McCrory still considering calling lawmakers back to Raleigh - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

McCrory still considering calling lawmakers back to Raleigh

Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he is still considering whether to call lawmakers back to Raleigh. (Source: WECT) Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he is still considering whether to call lawmakers back to Raleigh. (Source: WECT)

Gov. Pat McCrory says he hasn't decided whether to call legislators back to Raleigh to reconsider a number of economic development issues – an option supported by some lawmakers and business recruiters but fiercely opposed by at least one major conservative group.

"I'm [going] to look at the urgency and need and also the potential of getting enough votes," McCrory said Tuesday afternoon in Pembroke.

The governor wouldn't commit to a timeline for deciding about a special session, but said, "I'm working on it this week. "

In a letter to McCrory last week, New Hanover County lawmakers Rep. Ted Davis (R) and Rep. Susi Hamilton (D) requested a special session to deal with six economic development items: increasing funding for the Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) program, clarifying the legality of crowd funding, creating a closing fund for "transformative" projects, and extending the Renewable Energy Tax Credit, Film Tax Credit and Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program.

Several of these items were included in House Bill 1224 in the recent short session of the General Assembly, which contained a package of economic development programs but also limited local governments' ability to implement sales and use taxes. Lawmakers could never come to an agreement on the bill, and it failed in a House vote on August 19.

The New Hanover County Commission and Wilmington City Council also sent a letter to McCrory, as well as Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, urging a special session to reconsider film incentives.

"We thought we made a fairly good compromise regarding keeping some film incentives, but changing the system where there were some loopholes where I think some groups took advantage of it in the past…" McCrory said Tuesday. "My goal is to keep the film industry for those things, for those films, that will have long-term sustainable jobs." 

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity opposes a special session for economic development.

"We are asking Governor McCrory to ignore calls for a special session," Donald Bryson, State Director of Americans for Prosperity in North Carolina, said in an email news release. "Calling a special session of the General Assembly for the sole purpose of giving more of taxpayers hard-earned money to a corporate welfare program is something that North Carolinian's just won't stomach."

The State Employees Association of North Carolina also opposes a special session, posting to Twitter last week that McCrory "should resist calls to give away more taxpayer $ in form of corp. welfare."

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