NCDP Clips for Thursday, June 4th, 2015
Tweet of The Day
North Carolina OKs bill for 72-hour wait period for abortion (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state one of several with 72-hour waiting periods for an abortion, sending the bill to the Republican governor who plans to sign it.
Can Gay Couples be Turned Away in North Carolina? (The New Yorker) — In a state where gays and lesbians have every right to marry, elected officials have been spending their time calculating ways to allow civil servants to humiliate and impede them, all in the name of their own God. The North Carolina saga is a reminder of how, particularly since the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, the concept of religious freedom has been stretched in strange new directions, entangling the efforts of citizens like the couples in North Carolina to simply live their lives.
Gay marriage override vote in NC House put off Wednesday (AP) — The North Carolina House has acted on one bill vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory but put off another vetoed measure addressing government officials who don’t want to perform gay marriages due to religious beliefs.
McCrory ‘pleased’ votes not there to override magistrates bill (Raleigh News & Observer) — An override vote on Senate Bill 2 – which would exempt magistrates from performing marriages if they have religious objections and also affects registers of deeds – appeared on Wednesday’s House calendar without any action. Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement that his veto of the magistrates bill was in protection of the constitution and that he was “pleased” there were not enough votes to overturn his decision.
Group plans to post "God Loves Gays" billboards in N.C. (AP) — A group plans to place billboards across the country that read "God Loves Gays," according to the fundraising site You Caring.
Lawmakers override McCrory veto on controversial ‘ag-gag’ bill (WRAL-TV) — Dubbed an "ag-gag" bill by opponents, the measure would allow businesses to sue employees who obtain work just to conduct undercover investigations.
Lawmakers Feel Heat On Bill Eliminating Handgun Permit Requirement (WUNC-FM) — Lawmakers could debate a plan to loosen North Carolina’s gun regulations as early as Thursday. The Republican majority has struggled to reach a consensus for weeks on the bill called the Second Amendment Affirmation Act as citizens from across the state have lobbied them.
Far-reaching alcohol bill gets tentative nod from state House (WRAL-TV) — A part of the bill that allows distilleries to sell their own products has proved controversial.
‘Biscuit bill’ clears NC House committee (Raleigh News & Observer) – -An NC House committee backed legislation Wednesday that would allow convenience stores to set up tables and chairs for customers eating prepackaged food.
Women’s groups oppose HB405 over human trafficking concerns (Raleigh News & Observer) — Domestic violence and women’s rights agencies in NC have come out against the Property Protection Act because they say it could prevent the discovery and prosecution of those involved in human trafficking for sex and labor exploitation.
POLICY & POLITICS
Democrat Cooper leads incumbent GOP McCrory in race for governor (Public Policy Polling) – Democrat Roy Cooper is leading Republican Pat McCrory in the race for Governor, 44-41. Those numbers are flipped from a month ago when McCrory led by the same spread, and they end a long string of polls in which incumbent McCrory held the lead.
‘If not now, when?’: McCrory urges passage of massive borrowing plan (Triad Business Journal) — Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that it’s time for the N.C. General Assembly to pass a $2.85 billion transportation bond proposal that would pour millions of dollars into Triad transportation projects. Interest rates are low and construction costs will only rise if funding is delayed, he told the Triad Business Journal.
N.C. moves forward on voter ID rules, amid lawsuit (WRAL-TV) — The State Board of Elections is holding the first of nine public hearings on the rules governing North Carolina’s voter identification law.
The Differences In Crafting A Budget (WUNC-FM) — Government employees across the state are working on budgets this month. Officials in rural towns, big cities and the Capitol are finalizing spending plans for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. But the process, speed, and public involvement required to craft a fiscal blueprint can vary significantly. A couple of weeks ago, House lawmakers held a marathon floor session where they debated their budget proposal for more than eight hours. Toward the end of the debate, senior Republican budget writer Nelson Dollar rose from his seat to make a final pitch.
Sanford gunrunners sentenced in New York (Sanford Herald) — Eight Sanford residents charged with illegally transporting more than 100 guns to New York City in 2013 all have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in New York State Supreme Court, according to the Sanford Police Department.
