NC Politics in the News - August 2021 #2

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Agriculture

The National Law Review: The End is Near for North Carolina's Hemp Pilot Program
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services ("Department") and the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission ("Commission") have announced that North Carolina will soon end its hemp pilot program. 


Education

WRAL: North Carolina awaiting federal approval for use of latest education stimulus funds
North Carolina’s plan to use its third round of pandemic relief funds for schools remains unapproved a month and a half after it was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

EdNC: N.C. House starts releasing portions of its budget
The House budget is starting to take shape as the education appropriations committee started releasing portions of its plan Thursday morning, more than a month after the Senate passed its plan.


Environment

PEW: North Carolina’s Latest ‘Oyster Blueprint’ Is a Model Within—and Outside—the State
North Carolina is a leader among states when it comes to valuing and protecting oysters, which is reflected in the state’s Oyster Blueprint for Action 2021-2025, released this spring. “Oyster Restoration and Protection Plan for North Carolina,” as the report is officially titled, is the fourth edition since the blueprint was created in 2003, and progress since then has been significant.

WFAE: Businesses Call On Lawmakers To Start Over On Energy Reform Bill
In a letter this week to Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Roy Cooper, the businesses say the bill would limit access to affordable renewable energy. They want lawmakers to expand competition and relax limits on utility programs that they say make it hard for businesses to buy renewable energy in North Carolina.


Government

AP: NC officials: Government surplus became even larger than planned
The state ended up collecting $29.7 billion in revenues during the year that ended June 30, according to the Office of State Budget & Management. That's $190 million more than the consensus forecast reached in mid-June by the budget office and General Assembly analysts.

AP: NC House budget proposal expected to clear chamber this week
North Carolina House Republicans are ready this week to advance its two-year state government spending proposal. The House Finance Committee scheduled a meeting Monday to examine the tax portions of the budget proposal that chamber members have been working on for several weeks.


Healthcare

NC Health News: NC House counters Senate budget with more funding for mental health, home and community services
“This is the House’s budget and the Senate will not adopt our budget,” said House health and human services appropriations chair Rep. Larry Potts (R-Lexington) “Everybody’ll hold fast at first, and then we’ll realize we all got to meet in the middle. We’ve gotta have a budget.”

WBTV: 55 lawmakers ask NC health system leaders to reconsider COVID-19 vaccination mandates
More than 50 lawmakers are asking CEOs from major North Carolina health systems to reconsider requirements for all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The 55 NC House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to health system executives in response to their recent decision to require all hospital staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the coming weeks in order to keep their jobs.


Transportation

Spectrum: What does Biden’s infrastructure deal mean for N.C.? Here’s a breakdown
The Senate finally has a deal on an almost $1 trillion infrastructure package that would make big investments in roads, bridges, transit and broadband. The bill includes about $550 billion in new federal infrastructure spending. Almost $9 billion of that could go directly to projects in North Carolina, and the state could apply for billions more, according to the White House.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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