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.”
RIVAL COMPANY FILES PROTEST OVER MARK JOHNSON'S "ISTATION" CONTRACT: In a protest filed Monday, New York-based Amplify contends that its mClass system is superior to the Istation program chosen by the state Department of Public Instruction to test children in kindergarten through third grade. Amplify cites reports that mClass was recommended by an evaluation committee formed by State Superintendent Mark Johnson but that he chose Istation anyway. Earlier this month, Johnson announced that he signed a three-year, $8.3 million contract to switch all elementary schools to the Istation program. Istation will put children in kindergarten through third grade on a computer three times a year to test their reading skills, then print out reports for teachers. With mClass, students read aloud to teachers to help assess their skills. Amplify is asking DPI to suspend or terminate its contract with Istation while the protest is reviewed.
NEW WAKE REDISTRICTING MAP GETS ACROSS-THE-BOARD SUPPORT: The reworking of several North Carolina House districts in and around Raleigh now have new boundaries for the 2020 elections after the legislature agreed overwhelmingly to a redistricting plan. The Senate voted unanimously on Monday for a map of districts for Wake County's House seats. The House voted for it earlier this month by a wide margin. The legislation isn't subject to Gov. Roy Cooper's veto, since it involves redistricting. But both House Democratic and Republican leaders sponsored the bill. The lines were redrawn because state judges ordered new Wake lines by the end of the month after ruling Republicans in 2017 imperm
issibly redrew four districts that hadn't been struck down in previous litigation. The new lines are identical to a third-party expert's recommendations to federal judges in late 2017.
HOUSE PROGRESSIVES PUSH FOR BETTER TREATMENT OF MIGRANT DETAINEES: Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) said Pelosi agreed to back changes to the bill detailing what constitutes humane treatment for migrant children in U.S. custody. “There’s a way to change behavior rather than just funding a dysfunctional system,” he said. “If you give them soap and toothbrushes and yet the administration is arguing that these children do not need toothbrushes and soap, then you’re not going to change behavior. If you don’t mandate ‘allow them to bathe daily,’ then they’re still going to be without bathing for many days.” Going into the meeting, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attacked the idea that Congress would provide billions of dollars in more funding to detain unaccompanied children apprehended at the border. She cited numerous recent reports detailing the poor conditions at U.S. facilities. “That’s not due to a lack of resources; that’s due to a desire — an active desire by this administration to hurt kids,” she said. “We need to stop funding the detention of children under any and all circumstances.”
JARED AND IVANKA'S LANDLORD GETS MINNESOTA MINE APPROVAL PREVIOUSLY BLOCKED BY OBAMA: In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota. The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for the project. Beginning in the early weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration worked at a high level to remove roadblocks to the proposed mine, government emails and calendars show, overruling concerns that it could harm the Boundary Waters, a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along the border with Canada. An Interior Department spokesman said it simply worked to rectify “a flawed decision rushed out the door” before Mr. Trump took office. Several senior department officials with previous administrations, however, said they were surprised by the swift change of course for the little-known Minnesota project, which was not a focal point of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. For the family of the billionaire Andrónico Luksic, which controls the Chilean conglomerate, the policy reversals could provide a big boost to its mining business. Just before Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Luksic added a personal investment to his portfolio: a $5.5 million house in Washington. Mr. Luksic bought the house with the intention of renting it to a wealthy new arrival to Mr. Trump’s Washington, according to Rodrigo Terré, chairman of Mr. Luksic’s family investment office, which handled the purchase. The idea worked. Even before the purchase was final, real estate agents had lined up renters: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.