NORTH CAROLINA: Commerce functions transfer OK'd by legislature - WRBL

NC commerce functions transfer OK'd by legislature

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers are giving initial approval to similar but competing bills that would transfer most business recruiting and marketing efforts to a private nonprofit corporation.

The measures debated and voted on Thursday by the House and Senate lay out terms of the state Commerce Department's contract with the nonprofit Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Legislators say the partnership must raise nearly $6 million over five years to obtain state dollars. Salaries for partnership employees are capped at $120,000, but they can receive bonuses.

Lawmakers authorized Gov. Pat McCrory's administration last year to plan a privatization strategy. The partnership was formed and its executive director hired.

The House version requires partnership employees to meet the same ethics standards required of legislators and executive branch officials.

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