Opinion Roundup: Dust clears from legislative session, helping kids and big government is good government
Posted July 3
Legislative session produces mixed results at best (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- The approval of budget adjustments for the new fiscal year and the adjournment of the 2016 short legislative session of the N.C. General Assembly produced the usual mix of the Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Ugly.
Lawmakers give Duke Energy what it wanted (Fayetteville Observer) -- In the end, Duke Energy won the Great Coal Ash War. Is anyone surprised? No, we weren't either. In a state whose governor was a longtime employee of the nation's largest utility, and whose lawmakers benefit from the company's contributions, the outcome of the battle over cleanup of Duke's 33 coal-ash impoundments was pretty predictable.
Foiled in Trinity (Greensboro News & Record) -- People in Trinity won’t get to vote after all on changes to their City Council. They have a right to feel cheated.
What could possibly be wrong with low income taxes forever? (Charlotte Observer) -- N.C. Senate wants constitutional amendment capping income tax rate; It sounds appealing, but it spells trouble for the state; Future legislators and voters should make their own decisions.
For their eyes only (Greensboro News & Record) -- Citing vague and flimsy concerns about “privacy,” state lawmakers overwhelmingly have passed a bill that makes public access to police body and dash camera video all but impossible without the blessing of a sheriff or police chief.
HB2 'compromise' is anything but (Charlotte Observer) – If you take one step forward, only to have an opponent push you four steps backward, what do you call it when said opponent decides to move one step forward again? Compromise. At least that’s what the Republican lawmakers backing House Bill 2 want to call the tinkering they did Friday on the controversial law. We would offer a different term: Political fig leaf.
More water tricks (Greensboro News & Record) -- The mussels are gone, but so might be some of the muscle needed to protect a Triangle drinking supply in a provision in the state budget approved Friday.
We must work harder for the children (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Every year about this time, the Annie E. Casey Foundation releases its Kids Count data book, which provides a sober assessment of the health and overall well-being of children across the country. Every year North Carolina seems to show improvement in some areas — and unfortunately, we also find some decline. This year is no different, the Journal’s Richard Craver reported recently.
Blue Ridge Parkway: Big government even a conservative can love (Charlotte Observer column) -- How can an honest conservative enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway?; If they tried to build something like this today, I’d be the first to rail against it; Yet I confess: I love it.
Prosecutors who aim to kill (New York Times) -- One kept a paperweight model of an electric chair on his desk. Another boasted about being named the “deadliest prosecutor in America” by the Guinness Book of World Records and mocked defendants with intellectual disabilities. A third was dragged from the courtroom when jurors who acquitted six defendants he had charged with shooting police officers said he approached them and reached for his gun. These five people are members of a very small club: The death sentences they have obtained are equal to 15 percent of the current national death row population. The prosecutors are Joe Freeman Britt in North Carolina, Robert Macy in Oklahoma, Donnie Myers in South Carolina, Lynne Abraham in Philadelphia and Johnny Holmes in Texas. Of these five, only Mr. Myers remains in office. But during their tenures, each either secured dozens of death sentences personally or led offices that won hundreds. And each, in his or her way, embodies the vindictive, idiosyncratic nature of state-sanctioned killing.
PAULA BROADWELL: How charlotte should prepare for active shooter (Charlotte Observer column) -- The threat of gun violence in public spaces across our nation is disconcerting. Indeed, ideologically driven, lethal-shooter attacks represent a considerate threat to national security.