Government

Springsteen cancels G-boro show, more HB2 fallout

April 11, 2016

Ekornes, a Norwegian furniture maker that employs about 40 people in Burke County, is among the latest to oppose HB2. The president of the company sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday that suggested it could relocate its manufacturing plant, which opened in Morganton in January 2012. And Bruce Springsteen canceled his concert, scheduled for last night in Greensboro, over the controversial bill. Meanwhile, Guilford County Democrats have appointed Chris Sgro to finish out the term of state Rep. Ralph Johnson. Sgro is executive director of Equality N.C., a statewide group that advocates for LGBT rights. Despite opposition from corporations and state governments across the country, many residents in rural areas, such as N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore's Kings Mountain, support the law.

Haley says no need for 'bathroom' law in South Carolina

April 8, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who landed at No. 17 on Fortune magazine's 2016 list of the world's 50 greatest leaders — said her state doesn't need a "bathroom" law, since her office hasn't received any complaints on the issue. S.C. Sen. Lee Bright introduced a bill similar to North Carolina's HB2 that would prohibit transgender people from using bathrooms of their choice. The S.C. Chamber of Commerce says it will campaign against Bright, who is seeking a third term this year.

Other states try to lure NC companies in wake of HB2

April 7, 2016

More than 40 members of Connecticut's General Assembly sent a letter to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, encouraging the bank to move its headquarters there from Charlotte. BofA politely said "no thank you." Meanwhile, Montana officials invited PayPal to bring its operations center, originally planned for Charlotte, and 400 jobs to Big Sky Country, offering up to $5 million in incentives. Not afraid of the economic fallout and tarnished reputation North Carolina is beginning to face, South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright on Wednesday introduced a bill similar to HB2 that would ban transgender people from using public bathrooms of their choice.

NC GOP chairman could be ousted before convention

April 6, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Republican Party is calling for Hasan Harnett to be removed as chairman, accusing him of "potentially illegal behavior." A special meeting has been proposed for April 30, a week before the party's state convention. Harnett, the party's first black chairman, was barred from state Republican headquarters after he was accused of trying to tamper with the party website and cutting the price of convention fees. The conflict between Harnett and the state GOP has been compared to tensions in the national Republican party.

McCrory pitches teacher pay raises

April 6, 2016

(WRAL.com)

Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday his budget proposal will include plans to increase the average teacher salary in North Carolina to $50,000 per year. He also said his budget would include bonuses averaging 3.5% for teachers and principals. Mark Jewell, vice president of the N.C. Association of Educators, expressed skepticism. "The governor has a track record of signing whatever the legislature sends him, even if it’s a budget that ends up making North Carolina the second-worst for teachers in America," Jewell said.

Lionsgate cancels Charlotte film shoot over LGBT law

April 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The pilot for a new Hulu TV show called Crushed will be filmed in Vancouver, Canada instead of Charlotte. Lionsgate pulled production for the show because of the new state law that limits protections for LGBT people. The California-based studio is shooting a remake of the movie Dirty Dancing in western N.C.; Lionsgate will continue that project due since filming is already underway.

DHHS disputes Medicaid audit

April 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A state audit shows that North Carolina overpaid Medicaid providers by $835 million last year, thought the state Department of Health and Human Services says the figure is closer to $690 million.

Legislature may axe licensing rules for 12 occupations

April 4, 2016

(Greensboro News & Record)

State lawmakers are set to study a plan to eliminate state licensing requirements for a dozen occupations ranging from podiatrists to public librarians. The bill will be considered Tuesday by a legislative committee and may be considered by the full legislature during the session that starts later in April. State boards that grant the licenses include ones for fee-based pastoral counselors, electrolysis and laser hair practitioners, acupuncturists and athletic trainers.

Land expansion gives Piedmont Triad airport a chance for growth spurt

April 4, 2016

(Greeensboro News & Record)

Piedmont Triad International Airport is poised for expansion as construction continues on a taxiway and bridge that will connect the airport to 1,000 additional acres. The airport has transitioned from a small passenger-oriented facility into a diversified operation for cargo, aircraft maintenance and business-jet production that employs 5,000 people and helps support another 8,000 jobs in related industries.

Some Republicans open to minor changes in LGBT law

April 1, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

With major businesses and Democrats expressing outrage over North Carolina's new LGBT law, Gov. Pat McCrory said he is open to modifications of the law. Some Republican lawmakers said minor changes are possible. The law replaces local ordinances with a statewide nondiscrimination law that doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.


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