NCDP Clips for Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Tweet of The Day
High court mulls spat between McCrory, lawmakers (WRAL-TV) — A battle between two branches of North Carolina government over who appoints members to various state commissions is now in the hands of the third branch for a final determination.
Senate, McCrory OK state government funds until budget done (AP) — A stop-gap spending measure to keep North Carolina state government operating for the next six weeks won final approval and was signed into law Tuesday, one day before the start of the new budget year.
Proposed budget cut angers TAs, parents (WRAL-TV) — Even though they’re on summer break, dozens of teaching assistants spent Tuesday on a field trip, lobbying state lawmakers not to cut their jobs.
General Assembly funds teacher assistants – for now (Greensboro News & Record) — The temporary funding state lawmakers approved today for teacher assistants is "certainly better than nothing," said Logan Smith, a spokesman for the nonprofit advocacy group Aim Higher NC. "But I think the fact that they’re having to struggle to even maintain the status quo temporarily is just a very sad commentary on the direction our education system is going under the General Assembly," he said.
Medicaid expansion, gay rights on minds of NC demonstrators (AP) — Demonstrators heading again to the North Carolina Legislative Building want to talk about issues in the national news — namely health care and gay rights.
New fiscal year brings vacation (WRAL-TV) – State agencies are still basically operating under the 2014-15 budget until House and Senate leaders can compromise on a new spending plan. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a 45-day continuing resolution into law on Tuesday. It gives lawmakers until Aug. 14 to pass a new budget. So, what are they doing with the small operating window? They’re taking next week off as soon as they can tie up some loose ends Wednesday and Thursday.
Finish Line in Sight for Autism Insurance Bill (N.C. Health News) — After years of frustration, autism advocates are poised to get an insurance bill through the General Assembly.
McCrory urges lawmakers to act on bond plan, legislators aren’t so sure (Raleigh News & Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory was joined by hundreds of county and city officials Tuesday as he pressed his case for a $2.85 billion bond proposal to fund road and infrastructure projects, but the General Assembly is not completely on board with the governor’s plan.
A Return to Failed Rules? (Coastal Review) — Coastal stormwater rules would be rolled back to the failed standards of almost a decade ago under a sweeping reconstituted regulatory bill that is moving quickly through the state Senate and has even business-friendly regulators alarmed.
Legislators consider toughening bill on companies that cheat on labor, tax issues(Raleigh News & Observer) — A bill aimed at creating a special team of investigators to go after companies that illegally treat workers as independent contractors will be examined by legislators who think the potential law should be tougher on companies that cheat. The effort has enjoyed support from Republicans and Democrats, labor groups and business leaders.
POLICY & POLITICS
Same-sex marriage fight turns to clerks who refuse licenses (AP) — Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis shut her blinds at work Tuesday to block the view of rainbow-clad protesters outside. They carried flowers and flags and signs saying "you don’t own marriage." They chanted "do your job."
States move to counter gay marriage ruling (The Hill) — More than a dozen states that saw gay marriage bans struck down last week by the U.S. Supreme Court are vowing to protect religious liberty, even though they grudgingly accept that the ruling is now the law of the land.
Court decisions provided nationwide unity for states split by ideology (Washington Post) — But cases the justices hear next term could cause great division.
Top Races to Watch in 2016: The South (Roll Call) – N.C. SENATE: GOP Sen. Richard Burr isn’t a top-tier takeover opportunity for Democrats, but his seat is at or near the tipping point of whether Democrats regain a majority in the Senate. Former Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who lost re-election in 2014, announced she won’t be running in 2016. Her decision was portrayed as a blow to Democratic chances, but Hagan would have started this race with high residual negatives from the last campaign. Democrats are still searching for a nominee, but Burr isn’t safe yet. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rate the race as Lean Republican.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
Duke creates task force to investigate sexual assault in Greek life (WRAL-TV) — The Interfraternity Council at Duke University has created a student-led task force that will investigate the role Greek life plays in sexual assault on campus.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Red wolf reintroductions halted while changes considered (AP) — Federal officials said Tuesday that they won’t release any more endangered red wolves in eastern North Carolina while they study the viability of the only wild population of the species.
Duke Energy’s NC president, PaulNewton, to retire (Charlotte Observer) — Duke Energy said Tuesday that its North Carolina president, Paul Newton, will retire from the company in August. He has served in capacities including general counsel and senior vice president of strategy, rates, wholesale customers, commodities and analytics. He was named state president for North Carolina, where Duke Energy serves 3.2 million customers, in 2013.
No more silence about racism: Demanding change after Charleston (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Rabbi Lucy Dinner: If we truly love the America that we ask God to bless, then we must seize this moment after the Charleston shootings to speak up and to speak out and transform the racism and violence of our nation.
Quit trying to kill ACA, start trying to fix it (Asheville Citizen-Times) — The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. It’s time for critics to stop trying to repeal it and start trying to improve it.
Good for warnings, child-resistant packaging on e-cigarettes (Winston-Salem Journal) — State House and Senate members found an easy but uncommon point of agreement last week on a matter of child safety. So much agreement in Raleigh would raise eyebrows if this weren’t such an easy call.