June 30, 2014
New U.S. Senate ad highlights education funding: A group backing U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in her re-election campaign on Monday will begin running a new ad critical of state House Speaker Thom Tillis’ education funding record. The ad features a number of claims about the N.C. General Assembly’s record of funding education, including the state’s relatively low rank in funding teacher salaries and cuts to teaching positions. Read more here.
Hagan, Butterfield sponsor bills to help Lejeune families with lawsuits: Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, said the legislation she filed in the Senate and that Butterfield, a Democrat from Wilson, filed in the House would clarify the intent of existing federal Superfund law. A press release on Friday from the two lawmakers said that their legislation would preempt state laws that limit the time in which damages could be recovered for injuries and diseases. Read more here.
NC House votes to block disclosing charter employees’ names with pay: The amendment preserves the part of the initial bill that says charter schools must disclose positions, salaries, promotions, demotions, disciplinary actions and other specific personnel data, but says that employee names “shall not be open to inspection.” The revised bill now goes back to the Senate, which earlier approved a version that requires disclosure of names, salaries and all other personnel information that traditional public schools must reveal. Read more here.
Floyd B. McKissick Jr.: Campaign donation funds must be limited: Unlimited contributions from corporations is not about promoting free speech, it is tantamount to giving those corporations a master volume control which allows them to dominate television and radio with ads that drown out the free speech of others. This is why we should consider an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would grant Congress and the states the power to establish reasonable contribution limitations for corporations as well as individuals. Read more here.
Happy (fiscal) New Year’s Eve: There are less than 24 hours left in the fiscal year, and lawmakers begin this week much as they began last week – snarling at one another over competing projections of Medicaid spending. Read more here.
Is the end near for NC film incentives?: Incentive changes are expected to be part of the lawmakers’ upcoming budget negotiations to hammer out difference between the House and Senate plans. The current law gives a 25 percent refund to productions that spend more than $250,000, with a payout cap of $20 million for most productions and no monetary limit on TV series. Read more here.
Obama Picks Ex-P&G Head Robert McDonald to Lead Veterans Affairs: President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, as the White House seeks to shore up an agency beset by treatment delays and struggling to deal with an influx of new veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An administration official said Obama would announce McDonald’s appointment Monday. Read more here.
Fifty years on, the civil rights act has remade US politics: Lyndon Johnson bartered the Democrats’ strength in the south for a principle – and set a presidential standard not rivalled since. By knowingly sacrificing long-term electoral gain in favour of principled legislation, Johnson set a presidential standard when he signed the civil rights act that has not been rivalled since. He was prepared to risk the future of his party, as the young that summer were prepared to risk their lives. Read more here.
Wilmington police push legislature for tougher gun laws: The Wilmington Police Department is pushing for the General Assembly to adopt several measures that crack down on illegal gun use as part of an anti-gang strategy implemented last year. The various measures, which are part of an omnibus bill moving through the state legislature, would increase penalties for carrying a concealed gun or pistol without a permit on first and subsequent charges, as well as for felons found in possession of a firearm. Read more here.
Greenville welcomes road projects outside city: Officials in Greenville want to see several U.S. highways in the area turned into freeways even though the roads don’t head through the city at all. Federal and state lawmakers are asking for money to turn U.S. 64 and 17 from Raleigh to Norfolk, Virginia, and U.S. 70 from Raleigh to Morehead City into interstate highways. Read more here.
B-roll from Berger campaign turns up in super PAC TV spot: The footage, which appears to have been shot by a professional film crew runs without any audio, showing the candidate in a variety of flattering scenes…A 30-second television spot produced by the Keep Conservatives United super PAC contains at least six images that were evidently repurposed from the B-roll posted by the Berger Jr. campaign… Read more here.