United States: NC Politics In The News - June 15, 2015

Courts and Justice

NEWS & OBSERVER: House Overrides Governor's Veto of Marriage Bill
It took only minutes Thursday for the state House to override a veto by Gov. Pat McCrory and immediately enact a new law that allows certain county officials to avoid same-sex marriage duties if they invoke "any sincerely held religious objection."

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Supreme Court Declines to Take Up NC Ultrasound Law
The U.S. Supreme Court will not review the ruling that struck down North Carolina's 2011 ultrasound law.

WILMINGTON STAR NEWS: School Voucher Program on Hold for NC Supreme Court
A state program that uses taxpayer money to pay student tuition at private and religious schools is headed for uncertainty for the second straight year as a North Carolina judge grapples with whether it's constitutional.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Healthcare Ruling Could Rock the Carolinas or Blow Over
Within the next 15 days, almost 460,000 North Carolinians will learn whether they get to keep the federal subsidies that help them pay for health insurance.

NEWS & OBSERVER: PETA Sues Over Newest Possum Drop Bill
As expected, PETA has sued to stop a new law meant to allow a general story owner in western North Carolina from lowering to the ground an opossum on New Year's Eve.

Economy and Economic Development

WRAL: Surging Dollar to Blame for 'Blip' in Carolina Comeback
Numbers out this week from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis paint a less rosy picture for the Carolina Comeback.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Volvo Looked at Three NC Sites for Plant, Sought Incentives
Volvo considered three North Carolina sites and sought state incentives for an auto manufacturing plant it now plans to build in South Carolina, according to N.C. Department of Commerce records released Friday.

Elections

WRAL: Ex-Senate Candidate Grant runs for NC Insurance Commissioner
Heather Grant of Wilkes County announced her bid last Friday to seek the Republican Party's nomination for the job.

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Retiring Rep. Rick Glazier Draws Praise from NC Lawmakers
When Democratic state Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville retires from office this summer, North Carolina will lose a thoughtful, pragmatic lawmaker who earned the respect of Democrats and Republicans during his nearly 13 years in the General Assembly, lawmakers of both parties said last week.

WRAL: Retention Elections for Judges Among 12 Bills Signed into Law
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed a bill offering a new way for voters to decide whether to keep a state Supreme Court justice on the bench.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Main Street Democrats Look to the Middle for 'Pro-Business' NC Voters
With their party on the wrong side of Republican super-majorities in the General Assembly, growing numbers of Democrats are looking for relevance and success in the center.

Healthcare

WILMINGTON STAR NEWS: NC Lawmakers Near Familiar Impasse on Medicaid
NC House and Senate members are nearing the same impasse they reached a year ago on the best way to overhaul how the state Medicaid program pays to treat its 1.8 million patients.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Medicaid Payments Will Cost State 9.7 Million
It will cost the state $9.7 million, at most, to help make overdue payments to 2,500 health care providers who have treated poor, elderly people on Medicaid.

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: House Panel Ok's Warning Labels on Liquids Used with E-Cigs
Legislation has cleared a second House step to mandate child-resistant packaging and warning labels on liquids used with electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.

Regulatory Reform

WRAL: Zoning Limits Heads to Governor's Desk
A proposal to limit local design and appearance rules for single-family homes is on its way to Gov. Pat McCrory after winning final approval in the state House last week.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Vote on NC House Gun Bill Delayed
What is turning out to be one of the session's more controversial bills – a proposal to loosen gun laws – was expected to be approved by the full House after extensive debate last week, but it was pulled at the last minute.

WRAL: Deer Farming Bill Herded Through Committee
House leaders are pushing ahead on a bill that would allow the expansion of deer farming in North Carolina.

Senate Bill 513, the Farm Act of 2015, is a smorgasbord of provisions, ranging from taxes on horse feed to tax policy for immigrant farmworkers to allowing farmers to burn agriculture polyurethane rather than recycling it.

WRAL: Business Registration, Legal Notice Bills too Hot for NC Senate Committee
A bill that would raise a new fee on virtually all businesses in the state and another measure that would change how local governments advertise meetings were withdrawn from consideration after rolling out in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Senate Bill Aims at Bike Lanes, Stream Buffers
The Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to regulatory changes that would free landowners in parts of Eastern North Carolina to scrape away shoreline vegetative buffers that reduce pollution in rivers and sounds.

State Budget

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Senate Republicans Want Budget Plan Approved This Week
Several budget subcommittees will meet Monday afternoon to unveil key portions of the Senate proposal. Chamber leaders want the measure approved by the full appropriations committee Tuesday.

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC Senate Plan Would Add Sales Tax to Services, Shift Revenue
N.C. Senate Republicans have stuffed a House economic development bill with 46 pages of their own proposals – including lower personal income tax rates, a change in corporate taxes and a new formula for distributing sales tax revenues among counties.

Transportation

MORGANTON NEWS HERALD: Bill Would Require Moped Owners to Have Insurance
A proposed bill that would require moped owners to get liability insurance is scheduled for a second reading vote in the state Senate on Monday.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: NC House Panel Endorses Immigrant Driving Permits to 'Document the Undocumented'
The House Finance Committee approved a bill last week that would allow the state to grant driving permits to North Carolina residents who are in the state illegally.

NEWS & OBSERVER: NCDOT Lets Residents Get New Driver's License Online
The state Division of Motor Vehicles quietly added the license renewal option to its website (ncdot.gov/dmv/online) last week.

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: NC Senate Bill to Regulate Ride-Sharing Services Changed After RDU Criticism
Silicon Valley app-based Uber – a startup that connects would-be riders with drivers, drivers who often use the platform to make extra cash in their spare time – isn't sitting idly as North Carolina legislators discusses insurance requirements for smartphone-based transportation services.

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