Daily dose

Wednesday News: Common sense prevails

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CONTROVERSIAL WIND ENERGY BAN REMOVED FROM LEGISLATION: A freeze on new wind turbines the Senate approved for wide swaths of the state is gone from a new proposal on regulating wind turbines. House and Senate negotiators removed the moratorium the Senate approved in Senate bill 377 and added an addition to the state permitting process by requiring the state to ask for more information from military commanders. Companies that want to erect wind turbines must already seek local, state and federal approval. The bill approved by a House committee Tuesday was described as a compromise between the House and Senate. It is a drastic change from the ban on wind turbines Sen. Harry Brown, a Jacksonville Republican, first proposed.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231930593.html

Tuesday News: White Supremacist playbook

NC SENATE PASSES ICE BILL THAT COULD REMOVE BLACK SHERIFFS: HB370 has a provision for the removal from office of sheriffs who do not cooperate with the ICE on the detainers. Cooper, in a statement released from his office mid-afternoon, said dangerous criminals can already be locked up and prosecuted, but that the bill was “about scoring political points and using fear to divide us.” The Rev. Anthony Spearman, the president of the state NAACP, said during the morning press conference that the legislation was meant to target the black sheriffs. He called it “a tactic straight off the pages of the white supremacist playbook.” He said voters in the counties that elected the sheriffs “have all said that we want sheriffs who will not be slaves to the immigration and enforcement authorities that tear this nation apart.”
https://www.journalnow.com/news/local/n-c-senate-approves-ice-cooperation-bill-paul-lowe-a/article_1...

Monday News: Of the people...

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DURHAM'S PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING INCLUDES LGBTQ YOUTH CENTER: Durham’s first foray into letting residents decide how their tax dollars are spent will help fund four new city-wide projects, including an LGBTQ Youth Center. For Asher Skeen, a 20-year-old transgender man, having a center could mean everything to local LGBTQ youth, if it’s done right. “I think the biggest thing that the city of Durham should do is to listen to the voices of queer youth and people in the community and ask them what they need,” Skeen said. “What [do] they need out of the space? What would make it helpful and a good place to go?” Durham is the second city in the state behind Greensboro to offer participatory budgeting. Greensboro started its program in 2014 and divvies up $500,000 among its five city council districts.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article231762338.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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MOORE & BERGER ARE FLAT-OUT WRONG. COMPROMISE, EXPAND MEDICAID NOW: It is cruel and thoughtless to deny health care to North Carolina citizens most in need but least able to get it. North Carolina legislative leaders continue to parrot canned talking points from hyper-partisan organizations to justify their opposition to expanding Medicaid. They did it again this week in a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper. These groups, like the legislative leadership, reflexively despise anything initiated by former President Barack Obama – no matter the benefits that might be gained or the hardship their bias inflicts. A large majority of North Carolina voters support expanding Medicaid. Remember, Medicaid expansion comes at relatively little cost to the state. Thirty-seven states have done it. Federal taxes collected here are paying for expansion in those states.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-moore-berger-flat-out-wrong-compromise-expand-medicaid-now/18464552/

Saturday News: Oh, Cabarrus...

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LARRY PITTMAN COMPARES LINCOLN TO HITLER FOR INVADING "SOVEREIGN" SOUTH: It started when N.C. legislator Larry Pittman compared Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to a Democrat.It escalated after Tillis’ wife responded. And it boiled over Thursday when Pittman compared President Abraham Lincoln to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler — for the second time since 2017. “It was only a matter of numbers,” Pittman wrote on Facebook, responding to another Facebook user. “Lincoln was responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 800,000 Americans. Hitler was responsible for millions more. Both unjustly invaded and subjugated sovereign nations.” N.C. House leaders took a rare public stance against one of their own Thursday as they condemned Pittman, a Republican firebrand from Cabarrus County who has become known for making controversial remarks.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231792543.html

