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Aug 26, 2019

NC Politics in the News

Agriculture  

PBS: What's fueling the growth in North Carolina hemp production
A growing number of North Carolina's farmers are turning to hemp production as a new source of revenue, spurred by the popularity of CBD products and the Trump administration's trade war with China, which has hit the state's tobacco industry especially hard by decimating the export market. But is hemp production the future of family farms in North Carolina?


Environment

FOX 46: CMS rolls out new fleet of propane-powered school buses; about 127,000 riders expected
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is rolling out a new fleet of school buses beginning Monday, Aug. 26. Superintendent Earnest Winston said CMS will be making history with the new fleet of 28 propane-powered buses, which are designed to improve air quality and provide a healthier ride for students. The district will be using more propane buses than any other school district in North Carolina.


Education

CBS 17: Deal reached to do away with more standardized testing in NC schools 
North Carolina legislators have reached a compromise on doing away with more standardized testing in public schools.The House and Senate hammered out an agreement between competing bills and scheduled final votes on the measure on Monday evening. If approved, the agreement would go to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Gov. Cooper vetoes Read To Achieve bill, calling the program an expensive failure
Gov. Roy Cooper called the Read The Achieve program ineffective, costly and a failure on Friday as he vetoed a bill some legislators said would fix it. State lawmakers had passed the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019, which includes changes to address shortcomings in a program designed to get North Carolina’s children reading at grade level by the end of third-grade. Despite spending at least $150 million since 2012, the state has seen reading scores in third grade decline.


Healthcare

NORTH CAROLINA HEALTH NEWS: Legislative funding proposal needed to facilitate Medicaid changeover
In order for Medicaid to shift to managed care later this year, the General Assembly needs to pass legislation and fund it. But the proposal contains a poison pill for the Department of Health and Human Services.

WRAL: Small business insurance bill becomes law over governor's objections
Senate Bill 86, which would allow small businesses, real estate agents and others with statewide trade groups to work together to set up health insurance plans, became law Sunday without the signature of Gov. Roy Cooper. 


Government

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: 5 million NC taxpayers could get tax refunds this fall if bill passes
The state’s $900 million budget surplus should be partly returned to taxpayers, General Assembly leaders said Wednesday before releasing a proposal they have drafted to give out income-tax refunds this fall to millions of North Carolina taxpayers.

THE LAURINBURG EXCHANGE: Divided elections boards OKs voting machines, including touch-screens
More than two hours into a long-anticipated meeting, audible moans swept the packed room where the State Board of Elections authorized several voting technologies for the 2020 election — including an updated version of controversial touch-screen devices. In a 3-2 decision, the board approved Election Systems & Software, followed by unanimous approval of two other companies, Hart InterCivic and Clear Ballot.


Politics

ABC NEWS: Last remaining US House race of 2018 a 1st test for the GOP ahead of 2020
The last U.S. House contest of 2018 and the first congressional test ahead of 2020 sits in North Carolina, where a re-do election in the state's 9th Congressional District is teeing up a tough battle between Republicans, who are defending a district that President Donald Trump carried by 12 points in 2016, and Democrats hope will extend their 2018 rout by one.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: North Carolina Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Sheriffs to Cooperate with ICE
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would require sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, the latest clash over an issue that has triggered fierce debate nationally. Under the measure, law-enforcement officers would be obligated to comply with requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold illegal immigrants subject to deportation until agents can pick them up. 


Technology

THE WASHINGTON POST: Phone companies, state attorneys general announce broad campaign to fight robocalls
Twelve of the country’s largest telephone companies on Thursday pledged to implement new technology to spot and block robocalls, part of an agreement brokered between the industry and 51 attorneys general to combat the growing telecom scourge.


Transportation

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Environmentalists drop objection to NC 540, after NCDOT agrees to concessions
The environmental groups that sued to try to stop a $2.24 billion, six-lane highway across southern Wake County have agreed to drop their lawsuit in exchange for several concessions from the N.C. Department of Transportation. The settlement clears the way for the final 28.4-mile segment of N.C. 540 to be completed from Holly Springs to Knightdale. Also known as the Triangle Expressway, the toll road is expected to be built in stages over the next decade.