NC Politics in the News

March 30, 2015

Pardon Our Dust

We recently launched this new site and are still in the process of updating some of our archived content. Some details of this article may be incomplete, links may be broken, and other elements may not display properly yet. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule last week, considering bills on everything from providing taxincentives for historic preservation projects to cutting both personal and corporate tax rates. Both chambers are slated to return toaction this evening.

Economy and Economic Development

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL:NC Commerce Department Reports Jobless Rate Unchanged
North Carolina’s unemployment rate was unchanged in February at 5.3 percent even as job growth was reported in both primarylabor-market measuring sticks, the N.C. Commerce Department reported Friday. Most economists say a 5 percent jobless rate is consideredas full employment, meaning everyone who wants a job has a job.

NEWS & OBSERVER:Senate Sales Tax Plan Could Cost Cities, Towns
State Senator Harry Brown (R-Jones) introduced a bill last week which has the supportof the Senate Republican Leadership, was introduced last Monday along with a chart showing that about 90 percent of the State’scounties would gain revenue over a five-year span under the change.


WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL:Bill Would Limit Political Activity By Teachers
A bill filed in the N.C. Senate last Thursday would limit political activity by school employees, including teachers andadministrators. Sen. Andy Wells, (R-Catawba), the bill’s primary sponsor, said school boards across the state have different rules onthe time, manner and type of political activities in which school employees can engage.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Bills Would Delay Start of Tougher Grading Scale
Bills filed Wednesday with the support of influential state lawmakers would delay for two years tougher standards that could result inmost of North Carolina’s public schools getting D or F performance grades.Senate Bill 450andHouse Bill 358would keep in place through the 2015-16 school year the use of a 15-point scale, where A is 85-100, when evaluating schools’performance under the A-F grading system.


WRAL: Municipal Power Fix Streaks Through the Senate
The state Senate quickly gave tentative approval Wednesday to a deal that should lower power bills in 32 cities and towns in easternNorth Carolina.Senate Bill 305 would give the green light to a dealworked out between the North Carolina Eastern MunicipalPower Agency and Duke Energy.


WRAL: Vaccine Opponents Make Their Case
Several dozen parents opposed to vaccines came to Raleigh Tuesday to ask lawmakers to preserve the state’s religious exemption fromimmunization requirements. Surrounded by children, the protestors held signs comparing mandatory vaccination to Nazi Germany, warcrimes and terrorism.

FAYETEVILLE OBSERVER:Accountable Care Organizations, the Next Level of Healthcare
These groups of providers – ranging from primary care doctors to entire hospitals-are mostly treating Medicare patients, somethingencouraged by the Affordable Care Act. And as they reduce the cost of care and hit quality goals, they can to various degrees share inthe money they save the Medicare program.

NEWS & OBSERVER:NC House Panel Rejects Proposal for Medical Marijuana
A state House committee unanimously rejected a proposalto legalize medical marijuana after an emotional hourlong hearing that ended with a legislator saying he wasassaulted by a marijuana advocate.

In The Courts

NEWS & OBSERVER:NC Lawyers Face Bar Complaints for Racial Justice Act Work
Two defense attorneys face accusations of professional misconduct for a piece of their work on the first successful challenge under theRacial Justice Act. Gretchen Engel, director of the Durham-based Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Cassandra Stubbs, a lawyerwith the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, were among a team of attorneys who used the short-lived law toconvert a North Carolina death row inmate’s sentence in 2012 to life without possibility for parole.


WILMINGTON STAR NEWS:Bill Calls on State to Reconsider Privatizing Ferry System
State Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Bladen) and two other Republican leaders on transportation issues want the N.C. Department of Transportationto take another look at privatizing the state-owned and operated ferry system.


Senior Vice President 

Senior Vice President 

Franklin Freeman
Senior Vice President 

Bo Heath
Senior Vice President 

John Merritt
Senior Vice President 

Senior Vice President 

Kerri Burke
Vice President 

Assistant Vice President 

Sarah Wolfe
Assistant Vice President 

Philip Barefoot
Research Assistant