Opinion roundup June 13, 2016: Limiting the authority of cities; Can HB2 be fixed? Fate of refugees; and more

Posted June 13, 2016
Updated June 21, 2016

The state rules cities (Greensboro News & Record) A state legislator from Onslow County is really upset with a successful and popular program that began in Greensboro. “Since we gave that exemption, FaithAction International commenced big-time distribution of identity cards, and we had numerous law enforcement agencies across the state participating,” Republican Rep. George Cleveland said in a House Regulatory Reform Committee meeting Wednesday. The exemption was included in a 2015 law, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed in Greensboro, that barred local governments from recognizing ID cards not authorized by the state. The exception applied to police agencies. … Because the ID program was suggested by Greensboro police, who said it improved relations with immigrant communities, potentially making the city safer, the exception was allowed. A year later, because so many other police agencies like the idea, Republican legislators now want to remove the exception. They aim to prohibit police from using a simple, helpful tool.

Flawed bill on sterilization compensation (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The state legislature has a good idea in promoting compensation for people forcibly sterilized by order of counties in North Carolina. But Senate Bill 29, which could be voted on by the full state House tonight, has one big problem: It applies only to the state’s four most populous counties, including Forsyth, and it would leave it up to those counties to pay that compensation if they want. The state should pay the costs.

One way out of the HB2 mess? (Southern Pines Pilot) -- When it comes to reaction to the deplorable and indefensible House Bill 2, Republican leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly pretty much shrugged off what folks like Bruce Springsteen and Itzhak Perlman did. Maybe now they’ll pay more heed to what Adam Silver is saying.

Schools find a way to make tuition plan work (Fayetteville Observer) -- Three of this state's historically black universities have sent the General Assembly a better idea: Boost attendance by offering performance-related tuition grants.

I blame hate (Huffington Post column) -- I am left wondering, amid all the prayers and mourning, wherein lies the responsibility and who is to blame? I blame Ted Cruz, Pat McCrory, and every single politician in America and around the world who has promoted fear and hatred against the LGBTQ community in attempt to garner more votes.

TAFT WIREBACK: My night on undercardfFor Muhammad Ali exhibition (Greensboro News & Record) -- Looking back on it, the night I shared a boxing ring with Muhammad Ali really wasn’t the highlight of my five-plus years as an amateur fighter. But that evening in February 1972 ranks right up there.

TIM WHITE: We're watching, but not seeing enough (Fayetteville Observer column) – There was a lot to observer in Tuesday’s congressional primaries. There were the dynamics of hardball politics and small-ball voters, for one. In a lot of North Carolina congressional districts, the money spent per vote must have been astronomical. No place more so than in our 2nd Congressional District, where the possibly-not-saintly George slew the dragon who burned the tea party and flew off.

City right in fighting bill that chills public access (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Winston-Salem city council members are right to express concern over a bill quickly moving through the state legislature that would severely limit the public’s access to video recordings made by police with body-worn cameras or cameras mounted on dashboards.

Charlotte a safe haven for more Syrian refugees (Charlotte Observer column) – More than 700 people from around the world move to Charlotte as refugees each year. Charlotte has welcomed refugees this year not only from Syria, but form Somalia, Eritrea, the Congo, Bhutan, Myanmar and a half-dozen other nations.

The heirs of Pearsall (Greensboro News & Record) -- The ramping up of funding for private schools, and a plan that could close some public schools, remind us that North Carolina has gone this way before.

Legislators play hide and seek with body cam footage (Wilson Times) -- Call it the body camera bait and switch. North Carolina lawmakers touted the rollout of body-worn video cameras as a tool to ensure police are accountable to the public. But if a bill working its way through the state House is signed into law,

New, troubling questions for carolinas healthcare (Charlotte Observer) -- Hospital system sued by Justice Department and N.C. Attorney General’s office for ‘unlawful contract restrictions’; CHS does much for Charlotte, including providing top-notch care; But hospital system regularly has to explain questionable business practices