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Mar 29, 2021

NC Politics in the News

Agriculture

WRAL TechWire: Ag giant Syngenta to keep North Carolina HQ in Greensboro, invest $68M
After considering other cities and states, global agriculture giant Syngenta has decided to keep its North American Crop Protection headquarters in Greensboro, where it will invest $68 million to renovate aging labs and build a new office building to support its 650 employees and 100 contract workers.


Economic Development

WBTV: Economic development, affordable housing project planned in East Spencer
According to developer Kenneth Fox, functionally obsolete commercial properties, the lingering effects of a decimated manufacturing and textile economy, low municipal budgets, and the lack of educated, skilled and semi-skilled labor forces, have hurt areas like East Spencer.

WRAL Techwire: UNC, Chapel Hill team up to drive economic development in the town, Triangle
The Strategy is a comprehensive initiative to increase UNC-Chapel Hill’s economic impact in Chapel Hill and across the Triangle region by leveraging the University’s capabilities to develop talent, translate innovation and create vibrant places.


Education

THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: State Board of Education approves 3-feet social distancing for return to classrooms
The N.C. State Board of Education has voted unanimously to switch social-distancing requirements under a “Plan A” return to public school classrooms to 3 feet rather than the previous six feet. The new rules are in accordance with new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that cut in half the social-distancing requirements in K-12 classrooms. Those apply to elementary, middle, and high schools.

WRAL: NC Senate leader again seeks retooling of reading program
It was Berger who in 2013 helped pass the “Read to Achieve” program, which seeks to ensure students are reading-proficient before they complete third grade. Those who aren't could be held back. A 2018 university study found no benefit on reading scores from the program.


Government

WRAL: Lawmakers press to keep children under age 10 out of NC courts
The state Senate voted 45-0 on Thursday for legislation that would raise the minimum age for criminal prosecution to 10, on par with many other states.

Many cases of alleged delinquency in young children are already handled through diversion programs. But if parents or guardians don't follow through, the child can end up facing charges in front of a judge.

SELC: NC gov's proposed budget invests in healthy air and water, clean energy jobs 
The governor’s budget recognizes that climate change is an issue that must be tackled throughout state government, not just at the Department of Environmental Quality. It recognizes the magnitude of the opportunity to transition North Carolina to a clean economy through investments at DEQ, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.


Healthcare

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: North Carolina to open COVID vaccines to all adults April 7 
All North Carolinians who are at least 16 years old will qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine April 7, state health officials and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday. Meanwhile, essential workers not yet vaccinated can get their shot starting March 31.


Politics

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: State Democrats pitch bills to expand voting access in NC
The Democrats announced they plan to file legislation that would make voter registration of eligible citizens automatic when they turn 18, permit same-day registration on Election Day and make that day a holiday. Other measures would combat voter intimidation, make online registration more accessible and keep in place a nine-day window in which absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day could be received by counties and still count.


Transportation

WCNC: ' Music to my ears' Buttigieg praises Charlotte's 2040 mobility plan
United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is only a few weeks into his new position but he's already looking to form partnerships with growing cities like Charlotte, as President Biden plans to unveil a $3 trillion infrastructure package next week.