June 17, 2014
Emily’s List to Spend $3M Backing Senator Kay Hagan: A national political group working to elect women who support abortion rights says it will spend $3 million to back North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election in November, starting with a television ad. Read more here.
Sens. Booker, Hagan drop in on Triangle churches: Some church-goers in the Triangle got a surprise Sunday: a visit from U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and N.J. Sen. Cory Booker. The two Democrats visited five churches in the Raleigh-Durham area. Booker spoke at all five churches, telling the congregation why re-electing Kay Hagan was crucial for the country as well as the state of North Carolina. Read more here.
Protesters urge NC legislators on living wage: Today several hundred activists urged Republican legislators in North Carolina to regulate a living wage. MaryBe McMillan and Rev. William Barber join Ari Melber to discuss. Watch here.
Senate officially rejects NC House budget proposal: A top state Senate budget-writer says differences with the House over Medicaid spending and the state lottery must first be resolved in negotiations for a final updated North Carolina spending plan. Read more here.
Religion rules at school approved by NC lawmakers: The Senate gave final legislative approval Monday in a 48-1 vote to the measure explaining how schools should comply with federal law and guidance on constitutionally protected prayer. The measure says students may share religious views and distribute religious literature, with reasonable restrictions. It says they can pray silently or aloud to the same extent students meditate or speak on non-religious matters. Read more here.
NC lawmakers must keep sun shining over Hollywood East with film incentives: The film industry has long been a vital part of Eastern North Carolina’s economy. Last week, the N.C. General Assembly seemed to miss the dollars and cents. The Finance Committee voted 20-16 against an amendment that would have saved the state’s film incentives program by extending it to 2017, past its current sunset slated for the end of this year. Read more here.
Congressional Republicans Go Silent On Obama’s LGBT Discrimination Order: President Barack Obama announced Monday that he’s moving forward with an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision marked a huge victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which had been pushing for such action for years. But judging by the reaction from Republican lawmakers, you’d think nothing happened at all. Read more here.
Obama aims to create world’s largest ocean preserve: President Obama is announcing plans to create what could be the largest marine preserve in the world, an initiative that aims to protect "pristine" environments in the Pacific Ocean but could run into opposition from the fishing industry and lawmakers worried about the president’s use of executive power. Read more here.
City boundaries could shift where Raleigh meets Durham: Leaders in Raleigh and Durham are both backing state legislation that moves several small properties near Brier Creek from Raleigh to Durham. The property, which totals about an acre near the intersection of T.W. Alexander Drive and ACC Boulevard, is currently inside Raleigh’s city limits. But the lots will be part of a much larger development called The Corners at Brier Creek – and that developer wants to be annexed by the City of Durham. Read more here.
NC school district leaders to speak out on state budget: Leaders from six North Carolina school districts will hold a news conference in Cary Tuesday to speak out about how the state budget will affect public education. Superintendents and representatives from Cumberland, Durham, Guilford, Johnston, New Hanover and Wake will speak at 10 a.m. at the Wake County Public School System’s main office in Cary. Both House and Senate budgets propose increasing teacher pay. Read more here.
Wake County Democrats criticize vote on school funding: The Wake County Democratic Party and two of the party’s candidates for the Board of Commissioners are criticizing the decision today to not give teachers a bigger pay raise. The Wake County Board of Commissioners agreed to give teachers an average raise of $237 – using $3.75 million in funds from excess liquor sales – instead of the $29.1 million plan from the school board to give all employees a 3.5-percent raise. Read more here.