NCDP Clips for Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

NCDP Clips for Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Tweet of The Day

LEGISLATURE 2015

House agrees to adjust NC presidential primary date (AP) — The North Carolina House agreed Wednesday night to try to push back the date of next year’s North Carolina presidential primary by a few weeks to avoid cuts in national convention delegates, particularly for Republicans who had moved up the contest date from May.

Abortion Waiting Period Bill Races Through House (N.C. Health News) — Legislators trim restrictions from a bill that would extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours.

NC abortion wait expanded to 72 hours in House proposal (AP) — Women would have to wait 72 hours in North Carolina before obtaining an abortion under a bill recommended Wednesday by a state House committee, the latest move by Republicans to place controls around the procedure and reduce its occurrence.

N.C. House committee backs renewables, kills bill to weaken mandate (Charlotte Business Journal) — The House Public Utilities Committee voted down the Ratepayers Protection Act by a 16-14 vote Wednesday afternoon.

General Assembly staff now posting bill summaries online (WRAL-TV) — Good news for all you North Carolina legislature geeks out there: Bill summaries are now available to the public online.

NC Senate panel debates jobs incentives plans (Raleigh News & Observer) — Leaders in the state Senate on Wednesday voiced concerns about the state’s main jobs incentives program and said they’ll combine elements of competing House and Senate economic development plans into a proposal. The Finance Committee meeting was the Senate’s first public discussion of House Bill 117, an economic development proposal backed by Gov. Pat McCrory and approved by the House in early March.

Lawmakers Introduce Bill Increasing Availability of Paid Sick Leave (TWCN-TV) — State lawmakers introduced a new bill that would increase North Carolina workers access to paid sick days and family medical leave. Supporters of the bill say paid leave is good for business,

Bill with controversial undercover provision clears House (WRAL-TV) — Gaining employment just to conduct an undercover investigation would be illegal under a bill that cleared the state House Wednesday.

House Committee Advances Bill Enacting Harsh Penalties for ‘Revenge Porn’ (TWCN-TV) — Lawmakers are considering a bill making it illegal to share so-called revenge porn. “Revenge Porn” is media containing sexually explicit content that is spread without the consent of the subject.

NC Senate OKs option for school bus cameras, issuing fines (AP) — Local governments and school districts soon could have administrative tools to expand the use of cameras to reduce the number of motorists driving by stopped school buses loading and unloading children.

Puppy mill regulations pass state House (WRAL-TV) — Despite opposition from dog breeders, lawmakers are pushing a puppy mill regulation bill through the state House. However, the bill is not as strict as sponsors had originally hoped it would be.

Senate bill would limit teachers’ political activity (WRAL-TV) — School employees would be prohibited from campaigning for a political candidate during school hours or using school computers or telephones to campaign under a bill passed Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee.

POLICIES & POLITICS

State allocates $250M for second N.C. Innovation Fund (Triangle Business Journal) – -State Treasurer Janet Cowell just announced a new $250 million North Carolina Innovation Fund.

Secret House GOP caucus weighing religious freedom bill (Raleigh News & Observer) — A controversial religious freedom bill is unlikely to come up this week after a secret and apparently contentious caucus of House Republicans Wednesday night. The bill is seen by supporters as protecting people’s rights to exercise their religious beliefs. Opponents say it would allow for wrongful discrimination against gays and lesbians.

NC Rep. Price’s amendment adds $15 million for veterans health research (Raleigh News & Observer) — The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved an amendment by U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, that adds $15 million for Veterans Affairs research on traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, prosthetics and other veterans’ health needs.

Jim Hunt documentary Released (WRAL-TV) — JIM HUNT DOCUMENTARY: A one-hour documentary examines the life and legacy of NC’s four-term governor through interviews conducted just after he left office in 2001.

US agriculture secretary presses NC to support trade (Raleigh News & Observer) — US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is touting the benefits of trade in North Carolina as he promotes a White House push for more authority in negotiating trade agreements.

THE SPILL

Resolution denying water treatment dies (Sanford Herald) — A resolution declining to treat wastewater from Duke Energy’s coal ash storage site in Lee County was unsuccessful for the second time when Sanford City Councilman Charles Taylor brought it before the council Tuesday.

Duke neighbors given mixed signals on wells (Charlotte Observer) — Duke Energy’s neighbors, and some local health authorities, are struggling to interpret state test results that show most private wells near ash ponds are contaminated. Of 117 test results mailed in recent days, 87 exceeded groundwater standards, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Tuesday.

Goldsboro residents worry over tainted water from nearby ash pond (WRAL-TV) — After state regulators began telling people who live near Duke Energy coal ash ponds that their well water was contaminated, some Goldsboro residents said their worst fears are being confirmed.

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

General Assembly blamed for Wake County school budget woes (Raleigh News & Observer) — Wake County school leaders and school supporters are trying to portray the state as the bad guy for putting the district in the situation where it may ask for a $48.3 million local funding increase. During Tuesday’s school board work session and budget public hearing, the General Assembly was repeatedly accused of not providing enough funding to help North Carolina’s largest school district meet its needs.

Political activity of employees of state, local boards of ed (EdNC) — The Education/Higher Education committee in the N.C. Senate took up Senate Bill 480. The primary sponsor of the bill, Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba), said the bill doesn’t prevent an employee from running for office and doesn’t prevent an employee from advocating for an issue — so long as those things don’t happen during work hours.