NCDP Clips for Friday, May 29th, 2015
Tweet of The Day
N.C. Governor Vows to Veto Bill Seen as Targeting Gay Marriage (New York Times) — Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, pledged to reject a measure that would allow judges to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies because of their faith.
Will Tim Moore resurrect the Thom Tillis ‘veto garage’? (Raleigh News & Observer) — The governor’s veto stamp doesn’t always result in a quick vote at the legislature to override the veto. Gov. Pat McCrory’s promised veto of Senate Bill 2 is expected to cruise to an override in the Senate, where it initially received a 32-16 vote. But the prospects of an override in the House are far less certain: 61 percent of legislators voted for Senate Bill 2 on Thursday, and a three-fifths majority is needed to override a veto. That close margin is prompting some observers to wonder: Will House Speaker Tim Moore bring back the “veto garage” used by his predecessor, Thom Tillis? That’s a term coined by Tillis to describe where vetoed bills go until he had enough votes for a successful override.
Lawmakers react to planned veto of gay marriage exemption (Gaston Gazette) — Gov. Pat McCrory promised Thursday to veto a religious exemption bill that would allow some court officials to avoid gay marriage duties. House Speaker Tim Moore of Kings Mountain said the legislature will “more than likely” seek to override the governor’s veto. The bill would give magistrates and some register of deeds workers the ability to avoid duties for all marriages if they have a “sincerely held religious objection.” In Gaston County, former magistrate Bill Stevenson resigned from his $47,550-a-year job in October over his objection to possibly having to officiate at a gay marriage.
NC’s 72-hour abortion waiting period moves closer to passage (AP) — A bill that would extend the abortion waiting period to 72 hours in North Carolina moved closer to passage with a favorable vote Thursday on the Senate floor.
Proposal keeps sitting NC Supreme Court justices from facing opponents (WRAL-TV) — Members of the state Supreme Court would be able to run in retention elections rather than facing opponents if a proposal the Senate has given tentative approval becomes law.
Bill allowing Sunday hunting with guns approved by NC Senate (AP) — Legislation that would end North Carolina’s long-standing ban on hunting with guns on Sundays is possibly one vote away from going to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.
Opponents call for McCrory to veto ‘Ag-Gag’ bill (New Bern Sun Journal) — Gov. Pat McCrory has three choices on Friday with HB 405: He can sign it into law, ignore it so that it will pass after 10 days without his signature, or he can veto it. A growing number, from animal and ecology activists, newspapers, businesses and even the AARP, are loudly clamoring for him to veto the bill.
Eugenics Compensation Amendment Continues to Leave Some Victims Out (N.C. Health News) — An amendment to the House budget would speed compensation to eugenics victims. Nonetheless, some victims have been left out in the cold.
Whistleblower on email flap: Lawmaker ‘betrayed my trust’ (Charlotte Observer) — When whistleblower Joe Vincoli sent emails to state Rep. Donny Lambeth, he said he never expected them to be forwarded to officials with Carolinas HealthCare System. After all, Vincoli was largely responsible for bringing federal investigators to the massive hospital system’s door.
Court clerks press for salary bumps in state budget (WRAL-TV) — Court clerks handle everything from divorces to traffic tickets, but they are the lowest-paid employees in the state court system.
Rep. Millis pledges action after deadly U.S. 17 accident (Wilmington Star-News) — Legislator says he’ll work with the DOT to make sure intersection is properly engineered.
State may help Guilford schools with driver’s ed books (Greensboro News & Record) — Schools would have driver education funding in fiscal 2016 and more money for textbooks under the recently released N.C. House budget proposal.
NC senator, business group opposes Interstate 77 toll lanes (AP) — There’s another effort to side-track plans for toll lanes on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte.
POLICY & POLITICS
DRIVE TO DRILL: Gov. McCrory goes to bat for Big Energy (Facing South) – Gov Pat McCrory’s use of his state office to lead the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which is largely run by oil and gas lobbyists, has raised concerns among government ethics watchdogs about transparency and conflicts of interest. The revelations by Facing South and other media outlets about McCrory’s role in the Governors Coalition also comes in the wake of growing scrutiny over the governor’s close personal and political ties to some of the nation’s most powerful energy concerns.
NC voting districts challenged again (WRAL-TV) — A federal lawsuit filed last week brings another challenge to North Carolina’s legislative voting districts drawn by Republican lawmakers.
NC toll road moves ahead with contractor guilty of fraud (AP) — North Carolina transportation officials are pushing ahead with an embattled toll road outside Charlotte, even after a politically connected paving contractor involved in the $840-million project pleaded guilty last year to defrauding taxpayers.
McCrory hails opening of Advance plant that recycles truck parts (Winston-Salem Journal) — Gov. Pat McCrory hailed the opening of a plant that recycles heavy duty truck parts, saying the 38 jobs in is expected to bring it fits in with his goal of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the state. Volvo recently announced construction of a new facility in South Carolina that will employ up to 4,000.
Former Duke Basketball Player Speaking Out About Encounter with Durham Police(RWCN-TV) — Nolan Smith says he was stopped Wednesday night and officers drew their guns. His tweets about the encounter are causing a firestorm online.
New NC DOT Tool Could Improve Safety for Workers (TWCN-TV) — NC DOT has a new high-speed debris removal tool that can help them work at highway speeds. Officials say, the Gator Getter will not only improve efficiency, but also increase safety for workers.
Tillis to continue tour of bases (Jacksonville Daily News) — A North Carolina senator will continue his visit to area bases today.
NC governor rightly rejects allowing officials to opt out of law (Raleigh News & Observer) — Phil Berger, the president pro tem of the state Senate and leader of Republicans, should have better things to do than continue his crusade against same-sex marriage with legislation that is likely unconstitutional. The bill, which Gov. Pat McCrory thankfully says he will veto, is a monument to prejudice.
McCrory’s words – and his actions (Charlotte Observer) — Abortion bill, gay-marriage bill will define whether his promises mean anything.
Drilling will tell whether fracking is likely (Fayetteville Observer) — May 27, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. may mark the start of the timeline for the petroleum industry in this region. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe there’s no oil or gas down there to pump. Exploratory drilling that began Wednesday in Hoke County will give us – and the petroleum industry – enough information to know if drilling is viable.
Par for the course on UNC cuts (Wilmington Star-News) — The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors cut 46 degree programs across its 16-campus network.
DHHS needs to improve its balky food stamp processing (Raleigh News & Observer) — Here we go again. Once more, federal officials are threatening to pull funds because they say North Carolina health officials are too slow in approving applications for food stamps. Such applications are supposed to be approved within 30 days. But North Carolina still has what a USDA regional administrator, Robin Bailey Jr., says is “chronically poor performance” in getting the applications done on time.
On education, NC deserves more from lawmakers (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Rodney Ellis: The House passed a budget that does not go far enough to ensure every child will get a quality education in North Carolina. With the news that the Senate will be even more tight-fisted with money for education, we should all be very concerned about the future of our public schools and our students.
The managed Medicaid that’s working just fine in NC (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Rob Robinson: Conventional wisdom says that managed-care companies achieve cost savings by limiting access to care to people who need it. However, as the leader of the 400 employees of Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, I know there is another route to cost savings and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
No local restrictions (Greensboro News & Record) — Texas and Oklahoma tell cities they can’t regulate fracking. North Carolina already made that decision.
Health care comes with responsibilities (Rocky Mount Telegram) — A new report underscores the strong connection between health and wealth in North Carolina.