AG Cooper says Duke should pay for coal-ash removal

June 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper told the state Senate that Duke Energy should pay for coal-ash cleanup at 33 sites across North Carolina rather than passing along costs to its customers. Charlotte-based Duke Energy has said it could cost up to $10 billion to move the coal ash to lined landfills.

Charlotte airport bill moves through NC House

June 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. House approved a bill that directs the city of Charlotte allow an independent commission run Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The bill has been criticized opponents as a "sneak attack" to steal the airport from the city.

NC Senate introduces bill for coal-ash cleanup

June 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State Senate leaders introduced a bill Monday that would require closing all 33 unlined coal-ash ponds in the state within 15 years. Duke Energy called the plan "aggressive" and said it would present significant challenges for the Charlotte-based company, including finding a place to store the ash.

New subpoena issued in coal-ash investigation

June 16, 2014

(Hickory Record)

A grand jury subpoena was issued Friday that directs the North Carolina Utilities Commission to provide more records regarding ash ponds at Duke Energy's Dan River Steam Station. The subpoena is part of an ongoing federal investigation that began after February's coal-ash spill at the plant. 

Fracking legislation attracts interest of energy companies

June 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The chairman of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission said three energy exploration companies have called him since the state General Assembly passed a bill to allow fracking in the state next year. Other companies are renewing leases in areas where there may be high concentrations of shale gas.

NC House gives initial approval to budget that includes 5% teacher pay raise

June 13, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The N.C. House gave preliminary approval late Thursday to a $21.1 billion budget proposal that includes an average 5% salary increase for teachers. The money for the pay raises would come from increased lottery profits.

NC House passes amendment that keeps film incentive talks alive

June 13, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The state House approved a budget amendment late Thursday that closely follows a Senate plan to turn film incentives into a grant program. Under the proposed plan, film projects would have to spend more to qualify for rebates and the payout caps would be lowered.

SBI probing campaign donations from sweepstakes industry to NC lawmakers

June 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating campaign contributions from video sweepstakes operators to state elected officials. A spokeswoman from the Department of Justice declined to say which lawmakers are under investigation.

House committee approves Pittenger's bill for business board

June 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A U.S. House committee has approved a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger that would create an advisory board to advocate for small businesses in the financial sector. The full House is expected to vote on the bill this summer.

NC House budget proposes 5% teacher raise funded by lottery

June 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state House proposed a budget Tuesday that would give teachers an average 5% raise without requiring them give up tenure. Money would come from increasing the advertising budget for the N.C. Education Lottery, which could lead to increased lottery sales. The Senate budget plan calls for an 11% raise for teachers who give up tenure.