NC Politics in the News

February 20, 2023

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STAR NEWS: Why NC’s native grape could soon be making an appearance in local schools
North Carolina students could soon be learning about, and tasting, a bit of the state’s agricultural history if legislators in Raleigh pass a recently introduced House bill. The legislation would see 100% muscadine grape juice added to school menus across the state. 

Economic Development

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC has $3 billion surplus ahead of decisions on budget, taxes, raises
The revenue forecast for North Carolina predicts that 10.7% more taxes will be collected this year than expected. That means an extra $3.25 billion for the state, courtesy of taxpayers.

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Population surge could buttress North Carolina in hard economic times
Recession is (likely) coming, but in North Carolina, something else is coming, too: more people. The steady influx of newcomers makes economists bullish on both the state’s long-term prospects as well as its ability to reduce the severity of an imminent slowdown.


NORTH STATE JOURNAL: New DPI report ties teacher effectiveness to mitigation of pandemic learning loss
A new white paper report from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR) links teacher and principal effectiveness to mitigation of pandemic learning loss. OLR’s report says that students scored better on the state’s end-of-year tests during the 2020-21 school year if their teachers had in past years shown strong student outcomes. 

WFAE: Johnston County Public Schools installing ‘Total Recall’-style weapons detection systems
Johnston County Public Schools hopes new technology will put the minds of their teachers, students and parents at ease. The free-flowing scanner can alert school leaders to suspicious objects in clothing and backpacks without the hassle of standard metal detectors.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC lawmakers back dumping earth science for computer science graduation requirement
A divided state House Education Committee backed legislation Tuesday that would replace earth science with computer science as a high school graduation requirement. House Bill 8 adds computer science as a standalone graduation requirement beginning with ninth-grade students in the 2024-25 school year. The legislation directs the State Board of Education to fit in the new computer science credit by eliminating one of the three required science courses, with earth science expected to be the one that’s cut.


FOX 8: Plan to end background checks for private handgun sales in North Carolina approved in state Senate
Senate Bill 41, sponsored by Sen. Danny Britt (R-Robeson), eliminates the background checks that sheriffs now conduct on local gun sales, which close loopholes in the checks already mandated for federal gun laws.

WFAE: North Carolina House OKs rules with new override process
The permanent rules for operating the Republican-controlled North Carolina House for the next two years were approved by members Wednesday, despite objections from Democrats that they make it easier for GOP lawmakers to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

ABC 11: Medical marijuana debate resumes in North Carolina Senate
Debate on the legalization of marijuana in North Carolina for medical purposes returned on Wednesday to the state Senate, where a very similar measure creating the framework for its sale and use passed the full chamber by a wide margin just eight months ago.

SPECTRUM NEWS: N.C. courts director leaving, deputy replacing him
Andrew Heath became Administrative Office of the Courts director in early 2021 as Chief Justice Paul Newby was sworn in following his election the previous November. In news releases Friday, the Nelson Mullins firm said Heath would join its Raleigh office and the court system said Newby had appointed deputy AOC director Ryan Boyce as Heath’s replacement effective April 4.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC House approves Medicaid expansion bill, moving debate to Senate
The North Carolina House passed a bill to expand Medicaid on Thursday that would grant health insurance coverage to thousands of low-income residents.

THE CENTER SQUARE: High cost of health care swirls in storm of changing contract, highly paid execs
The decision to change the third-party administrator of the State Health Plan has prompted legal action, and accusations the state treasurer is attempting to distract from the situation.

WRAL: Blue Cross files legal challenges to NC insurance contract
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina filed legal challenges Thursday to the state employee health plan’s recent decision to replace the insurer with another company to administer the plan.


THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: Republican Tom Murry announces run for NC Attorney General
Former Representative and state prosecutor Tom Murry, R-Wake, has announced he is running for North Carolina Attorney General. Murry, a former member of the N.C. House from Morrisville, said he would stand for law enforcement if he were to be elected.

WUNC: North Carolina AG Stein won’t defend abortion pill restrictions
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein won’t defend state restrictions on dispensing abortion pills that are being challenged in a lawsuit and instead will argue the restrictions are preempted by federal regulations protecting access to the pills, Stein’s office said Monday.


WCNC: Charlotte transportation leaders vote on I-77 express lane proposal
More express lanes could be coming to Interstate 77 in Charlotte. Wednesday night, Charlotte transportation leaders voted to allow NCDOT to look into an unsolicited proposal to build managed lanes on I-77 from Uptown Charlotte to south Mecklenburg County. It’s the first step in moving the potential project forward.