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Jul 8, 2019

NC Politics in the News

Your weekly North Carolina political news report.


Agriculture

THE LAURINBURG EXCHANGE: Senate passes Farm Bill, bringing legal hemp one step closer
North Carolina lawmakers want farmers to grow more hemp. Senate Bill 315, the North Carolina Farm Bill of 2019, passed the Senate last month by a 31-14 vote. S.B. 315 officially authorizes and regulates statewide hemp farming, among other things.


Economic Development

CITIZEN-TIMES: Dogwood Health Trust appoints Sylva-based economic development leader to board
Dogwood Health Trust continues to fill its board of directors ahead of finalizing a hire of the organization's first chief executive expected yet this summer.  The private, nonoperational foundation said July 1 it has appointed Sarah Thompson, executive director of the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission for the past eight years, to the board, now comprised of 14 members. 

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: Local economic development has leaned more toward business expansion
The reality of economic development heading into 2020 finds leaders in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County trying to decide between two paths.


Environment 

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: North Carolina Leaders Call for Flood-Ready Infrastructure
After North Carolina experienced the wrath of two 500-year storms over the course of two years, there are calls for smarter federal investments on flood mitigation. Hurricane Florence flooded more than 1,200 roads in the state in 2018, all while repair work from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew was still under way in some spots.


Healthcare

MODERN HEALTHCARE: North Carolina rural hospitals loan program passes Senate
Struggling North Carolina rural hospitals could get taxpayer-funded loans to help them stay open while they downsize or reshape services in legislation getting bipartisan support in the state Senate. The chamber voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday for the measure that would create a Rural Health Care Stabilization Fund.

WRAL: Deadline passed, but standoff continues between hospitals, State Health Plan
Monday's deadline to bring North Carolina health providers on board with a major shift in the state's largest health insurance plan came and went with just three of the roughly 100 hospitals in the state signing on. So what now?


Government

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC's budget impasse could harm an affordable housing program and kids' e-books
A prolonged impasse over the state budget could jeopardize affordable housing construction projects in low-income counties.The Workforce Housing Loan Program is one of a number of state programs that received “non-recurring” funding in last fiscal year’s budget — meaning the new fiscal year’s round of money won’t arrive until the budget becomes law.

GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY: North Carolina Cellphone Ban Legislation Dies in Senate
A House bill that would have banned the use of handheld cellphones while driving has died in a Senate committee, but its sponsors and supporters say they will try again next session.


Transportation

THE MOUNTAINEER: North Carolina ride-share protection bill moves along in Senate
Ride-share services have made access to transportation in the U.S. easier. With a press of a few buttons on a smartphone, commuters can get an instant chauffeur. Some North Carolina lawmakers also want to make sure that the process is safer.

WBTV: North Carolina's tasty BBQ history on display at NC Transportation Museum
The Story of BBQ in North Carolina explores the emergence of hog cultivation and food made from them as a centerpiece of many gatherings. Barbeque restaurants from across North Carolina are represented, with eastern, western, and Piedmont styles featured. Sauces, shirts, and the tools of barbecue cooking are displayed.