Constitutional amendment would elect State Board of Education

North Carolina hasn’t had any new constitutional amendments on the ballot since 2018, when voters got to decide on six different changes. House Republicans want to put another one before voters this November, and the bill to make it happen gets its first committee hearing today.

Health Care

Hospitals' Medicaid change up in the air

One other key policy item in limbo this week is whether the state will participate in a new federal Medicaid program that would increase reimbursements to hospitals.

Hemp legalization could be in trouble

The N.C. House chopped hemp legalization out of the Senate’s farm bill Wednesday, a move that rankled the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Brent Jackson, R-Sampson.

House offers alternative approach to Medicaid expansion

First the Senate changed its position on Medicaid expansion. This week, it’s the House’s turn. But the odds for it becoming law are still shakier than the odds of sports betting getting passed.

Budget & Taxes

Budget to be released Tuesday night

If you’re eager to read the budget bill, get ready to spend this evening repeatedly hitting refresh on the legislature’s website.

New rural grants to jumpstart small-town projects

The state’s infusion of American Rescue Plan money is starting to trickle down to individual projects, and the result is that small towns across the state are able to tackle some big projects they might not otherwise afford.

What's next for sports betting bill?

After a surprising, narrow defeat on the House floor Wednesday, the future of sports betting looked murky Thursday. And the bill’s chief proponent in the House, Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, said he’s not yet sure of the next steps for the measure.

Education

Constitutional amendment would elect State Board of Education

North Carolina hasn’t had any new constitutional amendments on the ballot since 2018, when voters got to decide on six different changes. House Republicans want to put another one before voters this November, and the bill to make it happen gets its first committee hearing today.

State controller nominee faces Leandro questions

The position of state controller doesn’t get much attention, but as the Senate began the confirmation process for Gov. Roy Cooper’s nominee, Nels Roseland, Sen. Kathy Harrington made the case that “of all the positions that come before this body for confirmation, this position may be the most important.”

UNC construction funding shift draws concerns

Here’s a sign of the times in the construction world: The cost of a new dining hall for Elizabeth City State University has doubled from $7.5 million to $15 million.

Elections

Follow The Money: Judicial primary PAC

One way for political campaign organizations to obscure their finances is to wait until after Election Day to file final disclosure reports. So even though the information is less relevant weeks later, I like to go back and answer questions that went unanswered during my election coverage.

Are unaffiliated voters really independent?

There’s a lot of talk about the rise of unaffiliated voters, who now outnumber registered Democrats and Republicans, according to State Board of Elections registration statistics. Are many of these people true swing voters – persuadable folks who aren’t loyal to one of the two major political parties?

Latest redistricting fight: Who should pay special masters?

The advocacy groups that filed the initial lawsuit say the legislature ought to pay, arguing that its “unconstitutional conduct” created the need for special masters in the first place. Attorneys for lawmakers disagree, saying that because appeals are still active in the case, judges should hold off for now on determining who’s responsible for the cost.