July 24, 2014
Fact check: Carbon tax distortions: Hagan’s Republican opponent, Tillis, twists another vote on an amendment to the 2013 budget resolution to wrongly claim on his website that the Democratic senator "has supported a carbon tax that would cause gas prices and utility bills to skyrocket, while destroying up to 67,000 jobs in North Carolina over the next ten years." Tillis’ site refers to "Hagan’s carbon tax" and call this her "energy policy." But simply reading that Web page shows Tillis doesn’t have support for such claims. Read more here.
Charter school bill now excludes LGBT protections, makes charter school (but not contractors’) salaries public: The charter school modification bill, Senate Bill 793, coming out of conference committee would prevent the public schools from discriminating on the basis of “ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.” Missing are specific protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and gone is House language that would have kept the discrimination protections in line with various federal laws that include LGBT protections. Read more here.
NC Senate votes for Medicaid overhaul: A major Medicaid overhaul that largely disregards the wishes of health care providers, the state House and Gov. Pat McCrory won overwhelming support in the state Senate on Thursday in a 28-17 vote. The overhaul would introduce to the state commercial managed care for Medicaid patients, a move that doctors and hospitals are fighting. Read more here.
New NC Senate bill shields salaries of for-profit charter school staff: In a Thursday evening news conference, Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, led the call for the public and Gov. Pat McCrory to fight a move that she says blocks accountability and transparency at charter schools, which are run by nonprofit boards and funded with public money. “It’s a simple principle: The public should know where public money is going,” she said. Read more here.
Abortion rights activists deliver broken cookies to Gov. McCrory: NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina members delivered a box of broken cookies to the Governor’s Mansion Thursday morning to mark the upcoming anniversary of the controversial abortion law. The women’s reproductive rights group said the gesture is a symbol of Gov. McCrory’s broken campaign promises not to support restrictions on access to abortion care. Read more here.
Most North Carolinians in the Medicaid gap are working: This morning consumer advocacy group Families USA released a report along with the NC Community Health Center Association and the NC Justice Center showing that most people who stand to benefit from closing our state’s health insurance gap are working. Read more here.
Top Democrat predicts-again-his party can win back the House: Defying virtually all political analysis, the No. 2 House Democrat said his party has "a good shot" at winning enough seats in November to regain control of the House of Representatives.Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer made a similar prediction in February, but no veteran political observers believe the House Democrats are in a position to pick up the 17 seats they would need to win back the chamber. Read more
John Boehner’s ultimatum: Change 2008 law or else: In a letter to President Obama on Wednesday afternoon, Boehner said the House will not authorize the president’s request for emergency funds unless there are changes to the 2008 human trafficking law that allows immigrants from non-contiguous countries to seek asylum in the U.S., the law Republicans believe is at the root of the surge of immigrants, often minors, fleeing Central America into the United States. Read more here.
Judge Sides With Oil Industry To Overturn Colorado Town’s Ban On Fracking: A Colorado town’s voter-approved ban on fracking in residential areas was shot down on Thursday, after a judge sided with an industry lawsuit claiming only the state government has that kind of authority over oil and gas operations. Read more here.
Scientists study earthquake-injection well link: Certain high-pressure, high-volume injection wells may be able to trigger earthquakes as far away as 21 miles.That’s the key finding of a new report from Katie Keranen, a geophysicist at Cornell University, and colleagues. The recently published paper examined about 89 injection wells within 31 miles of Jones, a small Oklahoma town that has been rocked by more than 2,500 earthquakes since 2008. Read more here.
Two more Oklahoma earthquakes recorded Tuesday: The U.S. Geological Survey reported two more Oklahoma earthquakes today:The U.S. Geological Survey reported two more Oklahoma earthquakes today. Read more here.
More than 182,000 in NC to receive $8.5 million in ACA insurance refunds: The value of the refunds will average $77 per family for 182,517 insurance customers, slightly less than the national average of $80. In North Carolina, 14 insurers are on the list to issue refunds to customers who have bought individual, small-business and large-business insurance policies. Read more here.
Pennsylvania firm seeks mineral rights for gas exploration in Triangle: In early June, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that opened North Carolina to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. Now, a Pennsylvania-based company is attempting to buy mineral rights from landowners in Durham and Chapel Hill for oil and natural gas exploration and development. Read more here.
Cumberland hunts for teachers as school approaches: Superintendent Frank Till said Monday that the district still needs to hire about 100 teachers. Not only is that figure higher than in years past, many of the vacancies are among special education teachers, and he said there simply aren’t enough qualified teachers in that field to go around. Read more here.