NCDP Clips for Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Tweet of The Day
THAT FLAG FLAP
McCrory passes buck to legislature, insists it must act to end use of flag (AP) —Gov. Pat McCrory said it’s right for the Division of Motor Vehicles to stop producing specialty license plates affixed with the Confederate battle flag. But McCrory insists the General Assembly must change the law before his administration can act.
NC lawmakers, McCrory at odds (WNCN-TV) — A week after the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, a debate over the Confederate flag rages across the U.S. In North Carolina, the debate is centered around the flag being used on specialty license plates. Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCroy said the flag needed to be removed from those specialty plates. But Republican lawmakers don’t agree. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said there is a process to make such ideas a reality. “If there are problems with the plate … then that should be done through the administrative process,” Berger said.
Four Cumberland lawmakers agree with McCrory on flag (Fayetteville Observer) — Cumberland County’s four Democratic lawmakers agree with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory that North Carolina should halt distribution of a specialty license plate that displays the image of a Confederate flag. Republican state House Rep. John Szoka of Cumberland County said he needs to study the issue. Republican state Sen. Wesley Meredith was unavailable for comment.
Confederate flag debate a way of life in Rocky Mount neighborhood (WRAL-TV) — States and retailers have taken steps to remove the Confederate battle flag from landmarks and stores, but one Rocky Mount man is standing his ground. Edward Lee West has had the flags surround his Arrington Avenue home for years, but after the killings of nine people during Bible study inside a historic black Charleston, S.C. church last week, neighbors said West added more flags.
THEY CALLED IT PORK: Apodaca steers money to favored cause: Boys & Girls Clubs (Charlotte Observer) — Earlier this month, the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County honored Sen. Tom Apodaca with its “Local Hero” award. Two weeks later it had reason to thank him again.
The clock is ticking (WRAL-TV) — The fiscal year ends in five days. Lawmakers are beginning to draft a continuing resolution while House members continue their review of the Senate budget plan.
NC legislative leaders seek release of voucher funds (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina’s Senate and House leaders have asked the state’s highest court to release public money for private school vouchers while uncertainty remains about the constitutionality of the program. In a court document filed Tuesday, attorneys for the legislative leaders and several parents argue that families face uncertainty about the coming school year, with no ruling from the N.C. Supreme Court yet on the voucher program’s future.
WAR ON CIVIL SERVANTS: Senate ends worker retirement health care (Raleigh News & Observer) — Future state employees could lose one of the biggest perks of government work: Free health insurance in retirement.
NAACP head says state ‘blinked’ on voter ID — (Winston-Salem Journal) The president of the state NAACP says a rally last week made legislators rethink some of the new voter ID law set to take effect in 2016.
NC DMV, Board of Elections Working to Provide Free Voter ID (TWCN-TV) — The North Carolina DMV and State Board of Elections are working together to provide free voter ID cards before next year’s election. A new law states that on Jan. 1, 2016, all registered voters will have to provide a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.
Tobacco Cessation Funds Missing from NCGA Budgets (N.C. Health News) — Neither the House nor Senate budgets have allocated any funding for youth tobacco prevention programs.
McCrory hits huge pot hole with massive borrowing plan to pay for roads (The Charlotte Observer) – Even as Gov. Pat McCrory touts growing public support for nearly $1.4 billion in highway bonds, his proposal has hit a roadblock in the N.C. Senate. The highway bonds are part of the governor’s $2.85 billion “Connect NC” proposal. “There’s not an appetite in the Senate for a transportation bond issue,” Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican who chairs the Rules Committee, said Wednesday. “But the facilities (bond) issue I see picking up momentum.”
Law school, MAHEC budget switch stirs up controversy (Asheville Citizen-Times) — A move by an area senator to take $3 million from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Law and give it to Mountain Area Health Education Center here came as a surprise to the agency that trains future physicians, a MAHEC official says.
Voting, customer seats, plant change bills signed by NC Gov (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has put his signature to more than a dozen additional bills, including those addressing an upcoming voter identification requirement and sitting at convenience stores with biscuits and coffee.
