N.C. LEADS NATION IN PREEMPTION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Route 50) -- The number of states passing laws superseding city ordinances is on the rise, spurred by industry lobbying and single-party dominance of legislatures. According to the “City Rights in an Era of Preemption” report released by the nonpartisan National League of Cities, North Carolina offers the most extreme cases—preempting localities on tax and expenditure limitations, municipal broadband, ride-sharing, anti-discrimination, paid leave and minimum wage ordinances. “When states seek blanket policies counter to the needs of their cities, local leaders do not stand down,” Brooks Rainwater, NLC Center for City Solutions’ director and the report’s co-author, said on a Wednesday conference call.
SENATE VOWS 'CONSEQUENCES' IF HALL DOESN'T SHOW FOR THIRD TIME (WCQS-FM) -- For the second time, a North Carolina Senate committee has attempted to hold a confirmation hearing for a member of Governor Roy Cooper's cabinet. And, for the second time, that attempt has failed. It seems our Democratic governor and GOP-controlled state Senate are playing a game of chicken, with each betting the other side will flinch on the confirmation process.
HOUSE LEADERS FILE HB2 COMPROMISE (WRAL-TV) -- A bipartisan quartet of lawmakers on Wednesday filed a measure to repeal large swaths of North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, the 2016 law that deals with LGBT rights and bathroom use. Although other measures to repeal the law have been filed this year, this one comes with at least the tacit involvement of House Republican leaders and is sponsored by key members of the chamber, including Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, who has been a key player of the past year in drafting repeal efforts.
WOMAN SAYS BILLBOARD'S MESSAGE SLAMS GENDER EQUALITY (AP) — Women are planning to protest a North Carolina billboard with a message they say is a slam on gender equality. A billboard on a highway between Winston-Salem and Greensboro reads, "Real men provide. Real women appreciate it." Boutique owner Molly Grace tells local media outlets she sees the sign's message as an attempt to silence women who want to be seen as equals to men. The billboard belongs to Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising, and owner Bill Whiteheart says the organization that bought the space doesn't wish to be identified.