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May 27, 2014

NC Politics in the News - May 27, 2014

POLICY WATCH

NEWS & OBSERVER: As Senate budget emerges, so do the conflicts

Expect more GOP fault lines to emerge this week as the state budget takes center stage.  After weeks of closed-door meetings, the Senate will unveil its spending plan and two issues already are points of conflict.

WRAL: Moral Monday protesters to visit NC lawmakers Tuesday

After taking Memorial Day off, protesters will return to the North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday to continue with "Moral Monday" rallies aimed at the state's lawmakers.

WRAL: Today at NC Capitol (5/23):  Skeleton sessions meet as Senate prepares budget

The state House is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. and the state Senate at 9:30 a.m. for skeleton sessions.  Lawmakers are not scheduled to meet on Monday, Memorial Day, but will be back to work on Tuesday.  Senate leaders are getting close to rolling out their version of the $21 billion state budget. 

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: NC Senate makes regulatory rush early in session

Since taking over the legislature in 2011, North Carolina Republicans have trumpeted passing legislation designed to draw back the hand of government hanging over the private sector by getting rid of regulations they consider redundant or burdensome.

THE HUFFINGTON POST:  North Carolina legislators advance fracking bill that would block chemical disclosure

A bill that would make it a crime to publicly disclose the secret chemical mixtures that energy companies pump into the ground when fracking for natural gas is headed for a vote before the North Carolina Senate.

EDUCATION

NEWS & OBERSERVER: RTP named winner of national STEM mentoring competition

The Research Triangle Park is one of seven areas in the country that have been named winners of a White House competition to encourage mentoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Tensions rise over NC charter school rejections

A state screening board’s recent decision to reject most charter school applications has sparked tension over the role private management companies should play in public education.  The N.C. Charter School Advisory Board approved only 11 of the 71 applications filed to open schools in 2015.

NEWS&OBSERVER: Some NC parents plan to refuse standardized school tests

As the end-of-the year standardized testing season gets underway in North Carolina’s public schools, some families from across the state are quietly refusing to participate, echoing national protests against the practice.

TOURISM

STARNEWS: Signs to help visitors to NC find way to Pinehurst

Three state agencies in North Carolina are preparing to welcome visitors to the state who plan to attend the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in Pinehurst next month.  The North Carolina Departments of Commerce, Cultural Resources and Transportation are using the golf championships to showcase the state.

ELECTIONS

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER:  Obamacare to be delicate issue for N.C. Democrats this election

Political scientists in the state expect Republicans to use the law, often called Obamacare, as a major campaign point in national level elections.  This already can be seen with Sen. Kay Hagan, who has been targeted by national Republicans as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the upper house and already has been hammered by ads critical of her vote for the health law.

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL:  N.C. Voting law opponents file for preliminary injunction; state asks lawsuits be thrown out

A federal judge could decide by this summer whether North Carolina’s new voting laws should be blocked for the Nov. 4 general elections.