#NCGA set to pass stop-gap budget to keep government open, N.C. Senate gives final approval to superdumps legislation, U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Voting Rights Act Section 4, Immigration reform clears key hurdle, MA voters go to the polls to select a new Senator, and a look at Americans’ finances
WRAL: Budget resolution will last 30 days
Lawmakers will put a temporary spending measure known as a continuing resolution in place this week. The measure will keep state government operating normally until a permanent spending plan can be worked out between the House, Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory.
Wilmington Star-News: Senate panel considers NC stop-gap spending plan
The proposal is needed because legislative leaders haven’t made much progress in negotiating a final budget for the next two years. That’s because they’re trying to first to reach a deal on a tax overhaul, which will guide budget-writers on how much money they have to spend.
Dome: Stop-gap budget would fund government through July
Negotiations on the new tax code and a new budget are not expected to be complete by the time the budget year ends on June 30, necessitating a temporary budget to keep government running. The continuing resolution, as the short-term budget is called, would allow spending up to 95 percent of the current level.
WRAL: House Bill 998: Comparison of House and Senate versions of tax reform
After working through several different iterations of tax reform, the House and Senate are negotiating their differences over House Bill 998. The measure does not go as far as earlier Senate tax reform proposals, but would be a first step in remaking North Carolina’s tax system.
Winston-Salem Journal: NC landfill law changes approved by Senate
The North Carolina Senate gave its final approval Monday to legislation scaling back restrictions on new landfills supporters say would help meet future in-state trash demands but critics argue will invite huge dumps for out-of-state refuse. Landfills often get built in areas that have disproportionately poor and minority populations, according to Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford. The bill "is an attack on the environment in which our children and our citizens must live," Robinson said. The bill also narrows reasons that state regulators can reject permit applications, such as by eliminating language justifying a denial because the landfill would cause "significant damage" to ecological systems, cultural sites, parks and wilderness areas.
Greensboro News & Record: N.C. abortion education bill up for House hearing
A bill requiring North Carolina educators to teach that abortions are linked to later premature births is headed to a state House committee. The bill is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday. It already passed the Senate in an amended form last month 38-10.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
MSNBC: Supreme Court guts landmark civil rights law
The Supreme Court has ruled that a key part of the Voting Rights Act—the landmark civil-rights law protecting racial minorities from discrimination at the polls—is unconstitutional in its current form. The decision, announced Monday morning, invalidates—at least for now—Section 5, a crucial tool for fighting racial discrimination in voting, and comes at a time of rising concern over efforts to restrict access to the ballot box. It represents a victory for conservatives, and a blow to the voting rights of millions of non-white Americans.
Huffington Post: Voting Rights Act Section 4 Struck Down By Supreme Court
The 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, found that “things have changed dramatically” in the south nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was signed.
WonkWire: Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Piece of Voting Rights Act
In a 5-to-4 split, the Supreme Court has found Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, ruling that the formula by which states, counties, and localities are selected for preclearance of all changes to election laws and procedures by the Justice Department is based on outdated data.
Daily Tar Heel: Supreme Court ducks decision on affirmative action in college admissions
The use of race in college admissions is still in limbo, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday to send Fisher v. University of Texas back to a lower court for another look.
Huffington Post: Samuel Alito Rolls Eyes While Ruth Bader Ginsburg Reads Dissent
"His treatment of the 80-year-old Ginsburg, 17 years his senior and with 13 years more seniority, was a curious display of judicial temperament, or, more accurately, judicial intemperance," Milbank wrote. "Typically, justices state their differences in words — and Alito, as it happens, had just spoken several hundred of his own from the bench. But Alito frequently supplements words with middle-school gestures."
WRAL: Police: 120 arrested in largest Moral Monday protest yet
State Capitol Police said 120 people were arrested Monday following the largest NAACP-led demonstration yet against the policies of the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature. The eighth week of what the civil rights group calls "Moral Mondays" brought the number of people facing charges to nearly 600. Hours before the most recent group left the General Assembly building in plastic handcuffs, the first batch of protesters appeared in Wake County Court for an initial hearing.
MSNBC: ‘Moral Monday’s’ in North Carolina
In what’s become known as “Moral Mondays,” a growing number of demonstrators have gathered at North Carolina’s legislative building to show their opposition to policies advanced by the Republican-controlled legislature. Opponents of the demonstrations, including North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, have characterized the protesters as “outsiders.” However, warrants from the arrest show that 98% of the nearly 500 people arrested thus far are residents of North Carolina. Despite the backlash these measures drew during the last election cycle, North Carolina lawmakers have continued to advance initiatives that limit same-day voter registration, require specific forms of voter ID at the polls, and cut the number of days available for early voting.
