Government

AG Cooper to appeal utilities commission ruling

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper plans to appeal a ruling that allows utilities to collect a 6.9% rate from customers though the state legislature lowered the corporate income tax rate to 6% this year. 

State Ethics Commission issues belated review of fracking panel

December 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Now that the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission has completed its primary task of writing safety rules for fracking, the State Ethics Commission has flagged 12 of its 14 members for potential conflicts of interest, including investments in energy stocks and energy consulting work. 

State lawmakers still at odds over Medicaid reform

December 8, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

In a legislative subcommittee meeting last week, GOP leaders of the N.C. House and Senate still expressed differing opinions on how to contain Medicaid costs. Sen. Ralph Hise, a member of the DHHS oversight panel who supports contracting with managed-care companies to help manage Medicaid, says it is "feasibly impossible" for the state to expand Medicaid at this point.

NCDOT presents new 10-year transportation plan

December 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Transportation released a 10-year State Transportation Improvement Program, which replaces a 1989 law that gave less priority to the needs of North Carolina's urban areas. The new program includes the DOT's commitment to help fund about 500 highways projects and a 17-mile light rail line from UNC Hospitals to Duke University. 
Related: Tolls planned for 3 Charlotte area roads

Some teachers object to education materials funded by Koch family

December 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction recommended Wednesday that state high school social studies teachers use a curriculum prepared by the Bill of Rights Institute, a Virginia-based organization funded by the conservative Koch family.

NC DOT could require fracking companies to pay for road repairs

December 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation may require energy companies to pay for any needed road and bridge repairs after fracking for natural gas. Some rural N.C. roads were not designed for the heavy truck traffic the practice will bring. If state legislators approve proposed safety rules, fracking could begin as early as spring 2015.

New leader named at Economic Development Partnership of NC

December 2, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Christopher Chung will become CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on Jan. 12. Chung, 38, has led the public-private Missouri Partnership since 2007 and replaces interim CEO Richard Lindenmuth. He will receive an annual salary of $225,000 and will be eligible for a performance bonus of up to 25% of his salary.

New NC laws take effect Monday

December 1, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

New regulations for unmanned aerial aircraft and firearms take effect Monday in North Carolina. Another new law makes it a felony to assault or threaten another person – including family members and co-workers – as retaliation against a legislative officer, executive officer or court officer. 

Recount confirms Beasley's court race win

November 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cheri Beasley, an associate justice, was confirmed the winner in the statewide N.C. Supreme Court race after a recount was completed Monday. The final tally showed Beasley received 5,410 more votes than opponent Mike Robinson, a Winston-Salem lawyer, out of more than 2.4 million votes cast. Beasley was appointed to the seat in 2012. 

Media groups file public-records lawsuit over UNC investigation

November 25, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Ten media organizations filed a lawsuit Monday to obtain names of UNC Chapel Hill staff members who were fired or disciplined following the release of the 131-page Wainstein report on academic fraud at the university. North Carolina's public-records law states that details regarding the demotion, suspension or dismissal of state employees must be made available to the public.