NCDP Clips for Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


NCDP Clips for Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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LEGISLATURE 2015

Gun violence prevention group runs TV ad opposing NC bill (AP) — A gun violence prevention group is running a North Carolina television ad urging viewers to tell legislators to oppose a General Assembly measure it says could eliminate criminal background checks of some pistol buyers.

House Begins Finishing Touches on Spending Proposal (TWCN-TV) — This week will kick off the legislative battle over how state dollars should be put to use. However, there is a long road ahead to get to a final plan.

Senate agrees to add vehicles to NC ‘move over’ law (AP) — Some legislators want to add garbage trucks to the kinds of parked or standing vehicles that motorists must change lines or slow down for while approaching them under North Carolina’s "move over" law.

Why Phil Berger didn’t give out $20 bills last week (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Republican legislators were so giddy last week about news that state government will probably run a $400 million surplus for the current fiscal year you expected to see Senate leader Phil Berger or House Speaker Tim Moore handing out $20 bills to all and sundry in the Legislative Building. A closer look at the numbers — or, OK, a return to reality — might explain why that didn’t happen. Legislators wanting to give out an Andrew Jackson or even a Ben Franklin just for being alive that day see the reality that balancing the next budget will still come with challenges so they figured they better hold onto the money instead.

Deer farming, job recruiting on agenda (WRAL-TV) — Gov. Pat McCrory will talk to the N.C. Chamber the day after Volvo settled on South Carolina for a new manufacturing plant. At the General Assembly, senators consider a bill that would allow deer farming in North Carolina.

Republicans may weaken more NC environmental rules (Asheville Citizen-Times) — A 44-year-old requirement that North Carolina study potential environmental impacts before launching building projects and another mandate that utilities rely more on alternative energy sources stand to weaken if trends in the General Assembly continue.

POLICY & POLITICS
N.C. loses again. So what happened with Volvo, anyway? (Triad Business Journal) — It’s not the first time North Carolina has taken a backseat to its southern neighbor in the automaker pursuit.

S.C. trumps N.C. in bagging Volvo (Charlotte Observer) — When it comes to jobs, Gov. Pat McCrory has always been bullish on North Carolina’s chances against its southern neighbor – even taking to some mild trash-talking. “I told Nikki Haley, ‘We’re taking you down,’” he told a business conference in 2013. “She said, ‘Let the best woman win.’ I said, ‘Whatever it takes.’” But it’s Haley, the governor of South Carolina, who has bagged the biggest trophies.

McCrory administration blames GOP-led legislature for losing Volvo plant (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina lost its bid for a Volvo manufacturing plant in part because the Republican-led legislature hasn’t approved more jobs incentive funding, said GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s Commerce Secretary John Skvarla. Skvarla’s comments came mere hours after Volvo announced it will build a new $500 million plant near Charleston and employ up to 4,000 people — after offering about $150 million in state incentives.
Despite denials, paper trail shows DHHS aware of voting issue (WRAL-TV) – Starkly different, and seemingly conflicting versions, are emerging between the N.C. Board of Elections and the state Department of Health and Human Services on whether the health agency met it legal obligation to help clients register to vote. When a group of voting rights advocates notified DHHS recently that it may not be living up to requirements that social services agencies help their clients register to vote, a spokeswoman indicated the department was surprised: "Given the gravity of this issue, we wish these activist organizations had approached the Department sooner when they first had concerns about the registration process." That profession is in sharp contrast to evidence in e-mails where state Board of Elections officials indicated that they were not only aware of the problem but said they had been prodding DHHS for years to address the issue.

NAACP seeks answers, records in NC voter data reports (Raleigh News & Observer) — The NC chapter of the NAACP and other groups on Monday called on the governor to explain reports released last week contending that the number of voter registration applications from state public assistance agencies have dropped by more than half.

Only Christian prayers welcome at Lincoln County meetings (WBTV-TV) — A Lincoln County commissioner says non-Christian prayer is not welcome in government meetings that he is a part of and that he plans on keeping it that way. Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Chairman Carrol Mitchem told WBTV that any prayer from a “minority religion” would not be heard before county meetings if he has a say in the matter. “Changing rules on the way the United States was founded, Constitution was founded (I don’t like),” Mitchem told the paper. “I don’t need no Arab or Muslim or whoever telling me what to do or us here in the county what to do about praying. If they don’t like it, stay the hell away.” … “Other religions, or whatever, are in the minority. The U.S. was founded on Christianity,” Mitchem said. “I don’t believe we need to be bowing to the minorities. The U.S. and the Constitution were founded on Christianity. This is what the majority of people believe in, and it’s what I’m standing up for.”

Demonstrators ask McCrory to stop new NC abortion bill (AP) — Abortion-rights advocates returned to the Executive Mansion on Monday to urge North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to veto a bill, should it reach his desk, that would extend the waiting period for the procedure from 24 to 72 hours.

THE SPILL

No One Seems to Know Who, or What, Is Poisoning NC Water Supplies (VICE News) — What seems like a clear case of an energy company polluting people’s drinking wells in North Carolina is actually much more complicated, thanks to the state’s rock formations. Last week, North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sent another round of letters to residents living near the 32 ponds where Duke Energy, the largest electric power company in the country, dumps highly toxic waste known as coal ash produced at its 14 power plants. DENR found that 152 of the 163 private water wells it tested failed to meet state groundwater standards. That’s a 93 percent contamination rate.