North Carolina Earns Top Spot in Business Climate Rankings

North Carolina has received the top spot in Site Selection’s 2021 Business Climate Rankings.
 
In the announcement, Site Selection identified several conservative policies, enacted by the Republican majority in our state, that contributed to North Carolina coming out on top. Some of those considerations included incentives, improved education, and limited regulations, as well as our state’s low corporate income tax rate, attracting businesses and creating major job growth.
 
“One of North Carolina’s competitive advantages for several years has been its 2.5% corporate tax rate — the lowest of the 44 states that levy such a tax. ” – Site Selection, 11/2/2021
 
NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “It is no accident that North Carolina is being recognized again as the best state for businesses. Since Republicans took the majority in 2011, conservative policies have been enacted that have attracted an astonishing number of business to our state.”
 
He continued, “North Carolina is on the right track, and our conservative policies have created an exceptional business-friendly climate that will continue to be a haven for businesses looking to escape over regulation and higher costs elsewhere.”

NC House Votes to Approve 2021 Redistricting Plan

Today the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to approve H 976, the “House Redistricting Plan 2021.”

The purpose of H 976 is to “realign North Carolina House of Representatives districts following the return of the 2020 Federal Census.”

NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “The redistricting process has been the most transparent in the history of our state, and I am confident that the districts that have been drawn are constitutional in every respect.”

House Speaker Tim Moore Responds to Governor’s Veto of Emergency Powers Bill

Today Governor Cooper vetoed House Bill 264, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act. This makes his 65th veto during his tenure as Governor.

HB 264 would have created a definition of “concurrence of the Council of State” under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act, which would clarify how the Governor is to seek such a concurrence when exercising certain authorities and would require the Governor to seek concurrence of the Council of State in additional instances.

NC House Speaker Tim Moore said, “North Carolina remains in a state of emergency, now for a total of 600 days. During that time, many in our state have felt their individual liberties deteriorate under extreme mandates and policies as a result of unilateral decisions made by our Governor in the midst of the pandemic.”

He continued, “I am disappointed that Governor Cooper is blocking a bill that simply allows for checks and balances, not just for him, but any governor, Republican or Democrat, in the future.”

North Carolina House Passes Emergency Powers Accountability Act

Today the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed HB 264, the Emergency Powers Accountability Act.
 
House Bill 264 would create a definition of “concurrence of the Council of State” under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act, which would clarify how the Governor is to seek such a concurrence when exercising certain authorities and would require the Governor to seek concurrence of the Council of State in additional instances.
 
North Carolina has been under its current state of emergency, declared by Governor Cooper in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 10, 2020.
 
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “During the pandemic, our governor ignored his statutory duty to seek the concurrence of the bipartisan council of state before declaring a state of emergency. With no end date in sight, North Carolina has remained in a perpetual state of emergency for a total of 589 days.”
 
He continued, “The need for checks and balances is arguably most crucial during a statewide emergency. No one individual should have the ability to exercise unilateral power during such an emergency.”

Speaker Moore in WSJ: In North Carolina, Let the People Rule

Today The Wall Street Journal published a response from North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore to the editorial entitled “Scorched Earth Judging in North Carolina.”

The response was published in today’s online edition of The Wall Street Journal and in the October 18, 2021, print edition as “North Carolinians Knew Who They Voted For.”

The full text of the Speaker’s letter as it appeared in The Wall Street Journal is below:
 

In North Carolina, Let the People Rule

 
This power grab would call into question the legitimacy of the state Supreme Court and the electoral process.
 
Regarding your editorial “Scorched-Earth Judging in North Carolina” (Oct. 4): When voters elected two new justices to the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2020, they did so knowing full well who they were and what their job would be. One is Justice Tamara Barringer, a former state senator. The other is Phil Berger Jr., a former North Carolina Court of Appeals judge who was elevated by the voters to the state’s highest court a full 10 years after his father became president pro tempore of the state Senate.
 
Justices Barringer and Berger Jr. were not elected by the people with the assumption that they would not hear cases involving the constitutionality of our state’s laws. The attempt to disqualify them from hearing cases the voters elected them to hear is a subversion of the will of the people and an insult to every informed voter. It would call into question the legitimacy of the state Supreme Court and do lasting damage to the confidence we have in our electoral process in North Carolina.
 
What is it that the plaintiffs in this case are really trying to accomplish? They are attempting to relitigate elections they couldn’t otherwise win at the ballot box. But do we or do we not trust the voters to know who they are voting for? That is the real question.
 
 
Raleigh, N.C.
 
Mr. Moore, a Republican, is speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.
 
 

Energy Bill Gets House Approval with Bipartisan Support

Today in a bipartisan vote of 90-20, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed HB 951, Energy Solutions for North Carolina.
 
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “The time for energy independence is now. North Carolina needs these innovative solutions, both for our state and our national security.”
 
He continued, “Once this bill is law, North Carolina citizens and businesses can be confident that the future of energy policy in our state prioritizes both the stewardship of our natural resources and keeping energy costs low.”
 
HB 951 will now go to the Governor’s desk for his signature or veto.

