NCDP Clips for Thursday August 27, 2015


NCDP Clips for Thursday, August 27

LEGISLATURE 2015

Budget agreement reached on worker pay, spending targets (AP) — North Carolina budget negotiators said Wednesday they’ve reached big milestones on a state government spending plan that’s two months late, including a tentative agreement on state employee and teacher pay.

Quick glance at N. C. budget amounts this year (P) — A quick look at spending amounts by category agreed upon by House and Senate negotiators this week and are incorporated in their proposal to spend $21.74 billion during the fiscal year that ends next June 30.

Budget negotiators say state workers will get $750 bonus (WRAL-TV) — House and Senate budget negotiators say they will give state employees and teachers $750 bonus payment this year in lieu of an across-the-board pay raise contemplated earlier this year.

Budget deal reached on state employees pay in N.C. (Raleigh News & Observer) — House and Senate leaders have reached a compromise on teacher and state employee pay and have moved closer to an agreement on overall state spending.

Will There Be A State Budget Deal Before Fall? (WUNC-FM) — State lawmakers continue to negotiate a state budget and are touting improvement, but are also asking for additional deliberation time. Policymakers announced progress on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon. Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said subcommittees now have target spending amounts, and an agreement on salary adjustments for state workers has been reached in principal.

Koch brothers’ ad campaign urges freeze on renewable energy growth (Raleigh News & Observer) — A Koch brothers-financed national free-market energy advocacy organization is launching a campaign in North Carolina this week to persuade lawmakers to freeze the requirement that utilities use increasing amounts of renewable energy The American Energy Alliance, financed by Koch Industries and other fossil fuel industries, is singling out four Republican state legislators: Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord, Sen. Brent Jackson of Autryville, Sen. Jerry Tillman of Archdale and Sen. Andy Wells of Hickory.

Senate’s delay on economic development bill keeps recruiters on hold (Greensboro News & Record) — A bill that would replenish the state’s job recruitment fund is languishing in the General Assembly as members struggle with the budget.

N.C. budget headway too late to avoid 3rd stopgap (AP) — North Carolina budget negotiators have been making progress this week, but it’s too little, too late to get a government spending plan approved before their latest deadline.

Tillman’s take: ‘Big disconnect in the House’ (Raleigh News & Observer) — Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, and Senate majority whip, wrote to his constituents with his views on the state budget impasse. “The NC House is divided on this issue,” he wrote. “When the leadership in the House wants one thing and the caucus wants another — how do you get a deal done? The longer we go without a budget the harder it is to fix the problem. “The House wants to spend too much money. We want to cut taxes, reduce spending and run government more efficiently. Hopefully one day we’ll come to an agreement and go home.”

Bill raising job hunt requirements likely headed to McCrory (AP) — Legislation increasing to five time weekly, how much North Carolina’s unemployed must look for work to retain jobless benefits and lowering a state tax on businesses sooner appears headed to Gov. Pat McCrory.

Senate OKs unemployment changes (Winston-Salem Journal) — The N.C. Senate is expected to give final approval today to a bill that would raise the number of required weekly job search contacts from two to five for people who receive unemployment benefits.

Ride sharing, unemployment bills get tentative approval (WRAL-TV) — The state House and Senate gave all-but-final legislative approvals to high profile bills regulating ride sharing and making changes to unemployment laws.

Bill to regulate Uber and other ride services nearing final stages in House (Raleigh News & Observer) — State House lawmakers moved closer to approving state-wide regulation of personal ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar that are made available through smart phone apps.

MILITARY FRIENDLY? N.C. changes debt collection rules (Camp Lejeune Globe) – Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law changes to state debt collection rules, easing the way to allow creditors to complain to commanders, employers and other third parties about allegedly defaulting debtors. … It is now the law of North Carolina that creditors can provide debt and default information and to third parties as long as the creditor has the written consent of the debtor, and it doesn’t matter whether the consent came before or after default.

POLICY & POLITICS

Voter Education In Question as ID Law To Go Into Effect Next Year (TWCN-TV) — We’re just a few months away from North Carolina’s Voter ID law going into effect in January. One of the questions raised about the new law in court this week was having enough time to educate voters and poll workers alike on the new measure.

Attorney for officer in shooting case: Don’t seek retrial (AP) — North Carolina’s attorney general should forgo pursuing a retrial for a white police officer whose voluntary manslaughter trial in the death of a black man ended with a hung jury, an attorney for the officer said Wednesday.

Davis keynote speaker at N. Carolina abortion-rights events (AP) — The Texas state senator whose 2013 floor filibuster against an abortion bill vaulted her to national prominence is in North Carolina raising money for a political group affiliated with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood group hosts former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis (Raleigh News & Observer) – The new political arm of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night in Durham with an appearance by former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis.

Tea Party Membership in N.C. (Institute for Research & Education On Human Rights) — Since President Obama’s election, campaign contributions, ad dollars, and the gravitas of well-heeled conservative think-tanks have helped transform the political landscape in North Carolina. So too, have the people that make up the Tea Party movement.

