Government

Opinion: India-born grad student says NC 'closing the door' to newcomers

May 16, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Jai Kumar, a graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill who was born in India and grew up in the Triangle, says that by enacting voter ID laws, cutting funding to public schools, not expanding Medicaid and passing measures such as House Bill 2, North Carolina is sending a message to immigrants like his parents and others who are "different" that they are not welcome here.
Related: European Union blasts House Bill 2, other state LGBT laws

Federal government won't cut funds to NC

May 13, 2016

(WRAL.com)

The Obama administration said Thursday it will not withhold federal funds for schools and roads while the legal battle over House Bill 2 plays out. Meanwhile on Friday, the president will tell all public school districts in the U.S. that they should allow transgender students to use the bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Report: HB2 could cost NC $5 billion a year

May 12, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

The economic toll of House Bill 2 could approach $5 billion a year, according to a report by the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the UCLA School of Law. Ricky Diaz, spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory, responded, "This is a left-wing report produced in California," and called it an "obvious attempt to smear North Carolina." Meanwhile Democrats in North Carolina raised concerns over whether the state is footing the bill for McCrory's travel expenses to appear on national TV programs where he defended HB2.

House Democrats file nondiscrimination bill

May 11, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

In an effort to gain support for repealing House Bill 2, a group of House Democrats filed House Bill 1078, which would protect citizens from discrimination in housing, employment, lending, education, insurance and access to bathrooms. At a three-hour meeting on Wednesday, the UNC Board of Governors decided to search for an attorney to represent the university system in a federal lawsuit filed by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Board Chairman Lou Bissette said he stands behind UNC System President Margaret Spellings, who has said the university is caught in the middle of the HB2 controversy.

HB2 showdown results in pair of lawsuits

May 10, 2016

(WRAL.com)

The U.S. Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina and the UNC System on Monday, hours after Gov. Pat McCrory filed his own lawsuit asking that the federal courts declare House Bill 2 doesn't discriminate against LBGT people. If the courts find the law to be discriminatory, billions in federal funding could be withheld. U.S Attorney General (and Greensboro native) Loretta Lynch called the bill "state-sponsored discrimination." UNC System President Margaret Spellings says the university is "caught in the middle," with 11 campuses passing resolutions opposing HB2. Spellings responded to the Justice Department's request with a letter describing the university's longstanding policy of nondiscrimination. The UNC Board of Governors will hold a special meeting to discuss the matter Tuesday afternoon.

Opinion: US needs to uphold promise to Swain County

May 9, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Swain County is preparing to sue the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior over $40 million owed to the county. In the 1940s, as the federal government began acquiring land to build Fontana Dam, a new road was promised for the lake's north shore. Dubbed "The Road to Nowhere,"  it was never completed. A settlement of $52 million was reached in 2003, but so far Swain has only received $12.8 million.

House speaker: NC lawmakers won't meet Monday deadline on HB2

May 6, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

"We will take no action by Monday" said N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, referring to a federal deadline to declare that House Bill 2 won't be implemented. But a spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory said the governor is planning to respond to the Department of Justice order by the Monday deadline. The DOJ sent letters to state leaders on Wednesday warning that billions in education funding could be in jeopardy if the state doesn't overturn the law, which the DOJ says violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

US Justice Department challenges HB2

May 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina is at risk of losing billions in federal education funding over House Bill 2. In three separate letters — to Gov. Pat McCrory, the secretary of public safety and the UNC System — the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday said the law violates the Civil Rights Act, giving state officials until Monday, May 9 to respond. If the finding is upheld, the government can withhold education funding. This year, N.C. public schools received $861 million; in 2014-15, the UNC System got $1.4 billion.

McCrory loses round in suit over public records requests

May 4, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A superior court judge denied Gov. Pat McCrory's request to dismiss a complaint filed by several news organizations contending the state repeatedly delayed requests for public records. The lawsuit cites cases including a 2012 request by The Charlotte Observer for records from the Chief Medical Examiner's office. The request was filled only after a year's delay and threats of legal action. McCrory's team said it will appeal the ruling.

Op-ed: Managed-care Medicaid program will be too costly for docs

May 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

David Tayloe, a pediatrician from Goldsboro, says the General Assembly's Waiver Proposal, which would convert the state's Medicaid program to a for-profit managed-care system, will lead to high administrative costs for physicians. Providers will drop out of the program, Tayloe says, leaving patients without access to high-quality care.