NCDP Clips for Tuesday, September 22nd
UNC, community colleges to get most from $2B bond proposal (AP) — Senate Republicans offered Monday a scaled-down version of a bond package lobbied on for several months by Gov. Pat McCrory but would borrow less than the governor wanted and leave out proceeds he wanted for road projects.
Bond favors campus projects (Raleigh News & Observer) — The N.C. Senate wants to put a $2 billion infrastructure bond package before voters in November 2016 – cutting transportation projects and delaying the referendum date from Gov. Pat McCrory’s original proposal. The referendum would be the biggest borrowing question put to voters in more than a decade.
NC Senate floats bond plan including WCU building (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Senate Republicans have offered a scaled-down $2 billion version of a bond package sought for several months by Gov. Pat McCrory, but it would not be submitted to voters until November 2016. In Western N.C., the Senate proposal calls for spending $102.9 million for a new natural science building at Western Carolina University, $70.8 million on a health sciences building at Appalachian State University and $48.8 million for new construction, repairs and renovations at eight community colleges. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College would get $6.3 million of that.
STUCK IN THE MUD: Senate bond bill wouldn’t fund roads (WRAL-TV) — The latest version of the "Connect NC" bond bill, unveiled Monday afternoon in Senate Finance, would fund building projects, but no roads.
Framework for changing Medicaid patient billing close to law (AP) — Legislation designed to change how North Carolina government bills Medicaid patient treatment is close to becoming law.
Legislative Recap: Charter School Money, $2 Billion In Bonds, Recruiting Jobs (WUNC-FM) — North Carolina senators acted Monday on two plans that could have a wide impact on charter schools and the state’s business recruitment efforts, and debated a plan to issue $2 billion dollars in bonds to renovate and put up new buildings. A recap: $2B Bond Package Focuses On Colleges And Universities, Leaves Out McCrory’s Highway Plan State Senators unveiled a plan to borrow $2 billion in bonds for building construction and renovation.
Budget supports ‘Western Governors University’ (WRAL-TV) — It’s not a campus, no matter what the state budget says. North Carolina’s recently enacted $21.7 billion spending plan sets aside a $2 million challenge grant for Western Governors University to "to establish a North Carolina campus." That money will be turned over if the institution raises $5 million, but don’t think ivy-covered brick buildings, a quad and a dining hall. Founded in 1997, Western Governors University is the brainchild of a bipartisan group of chief executives. At one time considered controversial, the university’s competency-based education has grown more widely accepted. Students don’t take a course based on a calendar cycle. Rather, they study the material until they know it well enough to take a final exam. That allows students with some experience to test out of lower-level subjects and tackle more challenging work more quickly.
Charter school funding bill clears state Senate panel (AP) — A House bill previously addressing the public’s use of school playground equipment has been gutted in the Senate and replaced with changes to how school district funds are distributed to North Carolina charter schools.
Charter school funding change re-emerges (WRAL-TV) — As the 2015 session winds down, Senate leaders are trying again to pass a bill forcing local school districts to share more of their funding with charter schools.
NC Senate looks to shift public school money to charters (Raleigh News & Observer) — N.C. Senate legislation introduced Monday would divert some funding for traditional public schools to charter schools.
Final North Carolina incentives deal gets initial Senate OK (AP) — The political tussle over business recruitment incentives at the General Assembly has quieted in at least one chamber now that legislative leaders have come up with a negotiated measure as this year’s session nears adjournment.
Senate backs funding for jobs incentives (Raleigh News & Observer) — More than a year after Gov. Pat McCrory first asked legislators to give him more incentive money to lure major employers to North Carolina, the state Senate unanimously approved additional funding Monday night. The “N.C. Competes” legislation represents a long-awaited compromise between House and Senate leaders. With a final Senate vote and a House vote set for Tuesday, the bill could be on McCrory’s desk by the end of the week.
Senate gives initial nod to economic development bill (WRAL-TV) — The state Senate voted 44-0 Monday to give tentative approval to a bill that will bolster the state’s job-recruiting efforts.
Medicaid Overhaul Bill Slated for Vote (N.C. Health News) — Lawmakers are scheduled to debate the state’s Medicaid reform bill Tuesday. But finalizing the legislative compromise is only the first step in a long process.
Husband of state senator facing attempted-rape charge (AP) — Authorities say a probation officer who is married to a North Carolina state senator has been charged with the attempted rape of one of his probationers.
