NCDP Clips for Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

NCDP Clips for Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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FAITH, FEUD, GOP FRACTURE?

GOP Gov. McCrory, fellow, Repubs in legislature feud amid accusations of ‘class warfare’ (Charlotte Observer) — Escalating a battle with GOP lawmakers, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday called a proposal to redistribute more sales tax revenues to rural areas “class warfare” that would raise taxes on “millions” of North Carolinians. “I disagree with this type of class warfare,” McCrory told WFAE’s Charlotte Talks. McCrory compared the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” whose sponsors include two Charlotte lawmakers, to the effort to allow transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. Both are not needed, he said.

Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous (Washington Post column) — There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country. A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. … On behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement. From North Carolina to Nevada, these bills under consideration truly will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country where a 21st-century economy was once welcomed with open arms.

NC considers Indiana-like religious objection legislation (Charlotte Observer) — North Carolina legislation that’s similar to Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act could come up for debate in the state House as soon as this week. Identical bills were filed just last week in the House and Senate. And by Monday, there were signs that the firestorm that greeted Indiana’s recently enacted law could spread to North Carolina if the predominantly Republican legislature goes ahead with a similar measure.

LEGISLATURE 2015

Redrawing lines, raising the age (WRAL-TV) — The state House Elections Committee will hold a public hearing on the Wake County redistricting bill late in the day.

Historic preservation tax credits back on agenda of some (AP) — The House speaker and the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources will discuss a bill to partially restore the historic preservation tax credit.

NC Senate sales tax plan could cost cities, towns (Raleigh News & Observer) — When Sen. Harry Brown rolled out a plan this week to change how the state distributes sales tax revenues, he says he didn’t realize that it would cause about half of North Carolina’s cities and towns to lose money. He now plans changes.

Early-session spending bill gets final NC legislative OK (AP) — Legislation filed early this session to locate funds for an academic standards panel and to adjust other parts of North Carolina state government spending is finally heading to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

House, Senate give preliminary OK to NC gas tax deal (AP) — Gasoline taxes in North Carolina appear headed downward by a little bit very soon.

Gun bills filed; more coming (Raleigh News & Observer) — Four gun-rights bills have been filed in the NC Senate, including one creating a new class of “homeland security” permit-holders, who would receive badges and the right to carry concealed handguns anywhere law enforcement officers can.

New abortion rules sought in bill by NC Senate Republicans (Raleigh News & Observer) — A North Carolina Senate bill would impose new restrictions on abortions, including requiring clinics have written agreements with hospitals for emergencies. That provision has put clinics out of business in some states.

Helping Struggling Students: Lawmakers Say Some Plans Are Inefficient (WUNC-FM) — Some North Carolina lawmakers are trying to pass a bill they say will help ease the burdensome paperwork teachers face. They want to get rid of “personal education plans," documents teachers are required to fill out to help students who are at-risk of failing. Many teachers and advocates see them as inefficient, raising questions about how to adequately support struggling students.

In Raleigh, State Lawmakers Throw Wrench in City’s Central Park Plan. Again (Govt. Executive) — City leaders have an agreement to buy a giant piece of state land to create their own grand central park. But new legislation may pit municipal leaders against the highest bidder.

Tillman wants to give big corporate charters easier path in N.C. (Charlotte Observer) — Bill proposed by NC Sen. Jerry Tillman would give national charter school chains an easier time branching out in North Carolina.

POLICIES & POLITICS

Burr, Tillis: NAACP protest will not change vote on Lynch (WTVD-TV) — Despite protests outside the offices of North Carolina senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis Monday, Burr told ABC11 he has no plans to change his mind about President Obama’s choice to be the next United States Attorney General: Loretta Lynch.

NC justices hear McCrory vs. legislature fight in June (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court plans to hear arguments early this summer on whether the General Assembly can make appointments to three state environmental panels or if those decisions must rest with Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory has 3-point drop in approval rating (High Point University Poll) — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s job performance approval is at 44 percent with 36 percent who disapprove. Two month ago McCrory’s approval was at 47 percent. In late February, the HPU Poll questioned those who are, and are not, registered to vote.

McCrory appoints two to DOT board (Raleigh News & Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed two new members of the state Board of Transportation, lawyer Terry Hutchens of Fayetteville and gas station and convenience store magnate Patrick Molamphy of Albemarle.

Volvo to build U.S. plant, N.C. possible locale (Raleigh News & Observer) — Volvo Car Corp. announced Monday that it plans to invest $500 million to build a new plant in the United States, and multiple reports have said North Carolina is among several southeastern states in the running. Volvo’s announcement didn’t mention any specific locations, saying it has “drawn up a short list of potential locations and full details of the location of the new factory and the size of the investment will be announced at a later date.”

EDITORIALS

McCrory’s march to the middle begins (Charlotte Observer) — After being elected as a moderate and signing a raft of high-profile conservative legislation into law, we’ve all figured Gov. Pat McCrory would be making an aggressive tack back toward the middle come election season. Judging from his appearance this morning on WFAE-FM’s Charlotte Talks radio show, that march to the ideological center is well under way.

The court’s signal to N.C. (Charlotte Observer) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Alabama redistricting should hit home here.

Sales-tax plan would wrongly take money from cities (Winston-Salem Journal) — The plan proposed by state legislators that would change the way sales tax revenues are distributed could cost Winston-Salem and Forsyth County millions, the Journal’s Meghann Evans reported last week.

NC Senate bill cuts taxes, ignores lost revenue (Raleigh News & Observer) — It’s astonishing that state senators are talking about more tax cuts for business and the wealthy.

Self-inflicted pain (Greensboro News & Record) — State senators introduced their latest tax-cut extravaganza last week by promising “everybody’s going to benefit.”

A telling admission from NC Republican (Raleigh News & Observer column/Policy Watch) – Republican state Sen. Harry Brown says that there are now two North Carolinas, one rich and one poor, and that the General Assembly needs to do something to help the struggling counties and the people who live there. Two North Carolinas is a phrase straight from Democratic politicians like former Gov. Mike Easley and former Sen. John Edwards, who talked about two Americas in his presidential campaign.

Time to bring historic tax credits home (Wilson Times) — The restoration of popular and effective historic preservation tax credits just passed an important hurdle, but their ultimate fate is still up in the air.