N.C. Republicans target Democratic legacies, Sen. Rubio publicly side-stepping Gang of Eight on immigration, Supreme Court set to rule on several controversial issues and Iran elects a moderate to presidency
WRAL: Today @NCCapitol (June 17): Tough negotiations ahead
The Senate will officially send the state budget to a conference committee tonight. On Tuesday, the Senate will give final approval to its tax plan, sending the bill back to the House where lawmakers say they will also send that measure to a House Senate negotiating team.
News & Observer: NC GOP rolls back era of Democratic laws
Numerous programs, laws and initiatives started by Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures are now on political life support as the first unified Republican government in Raleigh in more than a century gives new scrutiny to what has gone before. Generations of programs involving education, the environment, health care, election laws and economic development are being eliminated or gutted in the budgets proposed by either Gov. Pat McCrory, the Senate or the House.
Charlotte Observer: Sales tax holiday on budget chopping block
This could be the last year to take advantage of the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday. A provision in the latest version of the Senate’s tax proposal eliminates the tax holiday and the state’s Energy Star tax holiday – effective next year. The Senate is expected to give the tax bill its final approval on Tuesday.
News & Observer: 2007 law discouraging non-NC trash getting review
In 2007, the General Assembly passed tougher rules for new landfills, giving eastern North Carolina community activists worried about out-of-state trash getting shipped to their counties a victory over the waste industry. The law effectively shelved four proposed large landfills, including a potential site in Scotland County opposed by local farmer Marcus Norton. He’s worried the project would give his area, already facing high unemployment, another strike against it.
Politico: Marco Rubio’s angling prompts some Gang of Eight angst
The Senate’s Gang of Eight is out in force to sell its immigration bill to the public, minus one pivotal member: Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican has spent hours strategizing in private with the bipartisan group of senators, but he hasn’t appeared in public with them since late April — nixing requests for press conferences after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the immigration bill, according to Democrats, and most recently, for a joint interview on Univision.
Charlotte Observer: Without immigration, GOP to fail in 2016
Republicans are "in a demographic death spiral" and will fail in their effort to win the presidency if the party blocks an immigration overhaul, a leading GOP senator said Sunday.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
CNN: Supreme Court countdown: Big rulings coming
Affirmative action. Voting rights. Same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court is about to rule on some of the most contentious issues in American society — issues that have divided Americans for years. "These are critical decisions," said Ron Brownstein, a CNN political analyst. They affect "the future of our social relations, our workplace, our educational opportunity."
Winston-Salem Journal: Affirmative action ruling contest: race vs. class
A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court kept the focus on race as a barrier, upholding the right of colleges to make limited use of racial preferences to ensure a diverse student body. But in a ruling due this month, the court is widely expected to roll back that decision. Such an outcome would shift attention more toward a less constitutionally controversial practice: giving a boost to socio-economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race.
News & Record: Repair costly for residents on roads that aren’t state-maintained
Got a drainage problem that floods the pavement every time it rains? Asphalt thin and cracking from overuse?Good luck. If it gets fixed at all, neighbors must pool their resources and hire a contractor at their own expense. Unlike some states, North Carolina does not have county, township or borough road programs. NC DOT maintains the road system outside those cities and towns, such as Greensboro and High Point, with their own transportation offices. As a result, North Carolina has one of the nation’s largest state-maintained road networks, about 80,000 miles’ worth. And the state’s rule book sets out a detailed series of steps before a public street or road can be added to the system.
News & Record: U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan facing powerful GOP force in 2014
She has visited all 100 counties and held a town hall meeting in each during her first term. It serves as a contrast to Hagan’s predecessor, GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who was criticized for her prolonged absence from North Carolina after decades in Washington. Hagan beat Dole in 2008, and conservative icon Jesse Helms held the seat for 30 years before Dole.
New York Times: Iran Moderate Wins Presidency by a Large Margin
In a striking repudiation of the ultraconservatives who wield power in Iran, voters here overwhelmingly elected a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.
Wall Street Journal: North Korea Seeks Talks with U.S.
North Korea on Sunday called for high-level talks with the U.S. but offered no indication it would move to wind down its nuclear-weapons program to initiate dialogue. Less than a week after North Korea pulled out of talks with South Korea, the North’s top policy-making body said it wanted dialogue with the U.S. to "defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula and ensure peace and security in the region."
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party