NCDP Clips for Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

LEGISLATURE 2015

Economists predict $271M NC government shortfall this year (AP) — North Carolina’s tax collections this year are expected to come up $271 million short of what’s needed to cover the $21 billion state government budget, economists at the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration say.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/economists-predict-271m-nc-government-shortfall-year-2791437

Latest NC revenue forecast: $271 million short (Raleigh News & Observer) — The latest state revenue forecast anticipates collections to come in about $271 million below the $21 billion budgeted by the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory for the year.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/10/4545799_latest-nc-revenue-forecast-271.html

Proposed Tax ‘Cut’ Could Kill 500 Jobs And Actually Hike Taxes (WUNC-FM) — Lawmakers at the General Assembly have re-written a bill that would mean short-term savings on gas but could eventually lead to higher taxes and the elimination of 500 jobs. During a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, Republicans said this would cut the gas tax and stabilize an uncertain gas tax revenue stream situation. "And we need to stabilize the volatility of the gas tax," said bill sponsor Bill Rabon. "That guarantees us adequate funds to maintain our roads, improve our roads and meet our transportation needs."
http://wunc.org/post/proposed-tax-cut-could-eliminate-500-nc-jobs-and-actually-increase-taxes

NC House approves eminent domain amendment 1 more time (AP) — House Speaker Tim Moore says he’s unsure why a proposed constitutional amendment seeking restrictions on government seizure of private property has died in the Senate each time one has passed the House.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/nc-house-approves-eminent-domain-amendment-more-time/article_4af69ca0-aa35-53e7-9614-7a376e27cf60.html

Cities, towns fight NC legislation that would limit their authority (Raleigh News & Observer) — North Carolina cities are upset about a new push by state legislators to strip them of the power to regulate home designs and exert planning authority on their outskirts.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/10/4545806/cities-towns-fight-nc-legislation.html

NC legislature’s primary online name has trouble Tuesday (AP) — People looking to learn what’s happening at the North Carolina legislature online are having trouble because officials at the General Assembly forgot to renew its web domain name.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/nc-legislatures-primary-online-name-has-trouble-tuesday-2791097

Ukrainian orphan, reunited with Cary family, honored at legislature (Raleigh News & Observer) — A teen from Ukraine recently came to the United States to attend a local private school. On Tuesday, state lawmakers tried to make Nastya feel welcome by officially recognizing her on the floor of the legislature.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/10/4545812/ukrainian-orphan-reunited-with.html

POLICY & POLITICS

Cope resigns as SEANC executive director (Raleigh News & Observer) — SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope quit two days after news stories raised questions about his spending practices, and a day after Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman requested an inquiry by the State Bureau of Investigation.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/10/4545215/cope-resigns-as-seanc-executive.html

North Carolina has spent over $100,000 in marriage fight (Charlotte Observer) — Outside lawyers have billed the state of North Carolina more than $107,000 to appeal federal court rulings that have legalized gay marriage in the state, a cost the attorney general calls a waste and one that even some Republicans question.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/11/5506842/north-carolina-has-spent-over.html

McCrory holds mere 3 point lead over Cooper in new GOP-linked poll (Meeting Street Research) — Gov. Pat McCrory (R) leads Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) by a 47 percent to 44 percent margin, according to a new poll conducted by GOP strategist Rob Autry for the Carolina Partnership for Reform. Autry finds McCrory’s approval rating at 46 percent, compared with 40 percent who disapprove, which is actually better than McCrory’s numbers over the last few years. The group has ties to state Senate President Phil Berger (R).
http://cprnc.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/NC-Memo-Part-1-v2.pdf

US Labor Secretary tours NC plant to discuss apprenticeships (AP) — President Barack Obama’s labor secretary is visiting North Carolina to highlight apprenticeship programs that help workers build the skills they need for jobs in growing industries.
http://www.wral.com/us-labor-secretary-tours-nc-plant-to-discuss-apprenticeships/14439224/

