“We should all be calling Sen. Berger and Rep. Moore to demand a vote this summer on Medicaid expansion for North Carolina.”
A bill that would have changed the distribution of Buncombe County’s controversial hotel tax to better benefit local government is likely dead until at least next year. The change would have reduced the share of room tax money to market and advertise Asheville as a tourist destination.
“Brian Caskey, Democratic candidate for the Senate’s 48th District, is part of the Mills River team working to bring higher-paying jobs to our area.”
“It would have the added bonus of helping out our air and climate, too.”
County officials said Aston Park Health Care Center and Deerfield Retirement Episcopal Skilled Nursing Home both had active outbreaks of the disease, defined by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as two or more lab-confirmed cases in staff or residents. They did not share the specific number of cases reported for each outbreak.
The legislative change allows the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to use $5 million from its Tourism Product Development Fund — which previously had to be allocated to nonprofit entities or local government and spent on capital projects — for grants of up to $50,000 in support of tourism businesses other than lodging.
Local businesses are bringing creativity to bear on pandemic-related closures and plans for business revitalization following the end of restrictions. They could get some help: Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville announced he will introduce legislation to the N.C. General Assembly to allow the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to make grants to tourism businesses to support their reopening.
“NextGen North Carolina is calling on the North Carolina legislature to adopt a universally accessible vote-by-mail policy that ensures all North Carolinians can cast their ballots this November.”
The commission’s Democratic members passed direction for expanded community testing and contact tracing over the objections of its Republican contingent. Joe Belcher, Anthony Penland and Robert Pressley stressed their commitment to ensuring the county’s safety but expressed concern over the process by which the resolution was introduced and some of its terms.
“We have an old state law from the 1980s that’s forcing us to spend 75% of our tax revenue on more advertising for tourism. Almost no other county in North Carolina has to do this, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m running to be our next state senator.”
In preparation for the March primary, Xpress sent questions to all candidates in contested races for their party’s nomination to various local and national offices. Responses from candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. General Assembly, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council are all collected here.
“We need a representative in Raleigh who will restore honor and integrity to the General Assembly and who will work in a bipartisan way to build a stronger North Carolina — one that does not leave our children’s education, our health and our environment behind.”
“There can be no justification for the willful and arbitrary cancellation of an election.”
“I feel adding the ERA will protect all Americans from discrimination and offer equal protection under the law regardless of gender.”
“Council had the courage to fight the state over the election process. Let’s hope they find the courage to choose to fight over this life-and-death climate emergency.”
“I urge our lawmakers to adequately fund life-changing mental health care for the good of our society, economy and future.”
A three-judge panel issued an injunction late Monday blocking use of the current North Carolina congressional district map in the 2020 election. Although not yet compelling the “coequal branch of government” to draw new maps, judges noted that legislators could proceed to do that on their own and thus avoid any disruption to the election schedule.
As currently drawn, the proposed districts would shift representation for large areas of Buncombe County. A 2011 state law also required that districts for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners match those of the county’s House representatives. As currently drawn, the maps would move Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara from District 1 to District 2, shift Al Whitesides from District 1 to District 3 and reassign Amanda Edwards from District 2 to District 1.
Republican members of the board argued that their Democratic colleagues were out of place in issuing official letters against pending state HB 370, which would require Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller and other sheriffs throughout North Carolina to comply with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests on penalty of removal from office.
“Oddly enough, the future of the Republican stranglehold on North Carolina and the nation can be glimpsed through Meadows and the 11th District.”