MAY 1, 2014
Senate Republicans block minimum wage increase bill: The Senate voted on Wednesday against going ahead on a bill that would gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, another rejection for legislation that has been a major focus of the Democrats’ 2014 midterm campaign. Read more here.
First 5 days of early voting draw a sliver of NC’s 6.5 million voters: Through Monday, 95,277 ballots had been cast – 90,051 of them one-stop voting and the rest mailed in. In a state with 6.5 million voters, that barely counts as a sliver. There are more Democrats in North Carolina, and they tend to vote early. So far registered Democrats are voting at a higher rate: 49 percent of those who have voted; Democrats represent 42 percent of the registered voters. So far, 46,477 registered Democrats have voted and 30,693 Republicans have voted. Read more here.
NC bill would let students attend any public school: A state legislative subcommittee wants North Carolina students to be able to attend any public school in the state, allowing them to cross district lines without having to pay tuition or receive permission from the school system they’re leaving. A subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee sent a draft “open enrollment” bill Wednesday to the full committee. Read more here.
Republican group will focus on judicial races: A Republican organization dedicated to electing state and local officials will broaden its scope and begin targeting judicial races, bringing outside money and sophisticated campaign tactics to one of the last calm backwaters of politics. Read more here.
More ‘Moral Monday’ protests planned for coming NC General Assembly session: On May 19, the first Monday in the session, Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP chapter, plans to lead protesters of the N.C. Republican agenda back to the Legislative Building. Read more here.
A Rural Hospital Is Closing In Tennessee Because The State Refuses To Expand Medicaid: A rural hospital located in Brownsville, Tennessee is ending its inpatient and emergency services this summer because it can’t afford to keep operating them. Instead, the facility will become an urgent care clinic dealing with minor illnesses. W. Larry Cash, the chief financial officer for the community health group that operates the hospital, told the Tennessean that his state’s refusal to expand Medicaid was a “contributing factor” in the move. Read more here.
Uptown protest planned for Duke Energy shareholders meeting: In the first Duke Energy shareholders meeting since the massive coal ash spill February 2, protesters plan to protest. Following the spill at the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina, protesters will carry signs and chant outside the meeting, while institutional investors protest inside – directly to CEO Lynn Good. Read more here.
School board OKs local budget: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will have about 100 fewer teacher assistants next year. The Board of Education approved a $124.5 million preliminary local budget Tuesday night that does not include salaries for the teacher assistant positions cut by the state. Read more here.
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