NC House and NC Senate Conferees Agree to Budget Framework

RALEIGH – NC House Speaker Thom Tillis and NC Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger simultaneously took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to announce that House and Senate conferees had agreed to a budget framework. Final details are continuing to be worked out and are expected to be announced this week.  NC Political News will provide updates as more details become available.

North Carolina House Votes to Preserve the Child Fatality Task Force

RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives voted 87 to 4 on Friday to remove language from House Bill 1133, “Technical and Other Corrections,” which would have eliminated North Carolina’s Child Fatality Task Force (CFTF). CFTF’s members consist of legislators, doctors, and representatives from commissions and advocacy groups from across the state.

Representative Grier Martin (D-Wake), who offered the amendment to preserve CFTF, said, “The Child Fatality Task Force has long enjoyed bipartisan support for its important work. I was pleased to join Representative Stam today in a bipartisan effort to allow this work to continue.”

Jones’ Iraq Resolution Passes House

WalterJonesWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted today to pass a resolution (H. Con. Res. 105) that he introduced to prohibit the deployment of U.S. armed forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without congressional authorization:

Opinion: Charter Schools are Worth the Investment

By Dr. Terry Stoops

TerryStoopsEducational productivity measures the relative return on investment (ROI) for schools and school districts.  In other words, what is the relationship between inputs (money) and outputs (test scores)?  After all, comparing state, district, or school expenditures in isolation may be popular, but it is not a terribly illuminating exercise.

While the Center for American Progress report referenced above allowed readers to examine ROI for individual school districts in 50 states and D.C., the University of Arkansas report compared productivity between charter and district school sectors in 28 states (including North Carolina) and D.C.  That means that ROI statistics for individual charter schools are not available.  If researchers reported that data, we would expect to see large variations in charter school ROI within each state.

Notice of Meeting of North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

NC WildlifeRALEIGH – pursuant to G.S. 143-318.14, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a public body of the State of North Carolina, hereby files notice of an official meeting:

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. 0 Wildlife Resources Commission Headquarters Conference Room, 1751 Varsity Drive, NCSU Centennial Campus, Raleigh, NC.

The live audio webcast of the WRC meeting will be available at www.ncwildlife.org under Public Notices and Pending Rules.

Meadows’ Bill Calling for Greater Scrutiny of Federal Records Passes Committee

Congressman Mark Meadows

Congressman Mark Meadows

WASHINGTON. D.C. — The Federal Records Accountability Act of 2014, H.R. 5170, introduced by Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), advanced through Committee Thursday afternoon.

By improving federal recordkeeping laws, the bill addresses federal agencies’ recent failures to properly archive official records.

H.R. 5170 creates a process for firing federal employees—after thorough investigation— who willfully and unlawfully destroy federal records. Additionally, the legislation bars federal employees from using personal e-mails and other electronic communications to conduct official business as a means of intentionally bypassing recordkeeping laws.

Capitol Wreath Laying Aug. 2 Begins North Carolina’s World War I Centennial Commemoration

RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory will launch the state’s four-yearlong Centennial Commemoration of World War I at a wreath-laying ceremony at the North Carolina Veterans Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. and re-enactors will be on the State Capitol grounds throughout the day.

The state’s official commemoration is under the auspices of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Ellmers Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Breast Cancer Risks

ReneeEllmers2WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) released the following statement this afternoon after joining Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and David Vitter (R-LA) to introduce H.R. 5185 – The Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act:

“Over the past two decades, we have made tremendous strides in the battle against breast cancer, and thousands of lives have been saved due to new treatments, care and preventative screening. But this fight is not over and we need to continue our efforts to help all women – young and old – so they can protect themselves and identify the risks associated with this devastating disease. I’m proud to join my colleagues Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Amy Klobuchar, and David Vitter as an original co-sponsor of this reauthorization and look forward to it quickly moving through the legislative process.”

Exclusive North Carolina Civil War 150th Anniversary

Cultural ResourcesRALEIGH – From the massive amphibious attack on Fort Fisher, the largest by American forces until World War II, to the 6,000 acre battlefield at Bentonville to the site of the largest surrender of the Civil War at Bennett Place, participants in an exclusive, behind-the-scenes Civil War Sesquicentennial Bus Tour will learn details about key North Carolina Civil War sites Oct. 24-26. Pre-eminent Civil War historian Mark Bradley will be the on-bus guide. Spaces are expected to go quickly. The reservation deadline is Sept. 29 and can be made at www.ncdcr.gov/CivilWarTour.

Chief Justice Parker Designates Judge Linda McGee as Court of Appeals Chief Judge

Scales of JusticeRALEIGH — Chief Justice Sarah Parker has designated Judge Linda McGee as chief judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Current Chief Judge John C. Martin will step down from the bench and retire on August 1, 2014.

Judge McGee has served on the Court of Appeals since 1995 when she was appointed by former Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. She will take over for Judge Martin, who has served as Court of Appeals chief judge since 2004