Government

NC environmental agency fines Duke Energy $25M

March 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources fined Charlotte-based Duke Energy a record $25 million for groundwater contamination at its coal-fired power plant in Wilmington. The agency hinted that more fines could be levied for violations at other Duke plants. 

Attorney general asks Ritz Carlton about CIAA charges

March 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

A deputy attorney general from Roy Cooper's office sent a letter to the manager of the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown Charlotte, asking for information about why it added a 15% surcharge to lounge customers during last month's CIAA basketball tournament. 

NC pension fund returned 6% in 2014

March 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina pension fund, which provides retirement benefits for more than 900,000 teachers and other state employees, gained 6.2% in 2014. Real-estate investments increased 19.4% and alternative investments, including hedge funds and private equity, gained 14%. Stocks, which account for 44% of the fund's assets, rose 3.7%.

Incentives, gas tax bills move on to NC Senate

March 9, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state House last week passed a jobs incentives bill that would double the cap on the Job Development Investment Grant program to $45 million and bill that would drop the state gas tax to 36 cents a gallon starting April 1. Neither bill would have passed without bipartisan support.

McCrory unveils $21.5B state budget proposal

March 6, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory's proposed budget for 2015-2017 includes a 2.8% increase in education funding, though the university system will be asked to cut its budget by 1.2%, or about $26 million. Other state agencies would also be asked to trim their budgets by 1 to 2%. McCrory's plan doesn't include any tax increases, though it does incorporate legislation passed by the state Senate in February that would raise the gas tax.
Also: McCrory pitches $21.5 billion budget (WRAL.com) 

NC chief justice calls for more courts funding

March 5, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin told the General Assembly Wednesday the state's underfunded court system is eroding the pubic's confidence in the justice system. The Administrative Office of the Courts said in February it needs $16 million a year in additional funding.

Petraeus to plead guilty to sharing classified information

March 4, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus will plead guilty to mishandling classified material following an investigation on whether he shared classified "black books" with Charlotte resident Paula Broadwell while she was writing his biography. According to the plea deal, the federal government recommends two years probation and a $40,000 fine, but no prison time for Petraeus.

NC House committees approve jobs incentives plan

March 4, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Two House committees voted in favor of Gov. Pat McCrory's jobs incentives plan that would double the amount of money available in the state's fund used to attract major employers to North Carolina. The N.C. Competes plan will move on the full state House later this week.

Courts director John Smith to retire in May

March 3, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

John W. Smith will step down as director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts on May 1. Appointed to the post in 2009, Smith has been criticized by Republican legislators for not allowing magistrates to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. 

LGBT ordinance defeated in Charlotte

March 3, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 against a proposal that would have extended nondiscrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Prior to the vote, the council removed a controversial section of the ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the the gender they identify with.