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WRAL TECHWIRE: Raleigh is No. 5 U.S. job market; thousands more jobs could be coming – here’s why
North Carolina’s capital city is the fifth best job market in the United States, a new national study shows, and a lot more growth could be coming its way based on what leaders at Wake County Economic Development are seeing. Coming off a record year in jobs and company recruitment in 2022 for North Carolina, Raleigh remains on the target list for billions in investment despite an economy slowed by inflation, labor shortages and rising interest rates. “The economic development pipeline remains very strong with opportunities focused on advanced technology industries such as life science and advanced manufacturing,” Michael Haley, director of the Wake development operation.
EDNC: State Board of Education discusses school safety, literacy, and teacher prep
State Board of Education members discussed the urgency of increasing school safety in response to gun violence at their April meeting this week, with members suggesting a variety of solutions. There were 51 school shootings with injuries or deaths last year, according to Education Week’s school shooting tracker. Those shootings resulted in 100 injuries and 40 deaths. According to Education Week, there have been 13 school shootings so far this year. While school shootings remain statistically rare, EdNC previously reported that many districts in North Carolina started reviewing safety procedures and working with local law enforcement to address school safety last fall.
THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: NC House passes budget with support for school choice
School choice would continue its growth trajectory in North Carolina under a budget passed by the House April 6 in a bipartisan vote of 78 to 38. Nine Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the spending plan for the new biennium, which expands school choice by growing private-school choice programs and charter schools.
THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: NC Supreme Court takes defamation case linked to 2016 governor’s race
The N.C. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a defamation case stemming from election protests tied to the 2016 gubernatorial election. The court’s decision arrived almost a year-and-a-half after defendants in the case asked for a high court review.
An order issued Thursday granted discretionary review to hear the case. It also included a “writ of superseadas” blocking the state Appeals Court’s 2021 decision in the lawsuit. Current Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, unseated incumbent Pat McCrory, a Republican, in November 2016. Cooper secured 49% of the vote, compared to McCrory’s 48.8%. The margin of victory was 10,277 votes out of 4.7 million total votes cast.
WCNC: Bill to limit Gov. Cooper’s sway on key panels clears Senate
The North Carolina General Assembly would get to choose many more members of several powerful state commissions, under legislation approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday. Currently, most of the commissioners on the targeted panels are picked by the Democratic governor. Senate Republicans, including their top leader Phil Berger, are pushing for the changes, which would eliminate majority — or in one case unanimous — control held by Gov. Roy Cooper’s appointees. Among other duties, these eight boards and commissions approve electricity rates and road-building projects, and adopt environmental regulations.
WCNC: Republicans in NC considering abortion ban after 12 weeks of pregnancy
Republicans at the General Assembly are considering an abortion ban after 12 weeks of pregnancy, according to State Rep. Jason Saine, Chair of the NC House Republican Conference. “I think probably the number that we land on is somewhere around 12 weeks,” Saine said on WCNC’s Flashpoint. It’s not clear what if any, exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother would be included in the bill. Currently, North Carolina has a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. Recently, a few Republicans introduced a complete ban on abortions starting at conception, which Saine said doesn’t have support among members.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC General Assembly by the numbers: The party divide as Rep. Cotham switches parties
N.C. Rep. Tricia Cotham announced Wednesday that she will join the House Republican caucus after years as a Democrat, firming up Republicans’ control. The move, announced at GOP Headquarters, is expected to ensure overrides of any veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Until Wednesday, 71 of the House’s 120 seats were occupied by Republicans with 49 by Democrats. That left Republicans one vote short of the 72 votes, or three-fifths of the chamber, needed for a supermajority. The party switch now gives Republicans 72 seats and Democrats 48 seats. If someone is not present for a vote, the math changes. House members may be absent for a variety of reasons, including health, family and work. Under new rules, the House doesn’t have to give notice on its calendar of potential veto override votes.
ABC11: NC Republican lawmakers file bills to control transgender youth sports participation
North Carolina Republican lawmakers filed several bills aimed at regulating transgender youth especially when it comes to participation in sports. These bills are similar to ones GOP lawmakers pushed a couple years ago. While those bills failed, Republicans are hopeful their new supermajority — achieved by getting Mecklenburg Democratic Rep. Tricia Cotham to switch parties — will be able to force the bills through. There are two bills in the legislatures that would ban transgender athletes in some way. Legislation in the house and senate would require all sports teams be designated as male, female or co-ed based on their biological sex at birth.
WNCT 9: NCDOT releases roadmap for clean transportation future
The North Carolina Department of Transportation released the North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan today, outlining a roadmap to continue growing the state’s clean energy economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in cleaner and more accessible transportation options for all North Carolinians. The N.C. Department of Transportation delivered the plan to Governor Roy Cooper a day ahead of the April 7 deadline outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order 246, which directed the agency to lead its creation.