Lt. Gov.’s didactic video (Jones & Blount) — Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has released another one of his didactic YouTube videos, this one on tax policy. As with his first video on education funding, the latest spot praises all Repubilcans in Raleigh for their work. At least one politician is enjoying the praise, as Gov. Pat McCrory posted a link to the video on his Facebook page.

Getting Paid for Your Time: Push for More Overtime Pay (Public News Service) — As many North Carolina companies ask employees to do more with less in the post-recession era, many of those workers are not being compensated for working overtime. As it stands, salaried workers can be denied overtime if they make a little more than $23,000 a year.

Man who fled state 24 years ago arrested in 1991 Wilson killing (Wilson Times) — A man on the run for 24 years and apparently living under an alias has been arrested in the Aug. 2, 1991 killing of a Wilson teenager.

White House-Koch feud intensifies (The Hill) — The White House on Wednesday escalated its feud with the Koch brothers over President Obama’s climate policies, saying Washington gridlock has been a boon for the billionaire conservative donors’ oil and gas companies.

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

Deal eases moving from community college to private school (AP) — It’s getting a little easier for North Carolina students to move from a community college to a four-year school.

Taking control of my professional development (EdNC) — With the launch of new academic year, teachers across the state will find new and innovative ways to better their instruction to increase student engagement and performance.

Kenan Fellows host STEM professional development (EdNC) — The Kenan Fellows recently held a professional development symposium at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville where educators from around the state had their pick of sessions aimed at improving the use of STEM in the classroom. The symposium was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Sandhills Regional Education Consortium helped with planning.

ON HOLD: County suspends driver’s ed until state decides budget (Washington Daily News) – -Driver’s education classes in Beaufort County have been suspended until at least mid-September, a decision the Board of Education made at Monday night’s meeting

ACT test scores are stagnant in NC (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina students’ scores on a national standardized test called the ACT are below national averages and are largely unchanged from last year.

Ralls, president of Community College System, on challenges (Raleigh News & Observer) — Scott Ralls, president of the N.C. Community College System, is leaving NC Sept. 1 to become president of Northern Virginia Community College.

Study of past academic fraud cases suggests NCAA will go easy on UNC (Raleigh News & Observer) — Two prominent NCAA critics have published a study that suggests the association holds back on serious punishment for men’s basketball and football programs at top colleges when it comes to academic fraud.

Petition questions UNC Wilmington’s commitment to diversity (AP) — An online petition is questioning the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s commitment to diversity. The now-closed petition on Change.org appeared more than a week ago asking Chancellor Jose Sartarelli to reinstate Katie Peel as the school’s director of Women’s Studies and Resource Center.

EDITORIALS

Big question marks surround school year (Rocky Mount Telegram) – School bells rang across much of North Carolina Monday morning, and we can only wonder if anyone in the N.C. General Assembly was listening.

Ah, politics after all on UNC board (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Through these last months, Tom Ross has continued to exhibit only grace and class. His stellar performance as UNC system president speaks for itself, and that is how it is going to be until his exit. If the Board of Governors had any savvy and class of its own, it would rescind its monumentally bad decision, apologize to Ross, and insist that he continue as president.

UNC Board was not pressured on Ross (Charlotte Observer column) — From John Fennebresque, a Charlotte lawyer and chair of the UNC Board of Governors,

Charters a better answer to education funding than NC lottery (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Eddie Goodall: North Carolina already spends $20 million annually for lottery advertising, and senators want to spend $10 million more. We spend zero for charter schools. Advertising how to start charter schools in North Carolina offers a greater return on our taxpayer money than lottery advertising.

Two examples of bad government (Wilmington Star-News) — We can only surmise that the Honorables must enjoy the weather in Raleigh this time of year as they seem to be in no hurry to leave.

NC Senate pushes flawed caps on taxes and spending (Raleigh News & Observer) — Passage of a “taxpayers bill of rights” has stymied Colorado’s ability to serve its people, yet GOP senators are fitting North Carolina for the same fiscal straightjacket.

More evil personified (Greenville Daily Reflector) — The tragic and senseless shooting deaths of two television journalists Wednesday, and the wounding of a woman they were interviewing for a local story in Roanoke, Va., is shocking, to say the least.

The carnage must end (Winston-Salem Journal) — Another beautiful day in America shattered by a gunman. Armed insanity has become our new normal. We’re all sick and tired of it. So let’s do something about it. Let’s take back our country and say loudly: No more of this.

Clear NC’s attic of unused state property (Raleigh News & Observer) — First there was a proposal and then a study and then a committee. Now it’s time to move along with legislation to get this effort going.

Crime Lab: Legislature needs to end the backlog (Wilson Times) — It’s understandably frustrating for everyone involved: The prosecutors. The defense attorneys. The accused. And the family of the victim.

No stopping it now (Greensboro News & Record) — Not many people try to intervene in lawsuits as defendants. But nothing about the SB 36/HB 263 roller-coaster ride has been normal.