NCDP Clips for Wednesday, September 23rd
The end-of-session dance has begun (WRAL-TV) — Lawmakers have moved quickly after passing the budget to push through bills dealing with Medicaid, economic development and bonds. They are now putting themselves in position to finish the final bills of the year sometime next week.
N.C. Senate to take up $2B bond proposal (AP) — There appears to be agreement among House and Senate leaders on what projects would be paid for if a $2 billion bond package is approved by voters. There also seems to be consensus on when that referendum will be held.
Park funding absent in Senate bond proposal (Stokes News) — Supporters of recent proposals for state funding for renovations of Vade Mecum and the creation of a new visitor center at Pilot Mountain State Park were in an uproar this week after the Senate released their version of a proposed bond package which focused funding on universities, sewer and water projects and community colleges instead of park and transportation funding. Previous bond proposals from both the House and Gov. Pat McCrory had included $2.8 million in funding for renovations at the Vade Mecum property, which was added to Hanging Rock State Park last year, and close to $6 million for a Pilot Mountain visitor’s center
Senate, House reach agreement on $2 billion bond bill (WRAL-TV) — Senate leaders rolled out a rewrite of their $2B bond proposal at a late committee meeting Tuesday, saying it’s been agreed to by House leaders. It’s undergone some major changes in the past 24 hours.
Lawmakers back economic incentives agreement (AP) — A package of expanded economic recruitment tools long sought by Gov. Pat McCrory neared final General Assembly approval Tuesday after votes affirming that the House and Senate majorities can live with targeted taxpayer-funded incentives.
House approves increase for fund to lure jobs, investment (WRAL-TV) — The compromise plan, worked out with Senate leaders late last week, increases funding for the Job Development Investment Grant, or JDIG, program from $15 million to $20 million a year.
Legislature approves compromise incentives bill (Charlotte Business Journal) — It took almost two hours of debate, but the N.C. House approved a compromise incentives bill this afternoon that’s designed to help the state go after mega projects like an auto-assembly plant. The vote was 84-24 for the extension of the Job Development Investment Grant bill. Now the legislation goes to N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who’s expected to sign it.
Skvarla lauds industry incentives bill from General Assembly (Jones & Blount) — Tuesday the House gave tentative approval (84-24) to the N.C. Competes Act, a measure that supporters say puts North Carolina in a better position to compete for big industry.
Jobs incentive bill gets NC House, Senate approval (Raleigh News & Observer) — More than a year ago, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration sounded an alarm to legislators: The state’s main job incentives fund was running low, and major employers would go elsewhere without that financing as a lure.
Medicaid Overhaul Plan Only Needs Governor’s Signature (N.C. Health News) — After years of squabbling over the future look of North Carolina’s Medicaid plan, lawmakers finally have passed a bill.
Medicaid reform passes; could be years before patients see change (WRAL-TV) — North Carolina will put most of the 1.8 million patients who rely on Medicaid for health care into privately-run managed care plans under the bill passed by both the House and Senate Tuesday.
Senate moves Medicaid reform forward (Winston-Salem Journal) — The General Assembly gave final approval Tuesday to the compromise Medicaid reform bill that attempts to provide financial stability and predictability, but has drawn skepticism for including a major role for private insurers. Medicaid covers about 1.9 million North Carolina residents, about 18 percent of the state’s population, and is a $14 billion program.
Senate passes Medicaid reform plan that concerns doctors (Triangle Business Journal) — The North Carolina Senate passed a final Medicaid reform bill Tuesday, leaving only the House to sign off on it before going to Gov. Pat McCrory, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
Framework for changing Medicaid spending heads to governor (AP) — Bill supporters believe changes keep Medicaid costs in check and improve treatment quality.
NC legislature approves Medicaid privatization (Raleigh News & Observer) — The state began moving toward managed care for Medicaid recipients Tuesday despite a persistent group of dissenters who argue that the plan rejects a system run by doctors that for years has helped hold down costs.
Forsyth lawmaker and former healthcare exec sells Medicaid Reform (Triad City Beat) — One of the House Republicans’ lead negotiators on Medicaid, previously aligned with the old paradigm, takes up the banner of reform. Rep. Donny Lambeth was back home in Winston-Salem on Monday for a luncheon at a Golden Corral that drew a crowd heavy with Republican elected officials, including the county sheriff, four school board members and a county commissioner, along with rank-and-file conservative activists in the party. Lambeth can take credit for a legislative achievement that is rare for a second-term state lawmaker: He was one of two lead negotiators for the House Republicans on a bill to privatize Medicaid that is expected to receive Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature today.
Rep. Becky Carney returns after heart surgery: ‘Miracles happen’ (Charlotte Observer) — Rep. Becky Carney from Charlotte made an emotional return to the N.C. House on Tuesday after heart surgery kept her away for two months. Colleagues greeted her with hugs and gave her a standing ovation upon her return.
For Dare, a win on sales tax and new dredging dollars (Outer Banks Sentinel) – -When the long overdue state budget was signed into law on Sept. 18 by Governor Pat McCrory, Dare County had dodged a big bullet on sales tax redistribution and gotten some new funding sources for dredging
Nebraska legislator, Hardister urge end to death penalty (Greensboro News & Record) — North Carolina should end its use of capital punishment, one state legislator said Tuesday, because it is ineffective.
