NCDP Clips for Monday, May 4th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Monday, May 4th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

Road bond plan raises environmental issues, shuts out WNC (Asheville Citizen-Times) — State legislators will debate Gov. Pat McCrory’s request to put a $1.4 billion highway bond issue and another $1.4 billion bond issue for buildings and other types of infrastructure on the ballot for later this year. Environmental groups say the proposals shortchange alternative modes of transportation. Some legislators and others may have trouble supporting a bond proposal that allocates about a third of highway spending to Forsyth County and funds no major projects in three of the state Department of Transportation’s 14 divisions. The only large Western North Carolina projects the bonds would fund are two in McDowell County.

N.C. voters could decide fate of $3 billion in bonds (Wilmington Star-News) — North Carolina has plenty of highway and building improvement projects that have languished over the years because of a lack of funds.

Getting into NC GEAR (WRAL-TV) — Lawmakers will begin their first post-crossover workweek with a look NC GEAR, the governor’s cost-saving program.

When’s school out? Groups want it out NC lawmakers’ hands (AP) — It’s been 11 years since North Carolina lawmakers told public schools when the school year could open and close.

House weakens Renewable Energy Standards (Greensboro News & Record) — For a legislature that is supposed to be focused on creating jobs, the N.C. General Assembly seems bent on alienating fledgling industries and driving away others.

POLICY & POLITICS

McCrory headlines Houston’s huge Offshore Tech Conference (Houston Chronicle) — The annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston could be the biggest ever despite the lowest oil prices in years. Drilling beneath the world’s oceans has yet to feel the full brunt of cheap oil and the thousands of OTC attendees will browse exhibits from 2,600 companies – up from last year’s record-setting 2,568 companies. One highlight is a panel of elected officials who will discuss the future of drilling and assess federal and state regulations. The panel includes Republican N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

UNC Charlotte report: Homeless project saved city $2.4 million (Charlotte Observer) — An $11 million plan to put Charlotte’s 516 chronically homeless people into apartments got a needed boost this week from a new UNC Charlotte study that illustrates the millions of tax dollars to be saved from the initiative.

EDITORIALS
School bus safety: Legislation deserves a fair hearing (Winston-Salem Journal) — Among state legislation being considered during this session, one bill has been proposed that deserves more attention and support than it has received thus far, especially from any legislator who is concerned about the safety of our children.

NC bill would roll back protections against abusive debt collectors (Raleigh News & Observer) — NC Republicans want to dismantle a good 2009 law that protected consumers from debt collectors.

Keep drilling well offshore (Wilmington Star-News) — McCrory said a 50-mile buffer could make up to 40 percent of the state’s oil and gas unavailable. But we’re skeptical that the gains of tapping those offshore reserves will be worth the risk to our water quality, the coastal tourism economy, and our area’s ability to to attract affluent retirees.

Dorothea Dix deal gives Raleigh a crown jewel (Fayetteville Observer) — The Dorothea Dix deal appears to be done, and Raleigh is getting a new park that can become our state capital’s downtown crown jewel.