NCDP Clips for Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Tweet of The Day

LEGISLATURE 2015

NC House budget moving along after earlier close call (AP) — North Carolina House leaders had a better time Tuesday moving along their proposed two-year state government budget, a day after some fellow Republicans nearly sent it back to budget-writers with complaints about tax credits and incentives.

House Medicaid budget provision draws fire (WRAL-TV) — The proposed House budget would give Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos sweeping authority to run North Carolina’s Medicaid program, allowing her to push forward with changes to the program’s details and overall structure with relatively little intervention from the General Assembly. "This is audacious," Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, said of the provision during the House Appropriations Committee’s vetting of the budget Tuesday morning.

DMV fee hike not quite ‘inflationary’(WRAL-TV) — House budget writers argue proposed DMV fee hikes are "just above" the inflation rate since they were last increased in 2005. That’s not accurate.

Animal advocates, labor ask governor for veto (Raleigh News & Observer) — The battle over House Bill 405, the employee “trespass” bill the Senate approved Monday, turned to the governor’s office on Tuesday. Animal welfare and labor groups opposed to the bill began a campaign to convince Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the bill. Once it hits his desk he has 10 days to sign or veto it or let it become law without his signature.

POLICY & POLITICS

Senate Intelligence chairman to constituents: I don’t care what you think (Personal Liberty) — The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act last week. The bill is an attempt by lawmakers to rein in the National Security Agency and fix the infamous “business records program,” which uses Section 215 of the Patriot Act to order telephone companies to hand over Americans’ daily calling records. When asked if the Senate would take up the bill, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said, “The program as designed is effective, and members are reluctant to change things that are effective just because of public opinion.”

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Duke Energy outlines $1.1 billion, 800-job plan to end coal era in Asheville (Charlotte Observer) — Duke Energy outlined plans Tuesday to “end the coal era” in Asheville, a step it says will save energy and money for its Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina customers. The plan’s major projects include retiring its 376-megawatt Asheville coal power plant, spending about $750 million to build a 650-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant and installing solar generation at the site.

EDITORIALS

NC Senate should give ground on House budget proposal (Raleigh News & Observer) — The state House budget is a long way from enlightened and certainly isn’t helpful to the middle class, a characteristic of budgets drawn by the Republicans now in charge. But it’s straight from the pen of Franklin D. Roosevelt compared with some of the budget attitudes being floated in the state Senate.