NCDP Clips for Tuesday, June 16th, 2015


NCDP Clips for Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

NC Senate spends less than House, proposes big changes (AP) — The Senate’s version of the North Carolina budget announced Monday spends less on operating government than the House proposal does, and proposes more significant policy changes to health care, taxes and education.

NC Senate proposes trimmed-down, $21.47 billion budget (Raleigh News & Observer) — Leaders in the state Senate on Monday unveiled a tighter budget plan than the House passed last month – outlining plans for a 2 percent spending increase that totals $21.47 billion and sets up what could be a spirited, and protracted, debate about the state’s spending. By contrast, the $22.2 billion House budget would increase spending by about 5 percent. It also featured industry-specific tax credits and state employee raises that the Senate isn’t including in its plan, which will be the subject of discussion and expected votes this week.

Senate budget leaves out tax credits (Winston-Salem Journal) — The Senate budget recommendations for economic development mirror the overhaul unveiled last week. The budget, introduced Monday, highlights limited additional spending for the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, along with creating an avenue for recruiting megadeals and the cutting of corporate and individual tax rates.

NC Senate ed budget guts teacher assistants, rewards less experienced teachers(Policy Watch) — Senate proposes cutting 13,800+ teacher assistant jobs over two years Senate leaders unveiled portions of a 2015-17 budget proposal Monday that gives teachers an average four percent pay raise and lowers class sizes in the early grades— but much like last year’s initial Senate proposal, the budget would also substantially gut funding for teacher assistants by eliminating more than 13,800 TA jobs over the biennium. The Senate plan also spends considerably less than the House proposal on teacher pay raises with the bulk of the new funding targeted toward early career teachers. The highest percentage salary increase would go to a teacher with four years of experience, while veteran teachers with 25 years’ experience and on would see no raises at all as their base salaries would be capped at $50,000.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case on Pre-Abortion Ultrasounds (New York Times) — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from North Carolina officials seeking to revive a state law that had required doctors to perform ultrasounds, display the resulting sonograms and describe the fetuses to women seeking abortions. The Supreme Court’s one-sentence order, as is the custom, gave no reasons. Justice Antonin Scalia noted a dissent, also without saying why.

POLICY & POLITICS

Story of a Hate Crime: Why were 3 Muslim students murdered in Chapel Hill? (The New Yorker) — Most of the young residents of Finley Forest were on an upward arc in life. Craig Hicks was not. In the mid-aughts, he had been laid off from a job as an auto-parts salesman. After working for a few years at the deli counter of a Harris Teeter, he was taking classes at Durham Tech Community College, in the hope of becoming a paralegal. Karen was his third wife. He was no longer in contact with a twenty-year-old daughter from his first marriage. He’d recently received a summons to appear in court and pay fourteen thousand dollars in child support for his other daughter, who was ten.

Bonner Bridge replacement assured in Outer Banks environmental settlement(Raleigh News & Observer) — Lawyers for two conservation groups have agreed to drop their lawsuit and let the state Department of Transportation build a long-delayed 2.8-mile bridge to carry N.C. 12 across the Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks, parallel to the deteriorating Bonner Bridge. In exchange, DOT will consider and appears likely to build a bridge south of the inlet that would move flood-prone sections of N.C. 12 out of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, traveling over Pamlico Sound for 7 miles.

Death toll from cigarettes much higher than previously estimated (Washington Post) — Smoking cigarettes may lead to a whole lot more than just lung cancer, according to a new study that linked the habit to cancers of the esophagus, colon, bladder and eight other regions of the body.

GENERAL NEWS

Charlotte woman’s training pays off in chaos of shark attack (Charlotte Observer) — In her 11 years with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Medic, Marie Hildreth has dealt with all kinds of trauma, but never a shark attack. But she did Sunday afternoon during a family vacation on Oak Island when 12-year-old Kiersten Yow of Asheboro was bitten in the surf only yards away.

After shark attacks, Oak Island beachgoers stay ashore (Raleigh News & Observer) — Worries over shark attacks have vacationers being cautious on Oak Island. Law enforcement spent day on patrol of coastal waters.

EDITORIALS

Women’s Bodies Safe from North Carolina Lawmakers, For Now (New York Times column) — There is no shortage of absurdly creative (or creatively absurd?) attempts by lawmakers around the country to prevent women from controlling what happens inside their own bodies. Depending on where they live, those seeking to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion must endure, among other things, waiting periods of up to 3 days, medically inaccurate lectures, or trips of hundreds of miles to reach the closest operating clinic that hasn’t been shut down on false pretenses. But for the purest expression of paternalistic condescension, wrapped in a bow of bodily invasion and delivered via an unequivocal violation of the First Amendment, it is hard to match the transvaginal ultrasound laws that have proliferated in recent years. North Carolina’s version — which finally died Monday morning when the Supreme Court declined to consider the federal appeals court ruling that struck it down — forced doctors to subject a woman seeking an abortion to an ultrasound exam (generally via a wand inserted into her vagina), position the sonogram so she is able to see it and, even if she “averts her eyes” and “refuses to hear,” describe to her what it is depicting.

Freedom comes at a price for prisoners (Rocky Mount Telegram) — After 30 years in prison, it’s hard to call the exonerations of two half-brothers for crimes they didn’t commit “a happy ending.”Henry McCollum was 19 when he was wrongfully convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in Robeson County.