NCDP Clips for Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Tweet of The Day

LEGISLATURE 2015

Barber: Without change, more NC legislative protests ahead (AP) — More nonviolent confrontations between people opposed to Republican policies and state government police are likely ahead at the North Carolina legislature unless Republican lawmakers reverse their agenda, a civil rights leader warned Tuesday.

Protest: Tax reform a ‘sucker punch’ (Greenville Daily Reflector) — State income tax rate cuts amount to nothing more than “Trojan Horse tax hikes,” according to a progressive state political action group and some angry local area taxpayers who were in Greenville on Tuesday.

NC bill repeals personal education plans in public schools (AP) — A requirement that North Carolina public school teachers fill out forms explaining how to help students at-risk of academic failure could be on its way out.

NC House Republicans seek to make more elections partisan (AP) — Races for local school boards and North Carolina appellate court judgeships would move from nonpartisan to partisan in legislation backed by Republicans on a legislative committee.

Party politics could enter judicial, school board races (WRAL-TV) — A Republican-majority House committee on Tuesday pushed through two bills that would force candidates for the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and every school board statewide to campaign for office under a party label.

NC constitutional change required for ‘team tickets’(AP) — Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor would run together in fall elections should voters agree to the change in a bill that’s cleared one legislative committee.

NC House OKs changes to homebuilding regulations (Raleigh News & Observer) — Homebuilders garnered support from the N.C. House Tuesday for sweeping changes to the state’s building code. The bill has prompted outcry from home inspectors who worry it would make new homes less safe.

NC Senate debates Iran divestment bill (WRAL-TV) — The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill banning the state from investing in or contracting with companies that do business with Iran’s energy sector. Skeptics say the bill is nothing more than a political dig at the Obama administration. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a supporter of the bill, made an unusual committee appearance to speak in its favor.

Charlotte mayor: MetLife an example of incentives’ success (Charlotte Observer) — MetLife officials on Tuesday celebrated hiring more than 1,500 people since moving the company’s U.S. retail headquarters to Ballantyne, and Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter said the company’s success shows the importance of incentives grants.

Mental Health Advocates Share Their Stories of with Lawmakers (N.C. Health News) — Mental health advocates shared their stories with legislators to persuade them to protect funding for mental health, expand access to care.

MILITARY FRIENDLY? Bill helps high-interest rate lenders avoid lending to lower-ranked soldiers (Fayetteville Observer) — A bill in the state Senate intends to make it easier for installment loan companies to avoid making loans to lower-ranked members.

Crowd-funding bill clears NC Senate committee (WRAL-TV) — A proposed law that would allow North Carolina companies to raise up to $2 million from dozens of small investors has cleared the Senate Judiciary I Committee.

NC bill addresses ‘revolving door’ with key state workers (AP) — Some senators agree certain North Carolina state employees shouldn’t go work for government contractors immediately after leaving their jobs.

Sandbags as Seawalls; Wetlands as Drylands (Coastal Review) — Bills working their way through the N.C. General Assembly would make it easier to armor the beach and would weaken buffer rules by taking the “wet” out of wetlands.

Raleigh Report: Possums, hard cider and Billy Graham (Carolina Public Press) — If you’re looking for a mix of legislation that fits neatly with common lore from WNC, then this is your week.

POLICIES & POLITICS

President Obama in NC to discuss working family issues (AP) — North Carolina is the latest stop on President Barack Obama’s tour to rally support for his economic proposals.

Obama to discuss women’s economic issues (Charlotte Observer) — Obama will address questions about the wage gap and his efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform similar work, as well as the Fair Pay Act, which would prohibit wage discrimination based on sex, race and national origin.

N.C. Students Join Workers: Raise Up for 15 (Public News Service) — As millions of North Carolina residents breathe a sigh of relief today at the end of tax season, workers, students and their advocates will take part in a "Raise Up for 15" rally, seeking a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Meeker for labor commissioner? (Raleigh News & Observer) — Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is considering running as a 2016 Democratic candidate for NC Labor Commissioner. Meeker said this week that he is strongly considering challenging Republican incumbent Cherie Berry next year. He said he’ll decide later this year. Meeker, a lawyer, served as mayor of Raleigh for a decade. He did not seek a sixth term in 2011.

Cowell seeking third term as NC treasurer (Raleigh News & Observer) — As one of North Carolina’s more successful Democratic politicians, state Treasurer Janet Cowellon Tuesday quashed speculation that she might seek higher office soon. For now, she’s running for a third term. Cowell took to social media to announce her decision. “I appreciate & am flattered by the questions regarding my political future,” she tweeted. “My commitment to NC’s future remains strong.”

Wage gap hurts most vulnerable in NC (Asheville Citizen-Times) — Unequal pay is hurting North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. According to data from the National Partnership for Women and Families, a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, women employed full-time in North Carolina are paid just 83 cents for every dollar men make, amounting to a yearly wage gap of nearly $7,230. The disparity widens for the state’s minority women. African-American females make just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men; Latinas are paid just 46 cents for every dollar.

McCrory testifies to Congress for 2nd time in a month (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is speaking to a second committee on Capitol Hill in a month, this time about opening up more of the offshore Atlantic Ocean to look for natural gas and oil deposits.

Documentary: State of Mine (WRAL-TV) — Jim Hunt was one of the most popular and influential politicians in North Carolina history. He served as lieutenant governor and an unprecedented four terms as governor. “State of Mine: The Jim Hunt Story” is a one-hour documentary examining Hunt’s life and legacy that will air April 22.