NC Politics in the News

May 23, 2022

Pardon Our Dust

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WECT: N.C. Senator addresses future of industrial hemp and CBD amid uncertainty of legal status
Since 2017, farmers in North Carolina have legally grown cannabis sativa, better known as industrial hemp, across the state thanks to a state pilot program which removed the plant from the controlled substances list. Now, as that pilot program comes to an end there is a chance the plant could regain its outlawed status as soon as July 1, 2022, but State Senator Michael Lee says that is something he wants to prevent.

WRAL: NC farmers worry surging fuel, fertilizer costs could lead to empty store shelves in coming months
Farmers in eastern North Carolina say a spike in supply costs is preventing them from planting some crops this year. Some farms tell WRAL News that unless fuel and fertilizer prices drop, families in our area could soon be feeling the impact in their daily lives.

Economic Development

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Eastern NC megasite considered for big manufacturing project – 2,000 to 3,000 jobs
Thousands of jobs have long been envisioned for a site in eastern North Carolina. Now, that vision could be closer to reality. A top economic development official confirms “five or six” major projects are eyeing the site – including multiple firms tied to battery manufacturing for electric vehicles.


WBTV: NC Safer Schools Task Force discusses gun violence education, prevention
The NC Safer Schools Task Force is preparing for new initiatives to keep weapons and violence out of schools. The task force is composed of students, teachers, parents, education leaders, law enforcement, and staff from the NC Department of Public Safety. The task force held its quarterly meeting on Friday.

NC POLICY WATCH: NC grant program for schools was so popular, the money ran out in less than a week
School districts snapped up the small grants available to purchase feminine hygiene products for students with funding from the state budget, but there wasn’t enough money to go around..


STAR NEWS: Turning wind into power off the Wilmington coast could be a decade away
Two companies, one based in North Carolina and other one French, agreed last week to pay the federal government more than $300 million to lease two patches of empty ocean roughly 20 miles off the coast of Southeastern North Carolina. The plan is to dot the empty seascape with wind turbines that could reach 800 feet into the sky, helping to power up to 500,000 homes with renewable, clean green energy.

WRAL: Homes collapsing on Outer Banks a reminder of NC coast’s uncertain future
The state has long championed its coastline for its natural beauty and scenic views, but between factors like rising sea levels, hurricanes and beach erosion, the environment is a valid concern for people trying to build a life there. Waterfront homes and livelihoods are especially vulnerable, as is the area’s penchant for attracting tourists.


THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: N.C. General Assembly opens short session with short to-do list
The N.C. General Assembly convened the 2022 short session Wednesday, May 18, with fast-track plans to “pre-negotiate” the budget and be out by July 1. Still, important issues are on the to-do list, like health care access reports and parental involvement in education.


CBS17: NC Senate Republicans to propose Medicaid expansion bill 
After years of opposition, Republicans in the state Senate are finalizing details of a bill to expand Medicaid coverage in North Carolina and could file the bill as soon as this week. It’s a step Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has asked them to take since before he took office and was a primary issue behind a standoff over the state budget that lasted more than two years. 

THE ROBESONIAN: The fight for better health care in rural North Carolina
Newly released health rankings paint a grim picture of North Carolina’s rural Border Belt counties compared to the rest of the state: Residents here are more likely to smoke, be obese, have diabetes, experience frequent mental health issues and die prematurely.


SPECTRUM NEWS: Several incumbents lose N.C. legislative primaries
Seven incumbents — four Republicans and two Democrats — lost in Tuesday’s primaries for seats in their current chamber. Four of those sitting Republicans ran against fellow GOP incumbents who lived in the same district due to redistricting changes.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Madison Cawthorn concedes NC GOP primary to Chuck Edwards, losing bid for second term
A deluge of scandals cost Rep. Madison Cawthorn his seat Tuesday, as state Sen. Chuck Edwards narrowly defeated the first-term incumbent for the Republican nomination in the Western North Carolina district that sent him to Congress two years ago.

WRAL: The winner of North Carolina’s primary elections? Big, outside money.
Political groups based outside of North Carolina poured millions of dollars into the state to help their preferred candidates in senate and congressional races. And on Tuesday night, that financial assistance proved decisive as many candidates with the most outside support won their races.


TRANSPORTATION TODAY: North Carolina transportation official advocates for transportation workforce development programs
More federal funding is needed for workforce development, especially in economically-disadvantaged communities, a North Carolina transportation official said.

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: NC Bill: Drivers would have to restrain dogs riding in truck beds or behind seats
A state House bill would prohibit driving with unrestrained dogs in the open bed of a truck or the open cargo area of a vehicle — such as the space behind the seats in SUVs or minivans — in most situations.

THE COASTLAND TIMES: NC Ferry Division celebrates 75 years, christens Ocracoke Express
The North Carolina Department of Transportation celebrated 75 years of providing ferry service across the state’s eastern waterways on Monday, May 16, 2022.

And the department’s newest addition to its fleet, the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry, was christened and cheered at the Hatteras village ferry terminal.