August 11, 2014
Hagan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Recover Bonuses Paid to VA Employees Responsible for Misconduct: U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today announced she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would require any VA employee who is found to have been involved in waitlist manipulation to pay back bonus awards. Since the VA determined employee bonuses based on compliance with wait-time metrics, some manipulated compliance data in order to receive larger bonuses. Read more here.
Cantor leaving Congress later this month: Eric Cantor will be leaving Congress earlier than expected – the former House majority leader whose primary defeat less than two months ago rocked the Republican Party says he’ll resign effective August 18. Read more here.
Career lawman named as SBI acting director applauded; SBI’s move decried: In a one-two move, Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday signed into law a budget that transferred power over the State Bureau of Investigation to a department under his purview, and then he appointed a new, acting director. Read more here.
Time for a new approach to our budget debate: I get that Republicans are in charge. In the state Senate, it’s 33 to 17. In the state House, it’s 77 to 43. Add a Republican Governor. We get the picture. Read more here.
The Follies (of McCrory’s media blitz week): Governor Pat McCrory has been on a media blitz lately, with four news conferences in the last few days, one to fear-monger about refugee children, one to announce State Budget Director Art Pope was stepping down, one to sign the budget and one to announce the new director of the State Bureau of Investigation. Read more here.
Brookings study shows jump in NC poverty: Of the 15 metro areas where poverty is expanding at the greatest rates, nine are located in the South, with four in North Carolina and another three in Florida. Read more here.
Plans afoot to impeach Attorney General Roy Cooper?: State Sen. Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico) told those attending the inaugural meeting of the Morehead-Beaufort Tea Party yesterday that the top leadership in both GOP-controlled branches of the legislature are working to remove Attorney General Roy Cooper from office, according to this report in The Carteret County News-Times. Read more here.
Federal judge rules NC vote can be held with GOP-backed changes: North Carolina’s November election can be held under a new voting law approved by Republican lawmakers, a federal judge ruled Friday. The law is considered one of the toughest in the nation and the groups challenging it say it will suppress minority voter turnout. Read more here.
Cut to NC tax credits for film industry has production staffs scrambling: Through Dec. 31, film production companies can get a 25 percent credit up to $20 million on qualifying expenses; it is one of the most attractive incentive programs in the country. Georgia, meanwhile, provides up to a 30 percent credit, with no cap. Read more here.
Federal Report Details Chemicals Used At Drilling Site: For the first time, we are learning some of the chemicals used to frack an oil and natural gas well that was involved in a huge fire June 28 in Monroe County, OH. Read more here.
A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast: Voter ID laws are back in the news once again, with two new opinions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court late last week dealing with the state’s ID requirement, which would allow people to vote only if they provide certain forms of government-issued ID. The Court made some minor changes to the law but otherwise upheld it. However, the ID requirement is still on hold pending a federal lawsuit. Read more here.
The FCC could start posting more information about political ads online: The Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday it’s seeking comment over a proposal to expand what kind of political ads are required to post their contracts online. Read more here.
As NC ponders fracking rules, will Duke duo’s research have impact?: As North Carolina readies for fracking, 2014 could be a productive year for Duke University researchers whose studies have become a regular nuisance for the oil and gas industry. Read more here.