Patrick Gannon says that when the House finished debate on its $22 billion budget, many listeners had to wonder what of any consequence had been accomplished with all the talk.
The Greensboro News & Record says that that local budget plans seem reasonable and responsible. The state Senate could still shake things up.
If GOP legislators try to see that the new UNC president passes an ideological litmus test, they can forget any chance of the university getting the leader it needs says the Raleigh News & Observer.
Patrick Gannon says that it’s fairly rare that news out of state government surprises the seasoned and cynical reporters that cover the statehouse.
The Charlotte Observer writes that a N.C. donor’s outburst is a blunt example of a dangerous political culture.
A news outlet’s willingness to own up to its mistakes says a lot about its credibility.
Professors do future journalists and the reading public no favors by teaching students that a left-wing narrative trumps the facts.
News outlets shirk their duty when they fail to acknowledge important stories.
May 26, 2015, By Dan WayRALEIGH — An unusual coalition of 12 liberal Democrats and 11 conservative Republicans comprised the only formal opposition to the $22.1-billion General Fund budget passed around 1:00 a.m. May 22 by the state House of Representatives. The spending plan, approved by a 93-23 vote, is expected to undergo dramatic changes in the Senate and received a less-than-enthusiastic response by Gov. Pat McCrory, who has tended to align more closely with the lower chamber in fiscal debates.
RALEIGH — After months of negotiations and more than nine hours of debate, the state House early Friday approved a $22 billion budget with a surprising show of unity. About two-thirds of the chamber’s Democrats joined the majority of Republicans to pass the budget bill by an unusually bipartisan margin of 93-23. The naysayers were split between the most conservative and liberal representatives.
RALEIGH — Despite skepticism among some lawmakers, North Carolina’s tax break for solar farms and other renewable energy projects continues gaining in popularity. In 2014, the state’s residents and businesses claimed $126.7 million in the tax credit, which is another way of saying that amount wasn’t paid in taxes by those who installed solar panels or any of 17 other renewable technologies.
RALEIGH — State environmental regulators are arguing that even if the commission that created North Carolina’s first fracking regulations is found to be unconstitutional the work it has done is still valid. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources makes that argument in a lawsuit brought against the state by an environmental group and a Lee County resident who lives next to land leased for natural gas extraction.
CHARLOTTE — Buried in Duke Energy’s $102 million settlement of federal charges linked to coal ash this month is an unrelated provision that might cost Duke even more money. Duke agreed to a claims process for municipal water systems affected by power-plant scrubbers that make air emissions cleaner.
RALEIGH — The state must get faster at approving food stamp applications or risk losing money that supports the program, a federal agency warned this week. The state takes too long to process food stamp applications and is consistently below an acceptable rate, said a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture dated Thursday.
WINSTON-SALEM — The N.C. House’s passage of its budget proposal Thursday has breathed new life into one of two bills proposing changes to foster care services. Included in the budget was funding for House Bill 424, which would extend the age limit for individuals in foster care and guardianship from 18 to 19. The bill, along with Senate Bill 424, is titled “Fostering Success.”
FAYETTEVILLE — Doctors in North Carolina learned an important lesson after last year’s flu vaccine wasn’t as effective as usual — in times like that, secondary treatments like antiviral medications are even more important. State officials said 219 people died this past flu season in North Carolina, the most deaths since the Department of Health and Human Services began tracking flu deaths in 2009.
RALEIGH — For years, health advocates used prevention campaigns to stop teen smoking before it starts, but state funding for such efforts was snuffed out just as e-cigarettes started growing in popularity. From 2011 to 2013, the number of North Carolina high school students who started using electronic cigarettes rose by an estimated 352 percent, according to a study by the state Division of Public Health.
CHARLOTTE — Children born in mountainous Watauga County can expect to live almost 82 years – on par with some of the world’s healthiest countries. But for those who grow up in rural Swain County, just 140 miles to the southwest, it’s a different world. They can expect to live just 73 years – roughly the same as those born in Cambodia.
RALEIGH — UNC-Chapel Hill officials now know the results of a nearly yearlong investigation by the NCAA into the longstanding academic fraud that involved 3,100 students over an 18-year-period. But the only clue the university provided about the NCAA’s findings, known as a Notice of Allegations, is that they are lengthy. UNC officials declined to make the document immediately available.
RALEIGH — Two of Gov. Pat McCrory’s five appointees to the Board of Transportation this spring are Republican fundraisers. A blind spot in state ethics law prevents the public from seeing how much money they helped McCrory collect from campaign donors. When the governor’s first batch of appointees filed their disclosure forms two years ago, one of them reported having raised more than $100,000 to help McCrory win election in 2012.
RALEIGH — Legislators in America’s second-largest banking center are considering regulations for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. North Carolina’s banking commissioner is seeking legislative authority to require that companies circulating digital IOUs meet consumer protection, anti-money laundering and other standards. Legislation passed the state House earlier this month and is pending in the Senate.
ASHEVILLE — After a couple of break-ins and with her husband out of town on business at times, Kim Smith Worley decided to take her safety into her own hands. Just as millions of other Americans have in recent years, she bought a gun and got her concealed carry permit, which allows her to legally carry the weapon on her or in her car, as long as she abides by state laws.
RALEIGH — State senators are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to create a new class of crime for graffiti, which could lead to prison time for repeat offenders. House Bill 552 would separate graffiti from other forms of vandalism and would charge with a felony anyone with two previous convictions for “graffiti vandalism” or anyone charged with five or more such violations in a 60-day period.
WILMINGTON — Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced legislation Friday that would designate Wilmington as the country’s first “American World War II City.” The bill co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., would designate one city each year as a World War II City, starting with Wilmington because of the city’s contributions to the war.