NCDP Clips for Thursday, September 3, 2015
GOP legislative leaders claim they’ll have no Labor Day break budget deadline looms (Raleigh News & Observer) — House and Senate budget negotiators claim they’ll be working – though not in the view of taxpayers — through Labor Day weekend to reach a final agreement by next week.
9 Better Ways To Spend $2.1 Million In NC (Women advance) — North Carolina is the only state without an approved budget who has a single political party in control of the House, Senate, and Governor’s office. Furthermore, this is one of the all-time latest budgets passed in 50 years. Lawmakers say it’s because they want to be fiscally careful, but if that were the case, would they be spending tens of thousands of dollars daily on what amounts to political theater? Here’s a few ideas on how to better spend $2.1 million:
Lawmakers ponder primary move to March (WRAL-TV) — A bill that would move North Carolina’s presidential primary from May to March was on hold Wednesday as lawmakers discuss whether to move all other primaries to March as well.
N.C. weighing single March 2016 primary for all races (AP) — North Carolina legislators are considering whether to move all primary elections next year to March, not just the presidential primaries, key House and Senate leaders said Wednesday.
Jetties arise as budget issue (WRAL-TV) — Budget negotiators say they want to set aside more money for dredging. But as part of that agreement, a controversial coastal jetty law has popped up as a budget issue.
Beach erosion walls back in play (Raleigh News & Observer) — The phrase “terminal groins” returns to the legislative vocabulary this week.
Erosion-control structures could expand in N.C. (AP) — Some legislators are once again trying to expand the number of certain erosion-controlling structures allowed by law along the N.C. coast. This time, they’re trying to do it through the state budget.
GPS "cyberstalking" crime approved by N.C. House (AP) — Legislation making it a crime in most cases for someone to use GPS devices to track others against their will has cleared the N. C. House.
GPS stalking bill still causing debate among NC lawmakers (Raleigh News & Observer) — The House added an exemption for private investigators
House votes to criminalize most GPS tracking (WRAL-TV) — The North Carolina House voted Wednesday to ban the use of GPS tracking devices by individuals in most cases unless a crime is involved.
Senate Efforts Would Further Derail Jordan Lake Cleanup (WUNC-FM) — Two proposals in the State Legislature would have a significant impact on the so-called Jordan Lake Rules. The rules were passed in 2009 and were designed to reduce polluted runoff into the lake, among other regulations. Jordan Lake has been on the federal list of impaired waterways since 2002.
POLICY & POLITICS
2 Men Awarded $750,000 for Wrongful Convictions in 1983 Murder (New York Times) — One year to the day after a North Carolina judge threw out their wrongful murder convictions, a state commission awarded $750,000 each as compensation to two half-brothers who spent three decades in prison, much of it on death row.
N.C. will give $750,000 each to 2 wrongly convicted men who spent 3 decades in prison (Washington Post) — They spent three decades behind bars for a crime they did not commit beforethey were declared innocent, released and pardoned. Now, the state of North Carolina has agreed to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Bittersweet reward for brothers wrongly imprisoned 30 years (AP) — Receiving $750,000 apiece for wrongful imprisonment is a bittersweet reward for two North Carolina brothers who suffered an emotional and physical toll from their three decades of incarceration.
Wrongfully Convicted Men Receive Financial Compensation (WUNC-FM) — Two North Carolina men who were wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 30 years in prison are receiving financial compensation. Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown are each getting $750,000 from the state.
State approves payments to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown (Raleigh News & Observer) — Each will get $750,000 after serving more than 30 years in prison
Charlotte woman talks at Wake Forest U. about take down of Confederate flag (Winston-Salem Journal) — Bree Newsome had reached a breaking point on the day that she climbed a pole and brought down the Confederate flag that flew over the State Capitol in Columbia, S.C.
Quick anger, little action on Confederate plates in NC (WRAL-TV) — In email after email, released by the Governor’s Office as part of a public records request, hundreds of people criticized Gov. Pat McCrory’s stance on ending the license plate emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag. While hundreds of people wrote to support the governor’s move, they were vastly outnumbered by those who opposed it. That outcry may not matter much: State lawmakers and the governor have pointed at each other for the next step in taking the tag off the table, and months after the conversation began, there’s been no real change.
Hillsborough to remove Confederate signage from Orange County Historical Museum (Durham Herald-Sun) – -Confederate signage at the Orange County Historical Museum in Hillsborough will be taken down after a months-long debate between preserving heritage and promoting inclusiveness.
ACLU files records request on rally featuring McCrory (Charlotte Observer) — The ACLU of North Carolina filed a public records request about whether Gov. Pat McCrory’s office used tax dollars to publicize religion at an upcoming rally in Charlotte.
N.C. lotto exec: How we made (and paid for) tickets that smell like barbecue (Triangle Business Journal) — It took creativity, latex and "scented ink" to make lottery tickets smell like barbecue. Via exclusive Q&A, an exec from the N.C. Education Lottery explains how it’s done.
Ex-U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services joins RTP company board (Traingle Business Journal) — Research Triangle Park biotech Humacyte Inc. added heft to its board of directors by appointing former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and life sciences industry veteran Dale Sander.
Rabbi joins Journey for Justice (Greenville Daily Reflector) — Rabbi Nicole Luna wants to continue the legacy of Jewish support of the civil rights movement, and she is going to let her feet do the talking.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
NC public schools: student gains slim, graduation rate up (AP) — More children are graduating from North Carolina public schools, but only about a third of the 1.6 million students are on track to soak in the knowledge they’ll need for the rest of their lives, data released Wednesday show.
State test scores static, student growth slips (Raleigh News & Observer) — Fewer schools met North Carolina’s overall targets for academic improvement in the most recent year, according to new test results (Database: 2014-15 NC school performance grades), even as the high school graduation rate jumped to what state officials called a historic high.
Test Scores In NC Show Little Improvement (WUNC-FM) — Almost thirty percent of public schools in North Carolina have received D and F grades, according to data the state released. Most of those D and F schools have high percentages of students who come from poverty. Last year’s scores showed a very similar trend. Democratic leader Larry Hall said he’s not surprised, and that the state needs to invest more in public education.
Second slate of A-F grades yield similar concerns (EdNC) — The state released its second round of school performance — A-F — grades Tuesday, and the results mirrored last year’s, including similar concerns about the impact of poverty on performance. Of traditional public schools, 72.2 percent received a C or better. But of that, only 6.1 percent received an A. Most — 43 percent — received a C, and 23.2 percent got an B. Of charter schools, 70.4 percent also received a C or better, but a dive into the numbers shows that more charter schools got As — a little more than 13 percent — than traditional public schools. The largest percentage for charter schools that received a C or better came in the B category, with 35.2 percent receiving one. A little under 22 percent got a C.
State report card represents mixed bag for local districts (Wilmington Star-News) — The 2014-15 READY Accountability Report released Wednesday held good and bad news for local schools.
McCrory Praises Teachers for High Graduation Rate (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory congratulated the state’s teachers for helping achieve one of the highest high school graduation rates
Gov. Figurehead? (Mount Airy News) — Could it be that even Gov. Pat McCrory realizes what the rest of the state has known for a long time — that the General Assembly has made him a largely irrelevant figurehead when it comes to governing North Carolina?
Lawmakers work, we pay (Greenville Daily Reflector) — A compromise offer this week between state senators and the N.C. House would restore funding for teacher assistants and driver’s education.
$1.5 million won’t buy back two men’s shattered lives (Fayetteville Observer) — Between them, brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown had quite a payday Wednesday, knocking down checks that total $1.5 million.
Saving driver’s ed, teachers’ aides (Charlotte Observer) — With state leaders bickering over the budget and schools desperate for a firm spending plan, House and Senate leaders are reportedly close to a breakthrough on two education-related sticking points.
Not caring for NC teachers same as having no concern for students (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Amy Goss: It has been proven that happy workers are loyal, productive workers. Why, then, do our superintendents, administrators, lawmakers and politicians scratch their heads in befuddlement when they can’t retain good teachers or when we leave our fair state or the field of education?
Redistricting suit reminds us of a better way (Fayetteville Observer) — It’s been more than four years and two state elections since the latest North Carolina voting districts were created.
Slogans, arguing aren’t the answer (Wilson Times) — First came the organization and movement called Black Lives Matters. And yes, most all people can agree that black lives do matter. But that doesn’t mean everyone buys into the movement
NC Lottery offers whiff of a chance (Raleigh News & Observer) — NC Lottery players will have the choice of tickets that smell like barbecue. Yes, it’s come to that.
Medicaid change endangers doctor training in NC (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Herb Garrison: A proposed change to Medicaid rates paid to North Carolina hospitals would eliminate Graduate Medical Education payments to our state’s teaching hospitals, risking severe damage to the model used to produce fully trained physicians who stay in North Carolina.