Charlotte approves LGBT protections; McCrory warns of legislative action

February 23, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Following a three-hour meeting where 140 people spoke, Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 to approve expanding legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people. The ordinance applies to public places including restaurants, stores and taxis. A similar proposal failed last year. Gov. Pat McCrory warned that if the ordinance passed, "immediate state legislative intervention" was likely.

Tillis endorses Rubio for GOP nomination

February 22, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is endorsing Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential campaign. Tillis and Rubio are both first-term senators and former state House speakers. In a statement from Rubio's campaign, Tillis also mentioned that both came from "humble beginnings."
Also: How Marco Rubio edged out Ted Cruz for second in SC (hint: Nikki Haley helped)

House moves congressional primary to June 7

February 19, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. House voted to move the state's congressional primary from March 15 to June 7, a change that would eliminate runoff elections. The state Senate is expected to approve the change Friday. Primaries for other races and a $2 billion bond vote would be held March 15. The Senate approved a new congressional district map Thursday; the House will vote on the issue Friday.

Legislators study major changes to congressional map

February 18, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State lawmakers on Thursday will consider a proposal to change North Carolina's congressional district maps. The proposed changes affect each of the state's 13 districts, though a 10-3 partisan split would remain: three districts would strongly favor Democrats while the other 10 would favor Republicans.

Another call to break up the big banks

February 17, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Neel Kashkari, who became president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis last month, said Tuesday the nation's biggest banks are "still too big to fail" and still pose a "significant risk" to the economy. Kashkari, a Republican, plans to study the issue and develop a proposal by year-end, which could involve breaking up the biggest financial institutions.
Also: Fed's Kashkari, in first speech, suggests radical Wall St. overhaul

Hundreds attend hearings on election maps

February 16, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Hundreds of people turned out at six hearings across the state on Monday to weigh in on how to redraw congressional district lines. State legislators on Friday must submit a new election map after a three-judge panel ruled that two districts are racially gerrymandered.
Also: Voices fall along partisan lines at statewide redistricting meetings

Teacher tenure debate heads to NC Supreme Court

February 15, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Monday over a 2013 decision that phases out teacher tenure. In June, the N.C. Court of Appeals determined that the plan equated to an illegal taking of contract and property rights. Supporters of keeping teacher tenure say it provides job security for individuals who could have chosen higher-paying professions.

Lawmakers study environmental harm of solar panels

February 12, 2016


North Carolina's thriving solar-power industry means the state has massive numbers of solar panels. Lawmakers questioned state environmental officials and company representatives about their impact at a Raleigh hearing.

DMV denies photo ID for 86-year-old Asheville woman

February 12, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The tale of an 86-year-old Asheville woman who applied for a photo ID so she could vote in next month's election — and was turned away — has sparked more debate over the state's voter ID law. "We messed that one up," state DMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas said.

NC Insurance Department examines Blue Cross Blue Shield

February 12, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state agency has launched a probe into Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and its technology problems, which have led to more than 1,000 formal complaints from customers who were unable to buy or verify health insurance.