Archive: Quick Takes

  • Senate bills address concerns over demand for qualified teachers

    A pair of  bills in the N.C. Senate would change the way teachers are chosen and hired. By expanding the hiring pool, Senate Bill 448, Professors in the Classroom, and S.B., 599, Excellent Educators for Every Classroom, is meant to address a growing demand for qualified teachers. Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, is the primary sponsor…

  • Clock running out on certificate-of-need reform for 2017 NCGA session

    Certificate-of-need reforms were left out of the final budget compromise passed by the General Assembly. But backers aren’t giving up on curtailing or ending the regulation that forces medical providers to get permission from the government to make major new investments. Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, successfully inserted a phased-in…

  • Budget could go to governor as early as Thursday

    After more than three hours of debate, on Wednesday the state House passed the budget conference report for 2017-19 by an initial margin of 77-40, five votes more than needed to override a potential veto by Gov. Roy Cooper. The House is set on Thursday to give the compromise budget a…

  • Agriculture Department, auditor clash over milk safety

    The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services bristled Wednesday at a state audit that found the department failed to responsibly enforce sanitary requirements at dairy farms and milk plants to keep Grade “A” milk safe for consumers. In a contentious report outlining the findings, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler disputed…

  • ‘Raise the age’ provision part of House-Senate budget deal

    RALEIGH — The General Assembly’s compromise budget plan funds House Bill 280, which would raise the age of many juvenile offenders from 16 to 18. The General Assembly has allocated $1 million to implement the plan, and $13.4 million to build a new juvenile detention facility. The N.C. Department of…

  • Third parties could gain easier access to N.C. ballot

    Third parties would face a lower hurdle in seeking a spot on North Carolina’s election ballot, under a bill that cleared a state House committee this morning. The measure also helps unaffiliated candidates and lowers the percentage of votes a candidate needs to win to avoid a primary runoff. The…

  • Lawmakers pass bill giving surplus computers to students 

    Legislation to provide surplus computers to students from low-income homes has passed the General Assembly. Republican Sens. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg; Andrew Brock, R-Davie; and Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell; sponsored Senate Bill 312. Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Information Technology, sponsored a similar version of the bill…

  • Lawmaker wants to know how much money agencies are squirreling away

    Sen. Andy Wells, R-Catawba, wants know how much state taxpayer money agencies are spending for unintended purposes. During debate Thursday on House Bill 403, Wells joined other senators in criticizing the nearly $1 billion in reserve funds held by the seven state-designated Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations. The LME/MCOs administer regional services for mental…