Anyone convicted of a felony in North Carolina would have to complete their sentence, probation or parole, then wait five more years before attempting to regain voter status under SB 721 — which would also institute photo identification for voters and other changes in North Carolina voting rights. Felons would additionally have to provide affidavits […]
Author: Nelda Holder
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Legislature heads toward crossover with more than 1,700 bills to pick through
There are only three weeks left before the 2013 session of the N.C. General Assembly hits its crossover deadline of May 16. In general, that means to have a chance at becoming law, bills must have passed a third reading in the house or senate (whichever chamber initiated the bill) and moved to the other chamber by that date. More than 1,700 bills have been introduced since January (1,002 in the House; 725 in the Senate), including the recent arrival of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $49,590,935,190 budget for 2013-14. It’s going to be a busy time.
MSD board meeting mixes humor and politics
A seemingly straightforward meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County took two surprising turns on Wednesday afternoon. One led to a staff report on a private sewer-line failure that took more than two years to resolve. The other led to a vote on withdrawing a December proposal to the city of Asheville regarding the possible merger of water and sewer management — an action that was rejected. UPDATED THURSDAY, APRIL 18.
Bill to eliminate class size limits in public schools moves forward in N.C. General Assembly
The Senate Education Committee today approved legislation (SB 374) to eliminate class-size restrictions in public schools. Instead, the bill would give financial discretion to each school district in spending state funds for teacher positions. The legislation now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where Sen. Tom Apodaca, Republican of Henderson County, is a member. The […]
N.C. House members pushing bipartisan redistricting bill
The prime sponsors of a nonpartisan redistricting bill in the N.C. House of Representatives plan a press conference at noon in the Statehouse press room tomorrow to discuss their support for H.B. 606. The bill is based on the so-called “Iowa Model” — a criteria- and data-driven model that avoids partisanship and gerrymandering in the […]
In the minority: Fisher tackles new leadership role in N.C. House
Elected in January as one of three Democratic whips, Rep. Susan Fisher of Asheville must know each bill’s contents and be able to explain them to her party’s caucus.
State religion for North Carolina?
A joint resolution filed in the N.C. General Assembly declares that the Legislature “does not recognize federal court rulings” prohibiting or regulating the establishment of religion by the state, its political subdivisions, and its public schools. The resolution, HB 494, was filed yesterday and quickly began to hit such national news outlets as The Atlantic, […]
Governor closes state office for Latino affairs
The state’s Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs has been eliminated by N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, a move considered by some as “just the latest clash” between McCrory and the Latino community. The office served as a conduit for policy feedback, a resource for emergency services, and a community education source for the state’s 800,000 Latino residents.
Senate committee vote moves death penalty bill forward
The Senate Judiciary I Committee passed a bill Tuesday morning that its sponsor says would lift a de facto death penalty moratorium in North Carolina, in part by sweeping away the last remnants of the Racial Justice Act.
MSD impact study offers snapshot of moving merger target
In a proposed merger of the Asheville water system and the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, the already-complicated factors have multiplied. This month, state legislators have proposed a bill that would limit how the city uses a portion of water revenues, and the North Fork Dam needs about $35 million in repairs. These issues […]
Final impact report on Asheville water merger presented to MSD
The hefty final version of an impact study assessing the potential merger of Asheville’s water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County was presented to the MSD board on Wednesday. The short version: potential net savings to water customers of $1.1 to $2.2 million per year over the next nine years.
Gunning for North Carolina
According to a March 14 list compiled by Guns & Ammo magazine, North Carolina ranks 17th in the “Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.” That’s higher than neighbors Tennessee (23) and Virginia (24) but beneath South Carolina (14) and Georgia (13). New legislation currently before the General Assembly, however, could nudge the state out of the middle of that pack.
Following the leaders: Legislative access and locals in power
Citizen access to the legislative process in the state has taken a solid step forward via new features on the N.C. General Assembly website, and Buncombe County legislators are taking solid steps forward in the Statehouse itself. Meanwhile, in recent legislative action, Doc Watson and Ruth and Billy Graham are proposed for native accolades.
Conversations with NCMatters: For whom the road tolls
Does the N.C. Department of Transportation have a broad agenda of adding privatized toll lanes on highways statewide? NC Matters looked into this question, which was posed to the Xpress this week.
Bipartisan bills tiptoe through the N.C. General Assembly
The N.C. General Assembly has stirred up some high-profile controversies during the first few weeks of its 2013-2014 long session. Meanwhile, with much less fanfare, several important bipartisan bills also found their way forward in the opening weeks. One is an ambitious attempt to establish a Public Infrastructure Oversight Commission.
WNC’s Gillespie tapped for McCrory administration
Rep. Mitch Gillespie, whose legislative district includes McDowell, Mitchell and Avery counties, will join Governor-elect Pat McCrory’s administration shortly after being sworn in to his eighth term in the N.C. House in January. He will resign his elected office to become assistant secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Gillespie, who spearheaded a […]
Citizens-Times: Henderson County may play role in Asheville water system decisions
An effort to put a long-term solution in place for sewer customers in northern Henderson County may complicate a possible merger of water and sewer systems in Buncombe County, according to a Dec. 22 report by the Asheville Citizen-Times.
McCrory names Art Pope as deputy budget director
Governor-elect Pat McCrory announced several appointments to his incoming administration team today, including naming businessman and conservative-cause funder Art Pope as his deputy budget director. Pope has been serving as McCrory’s transition team co-chairman.
Newswire: Give and take
MSD planning committee endorses compensation for city in proposed water merger
A proposed compensation settlement of $57 million by the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County for the proposed Asheville water system merger was officially endorsed on Friday by the MSD board’s planning committee, and moves to the full board on December 12.
Impact study of potential water/MSD merger set for release
Release of a draft economic-impact study of the potential merger of the Asheville water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County is expected next week.