Council Work Session, March 20, 2012

REVISED 3/21/2012

NC Legislative Agenda
Consideration of a 2012 NC Legislative Agenda
Speaker:  Lana Hygh

From:  Ben Shivar, Town Manager
Prepared by:  Lana Hygh, Assistant to the Town Manager
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager

Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager


Executive Summary:  The General Assembly convenes in May for the short session.  Staff recommends that Council adopt advocacy principles and a 2012 legislative agenda.


Background:  Each year, Council adopts an advocacy agenda for the upcoming session of the General Assembly.


In 2011, Council’s adopted Legislative Agenda included a request to add Cary to S.L. 2010-57 which provided local flexibility in leasing and bidding rules to promote local pilot programs to increase energy efficiency and the generation of renewable energy.  This item was very favorably received in the Wake County delegation with bills being submitted on both the House and Senate side and co-sponsored by nearly all members.  S.L. 2011-150 was passed and effective on June 16, 2011.  On August 9, Council approved the Town entering into a public-private partnership with FLS Energy to install and operate solar panels on Town of Cary property.  Final details are currently being wrapped up with construction expected to begin by April 1 and complete by June 30.


Discussion:  The 2012 session is scheduled to convene on May 16.  The matters to be considered in this short session are limited by an adopted resolution to bills affecting the state budget, amending the Constitution, bill previously passed in one house and received in the other (“crossover”), implementing recommendations of study commissions and non-controversial local bills, as well as other specialized topics.  A non-controversial local bill is defined as one in which all members of the local delegation approve its introduction.


Staff has prepared advocacy principles for council consideration as well as specific legislative requests.  The advocacy principles are meant to provide a foundation on which the specific requests are then based and which will also provide staff with guidance when unanticipated actions are taken that need an immediate response.


On March 13, 2012, the Planning and Development Committee requested, as part of its discussion on the activities of the Shale Gas Development Task Force, that staff provide Council with a draft resolution urging the General Assembly to proceed thoughtfully and deliberatively, to preserve local interests when developing a regulatory framework for Shale Gas Development in North Carolina and to carefully consider all of the potential environmental, economic and social effects before moving forward. 


Fiscal Impact:  N/A


Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that Council adopt advocacy principles and a 2012 NC Legislative Agenda.

At the March 20, 2012 Work Session, Council requested that staff revise the Advocacy Principles.  Staff also revised the suggested language to protect information on minors to clarify that it applies to persons who are not yet 18 years old.  Staff recommends adoption of the revised Advocacy Principles and the 2012 Legislative Agenda and the Resolution regarding Shale Gas Exploration legislation.