NC Politics in the News

December 20, 2021

Pardon Our Dust

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PUBLIC RADIO EAST: NC Dept. of Agriculture taking applications for Swine & Dairy Farm assistance
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has started its Swine and Dairy Assistance Program. The application period for phase one of the program, which focuses on providing funds to farmers quickly to pay bills, is open now.  

Economic Development

WRAL TECH WIRE: NC Biotech Center group, Piedmont council are finalists in fed’s $1 billion regional challenge
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center and a statewide coalition of public and private partner organizations and institutions are a Phase 1 recipient of up to $500,000 in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC schools appeal court order blocking $1.7 billion transfer of funds for education
The North Carolina Supreme Court could decide whether the courts have the right to order the state to fund a $1.7 billion plan to support public schools. Last month, a three-judge state Court of Appeals panel blocked enforcement of Superior Court Judge David Lee’s order requiring $1.7 billion to be transferred from the state treasury to fund the Leandro school action plan.

WFAE: Medicaid free school lunch program extended to NC, SC students
Families covered by Medicaid in North Carolina and South Carolina will automatically become eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches in the 2022-2023 school year, thanks to a program expansion from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC’S 2022 primary is delayed. What it means in the race for Senate – and who benefits
The North Carolina Supreme Court recently delayed all of the state’s 2022 primary elections from March until May while two ongoing gerrymandering lawsuits play out. The decision to keep all the primaries on the same day, rather than ask voters to pay attention to — and counties to pay for — two different primaries meant that even races that have nothing to do with the redistricting lawsuits are delayed, most notably for U.S. Senate.


GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: Long a program, North Carolina finally tests for lead in school drinking water
Public schools in North Carolina could begin testing taps and drinking water fountains for lead concentrations early next year, using funds included in the recently signed state budget.


WRAL: NC launches $500M program to help small businesses recover from pandemic
North Carolina launched a $500 million program Thursday to help restaurants and other small businesses recover from pandemic-related losses. The North Carolina Business Recovery Grant Program allows business owners who have seen at least a 20 percent decline in revenue to apply for grants equal to 10 percent of their losses, up to $500,000. Because the hospitality industry was hit so hard by closures and other restrictions, $300 million of the fund is earmarked for restaurants, hotels, bars and other entertainment businesses.

WNCT: North Carolina state employees receive up to $1,500 as first round of bonuses go out; second round expected Thursday
It’s going to be a merry Christmas for North Carolina state employees. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the state budget on Nov. 18, approving $25.9 billion for this fiscal year and $27 billion for the next. As part of that budget, most employees who were working for the state as of Dec. 1 will receive pay raises of 5% over two years plus a $1,000 bonus. 


WLOS: North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell backs lawsuit filed against Mission Health
North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell is showing support for a civil lawsuit filed against Mission Health. A class action lawsuit filed against Mission Health claims the hospital system has become a monopoly that’s been overcharging patients for years.

SPECTRUM NEWS: More omicron cases found in North Carolina
Three more cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus have been found in North Carolina, this time in Pitt County in eastern North Carolina, public health officials say. The first omicron case in the state was identified last week in a student at UNC Charlotte, according to officials in Mecklenburg County.

NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS: Flu brings fear of ‘twindemic’ in NC
As the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus makes its way across the nation and delta variant cases surge once again, North Carolina health officials see the possibility of another viral threat: influenza.


US NEWS: Jackson Ends Senate Bid in North Carolina, Endorses Beasley 
A prominent U.S. Senate candidate in North Carolina withdrew from next year’s race for the Democratic nomination on Thursday and threw his support to the state’s former chief justice, who’s had the advantage in fundraising and endorsements.

SPECTRUM NEWS: Could North Carolina expand Medicaid in 2022? The governor is hopeful
Medicaid expansion has been a stumbling block in North Carolina politics. It’s derailed state budgets and has long frustrated Democratic leaders. The governor vetoed earlier budgets because the Republican-controlled legislature refused to include expanded Medicaid coverage. This year’s budget, the first the governor has signed in years, includes a provision to study expanding Medicaid coverage to more people in North Carolina.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: What NC Gov. Roy Cooper will be doing to try to elect more Democrats
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has taken on a national role for the Democratic Party, one that could mean the difference for other Democratic governors and candidates as well as his own political future. 


SPECTRUM NEWS: Tillis: Infrastructure grant to include $458 million for North Carolina airports
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis secured more than $458 million to invest in North Carolina’s airports over the next five years. Tillis made the announcement Thursday. The funds are intended to improve infrastructure in major and regional airports across the state.