Government

McCrory appoints van der Vaart to lead DENR

December 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory has chosen Donald van der Vaart to lead the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He has 20 years of experience with the state agency and is an adjunct professor at N.C. State University. van der Vaart will replace John Skvarla, who will become Commerce secretary when Sharon Decker steps down at year-end.

Unaffiliated voting surged in fall election

December 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The number of unaffiliated voters in fall's midterm election grew by one-third compared with 2010, according to data from the state Board of Elections. About 640,000 of the 2.9 million voters were not registered with a political party.

Regulator rejects request for homeowners' insurance rate hike

December 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin denied the N.C. Rate Bureau's request to increase homeowners' insurance rates by a state average of 25.6%. Goodwin instead recommended a 0.3% statewide average decrease.

McCrory administration proposes Cabinet-level technology department

December 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes presented a proposal to a legislative committee that would create a Cabinet-level information-technology department. The department would improve efficiency by using compatible software across state agencies.

Report: Medicaid expansion could lower NC unemployment rate

December 18, 2014

(WRAL.com)

A new report shows expanding Medicaid in North Carolina would create 43,000 jobs over five years. If Medicaid is not expanded by 2016, Mecklenburg and Wake counties each would create about 4,500 fewer jobs by 2020, according to the report from George Washington University.

Review panel approves fracking rules

December 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Rules Review Commission approved proposed safety standards for fracking, the practice of horizontal drilling for natural gas. The rules will now go before the state legislature when it convenes in January.

McCrory slams AP report on stock payout

December 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory denounced an Associated Press report that revealed he received a six-figure stock payout from Tree.com, the Charlotte-based online lender where McCrory served as a director prior to becoming governor. McCrory said the story was "misleading" and "riddled with factual errors."

AP probe shows McCrory took stock payouts from online lender

December 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An Associated Press investigation reveals that Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina accepted six-figure stock payouts from Charlotte-based online lender Tree.com shortly after taking office. McCrory and Sanford were directors at the parent company of Lending Tree, and both resigned after being elected to public office. 

NC gas tax to go up a penny on Jan. 1

December 16, 2014

(WRAL.com)

North Carolina's gas tax will rise 1 cent to 37.5 cents per gallon on New Year's Day. The tax is adjusted every six months and is based on a flat fee of 17.5 cents plus an average of the per-gallon wholesale price of gas over six months. The base period used for the calculation was April through September, before gas prices began to plummet.

McCrory working to restore historic-preservation tax credits

December 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory said last week he is assembling a coalition of architects, real-estate professionals and civic leaders to reinstate North Carolina's historic-preservation tax credits, which will expire Dec. 31 ("Getting out of rehab," May).