Supreme Court ruling could make NC a 'purple' state

April 22, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday could make it tougher for Republicans to maintain control of the legislature. The court ordered the North Carolina Supreme Court to reconsider a challenge to the legislative and congressional districts passed by the state General Assembly in 2011.

McCrory again questions need for religious freedom bills

April 21, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday expressed concerns over religious freedom act bills, which opponents say would enable discrimination based on sexual orientation. McCrory questioned the need for the legislation on a Charlotte radio show last month.

Bill would provide oversight for contract workers

April 20, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state has spent an average of $22 million a year over the last five years to pay contract workers to fill temporary positions, though a recent report shows many are overcompensated and stay on the payroll for several years. A new proposal would impose new restrictions on the use of contract workers.

Bills focus on homeowners insurance rates

April 20, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state legislature will consider at least five bills related to homeowners insurance. Most of the bills, including a pair of bills that would give the state insurance commissioner increased ability to lower insurance rates, favor homeowners and keeping premiums down.

McCrory to propose $3B in bonds for road projects, facility upgrades

April 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory plans to announce Friday two $1.5 billion bond proposals to fund state transportation and infrastructure improvements. The transportation bond includes about 20 highway projects. The separate infrastructure bond would fund upgrades at the state's two ports, projects at 10 UNC system campuses and 28 state parks, among others.

Hospitals fight proposal that would increase competition

April 16, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The state hospital association opposes a bill that would eliminate the state's certificate of need laws, making it easier for outside groups to open same-day surgery centers and clinics. Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Henderson County who introduced the bill, says eliminating the CON program would would offer consumers more choices and lower costs.

State revenue up 2% over last year

April 15, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State revenue was up 2% – about $257 million – through the nine-month period that ended March 31 compared with the same period a year ago. Sales and use taxes increased 13.8%, while income tax revenue was down.

Bill would end protest petitions in rezoning cases

April 14, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

A bill that passed in the state House would end protest petitions in property rezoning cases. The bill would require two-thirds of city council members, rather than three-fourths, to approve a rezoning. Opponents of the bill say petitions are needed to give average homeowners a voice against developers. Developers say the petitions give small, minority groups unfair leverage.

Audit shows ex-SEANC director misspent $500,000

April 13, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Dana Cope, the former leader of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, misspent $494,043 between October 2012 and February 2015, according to an audit summary released Saturday. Cope, who was the organization's director for 15 years, resigned in February after The News & Observer published a report on questionable spending practices.

UNC governors say McCrory proposal will hurt fundraising efforts

April 10, 2015

(The Herald-Sun, Durham)

The UNC Board of Governors say a proposal included in Gov. Pat McCrory's 2015-16 budget request would take $17.9 million out of fundraising coffers at schools in the UNC system. McCrory wants to cap the state's contribution to fundraising costs at $1 million a campus.