Rep. Wray’s Raleigh Report


We continue to work in North Carolina to improve our motor vehicle laws and make our roads safer.

This week I wanted to share an update about some of the changes made in the General Assembly during this past session. I hope you will find this information helpful.

Thank you as always for the opportunity to serve you and our community.

Safety

The Department of Transportation is required to accept and use any money provided by a municipal government for a pedestrian safety improvement project on a state road within the municipality’s limits. The law (SL2010-37) says the municipality must fund the full cost of the project and the department retains the right to approve the design and oversee the project.

The state’s vehicle inspection law has been changed to provide that a new or used vehicle that has received a passing inspection within the previous 12 months would not be subject to an additional inspection when its current registration expires. The new law (SL2010-97) also allows the temporary registration of an unregistered vehicle for up to 10 days to allow for the vehicle to be driven pending inspection. It also allows for the issuance of a 10-day trip permit for a vehicle whose inspection authorization or registration has expired. Prior law provided for a 3-day trip permit for a vehicle whose inspection authorization or registration had expired, and a 10-day temporary permit for vehicles that failed the emissions inspection.

The driver’s license restoration fee has been increased to $100 for licenses revoked for impaired driving. The additional $25 from each fee will be transferred to the Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the Department of Health and Human Services. (SL2010-130)

Motor Vehicles

A law (SL2010-39) signed by the governor earlier this year will make it easier for veterans of Operation Desert Storm and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to get specialty license plates noting their service.

The age cap for persons eligible to be issued an eight-year drivers license has been increased from 54 to 65 years of age. Previously, a driver’s license issued to people between the ages of 18 and 54 expired in eight years. A driver’s license issued to people 54 and older expired in five. Under the new law, drivers up to the age of 65 will receive eight-year licenses, while licenses for those over the age of 65 will continue to be valid for five years only.

A new law (SL2010-132) makes a number of changes to the state’s license plate laws. Two of the more notable changes include:

  • License plate covers. — Any operator of a motor vehicle who covers any registration number, registration letter, or the state name on a registration plate, number on a year sticker, or number on a month sticker with any frame or transparent clear or color-tinted cover that makes the information illegible is guilty of an infraction.
  • Repeal of emergency use of registration plates. — The act repeals a statute that authorizes the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to allow emergency use of a registration plate on another vehicle when the vehicle for which it was originally issued is being repaired.
  • The law also makes a number of changes in laws governing dealer plates, transporter plates and free special plates. It also authorizes some Department of Transportation to use red lights in case of emergency and requires vehicles to move over a lane when passing emergency vehicles working to restore electric service.

    Notes

    Facebook, the world’s leading social networking service, will build a data center in Rutherford County. The facility is expected to create more than 250 construction and mechanical jobs during its 18-month building phase. When construction is completed, the data center will employ around 35-45 full-time and contract workers. Facebook is expected to invest about $450 million in the center.

    SPX Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-industry manufacturing leader, has initiated plans to build a new global headquarters in Mecklenburg County. The company plans to create 180 jobs in Charlotte over the next five years and invest $70 million toward the project.

    Randolph County has received good news from two companies expected to create nearly 180 jobs and invest about $137 million over the next three years. Ernie Green Industries Inc. (EGI), a national plastics manufacturer and supplier of automotive parts, will locate a new plastic molding and assembly facility in Randolph County. The company plans to create 96 jobs and invest $1.75 million. Cereal company Malt-O-Meal is expanding its breakfast cereal and oatmeal manufacturing plant. The company plans to create 80 jobs and invest $135 million during the next three years.

    Precision Hydraulic Cylinders, a leading manufacturer of precision hydraulic cylinders, will expand its production facility in Duplin County. The company plans to create 89 jobs and invest $3.4 million during the next three years.

    Infocrossing, an information technology company, will open a state-of-the-art data center in Cleveland County. As part of the project, the company plans to invest $75 million in the new state-of-the-art facility and create 17 direct technology jobs over the next four years.

    NC Rural Center Grants-House District 27th

    The Rural Center and the state of North Carolina remain committed to helping build small business in our state. Three businesses in House District 27 will receive grants from the North Carolina Rural Center that will lead to the creation of 55 jobs.

    The three grants total $524,000, with the largest grant going to Severn Peanut Company in Northampton County. The $420,000 grant will help pay to convert the fuel source for the company’s roasting house from propane to natural gas, which is less expensive. The expected energy savings are expected to help the company expand and add 42 new jobs to its operation.

    The Rural Center also provided grants for the redevelopment of two buildings to help local businesses get started. A $56,000 grant in downtown Conway will result in seven jobs at the new Corner Tavern & Grill. The Save-A-Lot grocery store will create six jobs in Henderson using a $48,000 grant to renovate a former grocery store.

    Kay, Matthew, Phillip and I wish for you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Meetings/Events

    I plan to attend the following meetings/events:

  • Town of Conway Christmas Parade-November 27
  • Please invite me to attend your county, city, community or civic, etc. meetings or events.

    As I’ve said many times before, I hope you will continue to let me know how you feel about the issues that are being debated by the North Carolina Legislature and the challenges you and your family are facing each day.

    By working together, we can make Northampton, Vance and Warren Counties and all regions of North Carolina a better place to live, work and raise a family.

    Please remember that you can use the General Assembly’s website to look up bills, view lawmaker biographies and access other information. The site also contains detailed information about the state budget and legislative schedules.