July 30, 2014
"Same Team": Republican or Democrat, if an idea works for middle class families then Kay is all for it. Watch video here.
GOP lawmaker: No to Obama lawsuit: Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) told The Hill that the lawsuit, spearheaded by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is “theater, is a show.” Pressed on the lack of support in the House Republican Conference for impeachment, Jones said, “That’s why the Republican Party is in trouble.” Read more here.
Poll: Reaction to Duke Energy coal ash spill hurts Tillis politically: A new poll commissioned by an environmental group says state voters largely pan the N.C. House bill on coal-ash regulation and that dissatisfaction appears to be hurting House Speaker Thom Tillis politically. Read more here.
NC budget deal includes teacher raises, but no Medicaid overhaul: House and Senate budget writers reached agreement Tuesday on a $21.3 billion state spending plan that averts significant cuts to Medicaid but leaves unresolved a major overhaul of the health insurance program for the poor. The budget compromise, legislative leaders said, cuts $135 million from the state’s Medicaid program but makes no changes to eligibility and no shift in how the care is provided. Read more here.
ACLU plans to move quickly in NC to invalidate same-sex marriage ban: Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union plan to return to federal court in North Carolina within the next week to seek speedy nullification of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Long-term Medicaid reform discussion could move to special legislative session: Lawmakers may put off forging a deal over the long-term structure of the state’s Medicaid program for the poor and disabled until a special session later this year, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the ongoing discussions between the state House and Senate. With a budget deal all but inked Tuesday, lawmakers have set their sights on adjourning their summer session by Saturday. Already, they have lingered in Raleigh a month longer than planned. Read more here.
Teachers skeptical of state budget deal: Legislative leaders touted Tuesday’s budget deal as “historic” while the state’s largest teacher organization described it as a plan that “disrespects” teachers and public school employees. While the budget plan, which still requires approval from the full House and Senate, does not cut any teacher assistant positions, $65 million has been moved from the teacher assistant line item to pay for teachers. Another $24 million in teacher assistant funding was made "non-recurring," meaning the funds will expire next year without legislative approval. Those funds will cover items other than teacher assistants. Read more here.
Proposed GOP Lawsuit Against Obama Backfires, Helps Democrats Raise Millions: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $1 million in a single day on Monday, chairman Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said. The fundraising juggernaut was driven by Democratic opposition to a lawsuit House Republicans intend to file against President Barack Obama related to the enforcement of certain Obamacare provisions. Read more here.
ALEC Agenda in Dallas: Evisceration of Medicaid, School Privatization and Expansion of Gas Exports: ALEC holds its 41st annual meeting in Dallas, Texas starting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. ALEC’s task forces will consider bills to make it virtually impossible to enroll in Medicaid, expand charter schools to further bankrupt traditional public schools,expand exports of "natural gas" from fracking, and undermine the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air and Clean Water Act regulations. Read more here.
Lobbyists quietly advise GOP on gay marriage shift: “The issue is losing its toxicity, from a Republican perspective,” she said, mentioning that the list was a fraction of that size when she first took on Freedom to Marry as a client in 2011. Some Republicans have begun to break from the party line. There are now eight Republicans in Congress who support same-sex marriage, split evenly between the House and Senate. Read more here.
US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in second quarter: The nation’s economy expanded at a 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, better than expected and underlining the sense that a long-awaited recovery is now picking up. It’s a big bounce back from the first quarter, when the Commerce Department estimated the economy contracted at a 2.1 percent annual rate as a difficult winter bit into growth. The good news comes the same day President Obama is slated to talk about the economy in Kansas City, Mo. Read more here.
Eastern North Carolina could see lower electricity bills, with deal announced Monday: A deal between two North Carolina electricity providers could finally give some Eastern North Carolina residents relief from monthly electricity bills that rank among highest in the state. The N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy announced Monday a plan for Duke to buy $1.2 billion worth of assets held by the municipal power group, which is managed by the Raleigh-based Electricities group. Read more here.
Budget deal includes $10 million for film incentives: Maybe too little, too late. That’s what film advocates were saying after state House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, on Tuesday announced that the budget compromise they crafted over the weekend includes $10 million for the state’s film incentive program. State Rep. Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover, said the current proposal would deal a heavy blow to the state’s film industry and community. Read more here.