N.C. House eases gun safety requirements, Immigration clears key procedural vote in U.S. Senate, Sen. Hagan sets education goals, McCrory under fire for Moral Monday response
WRAL: Senate rolls out compromise tax plan
After unveiling competing Senate tax reform proposals two weeks ago, Republican leaders rolled out a compromise plan Monday that promises to roll back income and business taxes while reining in a massive expansion of sales taxes proposed earlier.
News & Observer: NC House budget panel OKs 2-year spending plan
The bill’s passage in a chamber where Republicans outnumber Democrats 77-43 is all but assured, setting the stage soon for negotiations between House and Senate GOP leaders to work out dozens of differences in their competing plans. They want to get a final spending plan to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk for his signature by the end of the month.
Huffington Post: New North Carolina Gun Bill Would Ease Background Checks
"Republicans in the General Assembly have no concept of consequences. They have shown that time and time again," state Democratic Party spokesman Micah Beasley told The Huffington Post. "Guns and alcohol don’t mix. Guns at town parades or at playgrounds with our children is unacceptable. Guns on campus make our college students less safe. To add insult to injury this legislation undermines our local sheriffs ability to make their towns and cities safe."
WRAL: New gun bill draft eliminates pistol purchase permit system
But the biggest changes in the Senate version of the bill expand where concealed handgun permits holders can bring their guns and loosen restrictions on gun sales.
Politico: Immigration bill passes key Senate test
The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly agreed to launch a major effort to rewrite U.S. immigration laws, setting the stage for weeks of debate on securing the nation’s borders, legalizing undocumented residents and modernizing the country’s immigration system. Senators voted 82-15 to move forward on the Gang of Eight immigration bill; 60 votes were needed for passage. All 15 votes against the motion were from Republicans. The bill cleared a second procedural vote later Tuesday.
Real Clear Politics: Obama Re-enters Immigration Debate
But as a bipartisan Senate measure reached a critical stage Tuesday, Obama stepped forward publically in a cheerleading role. He is president, after all, and if he is going to claim an eventual achievement he must at least nominally contribute to its passage. And his push for the legislation — while no surprise — comes at a time when both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are carefully courting votes.
Politico: Patrick Leahy files gay couples amendment
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy is trying again on immigration and gay rights. “Seeking equal protection under our laws for the LGBT community is the right thing to do,” Leahy said in a statement Tuesday. “I withheld my anti-discrimination amendment during the Senate Judiciary Committee markup. As the entire Senate turns to debate the immigration bill, the fight for equality must go on.”
Dome: Hagan outlines education goals
Sen. Kay Hagan said she will be pushing a number of her proposals when committee mark up begins this week on the five-year reauthorization of the no child left behind legislation.“It empowers our young people to make intelligent financial decisions,” said Hagan, a former banker executive.
FOX8: Sen. Hagan: VA official to investigate backlog in Winston-Salem office
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Friday that a high-level Veterans Affairs official will be coming to Winston-Salem soon to look into a backlog that has some veterans waiting more than two years for a ruling on their claims.
ABC11: Did Governor Pat McCrory duck critics by playing catch?
The ABC11 I-Team asked the governor if a game of catch was more important than meeting with kids over education cuts. The kids, and a former congressman, were dropping off thousands of petitions against McCrory’s policies on Monday. So it was a good guess he wouldn’t meet with them. However, it’s what he was doing instead, caught on an iPhone camera, which has people talking.
Charlotte Observer: With McCrory, cooler heads don’t prevail
What one would expect from a strong leader, however, would be – for starters – simple respect. Better yet, McCrory and Republicans could take the high ground by embracing the protesters and celebrating their passion for the state and their First Amendment right to assembly. Instead, McCrory labeled the protesters, almost all of whom are from North Carolina, as “outsiders.” Rather than suggesting a dialogue, McCrory said one of his favorite songs is Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and that he and legislative leaders would stand firm against the protesters.
News & Observer: Alex DiLalla: Government internships targeted
As a former Governor’s Page, I am concerned about the loss of a program that gave me a deeper appreciation for the function and importance of state government and of public service. In a country with abysmal voter turnout and a high rate of apathy toward civic participation, the most prudent course is to increase funding for programs that emphasize education and participation in government and public service.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party