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Friday News: More gun nuttery

LAWMAKERS WANT TO ALLOW HANDGUN CONCEALED CARRY WITHOUT PERMIT (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A bill sponsored by 10 North Carolina Republican legislators would allow people to carry handguns concealed without a permit. In North Carolina, concealed carry of a handgun without a permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class H felony for a subsequent offense. Lawmakers proposed lifting permit requirements last year in the form of a constitutional amendment that would go to voters for consideration, but it never received a hearing. It would still be illegal to concealed carry a bowie knife, dirk, dagger, sling shot, loaded cane, metal knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun or other deadly weapons except on a person’s private property.

Thursday News: Putting on a show

WAITING FOR GODOT (WRAL-TV) -- A Senate committee on Wednesday did its own performance of "Waiting for Godot," staging a confirmation hearing for a cabinet nominee who senators knew wouldn't show up. Former Rep. Larry Hall, D-Durham, had been scheduled to appear before the committee as Gov. Roy Cooper's choice to head the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, but a panel of three Superior Court judges late Tuesday put the new law calling for Senate confirmation of members of Cooper's cabinet on hold. Republican senators turned the event into theater, blasting the court ruling, while their Democratic colleagues called the committee hearing a charade.

Wednesday News: BergerMoore loses in court, again


COURT APPEARS TO PUT TEMPORARY BLOCK ON CABINET CONFIRMATIONS (WRAL-TV) -- A three-judge Superior Court panel appears to have delayed state Senate confirmation hearings on Gov. Roy Cooper's cabinet pending further hearings on whether a new law giving the General Assembly a say in those appointments is constitutional. Judges Jesse Caldwell of Gaston County, Todd Burke of Forsyth County and Jeff Foster of Pitt County held a hearing in the case via telephone late Tuesday afternoon. The dispute between Cooper and the state Senate stems from a law the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed in December. It grants the Senate the power to accept or reject cabinet appointments by the governor. That law passed shortly after Cooper, a Democrat, ousted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory signed off on the bill shortly before his term expired.

Tuesday News: The Trudy Effect

GREENSBORO OFFICIALS BLAME WADE IN FIRST DAY OF REDISTRICTING TRIAL (Greensboro News & Record) -- Testimony pointed to the election of Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) as the event that marked a change in the way state laws affecting local lawmakers were formulated. Before she took office, proposals were discussed among Guilford county lawmakers before the changes took effect. Local politicians testified that Wade proposed the new districts without consulting the mayor or council and said that unnamed Greensboro business owners asked for the districts that would give better representation to the black community. Opponents, and everyone who testified Monday, said that simply wasn't the case.

Monday News: Counting the costs of voter negligence


WHAT WILL OBAMACARE REPEAL MEAN FOR WNC HOSPITALS? (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- With Congress and the president pledging to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaders of Western North Carolina hospitals are closely following the discussions to find out what might replace the existing health care law. The stakes are high. By one estimate, repealing the legislation without an effective replacement plan and keeping in place payment reductions to hospitals that came with the law would cost North Carolina hospitals $7.1 billion over eight years. That scenario would be especially hard on rural hospitals with a high percentage of uninsured patients, according to health care experts.

Sunday News: Just say No

RALLY: NO WALL, NO BAN, NO FEAR (WRAL-TV) -- A large crowd turned out on Saturday for the No Wall No Ban No Fear Rally in Raleigh to protest recent executive orders by President Donald Trump that limit travel from certain countries and block refugees coming to the United States. Protesters carried signs and delivered speeches at Halifax Mall in downtown to show support for the people affected by the orders. Trump signed actions to block refugees, to stop travel from several counties, including Syria, Iran and Iraq, and to start plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Organizers said the protest was to show support for Muslims, refugees (and) immigrants.

Saturday News: Duke Energy's economic blackmail


COAL ASH PITS: DUKE ENERGY TELLS NEIGHBORS TO WAIVE CLAIMS (WRAL-TV) -- Neighbors living near Duke Energy Corp's coal ash pits in North Carolina are being told they have to give up the option of suing over any future water problems if they want extra compensation from the utility. The country's largest electric company sent out letters last week to about 1,000 homeowners living near 13 of the company's coal-burning power plants spread across North Carolina. In them, the utility said it will require the waiver to release the company from "any claims for further compensation or recovery from Duke Energy" related to alleged groundwater pollution or unsatisfactory municipal water connections. Duke Energy said its coal-ash pits are not to blame for any contaminants detected in groundwater. The company is offering a $5,000 "goodwill" payment to neighbors "to support your transition to a new water supply," the letters said.

Friday News: Hager spins through the revolving door


CASHING IN: EX-HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER OPENS LOBBY BIZ (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former N.C. House Majority Leader Mike Hager, a Rutherfordton Republican who resigned from the legislature last August, says he’s launching a lobbying firm. The firm will be called Hager Strategic Solutions, and for now it’s just the former legislator with no other lobbyists on staff. He said Thursday that he’ll officially register as a lobbyist in a few weeks once his six-month “cooling off period” ends. Under state law, elected officials must wait six months after leaving office before lobbying. “There’s still some work left on regulatory reform issues, and there’s still some good conservative issues out there,” he said.

Thursday News: HB2 repeal bill filed by Dems


SENATE DEMOCRATS FILE HB2 REPEAL BILL (WRAL-TV) -- Senate Democrats have filed a bill to repeal the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights, but it faces a difficult road. Although Jackson did his best to exude optimism after filing the bill, in reality, it faces an uphill battle in the General Assembly. A December effort to repeal the measure ultimately collapsed amid accusations and counter accusations, and top Republican leaders say that any repeal effort this year would likely involve a compromise of some sort.

Wednesday News: Go, Josh


AG STEIN SAYS IF NEEDED HE WILL SUE TRUMP OVER IMMIGRATION ORDER (TWCN-TV) -- State Attorney General Josh Stein says he'll sue President Donald Trump over his executive Oorder on immigration if he needs to. Tuesday afternoon, Stein said protecting North Carolinians is his top concern, even if that means taking on President trump and his recent executive order clamping down on immigration and refugees practices. "I can sue to protect North Carolinians so that if there are North Carolinians who are suffering because of this travel ban, and it's very ham handed way in which it was written and being administered. Then I could come in on behalf of the people of North Carolina,” said Stein.


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