McCrory signs bill giving vets in-state college tuition (Raleigh News & Observer) – The law waives the 12-month residency requirement to receive in-state tuition for certain non-resident veterans and those entitled to education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Education Program or the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.
McCrory signs bill on Duke’s Lake Julian plant change (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed into law a bill to ease Duke Energy’s plans to stop burning coal at its Lake Julian power plant in Skyland. Duke will still need state Utilities Commission approval for plans to convert the plant from using coal and natural gas to natural gas and solar by late 2019 or early 2020. The new law requires the commission to expedite consideration, but it must still hold a public hearing.
Vote on HB 263 delayed once again (Greensboro News & Record) — A crucial vote on a controversial bill to restructure the city councils of Greensboro and Trinity was delayed once again Wednesday in the N.C. House of Representatives.
POLICY & POLITICS
Hagan going forward ‘not as an elected US senator’ (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Wednesday there’s still much work ahead to help North Carolina residents, but she won’t be trying to go back to Washington for another six-year term to do it.
White, Right-wing Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. (New York Times) — Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists,.
Wounded veterans hunt child predators (McClatchy Newspapers) — A 37-year-old Army veteran from Raleigh, N.C. who lost both legs and part of his right arm to a roadside bomb in Iraq remains in the fight. Only this time he’s hunting those who prey on children.
Mark Meadows’ House of Cards Moment (Washington Post) — "To my knowledge, nobody has been shot or killed at this point. But there is a whole lot of backroom deals that get done on a regular basis," he said.
Uncertainty Hangs Over Providers As They Work to Improve Care (N.C. Health News) — Health care providers gather to swap ideas about how to better integrate mental and physical health care, but they’re doing it in the shadow of change.
NC uninsured rate fell 13% in ACA’s first year (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina’s uninsured rate dropped 13 percent in 2014, the first year that most Americans were required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Hearing delayed for man accused of supporting Islamic State (AP) — A federal court hearing is being postponed for a 19-year-old North Carolina man accused of planning a killing spree in the U.S. to show his support for the Islamic State group in the Middle East.
Duke ash cleanup a boost for safe water here (Fayetteville Observer) — Duke Energy is doing the right thing. We hope it’s doing it the right way. The giant energy company said this week that it is expanding the number of coal-ash ponds it will close, adding another 12 to its list of sites that will get prompt attention. Most of those ash impoundments are in eastern North Carolina. Some are in poor condition, leaking their contents into nearby rivers or contaminating the groundwater around them – and beyond.
Report shows another flaw in the death penalty – NC capital cases built on flimsy evidence
In North Carolina, 56 defendants were put on trial for their lives over the last 26 years in cases that resulted in acquittal or dismissal.
No divisive flags in public square (Charlotte Observer) — North Carolina should strip Confederate flags from its license plates and shouldn’t fly the first national flag of the Confederacy above its Capitol
Past time to get out of the Confederate flag business (Asheville Citizen-Times) — It is long past time to recognize that this flag should no longer be officially endorsed by any government entity of these United States.
Stepping away from a symbol of hatred (Rocky Mount Telegram) — For all the tears and anguish felt by America last week, one small, bright irony has emerged that could almost give way to a smile under other circumstances.
Our Hobson’s choice on retention elections in NC (Raleigh News & Observer column) — John V. Orth: If HB 222 is constitutional, then all that stands in the way of offering all elected officers in North Carolina the chance to seek re-election in a retention election is the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
1. Pass bonds 2. Train students 3. Watch economy grow (Charlotte Observer column) – Community colleges need Gov. Pat McCrory’s bond package to help modernize crucial facilities
The importance of Southern whites admitting privilege, then acting on it (Raleigh News & Observer column) — B. Shaw Drake: My life has been easy because generations of my family have profited from political and social white supremacy in the South. White Southerners need to admit how they have benefited from repression and then do something about it.
Frankenstein’s bill (Greensboro News & Record) — She blinded us with science. Or at least she’s tried to.
Senate budget nostalgia (Greenville Daily Reflector) — Back to a simpler way of living.