Nascent movement makes conservative argument against NC’s death penalty (WRAL-TV) — Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, says he would like to push forward with legislation that would end the death penalty. Some conservatives see death row as an "inefficient" government program.
Conservative NC lawmaker argues against death penalty (Raleigh News & Observer) — Rep. Jon Hardister, a Greensboro Republican, said he thinks the death penalty should be abolished.
Deer farming bill advances (Raleigh News & Observer) — Four months after it was approved in the Senate, a bill transferring the regulation of deer farms to the state’s agriculture department began to move through the House on Tuesday.
State Senate bill would halve cash for Visitors Bureau (Fayetteville Observer) — The president of the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau said his budget would drop by more than $1 million
POLICY & POLITICS
More Trouble for NC12 in Kitty Hawk (Outer Banks Sentinel) — Mother Nature will have her way and it doesn’t appear as though the repairs to NC12 north of the Black Pelican in Kitty Hawk will survive their first true test.
Twice in one week: McCrory will be back in ENC (WCTI-TV) – Gov. Pat McCrory is planning another visit to Eastern North Carolina. He is expected to attend an event in Greenville Wednesday morning. It’s all to commemorate the start of construction of Mayne Pharma’s $65 million pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla is also expected to attend.
Lexington handyman wins record prize in scratch-off game (AP) — Dale Summey, a roofer and handyman from Lexington, has a chance to give up his tools after winning the largest scratch off prize in North Carolina lottery history — $10 million in the new Ultimate Millions game. It’s the seventh largest overall prize won by a North Carolinian in the lottery. Players can choose to take the prize as an annuity, receiving $500,000 a year for 20 years, or as a lump sum of $6 million. Summey and his wife chose the lump sum and, after state and federal taxes were withheld, they took home $4.1 million.
National Voter Registration Day Sees Push For Sign-Ups, Clarification (WUNC-FM) — Volunteers hit the streets for National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, asking neighbors if their registration is current. There are 6.3 million voters registered in North Carolina.
Among Dare Repubs, Trump elicits kudos and qualms (Outer Banks Sentinel) — Local GOP leaders assess the candidate’s improbable rise
Shrill rhetoric in GOP primary race could come back to haunt party (Washington Post) — Even as Republicans boast a diverse field of candidates, the leaders in the contest are preaching intolerance.
Tillis, Burr sound alarm to Milley on Air Force support to Ft. Bragg (Fayetteville Observer) — North Carolina’s U.S. senators are sounding an alarm when it comes to training at Fort Bragg. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, both Republicans, sent a letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley on Tuesday stating their concerns over Air Force support at Fort Bragg.
N.C. DOT: New railroad system likely won’t be running by December deadline (Charlotte Business Journal) – -The N.C. Department of Transportation expects to have all of the necessary equipment for a new automated safety system installed by the end of the year. But whether the system will be up and running is another question.
Growth in NC’s beer scene driven by law changes (WRAL-TV) — We have come a long way since 1770, when the first record of a brewery in North Carolina was documented.
Howard Coble in ICU following surgery (Greensboro News & Record) — Former Congressman Howard Coble faces second set of complications following skin cancer surgery.
Alan Briggs: Feeding hungry children (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Now that school is in session, it is easy to forget that many North Carolina schoolchildren, who depend on school breakfast and lunch programs, went without those meals during the summer. In North Carolina only 17 percent of the 800,000 children eligible for summer food service received a nutritious meal during the summer.
Senate ignores schools (Daily Reflector) — The State Senate’s shortsighted vision for public schools is reflected again in its scaled-down $2 billion bond proposal released Monday. While the House version, and that of Gov. Pat McCrory, calls for a $2.85 billion bond to be put before voters — with $500 million for public school construction — the Senate wants a $2 billion bond with no money for public schools.
Who should decide if a candidate’s faith matters? (Charlotte Observer column) — When Ben Carson declared that a president should be sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran, he revived one of the oldest debates in our political history.
Sterilization compensation: Second payment finally on the way (Winston-Salem Journal) — Cheers to House Speaker Pro Tem Paul “Skip” Stam, who finally came through a marathon budget process with a second payment of $15,000 for each living victim of our state’s forced sterilization program.
Why I had an abortion at 21 weeks (Charlotte Observer column) — In coming days, the Senate is expected to consider a federal ban on abortions at 20 weeks. Before lawmakers cast their votes, I would like them to hear my story.
Privatize Medicaid? A Misbegotten Idea (Southern Pines Pilot) — When it comes to the subject of Medicaid, North Carolina’s state government started out by not doing something that it should have done. Now it is setting out to make matters much worse by doing something it should not do.
Participating in democracy a privilege, especially in ‘off’ election years (Raleigh News & Observer column) — Naomi Lambert: Local elections affect the areas closest to our daily lives: planning for growth; attracting businesses to the area; considerations regarding housing development, water quality and sewage systems; waste management and police and emergency services. The successful candidates will be making some important decisions over the next two years.
Five ways the North Carolina budget screwed us (Independent Weekly) — A primer on the Legislature’s latest machinations