U.S. Rep. Jones, at odds with some in GOP, likely to draw primary fight (Raleigh News & Observer) — U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, a Republican critic of long-term U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, faces another Republican primary fight next year where the fight against terrorism could be a top issue.
Cokie Roberts, mother of State Budget Director Lee Roberts, talks women in politics at WHQR fundraiser (Wilmington Star-News) — What Washington needs are more women and more families, the ABC and NPR news analyst said.
Clinton to press for early voting expansion in states (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for an expansion of early voting and pushing back against Republican-led efforts to restrict voting access, laying down a marker on voting rights at the start of her presidential campaign.
Manufacturer to add 115 new jobs at N.C. plant (Triangle Business Journal) — The production plant has also been awarded a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
$15M cold storage facility being built at Wilmington (AP) — A new $15 million cold storage facility is being built at the Port of Wilmington, a project expected to create 100 jobs.
July to bring fresh elections board for New Hanover (Wilmington Star-News) — All three members of the New Hanover County Board of Elections have decided not to seek reappointment
NC Appeals Court takes up Asheville water lawsuit (Carolina Public Press) — Court arguments over the fate of the Asheville water system appeared to be at their coolest and calmest in years, as both sides made their case over The Water Act, as the bill is known. The law — and the lawsuit that followed — is the latest episode in an almost century-long battle over control and direction of the water system.
Ellmers’ FCC legislation advances as AT&T negotiates ‘net neutrality’ to win DirecTV deal (WRAL-TV) — AT&T is negotiating with the FCC in hopes of winning approval for its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, offering to accept some "net neutrality" rules which it initially opposed. So says The Washington Post. But AT&T already has disclosed a willingness to compromise in seeking legal relief. Meanwhile, N.C. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers keeps pushing legislation to force more openness at the FCC.
Asheville City Council candidate arrested (AP) — Police say a man who has announced his candidacy for Asheville City Council has been charged with violating a domestic violence protective order.
Heath Shuler Selling Waynesville Home (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Former 11th District U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler is selling his home here at auction and moving to Biltmore Forest. Shuler began work as Duke Energy’s senior vice president of federal affairs in Washington in 2013.
NAKED JUSTICE: Man Strips Off Clothes While Fleeing Courthouse (TWCN-TV) — A man who learned that his bond would be revoked ran from the Cumberland County Courthouse on Wednesday, stripping off his clothes. Deputies are still searching for Jacquail Amear Clemmons.
State Bar holds disciplinary hearing for former Durham DA (WRAL-TV) — A disciplinary panel of the North Carolina State Bar on Thursday will weigh whether a former Durham County district attorney violated rules of professional conduct for attorneys.
Ex-DENR spokesman running political news startup (Raleigh News & Observer) — The former chief spokesman for NC’s environmental regulatory agency is now working for a political news website start-up.
Blue Cross rate hike request should get close state scrutiny (Raleigh News & Observer) — Amid strong enrollment under the ACA in NC, Blue Cross and Blue Shield seek to increase premiums. The state insurance commissioner should see if it reflects real need or just a high opening proposal.
To help NC businesses, end the misclassification fraud (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Doug Burton: “Business friendly” does not mean allowing businesses to cheat their competitors, hurt their employees and shift millions of dollars in costs to North Carolina’s taxpayers. It is not the time to pass a misclassification bill just to allow the government to check it off a list of accomplishments. Close the loopholes.
Bill Daughtridge: Connect NC bonds would invest in state’s future (Rocky Mount Telegram column) — We have the opportunity with Connect NC to invest in North Carolina’s universities in the same way a prospective homeowner buys a house and invests in their future.
Eastpointe’s disturbing state audit (Wilson Times) — Tucked away in the eastern center of Duplin County lies the town of Beulaville. It’s a small community of fewer than 1,500 residents. But lots of money flows through the town every day.
State must beef up teacher incentives (Rocky Mount Telegram) — We used this space Wednesday to commend Edgecombe County’s efforts to retain good teachers – a vital resource for any community.
Human trafficking is our unnoticed problem (Fayetteville Observer) — The most disturbing part of Fayetteville’s problem with human trafficking came at the beginning of a Page 1 story Sunday.