MAY 23, 2014
Tillis Continues to Obscure His Health Care Position: His campaign would not specifically respond to questions about what mandates in the federal health care law he supports. He has advocated for the repeal of the bill but not entirely endorsed a replacement. Read more here.
VA problems a political issue in military-rich North Carolina: Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, opponents in a crucial November Senate race, have expressed outrage and demanded action. Read more here.
NC Senate Wants Fracking In The State By July 2015, But House May Not Be Ready: The bill, known as the Energy Modernization Act, calls for the state to start issuing permits for drilling companies to extract natural gas through the controversial drilling method known as fracking on July 1, 2015. The biggest obstacles to the bill is the provision that sets a date for permits because the state’s Mining and Energy Commission, which was appointed by lawmakers, has not finalized a set of rules that will govern fracking in the state. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, members of the House of Representatives are likely to present opposition to that section. Read more here.
McCrory film incentive proposal lowers cap on tax credit: Gov. Pat McCrory has proposed changes to North Carolina’s film tax credit program that his administration says would cost the state much less than the one set to expire at year’s end. Some critics have called the payments too rich when calculated against the number of jobs the industry creates and wanted the credit to expire. Others say the current incentives amended in 2010 should be made permanent because they’ve helped revive North Carolina’s film industry. Read more here.
Confronting Crisis the norm for Obama’s White House: A growing perception of a White House under siege as Obama’s presidency approaches its two-thirds mark, struggling with a litany of problems that overwhelm any administration successes. Meanwhile, Democratic colleagues who face tough congressional elections in November distance themselves from a President with negative approval ratings. Read more here.
House Science Committee is more worried about aliens than climate change: The House and Senate have held a combined 19 hearings on space exploration during the 113th Congress, according to a report Wednesday in the National Journal. Smith’s committee alone has organized 15 of those hearings, including three that focused on discovering alien life.The House Energy and Commerce Committee has held only one hearing on climate change, while the House Natural Resources Committee has yet to take up the issue in the 113th Congress. While much of the congressional climate change denial happens in the House, the Democrat-led Senate has also failed to exhibit substantial interest in the issue. Read more here.
Resident files election complaint: With tears in eyes, Tyone Savage filed a complaint Thursday at the Wilson County Board of Elections alleging she was denied her right to vote during the May primary. And the North Carolina ACLU’s legal director said Wilson Board of Elections officials have an ethical obligation to investigate all complaints where voters state there are obstacles to casting a ballot. Read more here.
High Point Regional Hospital plans to cut 115 positions: Many Triad hospitals and health-care systems have made similar job cuts. They have cited similar reasons to High Point Regional, along with the General Assembly’s decision to not expand Medicaid coverage in North Carolina related to the Affordable Care Act. Read more here.
1-cent tax increase proposed for Winston-Salem: Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity recommended a 1-cent tax increase for the 2014-15 fiscal year in presenting the city council Thursday with a budget proposal totaling $506.9 million. Read more here.
Durham Community Groups Want End To Alleged Police "Racial Profiling": Frank Baumgartner is a Professor of Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill and has been in analyzing police records of the the ten biggest cities in North Carolina. "For reasons that I really don’t understand Durham is an outlier," said Baumgartner. "Where we found a 77 percent disparity across the state between blacks and whites and their likelihood of being searched, in Durham, it’s about 260 percent. So that is truly astounding." Read more here.
Senate bill would make all NC ferries free: A new bill surfaced this week in the N.C. General Assembly’s short session in Raleigh that would end the three-year ferry toll controversy. Two coastal legislators with heavy ferry toll involvement introduced a Senate bill that would make all of the seven coastal ferry routes free. Read more here.
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