Last week in North Carolina In Review

           Following is a weekly round-up of news clips and opinions of importance to North Carolinians from around the state, as reported by various statewide news sources.
Week of October  8th, 2017

The Latest: Judges critique arguments over N Carolina remap

Federal judges in North Carolina have critiqued arguments made by lawyers for Republican lawmakers and for voters over whether redrawn state legislative districts can be used in the 2018 elections.  The three-judge panel held a hearing Thursday in Greensboro on the new House and Senate boundaries, and whether they cure problems that the judges cited last year while declaring 28 districts illegal racial gerrymanders. The panel listened to more than three hours of arguments but didn’t immediately rule.  GOP legislative leaders say they specifically avoided racial data when drawing the latest maps, but U.S. Circuit Judge Jim Wynn questioned how that’s possible given the outside expert who helped draw the boundaries is the same person who drew the previous maps in 2011.  Lawyers for the voters who successfully sued over the earlier maps argue there are still problems with a dozen districts.
Federal judges who struck down North Carolina legislative districts for illegal racial bias are holding court before ruling whether new boundaries approved by Republicans over the summer fixed or retained the problem.
A three-judge panel is scheduled to meet Thursday in Greensboro with lawyers for legislative leaders and voters as it decides if the General Assembly’s redistricting must be performed again. The judges also could sign off on the boundaries for the 2018 elections.  Read more …

Cory Booker tells NAACP in North Carolina “don’t be discouraged”

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey played to his family’s North Carolina ties on Saturday as he urged the state chapter of the NAACP to have faith that racial injustices can be overcome.
Booker, whose father was born in Hendersonville and graduated from N.C. Central University, was the keynote speaker at the organization’s annual convention. He spoke energetically for an hour without a script, telling his life story through a series of anecdotes with a backdrop of the struggle for civil rights.
He was enthusiastically received by the luncheon crowd of several hundred at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The Democratic senator’s public appearances have taken on elevated interest recently with speculation that he could be a candidate for president. Booker didn’t tip his hand, focusing on the inequities that still hold people back and calling for a patriotism of diversity.  Read more …



2 million NC women get free birth control coverage. Trump’s newest proposal could change that.
Regulations Broadening Employer Exemptions to Contraceptive Coverage: Impact on Women 
On October 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued two new regulations greatly expanding the types of employers that may be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement.  These regulations are a significant departure from the Obama-era regulations that only granted an exception to houses of worship.  One of the regulations allows nonprofits or for-profit employer with an objection to contraceptive coverage based on religious beliefs to qualify for an exemption and drop contraceptive coverage from their plans.  The other regulation also exempts all but publicly traded employers with moral objections to contraception from rule. These new policies, effective immediately, also apply to private institutions of higher education that issue student health plans. The immediate impact of these regulations on the number of women who are eligible for contraceptive coverage is unknown, but the new regulations open the door for many more employers to withhold contraceptive coverage from their plans. Read full report…

Only one scripted TV show has filmed in NC this year. Will increased incentives bring more?

The second season of the TNT drama “Good Behavior” premieres Sunday and – in addition to being a dark and suspenseful crime/love story – it has the distinction of being the only scripted television series to have filmed in North Carolina this year. That’s quite a difference from years past, when the state had a robust film tax credit program that lured major productions.  In recent years, a number of television shows filmed in North Carolina – “Homeland,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Under the Dome,” “Revolution,” “Banshee” and “Eastbound & Down,” to name a few. In addition, blockbuster films such as “The Hunger Games” and “Iron Man 3” filmed in the state.
The state legislature voted to end tax credits after 2014, replacing the tax incentive program that paid out $80.7 million in 2014 with a one-year $10 million grant program. Gov. Roy Cooper has listed reinstating the state’s film tax rebate program as one of his goals while in office. State Rep. Deb Butler, a Democrat from Wilmington, says the current program is not effective. “That’s why all of the industry has left for Georgia,” said Butler. “The proof is in the pudding. My feeling is what we’ve got is not working – which is why we’ve got one (scripted) TV show here.”  Read more …

Health secretary says DHHS is on pace to submit Medicaid waiver amendment
The state Health secretary told legislators Tuesday the state remains on pace to submit a Medicaid waiver amendment this fall that includes changes based primarily on recent statewide feedback.  The Democratic administration of Gov. Roy Cooper revealed Aug. 8 its proposal for overseeing the state Medicaid reform plan approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2016. The 77-page plan deals with the Medicaid and the N.C. Health Choice programs.  DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen also informed the healthcare joint legislative oversight committee that while the state is meeting its Children’s Health Insurance Program funding obligation, that could change as soon as February.  There are 221,000 children benefiting from the program, of which 90,000 are at risk of losing federal CHIP funding that helps pay for coverage. 
The Cooper administration has attempted, with no success to date, to work through the federal courts to gain permission from the Trump administration to expand the program.  The current request proposes a hybrid public- and private-sector reform solution that eventually would combine physical and behavioral health into a whole-body care platform. DHHS projects about $400 million in savings in the first five years of implementation.  Read more …

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The NC Democratic Party is all about DREAMers!

On Tuesday, September 5th, the Trump administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Session, announced that in six months the Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  President Obama’s 2012 program allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children to be protected from deportation, while also allowing them to work legally, obtain a driver’s license, pursue an education, and contribute to our society.

Following are the talking points which the NCDP recommends we use in defending DACA:

• The president has cruelly decided he wants to remove from our country nearly 800,000 people who want nothing more than a better life and to contribute to our country.
• Trump and Republicans own this. They are forcing almost one million people back into the shadows. These people are our coworkers, our classmates, and our neighbors. This action will only tear families apart and make our communities less safe.
• If Congress does not act immediately, Trump will have dealt a devastating blow to our economy and our national security by heartlessly targeting immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when they were just children.
• Protecting the DREAMers is the smart thing to do for our economy, and it’s the right thing to do for nearly 800,000 of them who live, study, and work here.
– More than 27,000 North Carolinians contribute more than $1 billion to our economy. It’s shameful, and hurts our state’s economy,        to push them back into the shadows.
• It’s time for Congressional Republicans to put politics aside and give DREAMers the opportunity to continue chasing the American dream.
– They represent our country’s future and are already making invaluable contributions to our economy.
– Nearly two-thirds of Americans support protecting DACA and allowing DREAMers to continue going to school, creating businesses, and contributing to our society.
• Democrats believe our diversity is our greatest strength.  We will always fight for hardworking families and a smart, sensible immigration system.

Click on the link at the top of this page to view contact information for our elected representatives in Washington.

Take a moment to let them know where Democrats, and 80% of Americans, stand! 





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Moore County Economic Snapshot

The economic picture of counties throughout North Carolina is clearer today with the release of the county-by-county snapshots by the NC Justice Center.  It’s more apparent than ever that the economic reality for North Carolinians varies greatly depending on where you live and work; where you live can affect your ability to get ahead.

Click here to learn more…


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In the year 2017, we have a president and vice president that openly joke about killing members of the LGBT community. #NC08's Richard Hudson has stated his support for these two men over and over.

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