NC House Speaker on the Passing of Rep. Dana Bumgardner

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore would like to share the following statement in light of the passing of Rep. Dana Bumgardner Carter (R-Gaston):
 
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and colleague, Rep. Dana Bumgardner following his battle with cancer. Rep. Bumgardner, former insurance chair and current appropriations chair, served in the North Carolina House of Representatives for eight years.
 
A businessman of 20 years, Dana was a principled man who fought hard for his constituents in Gaston County. He was quick-witted, principled, and never afraid to speak up for what was right. While Rep. Bumgardner was never afraid of a tough legislative battle, he always did so with grace and was friendly with his colleagues on both sides of an issue.
 
Dana is survived by his wife Cindy of 34 years, his children, Lauren and Austin, and his grandchildren Payton, Maggie, and Kate.”

Governor, Legislative Leaders Reach Agreement on Major Energy Legislation

Governor Roy Cooper, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue and House Democratic Leader Robert Reives have reached an agreement on key energy legislation. The bipartisan compromise is expected to move through the legislature next week.  
 
The leaders issued the following statements: 
 
Governor Roy Cooper: “This bipartisan agreement sets a clean energy course for North Carolina’s future that is better for the economy, better for the environment, and better for the pocketbooks of everyday North Carolinians, I am encouraged that we have been able to reach across the aisle to find a way forward that will update our energy systems while saving people money and doing our part to slow climate change.” 
 
Senate Leader Phil Berger: “North Carolina is a growing state, attracting businesses and families from all over. That growth depends on a stable supply of reliable and affordable energy. After months of policy negotiations, we reached an agreement that will signal to businesses and families here now or considering a move here that North Carolina’s leaders are committed to pro-growth energy policies.” 
 
House Speaker Tim Moore: “We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our natural resources while also maintaining low costs for citizens and businesses, and this bill achieves each of those goals. It is absolutely crucial for our state and for our national security that we prioritize energy independence now.” 
 
Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue: “I am proud of the work put forth in this energy bill. This legislation will put our clean energy aspirations into action, We need to continue working to protect our environment, and all rate payers, as we move North Carolina to a clean energy future.” 
 
House Democratic Leader Robert Reives: “I support this compromise that helps build a resilient North Carolina that combats climate change, creates green jobs, and helps consumers and businesses have predictable, fair prices.” 
 
Among other things, the bipartisan energy compromise includes the following highlights: 
 
  • Requires the NC Utilities Commission (Utilities Commission) to follow the least cost pathway in reducing carbon emissions by 70% by the year 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 without sacrificing reliability. The plan will be developed by the Utilities Commission with utility and stakeholder input and reviewed every two years to allow for improving and emerging technologies.  
  • Requires 45% of solar power to come from a competitive bidding process among Independent Power Producers (IPP) and 55% from Public Utilities, which will help reduce costs and encourage innovation. 
  • Makes energy efficiency improvements more affordable for more North Carolinians, particularly those with low to moderate incomes. Consumers would benefit from access to low to zero interest capital and the ability to qualify based on factors beyond credit scores and collateral. They could also pay down the cost of these improvements through a monthly payment that is taken care of by the resulting savings on their lower cost electric bill.  
  • Requires Public Utilities to use securitization at 50% to retire coal-fired power plants resulting in lower cost to consumers.  
  • Provides for the Utilities Commission to develop multi-year rate plans and performance-based incentives on ratemaking. This provides the utility a better pathway to invest in what’s needed to make the clean energy transition and align more of their earnings to match energy efficient savings and other public interest goals. It also includes strong protections that limit the utility’s ability to over earn. 
  • Helps ensure reliable energy by maintaining the Public Utility vertical integration model with a Utilities Commission that retains robust regulatory authority and discretion.  
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Speaker Moore Responds to Governor’s Veto of Collusive Settlements Bill

Today Governor Cooper vetoed SB 360, “Prohibit Collusive Settlements by the AG.”
 
The bill would have prohibited the attorney general from excluding the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate from settlement agreements when they are parties to a lawsuit.
 
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “It is simply common sense that the General Assembly should be involved in any settlement to which they are a party.”
 
He continued, “Senate Bill 360 would have mitigated the political games played by the attorney general in our state and further strengthened the checks and balances in our state.”
 
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Superior Court Blocks Voter ID Law in New Ruling

Today a three judge panel blocked North Carolina’s voter ID law, which 56% of North Carolina voters supported in a ballot measure in 2018.
 
Sam Hayes, General Counsel for North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, said, “Once again, liberal judges have defied the will of North Carolinians on election integrity. Voters of this state have repeatedly supported a voter ID requirement – going so far as to enshrine it in our state constitution. Senate Bill 824 is one of the most generous in the country, and it was modeled on those of other states. At trial, Plaintiffs could not produce a single witness who would be unable to vote because of the law.”
 
He continued, “In his dissent, Judge Poovey noted that “[n]ot one scintilla of evidence was introduced during this trial that any legislator acted with racially discriminatory intent.” In fact, the bill was co-sponsored by African-American State Senator Joel Ford. This fight is far from over. We look forward to appealing this partisan ruling on behalf of the people of North Carolina.”