Politico: Senate immigration bill: Top 5 questions
But before the chamber approves the landmark legislation, several questions remain — including whether the Senate will wait out a key decision from the Supreme Court on gay marriages. And the success of the bill in the Senate means little for the Republican-controlled House. Several hurdles remain before legislation can reach President Barack Obama’s desk.
RealClearPolitics: Immigration Reform Passes Key Senate Test
In a key test vote Monday evening, the Senate signaled that it is ready to pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure this week with bipartisan support. By a 67-26 margin, lawmakers advanced a multibillion-dollar “border surge” amendment that was explicitly designed to attract reluctant Republicans to the legislation.
The Hill: Pelosi predicts Congress will approve immigration bill
The Democratic leader said she’d prefer that the House pass its own sweeping reform proposal, to be reconciled with the package moving this week through the Senate. But even without a House agreement, the political pressure on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be too great, she predicted, for the Republicans to block comprehensive reform in the lower chamber.
Washington Examiner: Marco Rubio’s immigration flip-flop could spell political trouble
When Mitt Romney ran as a strongly pro-choice Republican candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, and then ran as a strongly pro-life candidate for the GOP presidential nomination just a few years later, he sowed doubts about his consistency that damaged his chances to win higher office. And not just with Republicans for whom abortion is a defining issue; a complete 180 on a matter of such consequence raised questions about Romney’s core beliefs on everything. He never fully recovered
Dome: State Attorney General says keep handgun permits
Getting rid of handgun permits will mean more criminals, domestic abusers and mentally ill people will be able to buy guns, State Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a letter to N.C. House members. The legislature is considering a bill that would get rid of the law requiring a permit to buy a handgun.
Greensboro News & Record: NC Sheriff denied gun permit to shooter
She said sheriffs have discretion to turn down an application. During the gun permit process, sheriffs conduct criminal background checks. "The sheriff must have seen something on his background history that sent a red flag," Wallace said. She did not specify what the sheriff found.
Politico: Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly plan multistate guns tour
Giffords, who hasn’t ruled out taking target practice on the tour, announced Tuesday morning that she and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, will be taking new polling data to Nevada, Alaska, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Maine and New Hampshire to illustrate their argument that lawmakers who support 2nd Amendment gun rights will prosper – not suffer – if they vote for stricter background-check measures, too.
Huffington Post: Sherrod Brown To Unveil Student Loan Refinancing Bill
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) will unveil as early as today a proposal to grant the secretary of the treasury, a position Jack Lew now occupies, the authority to create a government-backed financing vehicle that could enable millions of distressed borrowers to refinance student debt not guaranteed by the government into new loans with significantly lower interest rates, according to a draft copy of his eight-page bill.
ABC: Mass. Voters Head to Polls to Pick New US Senator
Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez scrambled to energize supporters and mobilize get-out-the-vote efforts in Massachusetts in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s special election to succeed John Kerry in the U.S. Senate.
Democracy Corps: Not So Fast: 2014 Congressional Battleground Very Competitive
The first Democracy Corps Congressional Battleground survey of the most competitive House races will challenge serious commentary and the informed presumptions about the 2014 election. Analysts, pundits, and commentators have concluded that there will be fewer seats in play in 2014 and that neither party is likely to upset the current balance. To be honest, this poll surprised us.
Politico: Kentucky Senate ads heating up
The Kentucky Senate race is giving new meaning to the term preemptive war, as outside groups from both parties dial up their attacks even before a major Democratic candidate jumps into the race. A super PAC boosting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection bid will launch a new round of TV ads Tuesday assailing Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes – who hasn’t yet announced that she will challenge McConnell in 2014.
CNN Money: 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.
USA Today: Americans love to spend, lousy at saving
The rising cost of living and stagnant wages have made savings less of a priority across all income levels. One in seven people earning between $50,000 and $75,000 have no emergency funds and less than 50% of Americans earning above $75,000 have adequate savings.
New York Times: A Long, Slow Drift From Racial Justice
The Supreme Court has again upheld the principles behind race-conscious affirmative action, no small feat for the cause of diversity in higher education. But in framing the issue very technically, it has, wittingly or not, continued its drift away from the ideals it advanced in the civil rights era, beginning with Brown v. Board of Education.
Micah Beasley, Press Secretary
North Carolina Democratic Party