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Nov 9, 2020

NC Politics in the News

Agriculture

NORTH STATE JOURNAL: Steve Troxler wins 4th term as agriculture commissioner
Republican incumbent Steve Troxler has won reelection to his fourth term as North Carolina’s commissioner of agriculture, defeating Democratic challenger Jenna Wadsworth. With 2,642 of 2,662 precincts in the state reporting, Troxler built a margin of 53.9% to 46.1%.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: 'We're not disposable': Agricultural workers demand COVID-19 protections from state
Statewide and local organizations gathered in downtown Raleigh Thursday night to repeat calls to state officials to mandate rigorous protections for workers in the meat processing and produce agriculture industries in the COVID-19 pandemic. The North Carolina Farmworker Advocacy Network, a coalition of groups calling for Gov. Roy Cooper’s office and the North Carolina Department of Labor to protect workers, also held a vigil for the largely Latino immigrant essential workers who died due to COVID-19 contracted while on the job.


Economic Development

WRAL TECH WIRE: North Carolina ties Georgia for top spot in economic development ratings
North Carolina shares the top spot with Georgia in Site Selection’s widely followed Business Climate Ranking for 2020 after ranking just behind that state in 2019. “For the first time ever, two states claim the top spot — Georgia, which now has an eight-year run in first place, and North Carolina, which missed tying Georgia last year by just two points,” Site Selection says.


Education

WCNC CHARLOTTE: No evidence opening K-12 public schools is a factor in NC's increase in virus cases, state health officials say
State health officials said on Thursday there was no evidence that opening Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools has contributed to the recent rise in coronavirus cases across the state. Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, state health director and chief medical officer, said in a NC Department of Public Instruction meeting that although cases are rising, "we are not seeing schools as a big driver of cases."

THE CENTER SQUARE: North Carolina education officials propose more than $400M in education needs
North Carolina education officials may seek about $417 million from lawmakers in the next legislative session. The North Carolina State Board of Education (NCSBE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) met this week to discuss their legislative priorities, including $143 million to increase teacher pay, recruitment and professional development.

WBTV: North Carolina Superintendent Elect breaks down priorities, responds to parents primary concerns
“I’m very concerned with our funding of public schools,” said Charlotte Mecklenburg School counselor, Kathryn Schenk. “That leads to being concerned about having more social workers, goal counselors, psychologists, I think we definitely need more of that in the schools.” WBTV asked North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Elect—Catherine Truitt about her priorities for families.


Elections

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Here's the latest on the number of potential votes left to count in NC
A few days out from the 2020 election, county officials still have an estimated 166,000 potential votes left to count across North Carolina. That’s according to an analysis of state election data by The News & Observer as of about 6 a.m. Monday. The remaining ballots are unlikely to change unofficial results for the largest races for the White House and Senate, but they could affect downballot races with much smaller margins.


Environment

WCTI12: More than $1 Million environmental grants available for NC
Attorney General Josh Stein announced $1,099,449 in grants will go to some Eastern North Carolina counties to help improve and protect the environment.

The money is available through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program.

THE HILL: Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia partnering on offshore wind energy development
Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina are teaming up on an effort to kickstart wind energy and economic development off their shores. The new initiative provides a framework for the three states to "cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce," they said in a joint press release.


Health

WSOCTV: Percent positive rate in North Carolina stays above 6% as metrics trend up
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,094 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday-- a decrease in cases after Friday’s record high single-day increase in cases. Health officials reported 2,908 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest single-day increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Fresh off re-election, NC treasurer ready to continue pushing health plan revamp
With an election win in hand, North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell plans to continue pushing his revamp of the health plan for state employees — whether or not major health systems want to get on board.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Report: Estimated 257,000 in NC lost health insurance due to pandemic job cuts
An estimated 257,000 people in North Carolina lost their health insurance due to job loss during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to estimates released Monday in the North Carolina Medical Journal, a publication of NC Institute of Medicine and The Duke Endowment. That’s on top of the more than 1.1 million people who were already uninsured in North Carolina in 2019.


Politics

WCNC CHARLOTTE: Dr. Mandy Cohen in the running to lead Biden administration's Department of Health and Human Services, POLITICO reports
Dr. Mandy Cohen, current Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, is among the top contenders to lead the incoming Biden administration's U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to new reporting from POLITICO. The New York native has experience in medicine, advocacy, and government - and also became a household name in North Carolina for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic (a man in Burlington even wrote her a tribute song).

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Republicans keep majority in NC legislature as Democratic incumbents lose
The state legislature will keep its current balance of power, as Republicans won enough seats to preserve their majorities in the House and Senate — though they didn’t win enough for a veto-proof majority. Democrats didn’t succeed in flipping GOP-held seats and even had a few incumbents lose.


Transportation

SPECTRUM NEWS 1: Federal Grant to Help NCDOT Improve Transportation Safety and Efficiency
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it will use a $2.1 million grant to partner with N.C. State University and the city of Raleigh on a pilot program to improve transportation safety and efficiency. NCDOT says the program will focus on evaluating the impact of connected vehicles on driver and pedestrian safety.