Before they left town Tuesday, House legislators put the finishing touches on a few bills.
Among them was House bill 585, which ends required emissions checks for cars from the three most recent model years and older cars with less than 70,000 miles on the odometer.
The bill proved controversial with both Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Raleigh Republican, and Rep. Joe Hackney, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, raising concerns.
I am concerned about automobiles that are not having their emissions checks in areas where we have emissions concerns, here in the Triangle, the Triad and Charlotte, he said.
Hackney, in one of his final debates, said the 70,000-mile threshold was too high. If it exempted car models from the last two years, I might have voted differently, he said.
But Rep. Edgar Starnes, a Republican from Hickory, said that newer cars met various pollution emissions standards, making inspections on them unneeded. He also said he didnt think the bill would significantly affect businesses that do such inspections.
Also passed in the last hours was Senate bill 847, a technical corrections bill. Among the measures it approved:
• Allows a state superior court judge to conduct a marriage ceremony
• Convenes the N.C. General Assembly at 9 a.m. on the second Wednesday in January for a daylong organizational session ahead of the typical start date the third Wednesday.
• Delayed a provision requiring CPR instruction for high school graduation until the 2014-2015 school year.
Rubio in Raleigh
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is bringing his bus tour to North Carolina Friday to promote his new memoir.
Floridas junior senator and Republican vice presidential prospect will at the Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh at 7:30 p.m. to meet fans and sign copies of his new book, An American Son.
Rubio kicked off his promotional bus tour in Florida with hundreds lining up in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale for a chance to get a few moments with Mitt Romneys potential running mate.
Rubio also will be meeting fans at Books-A-Million stores in Rock Hill, S.C., and Concord, as well as Barnes and Noble in Greensboro.
Kissell turning to the right
The North Carolina 8th Districts black leadership caucus isnt too happy with U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, who represents the district. They plan to hold a press conference on Thursday in Hamlet to talk about Kissell.
What has he done to earn their displeasure? Let us count the ways:
• He has said he doesnt plan to endorse President Barack Obama for re-election.
• Hes also said he isnt sure hell attend the partys national convention in Charlotte.
• He was one of 17 Democrats who voted with Republicans to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress.
• And next week, he plans to vote with the GOP again to repeal the health care law.
Kissells district, which runs from Mecklenburg County to Robeson County, became heavily Republican last year after redistricting added areas of Rowan, Davidson and Randolph counties and removed thousands of Democratic voters in Charlotte and Fayetteville.
The caucus may not worry Kissell. He told The Charlotte Observer last week that he was not concerned about the opinions of party leaders.
Staff writers Rosella Age, John Frank and Franco Ordonez
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