NCDP Clips for Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Tweet of The Day
McCrory, Pope meet in secret with GOP lawmakers, discuss $3 billion bonds (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory has visited North Carolina lawmakers to again pitch bond referenda to Republicans in charge of the General Assembly. McCrory went to a joint House-Senate GOP caucus meeting Wednesday morning. Accompanying him was a previous top lieutenant in his administration — former State Budget Director Art Pope. The meeting was not open to the public.
NC legislators take up weighty issues before weekend (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are facing big issues before leaving Raleigh for the weekend.
Abortion bill transformed into vehicle for 2016 campaign attack ads (Raleigh News & Observer) — Republicans in the state Senate have added provisions to an abortion bill that are drawing strong criticism from a key Democrat in the Senate. The bill has already passed the House and would extend the waiting period for abortions from 24 hours to 72 hours. The purpose is to give women more time to consider the decision in the hope it will lead to fewer abortions.
NC House votes 65-45 to exempt magistrates from marriage duties (Raleigh News & Observer) — The N.C. House voted 65-45 Wednesday to allow magistrates to opt out of performing weddings – legislation that stems from the legalization of same-sex marriages in North Carolina last year.
House weighs new test for newborns (WRAL-TV) — State House lawmakers are moving ahead with a proposal to add a test for a life-threatening genetic disorder to the screening panel for newborns in North Carolina.
‘Moral Monday’ supporters to hold rally near Legislature (AP) — Speakers addressed Medicaid expansion and environmental justice issues during a rally opposing policies originating from Republicans in charge of North Carolina government.
Protests mount on NC workplace bill (Raleigh News & Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday said he has just begun to consider whether to sign a controversial bill now on his desk that has attracted opposition from state and national animal welfare advocates. He has until the end of this week to decide whether to sign it into law, veto it or let it become law without his signature.
New election option for NC justices passes Senate panel (AP) — The idea of giving some North Carolina appellate court judges the option to run for re-election without facing a challenger is gaining traction at the legislature.
Appeals court keeps school redistricting challenge alive (AP) — A ruling by a federal appeals court has kept alive the challenge to Wake County school board election maps drawn in 2013 by the Republican-led state legislature.
Senate panel OKs Sunday afternoon firearm hunting (AP) — A Senate panel has agreed to eliminate North Carolina’s long-standing Sunday hunting ban with guns, with an exemption.
Bill changes crime for sex by NC school worker with student (AP) — More school employees having sex with students close to their own age could now have a felony on their records.
N.C. House committee favors tougher rules on e-cig liquids (Winston-Salem Journal) — Legislation mandating child-resistant packaging and warning labels on liquids used with electronic-cigarette vaporizers moved forward in the N.C. House on Wednesday.
Report shows NC’s rank in research (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina is sixth in the nation in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology research strength, according to a new national study. The impact of medical research here is ranked seventh in the nation.
POLICY & POLITICS
Loophole in N.C. law keeps details of $7 million in outside campaign spending hidden from voters (Facing South) — A loophole in N.C. law allows some outside political groups — those not affiliated with a candidate that spend millions to sway voters — to keep details secret until weeks after an election. Current disclosure rules allow these "registered" political committees to report expenditures only on a quarterly schedule during election years so information about who paid for TV and radio ads and mass mailers in the days leading up to November’s voting wasn’t disclosed until January—two months later.
N.C. unemployment rate up to 5.5 percent in April (WRAL-TV) — A continuing stream of sidelined workers who have resumed looking for jobs caused North Carolina’s unemployment rate to tick up to 5.5 percent in April.
Council of State members oppose McCrory’s appointments lawsuit (Raleigh News & Observer) — Four top elected state officials, Republican Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Labor commissioner Cheri Berry along with Democrats Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and State Auditor Beth Wood, sided against Gov. Pat McCrory in his separation of powers lawsuit against the legislature over who can make appointments to boards and commissions. They contend that a three-judge panel’s ruling in the governor’s favor in March misinterprets established precedent. They say it represents a “significant shift” from the state’s 140-year-old model of a decentralized executive branch, and gives the governor too much power.
Group puts out 2015 ‘Most Threatened Historic Places’ list (Wilmington Star-News) — Overgrown cemeteries, rural churches and old Wilmington houses are among the structures on the list.
Elizabeth City to be named as an official Coast Guard city (AP) — A Coast Guard news release states Elizabeth City will be designated as an official Coast Guard City.
City to pay for legal representation in wrongful death claim (AP) — The city of Fayetteville will pay for legal representation in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the police department.
Tillis Tours UNC for AIDS Research (TWCN-TV) – -U.S. Senator Thom Tillis is getting an up close look at the fight against HIV and AIDS. He toured UNC’s Genetic Medicine Building on Wednesday. This month, UNC-Chapel Hill announced a public-private partnership with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
Ellmers believes 440th Airlift Wing will be saved (Fayetteville Observer) — Fighting to save Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing hasn’t always looked good, but Rep. Renee Ellmers is confident it will end in victory.
Why 2 good N.C. bills just joined 1 bad abortion bill (Charlotte Observer column) — ‘I’m sorry for what’s about to happen,’ one N.C. lawmaker told another.
Time to veto NC’s ‘Ag-gag bill’ (Raleigh News & Observer) — After “stepping on toes,” Gov. Pat McCrory’s favorite phrase may be “common sense.” He leans on it often to cast himself as an executive making decisions based on doing the logical and necessary thing rather than being guided by blind partisanship. Now the governor’s commitment to common sense is being put to the test.
Free to discriminate (Greensboro News & Record) — State law is clear. If public officials refuse to carry out any of their required duties, they should be removed from office. There’s no exception for religious objections. Not yet. But Republican representatives advanced a bill Wednesday that would allow some public employees to discriminate against same-sex couples who want to marry.
Burr looks hard to beat in 2016 (Greensboro News & Record column) — Richard Burr won re-election to his Senate seat in 2010 by historic proportions. His 54.8 percent vote was the biggest ever received by a Republican in a North Carolina Senate race. No wonder he thinks North Carolina is a red state. For him, it is!