GOP LEGISLATORS PUSH AMENDMENT GIVING THEM ABSOLUTE CONTROL OF ELECTIONS BOARD: Republicans want legislative leaders to appoint all members of the state elections board, a power now held by the governor. State House GOP leaders on Friday afternoon introduced a proposal to change the North Carolina Constitution to create an eight-member State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement with all members chosen by the House speaker and the Senate leader. Voters would have to agree in November to change the constitution if the proposal wins approval in the House and Senate. The GOP proposal released Friday would mean that the governor would have no say in elections board membership. Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, described the proposal as one attempting to blur the traditional separation of powers of representative government.
REPUBLICANS MAY FINALIZE VOTER ID AMENDMENT BILL TODAY: You could soon need a photo ID to cast a ballot in North Carolina if state lawmakers get their way. House lawmakers are expected to make their next move on Monday on the legislation that would amend the state's constitution. The proposed bill would ask voters this November whether to add the mandate to the constitution. If approved, all voters will be required to present a photo ID before voting in person. Republicans want this change, and they've been pushing it for years, arguing it's about preventing voter fraud. In 2013, they approved a wide-ranging election law that mandated a photo ID, but federal judges struck it down, along with other voting provisions, calling them racially discriminatory.
CURRITUCK COUNTY BAN ON SOLAR FARMS OVERRULED BY COURT OF APPEALS: A North Carolina county that once banned solar farms has given a permit to a San Francisco-based alternative energy company after a lengthy court battle. The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports the Currituck County commissioners granted the permit to Ecoplexus to build the farm on a former golf course near Grandy. The company won a ruling from the state Court of Appeals several months ago. Company President Erik Stuebe says construction should start at the end of this year with completion expected by the middle of 2019. The commission denied a permit to Ecoplexus in April 2016. In February 2017, the commission imposed an indefinite ban on solar farms after approving permits for two farms.
TRUMP'S TRADE WARS ALREADY COSTING JOBS AS HARLEY-DAVIDSON SHIFTS PRODUCTION OVERSEAS: Harley-Davidson, facing rising costs from new tariffs, will begin shifting the production of motorcycles heading for Europe from the U.S. to factories overseas. The famed motorcycle maker said in a regulatory filing Monday that European Union tariffs on its motorcycles exported from the U.S. jumped from 6 percent to 31 percent. Harley-Davidson Inc. said that it will not raise its prices due to "an immediate and lasting detrimental impact to its business in the region."
BANKS STEP UP WHERE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO LIMIT GUN SALES: In the wake of high-profile mass shootings, corporate America has been taking a stand against the firearms industry amid a lack of action by lawmakers on gun control. Payment processing firms are limiting transactions, Bank of America stopped providing financing to companies that make AR-style guns, and retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on gun purchases. The moves are lauded by gun-safety advocates but criticized by the gun industry that views them as a backhanded way of undermining the Second Amendment. Gun industry leaders see the backlash as a real threat to their industry and are coming to the conclusion that they need additional protections in Congress to prevent financial retaliation from banks.