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Morning Memo: Pray-in targets lawmakers, Foxx to join Obama administration

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AT LEGISLATURE: Clergy and students will participate in an act of civil disobedience Monday at the Legislative Building "in response to the collective acts of the legislature," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP. The action, from 5 p.m.- 6 p.m., will be a "form of a pray-in," Barber said. The House convenes at 4 p.m., the Senate at 7 p.m. The NAACP has opposed the legislative actions reducing unemployment benefits, state House approval of photo voter ID, and other legislative measures.

FOXX TO TAKE OBAMA POST: President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Mayor Anthony Foxx to be secretary of transportation, a White House official said Sunday on the condition of anonymity. The nomination of Foxx, whose city hosted last year’s Democratic National Convention, would make him the only African-American selected for a Cabinet opening in Obama’s second term. (More below.)

***Good morning. Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- a full roundup of North Carolina political news and analysis below. ***

Hagan seeks delay on taxes for medical devices

Sen. Kay Hagan is leading an effort to delay a new tax on medical devices which is part of President Obama's health care law.

Hagan has joined with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, both Democrats, saying delaying the tax, which takes effect in January, should be considered in part of any talks surrounding the fiscal cliff.
The tax is designed to raise about $20 billion over a decade, but the senators said it threatens an industry that employs more than 400,000 people across the country, including 24,500 in North Carolina.

Hagan and Klobuchar wrote a letter to Senate leader Harry Reid.

Oil industry ad campaign hits Obama, Kay Hagan

The oil industry is targeting North Carolina voters as part of a campaign to fight efforts in Congress to repeal some of its tax breaks.

The American Petroleum Institute announced a campaign last week to convince voters that higher taxes on the industry could lead to higher gas prices. The campaign calls it "another bad idea from Washington," particularly hitting President Barack Obama and North Carolina U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat.

As part of the campaign, the industry took a full-page advertisement in The Charlotte Observer and a radio advertisement (listen here).

News reports indicate the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the oil tax breaks Monday and it's unclear if Democrats have the votes to repeal the incentives, which are destined for renewable energy tax credits.

State tax breaks for films totaled $220 million last year

Thanks to new but controversial tax breaks, 2011 was a marquee year for North Carolina's film industry, which landed big-name projects "Iron Man 3," "Homeland" and "Hunger Games."

Studios chasing tax incentives increased their spending in North Carolina nearly threefold - from $75 million in 2010 to $220 million in 2011. It was a record year, and 2012 should be even better - the N.C. Film Office is projecting the industry will spend at least $275 million.

A year ago, state law changed so moviemakers could get a refund on 25 percent of salaries and money they spent on taxable items in North Carolina, worth up to $20 million per project. It made the state among the most competitive in the nation in tax breaks for the industry.

But even with the investment windfall, Hollywood tax breaks remain a contentious issue. Even in North Carolina, some ask why the entertainment industry should get special treatment. Read reporter Mark Washburn's full report in the Charlotte Observer here.

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