Hurricane Matthew survivors still in limbo, North Carolina gets a new state budget, and Republicans’ signature check request is denied: Top stories of the week on Policy Watch

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1. Like construction delays Continue, Rebuild CN is inquail huge costs at lodge moved Hurricane Matthew survivors in motels

This story is part of an ongoing multimedia series on CNORR’s mismanagement of its Hurricane Matthew home owner disaster relief program

Moved owners also find their property damaged in mobile storage units; the state paid for them but says it is not responsible

The CN Office of Recovery and Resiliency, also known as Rebuild CNcould not produce records at Policy Watch how much money he spent in the last five years on motels and furniture storage for people moved by Hurricane Matthewaccording at the email of a spokesperson.

However, based on the figures of only six families, the amount probably amounts to inmillions of dollars.

After the historic storm that devastated eastern North Carolina in October 2016, the State received $236 million in federal disaster relief funds at rebuild or renovating single-family homes that have sustained significant or severe damage. Rebuild CN pays for motels and storage units forinbecome owners while they are moved. This is called temporary resettlement Asresistance.[Read more…]

The CN Plank of Electionsin a 3-2 party line vote, defeated State Republicans request for Signature verification on absent ballot papers.

Republicans wanted local elections officials to be able to compare voters Signatures on their gray cards against Signatureis on requests for absent ballot papers and on the way back ballot papers.

Instead, the plankThe Democratic majority approved a declaratory judgment declaring otherwise. They decided the county elections officials do not have the legal authority to verify Signatures to determine whether electors should receive a mailing ballot papers and whether the votes should be counted.

Stella Anderson, Democratic member of the planksaid allow Signature corresponding to imposes a new legal requirement on voters. “We can’t do that,” she said.

She offered supporters of Signature corresponding to ask the legislator to change the law.

Tommy Tucker, a Republican plank member and forsea State senator, said he would do just that. “I will make it my only goal in life” to codify Signature verification in State statutes, he said. He argued that elections officials should be allowed to check ballots Signatures that are unreadable. [Read more...]

After six years on the A C Plank of GovernorsLeo Daughtry is moving at North Carolina State Plank of Transportation.

It was not a movement he sought, Daughterry atld Policy Watch last week. But the House leaders ofoffered him a seat in the transport plank and he thought it was time at leave the Plank of Governors. He will be replaced by Lee Barnes, CEO of the family fare channel of stores, which was chosen by lawmakers at complete the term of Daughterry, which runs at 2025.

The change, gone of a Political Appointments Bill passed at the end of of the legislative session, was probably inavoidable after Daughtry has said something publicly a number of plank members in private say they also believe: The plan at movement the A C System ofstrings at downtown Raleigh is expensive, thoughtless and driven primarily by politics. [Read more…]

4. Governor Cooper signs the state budget and rejects four other bills

Governor Roy Cooper on Monday signed the state budget, a $27.9 billion spending plan that includes a 4.2% average salary increase for educators and a 3.5% raise for the most state employees.

Although the budget does not include a key priority for his administration — expanding Medicaid — the governor said legislative leaders are moving forward with that goal.

“Today I signed the State Budget (HB 103) which includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce. This budget n does not include Medicaid expansion, but House and Senate leaders now support it and both houses have passed it Negotiations are underway and we are closer than ever to an agreement on expansion of Medicaid, so a veto on that budget would be counterproductive. [Read more…]

Bonus read: Cooper vetoes latest version of controversial immigration proposal

5. North carolinait is New budget should be a lot bemore

North carolina has a New budget for the fiscal year of the state which beJuly 1st. At the very end of the 10-day period allotted to him by the state constitution, Governor Roy Cooper affixed his signature to a 193-page invoice mainly written bebehind closed doors by Republican legislative leaders amending the two-year budget enacted last year.

Cooper’s decision to sign the measure was, understandably, an act he viewed as an exercise in political pragmatism. While he clearly understands that the bill has many deep flaws, Cooper could also do the math and understand that the prospects of upholding a veto were slim given that several Democratic lawmakers had found various reasons (like spending locally targeted pork and simple fatigue) to join the “yes” votes.

His statement yesterday afternoon also strongly indicated that other factors — including the ongoing Medicaid expansion negotiations that he still hopes to get across the finish line — also played a significant role in the final outcome.

At this point, however, whatever the policy beBehind the situation there is should be without mistaking the fact that budget now indeed is terribly short in several important ways. [Read more…]

6. 666 houses and townhouses proposed for sensitive land near Falls Lake, important drinking water supply

Update: The Durham Planning Commission has voted 11-0 to send a negative recommendation to City Council, which has the final say.

A Cary-based developer is proposing to build up to 666 homes and townhouses on land in Durham and near Falls Lake, a major drinking water supply for the city of Raleigh.

The 280 acres along Kemp Road and Southview Road near Highway 98 are also home to rare plants, wetlands, wildlife corridors, and Lick Creek, which empties into Falls Lake. The lake then empties into the Neuse River, which flows through eastern North Carolina to New Bern, the Albemarle-Pamlico Strait, and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean.[Read more…]

7. A US Senate panel wrestles with questions about abortions needed to save a patient’s life

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. Senate panel that oversees health care sharply disagreed Wednesday on how Congress should respond to confusion among doctors over compliance with state abortion bans. State abortion restrictions, some of which were written long ago and do not take into account complicated medical situations, do not specify when a health care provider can terminate a pregnancy to save a woman’s life. a patient, witnesses told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The brawl between senators came in response to the US Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling which ended the constitutional right to abortion and allowed each state to set its own laws. The debate reflected the ensuing chaos and confusion as states pursue a patchwork of laws. [Read more…]

8. Old Stand trees on federal land at risk despite Biden order, ecologists say

centenary trees in NC are on the list of results; could be clear before the protections take effect

Commercial Operation Plans old stand forests on federal land progressed this year, despite a frame order sign on Earth Day by President Joe Bidenaccording to a report by environmental groups released on Tuesday.

The old stand forests are particularly useful in combating climate change by absorbing carbon, a goal for the Biden administration.

The Climate Forests Coalition, a group of dozens of environmental organizations including Environment America, the National Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, prepared the report highlighting 10 logging projects in forests oldest who have reached a certain level of federal approval.

Projects collectively threaten about 240,000 acres of older forest, report says says. [Read more…]

9. The military the story and civil the tragedy of the AR-15

Why the armed of the choice for so many mass murderers is not what many of its defenders would have us believe

Last month, after the horrific mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Monday Numbers took a look at the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifles favored by mass shooters in America.

Unfortunately, the The July 4 mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, has theput the weapons back in the securities. Police allege Robert Crimo III, 21, was used one obtained legally and registered Smith & Wesson M&P 15 — built on the AR-15 platform designand three 30-round magazines in the shooting that left seven dead and wounded 46 others.

Before the score of dead and wounded in the latter the tragedy had even been finalized, a dam of Internet memeshot social media posts and pro-weapons essays had started circulating again to defend the AR-15 as not significantly different from guns as the Ruger Mini 14 and M1A. People who don’t know about weapons are fear of the “spooky look” AR-15 because of thetheir own ignorance, the the argument goes, not because the the rifle is significantly different or otherwise worthy of single out for regulation.[Read more…]

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