Jones files Amicus Brief in case arguing Obamacare violates Constitution

WalterJonesWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) has joined 39 of his colleagues in filing an amicus curiae brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sissel v. HHS, a case which challenges the legality of Obamacare on the basis that it violates the Origination Clause of the Constitution.  While the Origination Clause states that “[a]ll bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives,” Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty – ruled a tax by the Supreme Court in 2012 – originated in the Senate.  Thus, the brief argues that the healthcare law should be ruled unconstitutional.

Hagan Moves To Protect Payments for Small Tobacco Farmers from Sequestration

Hagan, Kay 010809-18418-rb 0014WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Hagan sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Sylvia Burwell asking them to exempt the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP) funds from sequestration in 2014. The funding for TTPP, commonly referred to as the “tobacco buy-out,” is derived from user fees assessed on all tobacco product manufacturers and importers, not general revenues of the federal government. The USDA’s role is to distribute these funds to the growers.

Wildlife Commission Creates Wetland in Sandhills for Amphibians

NC WildlifeHOFFMAN, N.C. – If you build it, they will come. That is what N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologists are hoping for after creating a wetland on the Sandhills Game Land in Scotland County.

Staff created the 1/3-acre wetland in early October to provide more suitable habitat for the Carolina gopher frog and other imperiled amphibians.

Gopher frogs, which once were found across the Sandhills and Coastal Plain of North Carolina, are now down to seven known populations in the state because of the destruction and alteration of wetlands and upland longleaf pine habitats. For breeding, gopher frogs require large, isolated, grassy, temporary wetlands that fill and dry seasonally. They also require adjacent large tracts of fire-managed longleaf pine woodlands with plenty of tree stumps that provide burrows and allow the frog to spend much of the non-breeding season below ground.

Public invited to comment on state surface water quality standards

DENRRALEIGH – State officials will host a public hearing in Raleigh Nov. 19 on the state’s surface water quality standards, which protect human health and the environment and form the basis for many federal and state environmental programs.

The public hearing is being hosted by the N.C. Division of Water Resources on behalf of the state Environmental Management Commission. The hearing starts at 1:30 p.m. in the Ground Floor Hearing Room of the Archdale Building, 512 North Salisbury St. Registration for speakers is at 1 p.m.

Individual Charged with Attempt to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization

RALEIGH—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Department of Justice National Security Division announced that on November 5, 2013, a federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned a one-count indictment charging Basit Javed Sheikh with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B. Specifically, the indictment charges that Sheikh attempted to provide material support and resources to Jabhat al-Nusrah, which the United States Secretary of State has identified as an alias name for al Qaeda in Iraq, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

NCDOT to Hold Corridor-Wide Meetings in Winston-Salem on Proposed U.S. 421/Business 40 Improvement Project

ncdotRALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold corridor-wide meetings on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 21, in Winston-Salem regarding a project to improve 1.2 miles of U.S. 421/Business 40 from west of Fourth Street to east of Church Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

The Business 40 Improvement Project includes removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete pavement. The project will also modernize the entrance and exit ramps, and replace most of the bridges on and over U.S. 421/Business 40 with new bridges that meet current traffic demands and modern design specifications. The project will create a safer, longer lasting roadway that will help drivers get where they need to go more efficiently, as well as improve local and regional connectivity, reduce congestion and enhance safety.

Tillis opens up slight lead in GOP Senate primary, but “undecided” still reigns supreme

RALEIGH – According to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis has opened up a slight lead in the race for the Republican nominate for U.S. Senate.  However, the largest number of respondents are still undecided.

According to the poll, Tillis received 20% to 14% for Mark Harris, 11% for Greg Brannon and 8% for Heather Grant. The largest group of voters, at 47%, still remains undecided.

NCDOT to Host Workshop on Surviving a Contract – A Guide for Subcontractors

ncdotRALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation is hosting a series of eleven workshops across the state geared towards road and street subcontractors who are interested in doing business with NCDOT.  These workshops are focused on helping prospective subcontractors navigate through the process of completing a project successfully.

In each workshop, NCDOT personnel will address the necessary steps to become eligible for participation on a Department project through project completion.

The workshops are geared toward small, women-owned, and minority-owned firms that are interested in working as subcontractors on NCDOT projects.

NCDOT Hosts Planning Forum Centered on Rail’s Role in Supporting North Carolina’s Economy

ncdotRALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division today hosted a Rail Planning Forum in Chapel Hill focused on the role that rail transportation plays in the continued growth of North Carolina’s economy, key industries and its overall quality of life.

During the forum, Transportation Secretary Tony Tata joined State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Assistant Commerce Secretary Dr. Patricia Mitchell, and Tony Almeida, senior advisor to Gov. Pat McCrory on Jobs and the Economy, for a roundtable discussion on key issues related to the forum topic.

Poll: Republicans tighten race against Hagan

RALEIGH – According to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race has tightened up quite a bit in the past couple of months.

According to an email release from PPP, early attacks ads on incumbent Democrat Senator Kay Hagan and the unpopular rollout of Obamacare taking a toll on Hagan’s poll numbers. Hagan is now basically tied with her Republican challengers, leading Heather Grant 43%-40%, Thom Tillis 44%-42% and Mark Harris 43%-41%.  Hagan trails Greg Brannon 44%-43%.