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Old North State Report

June 11, 2021

Old North State Report – June 11, 2021

Game On!
Video gaming competitions would get a major boost in a bill that passed the House Appropriations committee Wednesday morning. HB945, “Esports Incentive Program,” would offer a 25 percent refundable tax credit for video gaming event productions – both live and tape-delayed for broadcast – that cost at least $250,000 in qualifying expenses. It would also give $5 million to North Carolina State University for the planning and construction of an “Esports Training and Education Center” and set aside another $2.5 million for a mobile training and educational unit that could travel around the state. The competitions, under the umbrella of esports, are a fast-growing industry. Large events can bring tens of thousands of fans to arenas to watch teams and individuals compete on giant screens. Purses for the top events have exceeded $20 million for the past several years.

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GOP Lawmakers Want Order Lifted
On March 20, 2020, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency as a step in North Carolina’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now, after more than 450 days, some Republican lawmakers in the state are wondering when the governor will end the emergency declaration. On Tuesday, a letter to Cooper composed by House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) and House Deputy Majority Whip Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) was released in which the two called upon the Governor to provide specific details for why the emergency declaration still exists after 15 months.

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Get Your Shot, Win A Lot? Maybe!
As the state continues to try and convince more people to get the coronavirus vaccine in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new incentive:  a lottery-style cash drawing.  The state will automatically enter every adult in NC in one of four drawings for $1 million.  People under 18 who get vaccinated will be entered to win a $125,000 college scholarship.  Half of all adults in NC are fully vaccinated as of Thursday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.  But, the number of people getting the vaccinations has slowed, leaving public health officials trying figure out how to convince people to get the shots.

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