NCDP Clips for May 20, 2013

– The Senate’s budget comes into the spotlight, former Rep. Stephen LaRoque heads to trial, and NCGA protests continue for a fourth straight week. Monday’s clips:


WCNC – NC Senate begins week of state gov’t budget debate
Senate Republicans are ready to talk about their North Carolina state government spending proposal for the next two years.
The GOP budget-writers scheduled a news conference Monday to discuss the plan that would spend $20.6 billion for the year starting July 1 — about the same Gov. Pat McCrory wants. Budget committees will discuss the plan later in the day on the way to the first recorded floor vote Wednesday.

NEWS & OBSERVER – N.C. Senate proposed budget at $20.58 billion
The N.C. Senate’s budget proposal will clock in at $20.58 billion, just short of Gov. Pat McCrory’s $20.6 billion proposal, according to Senate leader Phil Berger’s office.
The full budget is expected to be made public later tonight. According to a press release, the budget includes $10.2 million in the second year for a "pay for excellence" system for teachers, and eliminates the "flex cut" to local schools, a budget practice that had districts returning money to the state each year.

WRAL – Senate unveils proposed spending plan
Senate leaders released a $20.6 billion budget Sunday night that would put in place many policy proposals the chamber’s leaders have pushed throughout the session, including a plan to end career status for teachers.


WCNC – Criminal trial set to begin for Ex-NC Rep. LaRoque
A former North Carolina lawmaker is set to face a jury over accusations he used a pair of government-funded non-profit corporations as personal piggy banks.

NEWS & OBSERVER – LaRoque trial begins Monday in federal court
Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston will go on trial in federal court in Greenville on Monday on charges that he enriched himself with U.S. Department of Agriculture money that he was supposed to loan to struggling rural business owners.


NEWS & OBSERVER – McCrory, Berger & Tillis say they’re on the same Medicaid reform page
The top three Republican politicians in the state announced Friday they are all together when it comes to Medicaid reform.
Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis sent out a joint news release emphasizing that – despite criticism of the move toward privatization – the state is proceeding with plans to reign in costs in the $13 billion program.


WRAL – Pre-K funding, eligibility will be a key budget issue
As Joanna McConnell bragged on how her son Jordan had learned to count over the past year, the 5-year-old obliged and began sounding off: "1, 2, 3…"
McConnell, a single mom from Garner, credits her son’s pre-kindergarten class, with turning him from a shy boy to one who gets along with other kids will and will sing about butterflies at the drop of a hat.


NEWS & RECORD – Some bills get new life; others die
Let’s start with a caveat: No idea is ever dead while the N.C. General Assembly is in session.
That being said, a bunch of legislation died last week, as “crossover day” came and went on Thursday.

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER – Four amendments to North Carolina constitution survive in General Assembly
Lawmakers in Raleigh have filed 20 bills this year seeking to amend the North Carolina constitution.
Their proposals have run the gamut, but most lacked much support. Only four have passed either the House or the Senate, and the rest failed to meet last week’s critical "crossover" deadline.


NEWS & OBSERVER – GOP’s plan to rewrite Jordan Lake protections not popular with local delegation
A side note to one of the controversial bills that sped through crossover week this week.
SB515, which would repeal current environmental protections at Jordan Lake so that new ones could be written, is a GOP-promoted idea. But not all Republicans are on board.


BURLINGTON TIMES-NEWS – NAACP enters fourth week of legislative protests
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP is entering its fourth straight week of protests at the state legislature that have resulted in nearly 100 arrests so far.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans the latest demonstration on Monday aimed at the policies of the Republican-led General Assembly.

HAGAN 2014

MSNBC – Sen. Hagan: Service women live in debilitating fear of sexual assault
Women serving in the military live in debilitating fear of sexual assault, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan said on Monday.

NEWS & OBSERVER – Jim Cain also looking at Hagan race
Raleigh’s Jim Cain, former ambassador to Denmark and one-time president of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, tells Roll Call he is taking a serious look at running in the Republican primary next year to challenge U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.


Clay Pittman

North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman