Government

McCrory says coal-ash commission is unconstitutional

August 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory said he is likely to sign the coal-ash cleanup bill approved by state legislators, though he believes the provision allowing the General Assembly to appoint a majority of members to an oversight commission violates the separation between executive and legislative branches of the government.

Failure to approve closing fund could cost state jobs

August 25, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

State legislators' decision not to approve a $20 million Jobs Catalyst Fund for recruiting new businesses puts North Carolina at a disadvantage when competing with other states, says John Lassiter, chairman of N.C. Economic Development Board.

Judge declares school voucher program unconstitutional

August 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A Superior Court judge ruled that a 2013 North Carolina law that allows using public money for tuition at private schools in unconstitutional. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office will appeal the ruling.

Coal-ash bill moves forward

August 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state House and Senate approved a bill that would require Duke Energy to remove ash from four of its coal-fired power plants and close all 33 ash ponds in North Carolina. The bill, which will now go to Gov. Pat McCrory for approval, would create a commission to oversee the utility's ash cleanup progress.

Legislators compromise on coal-ash bill

August 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

State legislators could vote as early as Wednesday on a bill that would require Duke Energy to remove coal ash from four power plants. Storage ponds at other coal-fired power plants could be capped without removing ash, provided the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources finds that the ash will not contaminate groundwater (cover story, April).

NC House defeats sales tax, incentives bill

August 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. House voted against a bill that would have created a $20 million closing fund for corporate recruiting and that would have capped local sales taxes at 2.5%.

Mark Martin named chief justice of NC Supreme Court

August 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Mark Martin chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. Martin, a Republican and senior associate justice since 2006, will replace Sarah Parker, who is retiring at the end of August, and will serve in the position for the next two months. He is seeking election to the seat in November.

New law requires 3-judge panel for constitutional cases

August 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new state law will require a panel of three judges, appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, to preside over constitutional challenges to laws. The state legislature passed the law to prevent plaintiffs from shopping for judges who they believe are likely to block laws approved by legislators.

Report: Decision not to expand Medicaid to cost NC $51 billion

August 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

North Carolina will miss out on $51 billion in federal funding over the next decade based on the state's decision not to expand Medicaid, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute. Republican state Sen. Ralph Hise says the report is an exaggeration.

NC to pay off federal unemployment debt sooner than planned

August 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina says it is ahead of schedule on paying off federal debt amassed to pay off unemployment benefits after the Great Recession. The state now owes less than $600 million, down from a peak of $2.8 billion, and expects to pay it off by August 2015, earlier than its target date of November 2015.