Another #NCGA Finance Chair resigns in tax dispute, more cuts to UNC system in N.C. House budget, Immigration bill hits obstacle in U.S. Senate, President Obama campaigns for Democrats in MA & FL
News & Observer: Rucho resigns as chairman on tax flap
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, in which Rucho says he and Berger have a "fundamental disagreement" on the most effective model of tax reform and how to manage the legislation. Rucho co-authored a plan that would greatly expand the services subject to the sales tax while lowering income and corporate tax rates.
WRAL: Senate tax bill moves forward but loses backing of a key reform proponent
North Carolina would do away with corporate income taxes and lower individual income tax rates under a tax reform proposal that cleared the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday. The measure, which is likely headed to a floor vote next week, raises $4 billion less than the current system over the next five years, slowing how rapidly state spending can grow.
Charlotte Observer: Racial Justice Act repeal heads to NC Gov. McCrory
A bill that Republicans say is designed to clear the way for executions to resume in North Carolina is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk after receiving final legislative approval Wednesday. Democrats argue there’s plenty of evidence that those juries are racially biased. They cite a Michigan State University study of North Carolina that found evidence of prosecutors striking black jurors from capital cases at more than twice the rate of others over two decades.
News & Observer: Private school vouchers at center of House budget debate
One of the proposal’s prominent supporters, Rep. Edward Hanes, a Winston-Salem Democrat, triggered the debate by asking for the voucher provisions to be removed from the budget and be allowed to stand on their own as a separate bill. Voucher opponents said this was not the time to fund a separate school system when the state wasn’t adequately supporting the public system. “This will damage seriously urban education without providing rural kids any real options,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, a Fayetteville Democrat.
Daily Tar Heel: N.C. House proposes more funding cuts, new program for UNC system
The House of Representatives released its budget proposal Sunday, recommending $149 million in cuts to the UNC system in 2013-14 — similar to Gov. Pat McCrory’s reductions, but nearly $100 million more than the Senate’s. But the House also proposed a significant reduction in flexibility management, which would force the Board of Governors to make tough decisions about how funding should be distributed across system campuses. The cuts total $124 million, both recurring and non-recurring, next year.
News & Observer: Wake school board election bill becomes law
Democrats argued the changes are an attempt to help Republicans regain the majority on the school board. Sen. Josh Stein, a Raleigh Democrat, said the new districts lines are “gerrymandered,” pointing to one district that runs from northwest Raleigh to Garner. “This bill is nothing more than a political effort to rejigger the districts to favor Republican candidates for school board,” Stein said Wednesday. Earlier in the week, Republicans rejected Democratic attempts to slow down the bill, including a proposal that would have required that Wake voters approve the changes in a November 2014 referendum.
Politico: Immigration bill hits new obstacle
Fewer than 24 hours after the Senate immigration bill cleared its first major hurdle, the legislation is facing its first procedural obstacle.Senate Democrats were ready to begin voting Wednesday and are seeking an agreement with Republicans on which amendments to the Gang of Eight bill will get full consideration. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a brief interview that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is blocking that effort.
News & Record: NC’s US senators file Lumbee recognition bill
North Carolina’s U.S. senators have filed a bill to provide federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, an effort that began 125 years ago. Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan filed the bill Wednesday to provide full federal recognition to the tribe.
Politico: Bill would tie congressional pay to debt ceiling
First Congress required itself to pass a budget in order to get paid. Now two Democrats want lawmakers’ checks withheld if they don’t raise the debt ceiling. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) are pitching a bill that would place lawmakers’ paychecks in an escrow account if the federal government began to miss its obligations because of congressional failure to raise the debt ceiling. Lawmakers would get their pay once the debt ceiling was raised or when the session ended.
Reuters: Obama urges Massachusetts, Florida voters to back Democrats
"I’ve got to have partners," Obama said at the first fundraising event in a gated community in Miami Beach. "Sadly all too often we’re not getting too much cooperation from the other side. They seem more interested in winning the next election than helping the next generation."
Chicago Tribune: Bill Daley to explore run for Illinois governor
Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley plans to announce Tuesday that he’s forming an exploratory committee as he weighs a Democratic primary challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party