NC Politics in the News - July 2022 #3

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Agriculture

WWAY: North Carolina one of 27 states USDA is partnering with to reduce childhood hunger
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with states and territories across the country, is working to provide food benefits for the summer months to eligible children. As of July 8th, 27 states and territories, including Puerto Rico, are set up to provide the benefits to an estimated 13 million children.

COASTAL REVIEW: New laws: Biogas, clean water funds in budget; rule tweaks
Millions are marked for clean water, water infrastructure and shellfish habitat work along the coast in the state budget that Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law last week.

In addition to signing the 2022-23 spending plan that includes funding for flood resilience, oyster sanctuary, marine debris removal and drinking water and wastewater projects, Cooper signed dozens of bills in the last few weeks, including one that tweaks various environmental rules.

Economic Development

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL: Work advances on 3 million-square-foot Johnston County development
Eastfield Crossing is bringing millions of square feet of industrial, retail, medical and housing space to the Interstate 95 corridor in Johnston County.

CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL: 1,000-job projects fill North Carolina's pipeline for economic development
A steady stream of potential "mega projects" is keeping economic developers in North Carolina busy despite talk of an economic slowdown.

NEWS & OBSERVER: NC enters bidding war to host headquarters of new federal science agency
North Carolina has entered the bidding war to host the headquarters of a new federal science agency that will fund biomedical research. The multibillion-dollar agency, called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, aims to find treatments for a range of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s by investing in “transformative high-risk, high-reward” research.

Education

THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: Education emerging as key election issue, poll shows
A new poll from a national charter school group indicates that many parents could become single-issue voters on the topic of education. The new Harris Poll, commissioned by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, found that 82% of parents say they “would be willing to vote outside their political party based on the candidate’s education platform.”

THE CENTER SQUARE: Teachers, state employees get raises in North Carolina budget
Teachers and state employees will get bigger raises, while additional funding for school safety, state retirees, infrastructure and other priorities are also set for a boost as part of budget adjustments signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. The second-term Democrat signed the state’s $27.9 billion General Fund budget into law on Monday, his last day to take action on the legislation before it would have become law on its own.

Environment

WUNC: Almost all of North Carolina now in drought
Much of the state saw less than two inches of rain in June, according to the latest report from the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council. The council says more than half of North Carolina is abnormally dry, the lowest level of drought.

Government

THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: Steinburg to resign N.C. Senate seat
On Friday, State Sen. Bob Steinburg is expected to announce he is resigning his seat in the N.C. General Assembly. He will officially resign at the end of the month, telling Carolina Journal that he plans a future career in legislative advocacy.

WRAL: Cooper signs 'Weston's Law' to make elevators safer in NC rental homes
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed off on a measure to improve safety conditions at short-term rental properties. The new law comes in response to a young boy's death last summer at a vacation rental. Seven-year-old Weston Androw of Ohio had been crushed between the inner and outer doors of an elevator at a beach home in Corolla.

Healthcare

THE CENTER SQUARE: North Carolina's Cooper uses executive order to bypass General Assembly's will to restrict abortions
Gov. Roy Cooper was joined by Democrat Party leaders and Planned Parenthood officials on Wednesday as he signed an executive order undermining the General Assembly’s intent to restrict abortions in North Carolina. Cooper framed Executive Order 263 as a saving grace for abortion advocates fighting against efforts by the General Assembly to protect the unborn.

THE GRIO: Medical bills can shatter lives. North Carolina may act to ‘de-weaponize’ that debt
When Erin Williams-Reavis faced a $3,500 surgery bill, the hospital offered to let her pay in $300 monthly installments. It was too much, said Williams-Reavis, 44, who lives in Greensboro, about an hour west of the state capital. Her hours as a personal assistant had been cut, and she and her husband were behind on bills, even requesting a forbearance on their mortgage.

NC HEALTH NEWS: 988 mental health hotline goes live and North Carolina is ready, officials say
On Saturday, the universal mental health crisis hotline — 988 — went live across the nation. The idea behind the shift from the 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to the three-digit mental health crisis number is that it’s easy to remember — similar to the easy-to-remember 911 — and will be the same everywhere.

Right now, most everyone knows to call 911 in an emergency. But law enforcement and emergency responders are not always equipped to help someone who is in mental health distress, having a psychotic episode, or thinking about suicide.

Politics

THE CAROLINA JOURNAL: NC Green Party files lawsuit against BOE over ballot access
The North Carolina Green Party reached out to Carolina Journal and other media on July 14 with news that they had filed suit against the N.C. State Board of Elections (NCSBE) over their exclusion from the 2022 midterm ballots as a recognized party. They ask that the court declare their exclusion by the NCSBE unconstitutional and guarantee the party is recognized and able to run candidates.

THE CENTER SQUARE: Rachel Hunt raised more than any other Democratic House Rep. in North Carolina
North Carolina Democratic candidates and officeholders have raised $12.8 million during the 2022 election cycle. Among state House candidates and officeholders, Rachel Hunt has raised more than any other Democrat. Hunt is the representative for House District 103 and is running for election to the North Carolina State Senate to represent District 42 in 2022.

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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