NCDP Clips for Friday, May 8th, 2015


NCDP Clips for Friday, May 8th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

McCrory Grapples With Biggest Reelection Roadblock, GOP Legislators (National Journal) — Gov. Pat McCrory is readying for one of the most competitive gubernatorial races of 2016, and two years into his first term, McCrory is still trying to smooth over his greatest vulnerability: not his Democratic opponent, but his rocky relationship with conservatives in the North Carolina legislature.

Halfway Through His First Term, Where Does McCrory Go? (WUNC-FM) – Gov. Pat McCrory is halfway through his first term, but with the General Assembly working its way through this year’s long legislative session, the success of Gov. McCrory’s agenda remains unclear. With two years of experience as governor, McCrory continues to find ways to maneuver his political priorities.

Revenue surplus colors NC House secret budget talks (Raleigh News & Observer) — State House budget writers will have almost $1.1 billion more available as they craft the state’s next spending plan – a better-than-expected number that will provide more flexibility than in recent budget years. A new projection from the state budget office and the legislature’s fiscal research staff comes as the House appropriations chairmen held lengthy closed-door meetings this week preparing to write a spending plan for the state that’s expected to total about $22 billion.

Legislature gives final OK to keeping schools on grade curve (AP) — A bill heading Thursday to the governor will keep North Carolina public schools graded on a curve for two more years under the state’s new A-to-F scoring system but doesn’t address changing the composition of the scores themselves.

McCrory urges local leaders to press his incentives plan (Greensboro News & Record) — On Thursday morning, Gov. Pat McCrory made Greensboro leaders an offer: Help me, and I’ll help you. During a Greensboro Partnership breakfast at the Proximity Hotel, McCrory asked elected officials and top business executives to push state legislators to pass his N.C. Competes Act, which could help this region land a long-desired auto manufacturer.

State Legislatures Put Up Flurry of Roadblocks to Abortion (New York Times) — Numerous bills have been passed by Republican-controlled legislatures this year that make it harder for women to terminate their pregnancies.

Pro-choice advocates push McCrory to veto abortion restrictions (WCTI-TV) — A statewide tour opposing House Bill 465 makes a stop in Eastern Carolina. It’s an attempt to hold Gov. Pat McCrory to his campaign promise not to support new abortion restrictions.

Recycling foes stall bill (WRAL-TV) — Sponsors of a House omnibus county bill had to pull the measure off the floor Thursday after a battle broke out over recycling programs.

Home Insurance Overhaul Bill Advances to House Vote (TWCN-TV) — A bill is moving through the state House that would among other things create a way for insurance companies to prepare for catastrophic weather events and not have to heavily burden homeowners. Under the proposed Property Insurance Fairness Act, lawmakers are looking to help prepare the state for those so called once in a century storms.

Bill would expand DNA collection from felony suspects (AP) — The Senate Judiciary II Committee approved a bill Thursday that would expand mandatory DNA collection to all those charged with violent felonies in the state.

SEPA: An Environmental Law Up for Debate (N.C. Health News) — A bill that passed the N.C. House will overhaul the process for state-funded projects. What it says and what it does.

POLICY & POLITICS

N.C. Board of Elections data reveal voter registration irregularities under McCrory (Daily Kos) — A data-mining analysis of information publicly available from the North Carolina State Board of Elections has uncovered apparently systematic irregularities in voter registration efforts which are required of the state by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (‘Motor Voter Act’). These irregularities, potentially disenfranchising tens of thousands of poverty-level North Carolina citizens, have all occurred during the Republican administration of Gov. Pat McCrory.

For NC workers, recovery allusive as pay stays stubbornly flat (WRAL-TV) — For almost two decades, North Carolina workers have opened their paychecks to find not much has changed. Despite a drop in the unemployment rate as the state economy recovers from the recession, economists say take-home pay continues to stagnate, barely keeping pace with modestly rising inflation. That means less prosperity overall, even amid other rising signs of economic health. North Carolina’s slow wage growth predates the most recent downturn and has shown a stubborn resistance to respond amid periods of both boom and bust.

How Will the N.C. Job Market Change (NCSU Research) — Although the job market in North Carolina has been improving for the last five years, there still is a long way to go. The number of people employed today is 4 percent higher than before the recession and 12 percent higher than in 2000. But since the turn of the century, the state’s working age population (20 to 64) is up 24 percent.

U.S. Adds 223,000 Jobs in April; Jobless Rate Falls To 5.4% (Wall Street Journal) — U.S. employers resumed a solid pace of hiring last month and the jobless rate fell, priming the economy to snap back from a brutal winter.

Redistricting rematch set for August (WRAL-TV) — The N.C. Supreme Court has agreed to expedite the re-hearing of lawsuits against the state’s GOP-drawn 2011 voting maps.

EDITORIALS
70 years later, remembering VE Day (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Chapel Hill’s Robert Huddleston, a combat pilot in Europe during WWII, remembers the day victory was declard in Europe and his duties the weeks after.

Don’t delay on NC bond vote (Raleigh News & Observer) — Will state lawmakers again treat the governor of their own party like a leader who it is entirely optional to follow? It appears that’s the inclination of House Speaker Tim Moore, who indicated at a meeting of county commissioners that he thinks any referendum on $3 billion in highway projects and infrastructure improvements should not be put on a ballot before the people until March, when the state’s presidential primary is expected to be held.

Towns fight back for right to restrict fracking (Fayetteville Observer) — The battle over natural-gas exploration in North Carolina is still burning hot. Late last week, an environmental group filed a suit that challenges the state’s right to bar local ordinances that restrict hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Residents of Chatham, Anson and Granville counties – all of which sit on shale that may contain natural gas – are plaintiffs in the suit filed by Clean Water for North Carolina, a nonprofit that has fought fracking initiatives.

Doctors and guns (Greensboro News & Record) — A pending bill would restrict physicians’ ability to intervene if they suspect patients could pose a danger.