Thursday News: More ICE, more guns

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SENATE TAKES AIM AT NC SHERIFFS' AUTONOMY: Two months after the House passed a bill requiring North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration officials, a revised measure surfaced in the Senate on Wednesday. The new proposal, which now is backed by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, includes a process for a judge to order whether a person should be held under an immigration detainer but no longer allows people to sue and fines to be levied against sheriffs who don't cooperate. The Senate Judiciary committee also discussed a proposal to allow people to purchase as many handguns as they want during a five-year period with a single pistol purchase permit instead of requiring them to get a permit from their local sheriff before buying each gun.
https://www.wral.com/wednesday-wrap-play-nice-with-ice-or-else/18448407/

For people in Wilmington, GenX is still a mystery

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And one that desperately needs to be solved:

It's been two years since communities surrounding the Cape Fear River found out their water supply had been contaminated by a compound known as GenX, part of the group of hazardous chemicals called PFAS. Today, New Hanover County residents say they still need answers.

Emily Donovan, who co-founded the group Clean Cape Fear, said local residents remain in the dark. "A lack of information does not equal 'safe,' and that's where we have been living for the last two years," she said. "We've been living with a lack of information, and we're being continually told the water is still safe to drink."

One of the most frustrating aspects of this problem is the "locked vault" when dealing with industrial chemical compounds. No doubt Chemours has a ton of information about GenX, but between preserving trade secrets and shielding the company from legal exposure, that information might as well not exist:

Wednesday News: A key part of the puzzle

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GOVERNOR COOPER SAYS EXPANDING MEDICAID CRITICAL IN FIGHTING OPIOID ABUSE: More than half the people who are hospitalized for opioid addiction are uninsured, and they often can't afford to pay for treatment, Cooper said. In some areas, there aren't even any treatment programs available. Expanding the Medicaid program to tens of thousands of low-income working adults would change the landscape in fighting opioid addiction, the governor said. "You hear law enforcement say [addicts] need to be in treatment, they need help. Law enforcement, they know where they need to be, but often, there's no place for them to go, particularly in the rural areas," he said. "This, again, is why Medicaid expansion is key to this issue." Studies show states with Medicaid expansion have made more progress in fighting opioids than states without it.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-pitches-medicaid-expansion-as-weapon-in-opioids-battle/18444997/

Tuesday News: Charters are taking over Wake County

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CHARTER ADVISORY BOARD INSISTS ON FIVE NEW WAKE CHARTERS: The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board voted a second time Monday to recommend approval for North Raleigh Charter Academy and Wake Preparatory Academy to open in 2020. The State Board of Education had sent both charters back to the advisory board for further review because of the last-minute concerns raised by Wake schools. North Raleigh Charter Academy is a K-8 charter school that would be managed by Charter Schools USA, a for-profit company that operates several schools in the state, including Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary. Wake Prep would be a K-12 school in Wake Forest that’s managed by a charter school operator who made millions of dollars building, selling and leasing properties to the schools he runs in Arizona. The state board is required under state law to decide by August whether to approve the two new schools. Last week, the board had voted to approve 10 charter schools to open in 2020, including three in Wake.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231315848.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

When a man's true character emerges, pay attention:

Somebody needs to ask Craig Horn why it took the Legislature two months to respond to the hurricane in the first place. Of course they were too busy doing other (partisan) crap, but they'll never admit that.

A Cooper Veto of the Budget is exciting pundits

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Concurring on the concurrence is the question:

The length of the 2019 legislative session — outside another rash of extra sessions — could come down to whether Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate Democrats are willing to bog down the state budget process for the sake of inserting some form of Medicaid expansion.

Cooper could also choose to veto the Republicans’ compromise budget bill to highlight disagreements over public education and environmental issues as well.

Maybe even more than the Governor, this is a test of the willpower of NC House Republicans. The Senate's Budget is a stinking mess, and unless the House can wrangle some fairly serious changes, Cooper is going to have to Veto the thing. Don't usually lean on Puppet quotes to drive home a point, but Mitch Kokai makes some good ones:

Monday News: More voting problems ahead

REPLACING ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES BY MARCH 2020 MAY CAUSE A FIASCO: Roughly a third of North Carolina voters use electronic machines with no paper ballots. But that might all change next year for the 2020 presidential election. Supporters of the change say it will help ensure election security, especially given reports from the FBI and other sources that the Russian government attempted to influence America’s 2016 elections and may have hacked into some U.S. voting software. But the switch has been held up for years, despite first being ordered in a 2013 law. Now, some officials — including the new state elections director — worry that there’s not enough time left to get new voting systems in place for the 2020 elections.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231315348.html

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