Republican legislators defend the budget’s light-rail killer (Raleigh News & Observer) — State Rep. Paul Stam was pleased to discover a provision that House and Senate negotiators had inserted in the state budget – four lines that probably will kill prospects for light rail transit in Orange and Durham counties. “Light rail is sort of a dinosaur of the 20th century or the 19th century,” Stam, an Apex Republican who is the dean of Wake County’s legislative delegation, said last week. “If the cities want to do it, fine. But the state shouldn’t chip in on it.”
POLICY & POLITICS
Cooper finds receptive Democratic audience in Rowan — N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democratic candidate for governor, harkened back to the days of governors Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt and received a warm reception during a stop in Rowan County. Though he did not mention Gov. Pat McCrory by name, Cooper said when the governor talks about The Carolina Comeback, “I think he’s got the wrong Carolina.”
Stein launches campaign to succeed his ex-boss Cooper as AG (AP) — State Sen. Josh Stein, a former deputy to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, made appearances in some of the state’s larger cities on Monday as he officially launched his bid to succeed his old boss.
State Sen. Josh Stein makes formal announcement (Raleigh News & Observer) — State Sen. Josh Stein is stepping into the race for North Carolina Attorney General. The Raleigh Democrat spent Monday traveling around the state announcing his campaign for the statewide office in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh.
McCrory: NC budget balances tax cuts, school needs (Asheville Citizen-Times) — North Carolina’s 2015-16 budget is "a balance" between the need to lure industry to the state and the need to fund education, Gov. Pat McCrory said here Monday. He said after speaking to about 130 area business and education leaders at UNC Asheville that the budget is "an across the board policy of reasonable taxes and affordable taxes while at the same time making new investments in education."
A statue of Billy Graham will likely replace a white supremacist (Washington Post) — A statue of evangelist and pastor to presidents Billy Graham is expected to be installed inside the U.S. Capitol after his death. The statue would replace that of Charles Aycock, a former North Carolina governor who championed public education but was also a prominent white supremacist.
Ad lays shutdown over Planned Parenthood at Burr’s feet (Raleigh News & Observer) — The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reports it is kicking off a digital advertising campaign to draw attention to U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s past votes to defund Planned Parenthood.
Spring Lake mayor gets into US Senate race to challenge Burr (AP) — The mayor of a small North Carolina town near Fort Bragg announced Monday that he’s running next year for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Richard Burr, saying his nonprofit and military work exemplify his dedication to public service.
Lee County detention officer facing multiple sex charges (AP) — Police in Raleigh say a Lee County detention officer faces several charges after a female prisoner reported being sexually assaulted.
In the weeds: Fort Bragg forced to cut back on mowing grass (AP) — Fort Bragg officials say budget constraints have forced them to cut back on mowing thousands of acres of land, causing it to be overgrown.
Fayetteville police: More than 300 rape kits destroyed (AP) — Police in Fayetteville say an audit by the department showed that more than 300 rape kits from cold cases were destroyed to make more space in its evidence room.
North State Aviation to Expand to Eastern N.C. (WFMY-TV) — North State Aviation will expand with an aircraft maintenance center in Lenoir County. The company says the expansion will create 109 new jobs over the next two years. North State Aviation will also invest more than $900,000 into the project.
Homecoming for Soldiers Returning from 9 Month Deployment (TWCN-TV) — Three hundred eighty paratroopers from the Third Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division returned home Monday afternoon after a nine month deployment to Iraq.
Wilmington still sweet spot for film productions (Wilmington Star-News) — Interest in filming in Wilmington is still as strong as ever.
N.C., meet your fiscal future – in cash-strapped Alabama (Charlotte Observer) – More jobs, less government, no new taxes is the Alabama governor’s slogan. But years of low taxes haven’t given birth to new jobs and new income.
National teacher shortage could draw away NC’s finest (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina’s public school teachers – long taken for granted and struggling to make ends meet – have other options. Even those with long ties to the state have arrived at the point where they realize they have to worry about their futures and their financial security.
Speed up the trains (Greensboro News & Record) — High-speed passenger rail service isn’t much good if the train takes the long route. So it’s encouraging that North Carolina, Virginia and the Federal Railroad Administration are moving toward shortening the rail distance between Raleigh and Richmond.
Conservation funding: This bipartisan effort should succeed (Winston-Salem Journal) — There’s not much to cheer about in gridlocked Washington these days. But U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of Winston-Salem is helping lead a widespread bipartisan conservation effort that must succeed before month’s end.
Library can serve the homeless, too (Wilmington Star-News) — Homelessness is a complex social issue — from its root causes, how to help the people who are experiencing it, and how to end it. The New Hanover County Library finds itself wrestling with that complexity
March primary means campaigning will start this year (Fayetteville Observer) — The 2016 political starting gun is going to fire sooner than ever – most likely well before 2015 has ended.