Legislature passes expanded film credit

A bill that would expand the state’s film tax credit from 15 percent to 25 percent passed the Nc senate on Aug. 6. The bill, sponsored by sen. Linda Garrou (D-Forsyth), will give film production companies that spend a minimum of $250,000 a 25-percent rebate on in-state expenditures. Rebecca clark, director of the Piedmont Triad Film commission, lauded the legislature’s action. “The

Piedmont Triad, along with other parts of the state, has been losing out to other states with better incentives in the recruitment of major motion pictures during the past couple of years,” clark said in a press release. “With the passing of this bill, the film office is better equipped to recruit more and bigger budget film projects to the region.” Walt Disney’s decision to relocate the miley cyrus film The Last Song from Wilmington to Georgia in April represented the latest in a string of losses for the state’s film industry. A study commissioned by the Nc Film office reveals that filmindustry spending in the state hit $228 million in 2007, but is expected

to fall below $90million this year. But the expanded film tax credit should reverse thattrend, clark said. she said she expects filmmaking “to pick up in thefall with several feature film projects in the works.” The tax creditwill help maintain the area’s talented crew base, as well as create jobopportunities for graduates of local film programs at UNcG and the UNcschool for the Arts, clark said. — KTB

Coble to vote against Democratic health care legislation

Rep. Howard Coble, theRepublican who represents North carolina’s 6 th congressional District,has announced that he will vote against a Democratic House bill toreform health care. coble, who said constituents have been asking forhis opinion on the legislation during his travels throughout thedistrict, indicated he believes some kind of reform will have to bemade. explaining his decision to oppose the Democratic legislation,coble said in a prepared statement: “HR 3200 is projected to cost $1.6trillion over 10 years, which will be financed by taxes on smallbusinesses. President obama’s chief economic advisor testified thatthis tax increase will destroy up to 5.5 million jobs — this isunsustainable for families and businesses.” — JG

Racial Justice Act passes NC Senate

The Nc senate passed the Nc Racial Justice Act in a 25-18 vote on Aug. 5, sending the bill to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s desk for her signature. Among the Triad delegation, Democrats Katie Dorsett of Guilford county and Linda Garrou of Forsyth county voted to approve the bill, Forsyth Republican Peter Brunstetter voted against and Guilford Democrat Don

Vaughan did notvote. Under the legislation, if a state court finds that race was asignificant factor in decisions to seek or impose the death penalty,the court must order that the death penalty not be sought or that adeath penalty be vacated and the defendant re-sentenced to life withoutparole. establishing that death sentences were imposed more frequentlyagainst members of one race than members of another race would be oneway for a defendant to prove that race was a significant factor in adeath sentence, under the proposed law. — JG

State budget signed

Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a $19.6 billion state budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 on Aug. 7. According to an overview provided by Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford),the budget eliminated 2,191 state positions, eliminated 23 educationprograms, eliminated 13 health and human services programs, eliminatedfive natural and economic resources programs, delayed the adoption ofmath textbooks in grades 6 through 12, cut funding for local schoolsystems by $225 million, eliminated funds for Boys and Girls clubs,eliminated community work crews from the state prison system. Amongbudget expenditures that Harrison said “could use some scrutiny” were$1.8 million for oyster research, $1 million for a “defense technologyaccelerator” in Fayetteville, $203,000 to market North carolina as abusiness destination and $10 million to subsidize out-of state studentathletes. sen. Peter Brunstetter (R-Forsyth) reported that the budget includes $990 million in new taxes, including a 1 cent increase in the sales tax rate. — JG

‘Wellness centers’ to open in southeast Greensboro

The Guilfordcounty Department of Public Health has announced that it willcollaborate with six churches in southeast Greensboro to provide“wellness centers” for their members and surrounding neighborhoods.

The wellness centerswill house health information, exercise videos and medical supplies.Providence Baptist Church reportedly received a supply shipment on Aug.6. Other churches that have agreed to open wellness centers include Mt.Zion Baptist Church and love and Faith Christian Fellowship. Theprogram is funded by the NC Office of Minority Health and HealthDisparities. “The selection of southeast Greensboro was intentional,”said Health Department Director Merle Green in a preparedstatement. “This project is part of our ongoing effort and commitmentto bring health services and information to a community in need.” — JG

No more free bus fare for GTCC and Greensboro College students

GTCCand Greensboro College have chosen to not renew their partnership withthe Greensboro Transit Authority’s Higher education Area Transit, orHeAT program, the city announced on Monday. That means thatstudents at the two colleges will no longer receive free fare-freeaccess to HeAT buses and normal city transit buses, and the HeATservice will no longer makes stops Greensboro College’s West Marketstreet campus or at GTCC’s east Wendover Avenue campus in Greensboroand its Jamestown campus. — JG