Loretta Boniti

This user hasn't shared any biographical information

Posts by Loretta Boniti

Legislators work on plans to halt involuntary annexations

There has been a lot of talk about annexation during this year’s legislative session. The idea to put the brakes on involuntary annexations sailed through the senate weeks ago– and the house has been teeing up bill after bill that will overturn or suspend annexations already in the works. Then, on Tuesday Speaker of the House Thom Tillis said his chamber is not necessarily in favor of the moratorium… they want to see this process fixed instead.
Now, a bill has been filed that aims to do that: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H531v0.pdf

The house has passed an annexation overhaul in the past… it is the senate side where this gets tied up. Likely, this version of the bill is just a starting point for the negotiations on this issue to begin.

ON JONES STREET: Redistricting experts sits down with News 14 Carolina

Raleigh- Thomas Farr is known as THE redistricting expert here in North Carolina. He has argued a Congressional redistricting case in the 1990s that went all the way to the US Supreme Court, and won the landmark North Carolina legislative redistricting case in 2002. Now, the current Speaker of the House and President Pro-tem here in North Carolina have hired him on as their legal counsel as they navigate their way through the process. The first time legislative redistricting committees are meeting is on Wednesday at 3:00. Here is what Farr had to say about this year’s process:

ON JONES STREET- Calling all amateur detectives

Raleigh- Cue the music… dum, dum, dum… there is a mystery brewing in the State senate. On Tuesday, lawmakers were all set to pardon former Governor William Holden. Then a letter was left on the lawmakers’ desks. (This was a rather nasty historical review of Gov. Holden) This is against Senate rules- only senators can leave notes for other senators and have to notate who it is from if they do that. The sergeant at arms said that is ok, they would track down the culprit using the senate security camera. In the meantime, the pardon vote was delayed (allegedly NOT because of the letter).

Then news came down the security camera was broken. We may never know who left the letter. Democrats aren’t taking this explanation without a fight- Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt sent this letter to the sergeant at arms asking for ALL security footage.

Here is a bit of the exchange:

Meanwhile- back to the pardon. The pardon bill has now been sent back to the rules committee for consideration. The bill sponsor (Sen. Neal Hunt, Wake County) says there has been some public pushback to the pardon- but he still wants to see it done. He says there are a few members of the majority caucus holding up the pardon. (Please note: these are republicans holding up a pardon of a Republican governor). Here is what he had to say after session:

As far as the missing tape?? This maybe a mystery that never get solved.

ON JONES STREET- Hands free cell phone bill gets Tillis support

RALEIGH — Speaker Thom Tillis says he is getting behind a proposal that would require a hands free device when talking on your cell phone while driving. He is not saying he is 100 percent in support of the idea- but says after he studies the statistics and considered the options- he believes this bill will generate a good discussion and could save lives. In a press conference Tuesday morning he talked about his thoughts about the bill- and why he doesn’t believe it would infringe on personal liberty. (FYI- Sen. Berger says he likely will not support the legislation). Here is some of what Tillis said:

ON JONES STREET- “R” “D” or who cares? Judicial election questions

RALEIGH — There are a couple of bills floating around the general assembly that signal a big change for how judges are selected in the state. The senate is tackling the first bill- which would make judicial races partisan (currently, candidates don’t declare a party affiliation). Both President Pro-tem Phil Berger and Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt talked about this today. Surprisingly, they both seem to be on the same side-ish. But BOTH say they probably don’t have their full caucus behind them on this issue. This is probably an issue that will get a lot of debate before it is ever voted on. Here is a little of what Berger and Nesbitt had to say:

ON JONES STREET- Veto override? What veto override?

After a whirlwind day of veto override attempts on Wednesday- you would think state lawmakers were tired out. But no. On Thursday, surprise (yes, another republican surprise move this week), there is a way to try that override again. The first step was to recess session late morning- even though only two non-controversial bills remain. Step two- tell democrats those are the only bills that will be heard. Step three- democrats head home, or to the ACC tournament, or wherever else they may go on their "legislative Friday". Step four- call the bill back up for a vote when session reconvenes in the afternoon. But wait… the Republicans did have some remorse… and decided to stop before step four, and instead get Democrats to join hands with them and lift a house rule. That rule says reconsideration of vetoes has to happen the day after the first vote. The dems, knowing the reps had the three fifths majority, joined in in allowing this rule change. Which means from now until the session ends, the Reps could call this bill back up for reconsideration of the veto override. Confused??? You probably should be. You need to have a flow chart to figure out where House Bill two stands now.

ON JONES STREET- Surprise! Two veto votes today?

In a surprise move, the Republican leadership in the general assembly announced they are working to override Governor Bev Perdue’s veto. No, not that veto. They are pulling back the first veto- SB13- the Balanced Budget Act. The reasoning is Perdue is overstepping her authority and the law by saying she will borrow money from the Employment Security Commission to help with “cash flow” issues. Namely- finding enough money to pay tax refunds. So, Republicans say there is an easy fix to that… use their plan to take money from several state incentive funds. The vote is happening in the senate TODAY…

ON JONES STREET: Expanding Capitol Police Power?

State lawmakers are looking to file a bill that would Capitol Police officers more power, and in theory, protect them. One of Speaker Thom Tillis’ senior staff members (he is sponsoring this bill) introduced the legislation to a judicial committee on Wednesday morning- telling the legislators that if they haven’t received a threat yet- they will, and they need this extra protection. Lawmakers say they want to make sure it does not cause problems with local law enforcement divisions. Here is a little bit of the bill presentation:

ON JONES STREET- Money moving questioned

A bit of a back and forth today between the republican leaders in the general assembly and Governor Bev Perdue (after this second bill veto- I suspect there will be a lot more of this to come). Speaker Tillis and President Pro-tem Berger say they were told Monday night by the state controller that money would be taken from the unemployment fund to help with state cash flow. Clearly, since tax returns are in full force right now, the state is scrambling to collect money to pay returns on time. The republicans say we should not be borrowing from Peter to pay Paul- but Perdue says this is common practice- and is the best way to keep the government running smoothly. Here are part of both of their remarks:

Cooper says H2 unconstitutional

Attorney General Roy Cooper has broken his silence on House Bill 2. This is the effort by lawmakers to get North Carolina involved in the judicial battle to exempt the state from part of the national health care law. Click here to read Cooper’s memo. He says the bill is both unenforceable and unconstitutional, and could cost the state Medicaid funding.