Tillis’ plan could cost 1 million their health insurance (WLOS-TV) — As many as 1 million people could soon lose their health insurance under a new proposal that’s co-sponsored by North Carolina’s newly elected U.S. Senator, Thom Tillis.
http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/special-report-40-hours-full-time-legislation-19657.shtml#.VNszHubF9vk

Conference highlights intersection of mental health, law enforcement (WRAL-TV) — The state’s top public safety official told a crowd of hundreds of sheriff deputies, police officers and health workers Tuesday that law enforcement needs a better approach to dealing with the mentally ill.
http://www.wral.com/conference-highlights-intersection-of-mental-health-law-enforcement/14437272/

Guilty, Then Proven Innocent in North Carolina (Gov. Executive) — With eight successful exonerations so far, the state’s Innocence Inquiry Commission could be a national model for fighting wrongful convictions.
http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2015/02/north-carolina-innocence-inquiry/104949/

AGs seek to get synthetic drugs out of convenience stores (WRAL-TV) — Oil companies need to help stop synthetic drugs from being sold at gas stations and convenience stores, Attorney General Roy Cooper urged Tuesday.
http://www.wral.com/ags-seek-to-get-synthetic-drugs-out-of-convenience-stores/14437755/

UNC Hospitals accused of overbilling Medicare (AP) — University of North Carolina Hospitals have been accused of overbilling Medicare by about $2.5 million.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/unc-hospitals-accused-overbilling-medicare-2790959

Why robotics should impact NC job recruitment (WRAL-TV) — Talk is fast and furious that North Carolina is in the running for a major auto production plant. But a new study on the rise of robotics in manufacturing should be a part of the discussion. Is the plant worth the cost?
http://wraltechwire.com/why-robotics-should-impact-nc-job-recruitment-/14437374/

Board nominates Derek Bowens as elections director (Wilmington Star-News) — The state will ultimately approve or deny the nomination of Bowens
http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20150210/ARTICLES/150219989/1177?Title=Board-nominates-Derek-Bowens-as-elections-director

GENERAL NEWS

New report to show $14B jump in biotech impact on NC (WRAL-TV) — To those doubters who question the value of the biotechnology industry to North Carolina’s economy, a forthcoming report will show how misplaced such thinking is.
http://wraltechwire.com/biotech-/14436708/

Effort pushes for new monument recognizing WNC’s African Americans (Carolina Public Press) — A coalition of local groups are pushing for an “iconic” monument to be erected in Pack Square that recognizes the achievements, sacrifices and histories of Western North Carolina’s African Americans.
http://www.carolinapublicpress.org/21858/effort-pushes-for-new-monument-recognizing-wncs-african-americans/

NFL signs 5-year deal with Quintiles to study injuries, trends (WRAL-TV) — The National Football League has signed a new five-year contract with Quintiles, the world’s largest life sciences services company, to analyze player injuries and trends.
http://wraltechwire.com/nfl-signs-5-year-deal-with-quintiles-to-study-injuries-trends/14437004/

DEAN SMITH 1931-2015

Deford: ‘Gentleman and Coach’ Dean Smith Did What He Believed In (NPR) — Unlike most hot shot coaches, Dean Smith was not at all charismatic. He had a terrible, flat, nasal voice, and an ordinary appearance, not given to colorful language. But leaders are cut from many different bolts of cloth. Smith’s was a plaid, with the deepest shades of loyalty and decency, so his Tar Heels were always his men, long after they were his players. A lot of players stay in touch with their old coaches, but for the Tar Heels, it was different. I’d go so far as to say that it was a fellowship.
http://www.npr.org/2015/02/11/385243148/deford-gentleman-and-coach-dean-smith-did-what-he-believed-in

Dean Smith’s Topeka roots shaped views on race and hoops (Topeka Capital Journal) — A lot of the people who are mourning Deam Smith’s passing know a lot about the North Carolina coach and his legend, but not so much about who he was before he went out into the world and became coach Smith. That’s OK. He was one of us before he ever set eyes on Chapel Hill, N.C., and wherever he went and whatever he did, he made us proud.
http://m.cjonline.com/opinion/2015-02-10/editorial-dean-smiths-topeka-roots-shaped-views-race-hoops#gsc.tab=0