcing people to pay a fee to practice their profession, and raising said fees only makes it more expensive and prohibitive for people to enter their chosen profession. The conservative vote is no. RCS #1434 (89-14)
This bill would terminate the agreement made by the state with a company to construct toll lanes on a stretch of I-77 near Charlotte. The agreement was exposed to be a bad deal for state taxpayers and an example of crony capitalism. There are far more efficient ways to address traffic bottlenecks in that area, without putting taxpayers on the hook to guarantee profits for a crony deal. The conservative vote is yes. (81-27) HB 954 passed Second Reading but referred to Committee on Transportation.
Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 770, NC Farm Act of 2016 This amendment would delete a section of the bill that would extend by two years the state tax credit for constructing renewable energy facilities. Under current law, the state tax credits are scheduled to expire for facilities placed into service on or after Jan. 1, 2017. In short, voting for the Amendment was a vote to allow the tax credits to expire; and voting against the Amendment was vote to extend the tax credits. The amendment represented a simple, clear-cut opportunity to oppose the renewable tax credit extension while not impacting any other aspect of the bill. The conservative vote is yes. RCS #1383 (33-79)