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Wednesday News: Power to the women

MARCH ON RALEIGH PLANS TO GIVE VOICE TO THOUSANDS OF WOMEN (WRAL-TV) -- If all goes according to plan, thousands will fill Fayetteville Street on Saturday for the Women's March on Raleigh, planned at the same time as the massive Women's March on Washington. The march in downtown Raleigh on Saturday is intended to give women a voice that some feel was lost in the recent political climate. “I am concerned about paid maternity leave, I am concerned about the wage gap, I am concerned about my reproductive rights,” said organizer Carly Jones.

Tuesday News: Medicaid expansion battle continues


NC, FEDERAL OFFICIALS ASK JUDGE TO LIFT BLOCK ON MEDICAID EXPANSION (Raleigh News & Observer) -- State and federal officials filed court motions Monday asking a judge to lift a court order that temporarily blocks Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid in this state before President Barack Obama leaves office. The requests come two days after U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan filed a restraining order blocking Cooper from trying to expand the state’s Medicaid program for at least the next two weeks. In their court documents filed Monday, a federal holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the state and federal officials argued that Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the state Senate, and Tim Moore, speaker of the state House of Representatives, overstated potential problems that could come from such an expansion.

Monday News: As crazy as Don Quixote


LEGISLATIVE LEADERS NEED TO END WAR ON RENEWABLES, BACK GROWING CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Luddites in the General Assembly reflexively oppose renewable energy as some kind of alien plot foisted on North Carolina by zombies wearing bellbottom jeans and beads. The effort to shut down the Amazon wind farm is misguided. It hurts rural economic development efforts and thwarts a bright spot of North Carolina growth. While these legislators may be getting their kicks at tilting -- quite literally in this case -- at windmills in their misguided effort to crush the state’s growing renewable energy industry, they need to more deeply consider the consequences of their actions.

Sunday News: So they can blame it on Trump


JUDGE ISSUES 2-WEEK HALT TO MEDICAID EXPANSION EFFORT (AP) -- A federal judge late Saturday temporarily blocked the U.S. government from quickly approving any proposal by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper designed to expand Medicaid coverage to potentially hundreds of thousands of uninsured people through President Barack Obama's signature health care law. The order for now lasts two weeks, which could defer the matter to regulators in the administration of Donald Trump, who backs the Republican-led Congress in wanting to repeal the health care overhaul that provides the expansion offer.

Saturday News: Shaming Bill Cook

OFFICIALS SLAM COOK FOR WIND PROJECT SHUTDOWN EFFORT (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- Pasquotank County officials said Friday they will oppose state lawmakers' efforts to shut down Amazon Wind Farm US East. Several of them also accused state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, of acting against his district's interests by joining those efforts. One said Cook is “no longer my senator,” while another said the senator owes the region an apology for being part of the effort to shut down the wind project. Dixon described the letter as an “underhanded sneak attack” driven by opposition to renewable energies, noting Cook's background in the utility sector. He said the wind farm went through years of thorough study and the military signed off on it.

Friday News: An overwhelming imperative

NC GOVERNOR RENEWS MEDICAID EXPANSION DEBATE (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- For new patients, the wait has been as much as two or three months to get an appointment at the Community Care Clinic in Franklin. The clinic doesn’t provide acute care. For someone who needs to see a doctor right away, “we have to send them to the ER,” said Dr. Edwin Morris, a clinic volunteer. Most patients at the Community Care Clinic, which gets funded through donations and grants, would qualify for Medicaid if the state had opted to expand the program, according to Morris, who has spoken out in favor of Medicaid expansion. By some estimates as many as half a million North Carolina residents would qualify for Medicaid coverage if the program expanded — mostly people who are uninsured put off seeing a doctor, relying instead on hospital emergency rooms or clinics like the one in Franklin.

Thursday News: Burr's warped agenda


HILL REPUBLICANS DEMAND PROBE OF MEDIA LEAKS ON TRUMP (Politico) -- Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) suggested during a hearing Tuesday that his panel was also looking into media leaks as part of its larger probe into Russia’s role in the presidential election. Some Republicans appear to be taking cues from Trump, who has called for leak investigations and at a news conference Wednesday compared the behavior of U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany.

Wednesday News: And so it begins

LAWMAKERS PREPARED FOR LONG SESSION, NEW GOVERNOR (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Even before the N.C. General Assembly convenes, its relationship is already off to a rocky start with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The Republican-controlled General Assembly passed several laws during a special session last month stripping the new governor of some of his powers. Cooper responded by filing a lawsuit challenging one of those laws that would prevent Democrats from assuming majorities on local elections boards as well as the state board, which would be merged with the State Ethics Commission.


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