NCDP Clips for Monday, March 25, 2013

  • Good Monday Morning….A bill to void the City Of Raleigh’s lease to create Dorothea Dix Park moves ahead in the NCGA, the state takes on Progress Energy over Asheville pollution, and the push-back on Gov. McCrory’s plan to downsize the UNC sytem grows. Your Monday morning clips:


WRAL – Public hearing set on Wake schools bills, Dix land deal
The Wake County Legislative Delegation of the General Assembly will hold a meeting Monday afternoon to hear from the public on proposed legislation that could change how the local school board operates and a proposal by Republican lawmakers to void Raleigh’s lease of the former Dorothea Dix site.

The hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building, 300 N. Salisbury St. Speakers must register before 11 a.m. by sending an email with their name and topic for discussion to steinla or by calling 919-715-6400.

NEWS & OBSERVER – Senator opposing Dix lease pushed $1 sale of NC prison
In touting his bill to revoke Raleigh’s lease on the Dorothea Dix property, Sen. Ralph Hise argues that the deal was too cheap and the capital city needs to pay fair market value for its park.
It’s not the first time Hise, a Republican from Mitchell County, has weighed in on a state property transfer. In 2011, he was the sole sponsor of a bill that sold a shuttered state prison in his western mountains district to Mayland Community College.


ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES – Bill would allow Sunday hunting
The clash between hunting, hiking and holy days in North Carolina is rearing its head again.
A new bill moving through the state Senate, SB 224, co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, would remove a prohibition against Sunday hunting on private lands with shotgun, rifle or pistol, as long as the hunter is the landowner or has the landowner’s permission.

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER – Auto insurance rate bill in N.C. Senate splits industry
Sen. Wesley Meredith of Fayetteville has filed a bill that he says would increase competition by auto insurance companies and save consumers money.
But some insurers, as well as the state’s insurance commissioner, say Meredith’s legislation would mean higher premiums, including in Fayetteville where drivers already pay the state’s highest rates.


ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES – State sues Progress Energy over Asheville plant pollution
A lawsuit filed by a state environmental agency seeks to force Progress Energy to stop leaking toxic pollutants from coal ash ponds into groundwater and the French Broad River.
Contamination found in monitoring wells at the utility’s power plant on Lake Julian exceeds groundwater protection standards, according to the complaint filed Friday on behalf of the N.C. Division of Water Quality in Wake County Superior Court.|mostpopular|text|FRONTPAGE

MOUNTAIN XPRESS – Combine UNCA and WCU? Sen. Nesbitt responds to rumors of college closures, consolidation
Raleigh, NC –Today, Senate Democratic Leader Martin Nesbitt responded to reports that Senate Republicans are considering closing two UNC system campuses in their budget.
“The Republicans seem determined to destroy all the history of this great state. They have a new agenda for North Carolina and it does not include public education. This is just their latest idea since 2010 to dismantle the public schools and universities.


WRAL – NC senators join GOP opposition to Senate budget
An exhausted Senate gave pre-dawn approval Saturday to a Democratic $3.7 trillion budget for next year that embraces nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade but shelters domestic programs targeted for cuts by House Republicans.

NEWS & OBSERVER – Meadows supports some form of legal status for illegal immigrants
N.C. Congressman Mark Meadows is joining U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s call for Republicans to shift their immigration talk.


THE DAILY TAR HEEL – Out-of-state or out of luck?
More and more, I’m beginning to think that Gov. Pat McCrory is painting a giant target on UNC.
His budget proposal, released Wednesday, suggests cutting $55 million from last year’s UNC-system funding while increasing out-of-state tuition for UNC-CH by 12.3 percent. This comes weeks after his infamous remarks on the value of a liberal arts education. He expressed the desire to cut funding for programs like women’s studies, saying that such majors are better for private universities.

THE SOUTHERN PINES PILOT – A Wrong Direction for Juvenile Justice
If ever there was a wrongheaded, unenlightened legislative proposal, it is the one contained in N.C. House Bill 217, which would authorize adult criminal trials for children as young as 13.
Yes, that’s right. There are those in Raleigh who would send 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds into court to be tried alongside hardened criminals when they may not yet even have emerged from puberty!


Clay Pittman
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman