NCDP Clips for Tuesday, August 25
AUG. 31 DEADLINE? NEVERMIND! Lawmakers to miss budget deadline – again (WRAL-TV) — N.C. lawmakers say they’ll have to give themselves a third deadline extension to produce a spending plan after negotiations slowed over the past week.
Lawmakers may need even more time for N.C. budget (AP) — Republican leaders in the General Assembly are running out of time to complete a budget before another deadline to pass a spending plan that’s almost two months late.
N.C. Taxpaper Bill of Rights? Colorado Has Cautionary Tale (Public News Service) — Colorado may be almost 1,500 miles from North Carolina, but Tar Heel State lawmakers are looking into a constitutional amendment already in place there.
Judge to decide whether voter ID case can go forward (WRAL-TV) — Lawyers for the state says a lawsuit focused on voter ID should be dismissed. Plaintiffs say changes to the state’s voter ID law didn’t do away with potential problems for voters.
Future of voter ID lawsuit heard in N. C. state court (AP) — A lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voter identification requirement should be allowed to continue even after the legislature added exceptions this summer easing the mandate that goes into effect next year, lawyers fighting the law told a state judge Monday.
Triangle chambers of commerce praise House conferees (Triangle Business Journal) — Members of a group opposed to the N.C. Senate’s plan to change how sales tax revenues are distributed say they are encouraged by House Speaker Tim Moore’s picks to negotiate a compromise with Senate lawmakers.
Should NC restrict health care options? (Asheville Citizen-Times) — The debate pits free-market advocates and companies and physicians who would like to build facilities like outpatient surgery centers against hospital officials who say the law is crucial to protecting their ability to provide less profitable services, like emergency rooms and care for ill or premature babies.
Under-used state offices targeted (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Culling unused or inefficient state buildings is the goal of legislation a state committee began working on Monday. The effort will be based on a survey of state property prepared earlier this year by the Program Evaluation Division of the General Assembly calling for the disposal of 17 properties, along with a more recent assessment completed by a real estate appraisal firm.
Hartsell sets up legal defense fund with philanthropist’s help (WRAL-TV) — Sen. Fletcher Hartsell has formed a legal defense fund, financed by a longtime wealthy supporter, Fred Eshelman.
POLICY & POLITICS
Pittenger declines, again, to disclose House ethics letter (Charlotte Observer) — Rep. Robert Pittenger reiterated Monday that he won’t release a letter from the House Ethics Committee that he said approves of the sale of his longtime real estate company to his wife before taking a seat in Congress.
Pittenger: My former business acted with integrity (Charlotte Observer column) — From U.S. Rep Robert Pittenger, in response to “Investors question Pittenger markups”
Jeb Bush coming to NC this week (WRAL-TV) — Presidential candidate Jeb Bush appears headed to North Carolina this week.
Jeb Bush to hold fundraiser in Wilmington (Wilmington Star-News) — One of the leading contenders on the Republican side will soon be visiting the Port City.
Eyeing March, GOP Hopefuls Flood the South (Wall Street Journal) — Republican presidential candidates are descending on the South, after changes in the 2016 primary calendar put more importance on a set of states that vote March 1.
Dana Cope makes brief court appearance (Raleigh News & Observer) — Dana Cope’s lawyer said the former state employees association leader is “hanging in there” after being indicted on charges that he misappropriated $570,000 from the employees he led for 15 years.
Opposition Mounting To Backyard Chicken Registration (Public Radio Ease) — local frustration over the new NC Farm ID requirement concerning backyard chickens. Some residents are scoffing at the penalty free obligation, regarding it an invasion of privacy. But state agriculture officials are warning of an potentially devastating outbreak of avian influenza.
Presence of NC gov. accounts in Ashley Madison data prompts debate (Raleigh News & Observer) — A number of North Carolina government email addresses were used in setting up accounts with Ashley Madison, an online community that bills itself as a way to foster extramarital affairs, according to numerous reports. … “There’s no evidence that the accounts were set up on government time. It didn’t cost the state one red cent for those people to use their state email addresses to sign up to have an extramarital affair,” said political consultant Thomas Mills. “It proves that we hire some people who aren’t smart enough to get a gmail account when engaging in nefarious internet activities, but that’s about it.”
2 former NC prison officers indicted in kidnap probe (AP) — Two former North Carolina correctional officers have been indicted as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father.
At UNC, a session of Politics 101 (Charlotte Observer) — Newly public emails confirm what was already North Carolina’s worst-kept secret: The ouster of UNC system President Tom Ross was draped in politics.
Time Ellmers ended Obamacare bashing (Raleigh News & Observer) — Republicans have come up with sketchy plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, and they haven’t figured out how they’ll prevent the 16 million Americans now covered through the ACA from losing their insurance.
Considering Blounts Creek (Greenville Daily Reflector) — The Sound Rivers Foundation, formerly the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, is raising funds and support for stopping a plan by Martin Marietta to start an open pit marine limestone mining operation near the headwaters of the creek. As the effort to reverse the mining operation’s permit is heard next month, the foundation’s environmental concerns should be the top priority.
Nash weighs high-speed Internet option (Rocky Mount Telegram) — Like good roads, electricity and water and sewer lines, high-speed Internet has become a much sought after economic resource. The faster, the better.
NC community college system leader shouldn’t be too political (Raleigh News & Observer) – -It would be unfortunate if a leader were chosen because of ties to the state’s current political leadership. The top priority, in terms of the skills desired, has to be management experience in a large and complex organization and not necessarily an educational one.