Politics & Government

Political news

Michael Zirkle Photography, Raleigh Historic Districts Commission, National Park Service

An old water line no one knew about has delayed the reopening of Raleigh’s Pullen Park. Renovations have been taking place for several years and planners hoped the park would be open this summer. But the water line combined with cold weather have pushed back the reopening. David Shouse is a senior park planner with the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.

State lawmakers have passed a bill that would drop four end-of-course tests currently required for students in high school.

A bill that would limit the amount of monetary damages for patients harmed by doctors has passed the State Senate. The measure would limit awards to $500,000. It would also make it more difficult to sue emergency room doctors.

Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville says the bill would help lower malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and therefore bring more physicians to the state. He told fellow lawmakers he's been working on the measure for years.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan (D) is taking the lead in calling for changes to No Child Left Behind. The education legislation is due for reauthorization this year.

Hagan joined other senate democrats at a school in Washington DC in calling for reforming No Child Left Behind.

Future Of Earned Income Tax Credit In Doubt

Mar 2, 2011

Advocates for women's and children's issues gathered at the General Assembly yesterday. One bill they oppose is a change to the state's earned income tax credit.

A Senate bill saying residents would be presumed to have properly used deadly force in the case of a home, car or workplace invasion has tentatively passed the state Senate. State law currently only deals with home invasions. Democratic Senator Dan Blue of Raleigh voted against the measure, because it expands the definition of a home and a workplace to include tents. Blue says a number of homeless people live in tents they erect in downtown Raleigh.

State senators have tentatively approved a bill that would eliminate North Carolina's current cap on charter schools. The schools receive public money, but they function independently of local districts. Right now only one hundred charters are allowed to operate in the state at any given time. Democrats introduced a number of amendments on the Senate floor they said would help more at-risk children attend charters. But they were outvoted by the Republican majority.

Democrat Gladys Robinson is from Greensboro:

Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed the first bill approved by the new Republican majority at the legislature.

Governor Bev Perdue released her proposed budget in Raleigh earlier today. The $19.9 billion dollar plan would protect existing teacher and teacher assistant jobs, but it would eliminate about ten thousand other state jobs through cuts and through the reorganization of state agencies.

The state Senate has passed a bill that would block the federal requirement that everyone have health insurance or face a penalty. The measure passed easily by 30 to 18 today. Republican Senator Austin Allran of Hickory says the measure accomplishes three things-first, it says people in North Carolina should not be required to have a health insurance policy or be a member of a health care plan.

www.flickr.com/photos/bevperdue

North Carolina's Governor, Bev Perdue, gave her second State of the State address to legislators last night.

The Governor did her best to be optimistic, despite the specter of an enormous projected billion-dollar budget shortfall looming in the background. While she praised tough decisions that have already been made to cut costs, Governor Perdue said difficult choices will be required to keep the state in the black. Jessica Jones reports from the state capitol.

For years, advocates of charter schools have pressed legislators to pass a law that would allow more charters to operate in North Carolina. The schools receive public money, but they function independently of local districts. Right now only one hundred of them are allowed to operate at any given time in the state. But the new Republican-controlled legislature is likely to eliminate that limit completely. And that would make some charter school advocates very happy.

The Governor plans to address state legislators tonight in her annual State of the State Address.

Perdue At Emerging Issues Forum

Feb 8, 2011

Governor Bev Perdue says North Carolina's health care system needs better coordination in order to be more efficient and deliver better care.  Perdue spoke at the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh yesterday. This year, state and national experts are discussing health care innovation.  In her speech, the governor highlighted North Carolina innovations, such as a 2 million dollar federal grant towards a statewide I-T effort. The project will screen for dangerous medication interactions in older patients who get prescriptions from many doctors:

Pat Green
Pat Green Facebook re-election page

The sheriff of Franklin County abruptly resigned over the weekend.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green has been with the department for more than 25 years.  Green said he was stepping down because of “major health and personal matters.” But Green’s abrupt departure may have a lot to do with a recent request from Franklin County District Attorney Sam Currin. He asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into missing money from the sheriff’s office. No word on how much money. Green was first elected as sheriff in 2006.

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