Friday News: Just say "no" to coal

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GOVERNOR COOPER OPPOSES TRUMP EFFORT TO GUT CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he's against the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to replace rules that sought to limit coal-fired plants in the nation's electrical grid and their emissions. Cooper's office says the Democratic governor has "deep concern" over the Environmental Protection Agency's action to eliminate the Clean Power Plan championed by then-President Barack Obama. The rule signed Wednesday gives states more leeway deciding whether to require plants to make limited efficiency upgrades. Cooper said in a news release the rollback could allow coal-fired plants to pollute more. The governor has been pressing for lower greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy industry expansion in the state. He signed an executive order last year that aims to reduce emissions statewide and make state government more energy-smart.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-has-deep-concern-over-clean-power-plan-replacement/18465129/

Thursday News: Unconstitutional

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LAWSUIT FILED OVER LEGISLATIVE PROTECTIONS OF HOG FARMS: After North Carolina’s pork industry began facing — and then losing — high-dollar lawsuits related to pollution and foul odors, state lawmakers passed new legal protections for the companies. But on Wednesday, several environmental and social-justice groups filed a lawsuit over those new legal changes, seeking to have them overturned. “These laws not only violate the state constitution, but also have disparate impacts on low-wealth and non-white North Carolinians, who disproportionally live where North Carolina has permitted industrial hog facilities to develop and operate,” the lawsuit says. Specifically, the lawsuit is asking the state courts to overturn the 2017 farm bill and part of the 2018 farm bill. They added new legal protections for the agricultural industry by restricting the ability of people who live near farms to sue over pollution, odor and other problems using “nuisance” laws.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231726683.html

Wednesday News: 500,000 good reasons

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GOVERNOR COOPER WANTS MEDICAID EXPANSION IN THE BUDGET: Cooper’s staff was clear that Medicaid expansion needs to be part of the discussions and has invited legislative leaders to the Executive Mansion on Wednesday to continue negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, who signed the letter to Cooper along with Sen. Kathy Harrington and Sen. Brent Jackson, spoke with reporters on Tuesday about the letter and budget negotiations. “If [Cooper’s] willing to not just have a show, but really sit down and negotiate, we’d love to sit down with him,” Brown said Tuesday. Brown said that Medicaid has problems and expansion “just doesn’t make sense to a lot of us.” The revised budget is expected to come out within a week, but it would face a possible veto if it doesn’t satisfy Cooper — and it would then need the support of supermajorities in the House and Senate to become law.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231681113.html

Tuesday News: Drink, Drank, Drunk

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REPUBLICANS WANT TO CONSUME ALCOHOL 'TIL 4 A.M. AT THEIR CONVENTION: Legislation that emerged Monday in the N.C. House Rules Committee would create a special exemption during the RNC for North Carolina’s longstanding law that cuts off alcohol sales at 2 a.m. If the new version of Senate Bill 191 becomes law, bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Mecklenburg County and neighboring counties could continue serving alcohol until 4 a.m. between Aug. 22, 2020, and Aug. 30, 2020. The provision was added Monday in a new version of SB 191, which also would allow out-of-state law enforcement officers to have policing powers to provide extra security for the convention. And while the provision is intended to extend RNC festivities later into the night, the provision would apply to all businesses with on-premises alcohol sales in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Gaston, Lincoln and Iredell counties.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231661458.html

Monday News: End the violence

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UNC CHARLOTTE STUDENTS RALLY TO DEMAND ACTION ON GUNS: “In a matter of seconds, my life was changed forever,” she said. “All we wanted was to go to class, but now we’re graduating with PTSD and a deep fear every time we don’t see a clear exit.” The rally, organized by the nonpartisan March for Our Lives and the NAACP, was held to raise awareness of gun violence and call for local, state and national elected officials to enact common-sense gun safety laws. The March for Our Lives agenda advocates, among other things, for funding research and intervention programs to address the root causes of gun violence, universal background checks, bans on high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles, and safe storage and mandatory theft reporting laws for gun owners. Saturday’s call to action is for everyone, from gun opponents to gun safety advocates to gun owners, said Margaret Murphy, a sophomore from Holly Springs who is the new director of UNC-Charlotte’s March for Our Lives chapter.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article231556008.html

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