NC Politics in the News

May 7, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

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Your weekly North Carolina political news report.

Economic Development

THE PILOT: Robbins Selected As An Opportunity Zone
The North Carolina Department of Commerce has selected the town of Robbins as an “Opportunity Zone” under the recently passed federal legislation, known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

WRAL: Cooper calls for $60M in new job training money
Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new $20 million grant program Wednesday to help people finish college even when financial emergencies soak up their tuition money.


CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS: Virtual Public School enrollment in NC now 2nd-largest in country
Despite rapid growth in state program, many families don’t realize North Carolina Virtual Public School is available. Some local districts strictly limit who can take courses.

EDNC: State Board of Education approves audit report, ISD contract
The State Board of Education tackled two high profile subjects Thursday, approving an audit report to the General Assembly and a contract between the Innovative School District and Achievement for All Children (AAC).

WRAL: NC school board hires operator to take over lagging school
North Carolina officials on Thursday agreed to pay an outside organization $100,000 a year to take over a low-performing school — the first time the state has taken over a local public school and given it to a third party to operate.

Energy & Environment

NEWS & OBSERVER: GOP Slams Slow Hurricane Recovery with an Eye on Next Storm
The state’s Emergency Management agency issued the first hurricane recovery payment from a $236.5 million federal grant received last year, but the agency’s leader didn’t provide a timeline for when the money will be fully distributed.

COASTAL REVIEW: Utility, UNCW Stand By Contaminant Reports
Last year, the North Carolina General Assembly backed a locally focused strategy in response to revelations about GenX in Wilmington’s water supply. Last week, several members who supported the plan told researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and officials with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority they didn’t like what they got.

CAROLINA JOURNAL: DEQ Secretary Regan selects ‘environmental justice’ board
DEQ Secretary Michael Regan has named a 16-member Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board. The group was set to be introduced during a ceremony in the agency’s Green Square Lobby on Wednesday, May 2.


NC HEALTH NEWS: Insurance Mandate for Autism Services Falls Short for Many
When North Carolina passed a 2015 law requiring health insurance companies to cover specialized therapies for children with autism, families with affected children rejoiced at the news. But more than two years after the mandate became law, some families are no closer to getting access to the intense treatments that can cost upwards of $40,000 a year.

WFAE: Mecklenburg County To Explore Possibility of Public Health Board
Mecklenburg County leaders are taking the first steps to determine whether the public health department should have different oversight. Commissioners voted 6-2 Tuesday night to form a committee to explore options that include creating a medical board to oversee the health department and forming an advisory board.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Thousands of N.C. doctors are over-prescribing opioids despite a new state law
Thousands of North Carolina doctors appear to be breaking a new state law that limits opioid prescriptions for patients using the addictive drugs for the first time, according to preliminary data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield.


NEWS & OBSERVER: As a guard against hackers, election results will come later in Wake County
Waiting is agony on election nights for voters eager to see who won, and now people in Wake and a few other counties who are used to speedy reporting of local results are going to have to sit longer in suspense.


CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Charlotte has been losing transit riders faster than any other large U.S. city
Across the nation, most big cities are losing transit riders. But nowhere is the decline more pronounced than Charlotte, which is shedding transit passengers faster than any of the other 50 largest cities, according to data from the Federal Transit Administration.