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Headline Roundup: SC State Launches Plan To Raise $20 Million; More

South Carolina State University trustees have signed off on a plan to raise $20 million over 3 years. The Orangeburg Times-Democrat reports the financially-troubled school hopes to launch the effort before a team from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools visits to gauge its progress in two weeks.

SC State’s accreditation has been on probation since last summer. As of the end of last month, the state’s only historically black public university owed more than $23 million in debt to vendors and the state.

Legislature Expected To Approve Change To NC's Gas Tax
North Carolina legislature is expected to give final approval today to a bill that would change the state’s gas tax. The compromise between House and Senate leaders would stop the tax from an expected sharp drop over the summer. Transportation officials say that drop would delay road projects. The final agreement would initially cut the tax by one cent a gallon to 36 cents, then cut it to 35 cents in January. Governor McCrory says he supports the compromise.

NC Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Panel Appointments
The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments this summer over whether the General Assembly can make appointments to three state environmental panels or if those decisions belong to the governor. The state’s high court says arguments will begin June 30. 

The order comes after Governor McCrory’s attorney asked the Supreme Court to speed up appeals of a decision that the legislature didn’t have the authority to make appointments to the panels. The final outcome could affect dozens of state government boards, including the Coal Ash Management Commission.

House Leaders Making Case To Restore NC's Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Leaders in the state House are making their case for a bill that would restore North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit. The program, which offered a 30 percent tax credit for rehabilitating old buildings, expired at the end of last year as part of tax reforms GOP leaders passed two years ago. The new bill would offer a 15 percent tax credit, up to $10 million, and a 10 percent credit for qualified expenditures from $10 to 20 million, along with special incentives for projects in economically depressed counties.

Representative Steve Ross, a Republican from Burlington, is a co-sponsor of the bill. He says the tax credit is a win-win for the state and local governments. citing a non partisan study that projects historic preservation tax credits would attract two and a half times more jobs at the same cost to the state as an equivalent across-the-board tax reduction. State Senators referred the bill to committee yesterday.

Ballantyne Village Parking Deck Open Again
The parking deck adjacent to the Ballantyne Village shopping center in south Charlotte is open again. The deck’s owner had blocked spaces for the past 18 months in a dispute with the companies that bought the shopping center in 2013.