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May 22, 2017

NC Politics in the News

Education

NEWS & OBSERVER: Governor’s School alums appeal to keep state money for the enrichment program

Devoted alumni of a high school summer enrichment program -- who don't want this year's class to be the last - are flooding state legislators with testimonials on how the experience changed their lives.

WFDD-NEWS: NC lawmakers advance bill that would raise money for school construction

A proposal in the legislature could give public schools in the state much needed funding for capital improvements.

Executive Branch

WWAY-TV NEWS: Gov. cooper announces $31 million grant to fight opioid epidemic

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that North Carolina has received a $31 million federal grant to help address the opioid epidemic.

WNCN-NEWS: Cooper in DC to push for more Matthew aid after 99 percent denied by federal government

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is visiting the nation’s capital to speak at a conference organized by a liberal advocacy group before huddling with the state’s congressional delegation to redouble efforts to obtain more federal Hurricane Matthew relief.

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES: Cooper vows executive order to expand protections

Gov. Roy Cooper vowed Tuesday to act on his own to improve LGBT protections in North Carolina, where he faces criticism for compromising with Republicans to partially repeal a law limiting anti-discrimination protections.

Health Care

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC hospitals fight legislative effort to open up health care market to competitors

Jay Singleton, an eye surgeon in New Bern, has grown increasingly frustrated that there is just one surgical facility serving patients in his three-county area.

ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES: Mental health agency denies lavish spending in audit

A regional managed care mental health agency that receives taxpayer funds spent excessively on salaries for top executives, conferences and Christmas parties, a state audit said Thursday, but Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions defended its actions as lawful.

NEWS & OBSERVER: With patients waiting, new beds stay empty at Cherry Hospital

For the last nine months, more than 100 beds for patients who need acute psychiatric care in Eastern North Carolina have stayed empty, even as patients wait for treatment.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Fighting to spare mental health from NC budget cuts

Advocates for people with mental illnesses are fighting to save regional mental health offices from state budget cuts they say jeopardize plans for better community care.

WRAL-NEWS: Senate budget would cut off food aid to 133,000

An estimated 133,000 people in North Carolina would lose access to government food assistance programs under a provision tucked into the Senate budget approved last week.

NC HEALTH NEWS: Budget axe aims at Wright School - again

People in the mental health community are reacting to the news that for the sixth time budget writers in the North Carolina Senate have eliminated funding for the Wright School, a Durham-based facility serving kids with severe mental and behavioral health problems.

In the Courts

NEWS & OBSERVER: US Supreme Court agrees NC lawmakers created illegal congressional district maps in 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing congressional districts in 2011, affirming a lower-court ruling that forced legislators to create new maps last year.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Angry Charlotte craft brewers take fight to court, alleging ‘cronyism’

Hoping to win in court what they lost in the General Assembly, two Charlotte craft brewers sued the state of North Carolina Monday, arguing that state laws that limit their production are unconstitutional.

Justice & Public Safety

WRAL-NEWS: Budget provision limiting ALE, ABC law enforcement powers ‘all politics’

Criticism continues to mushroom over a provision in the Senate budget that would limit the law enforcement powers of state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and county Alcoholic Beverage Control officers.

GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD: NC lawmakers weight expanding rights of victims

More than 20 years ago, North Carolina voters first enshrined the rights of crime victims in the state Constitution to talk with prosecutors, speak in court when their assailants are sentenced and learn when they're released from prison.

WRAL-NEWS: Opponents raise concerns, but ‘raise the age’ proposal clears House

The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday in favor of legislation that would end North Carolina's practice of trying 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for crimes.

Regulatory Reform

WRAL-NEWS: Small cell tower compromise moves ahead

An industry-backed proposal to limit local regulation of small cell tower installation is moving ahead in the North Carolina House, but the latest version preserves some local oversight.

NEWS & OBSERVER: ‘Grill bill’ heads to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk ahead of Memorial Day

Legislation allowing restaurants to cook on outdoor grills is headed to the governor's desk after a final Senate vote Thursday.

Transportation

WSOC-CHARLOTTE: $1.36M fine levied on I-77 toll lane contractor by NCDOT

The company responsible for toll lane construction on Interstate 77 has been fined $1.36 million by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

WRAL-NEWS: Senate leaders tap brakes on ‘platooning’ trucks

State Senate leaders delayed a vote Wednesday on a bill to allow commercial trucks to "platoon" using computer-assisted braking technology, saying the measure may be too permissive.

WRAL-NEWS: House eyes driver retraining school

A measure in the state House would require drivers whose licenses are suspended for moving violations to attend and pass a driver retraining program to get their licenses reinstated.