Today @NCCapitol (April 18): McCrory to announce transportation remake while lawmakers pick over his Medicaid plan
Posted April 18, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Thursday, April 18. This is WRAL's roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government today.
FIRST UP: There are two important committee meetings at 8:30 a.m. this morning, as well as announcement scheduled by Gov. Pat McCrory at 9:30 a.m.
MEDICAID: House and Senate budget writers will take a look at Gov. Pat McCrory's plan to privatize much of Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. This will be the first formal review by the Joint Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee and could give the first indications of whether lawmakers are willing to go along with the remake. This meeting is at 8:30 a.m. in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building. WRAL.com will carry it live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.
VOTER ID: After the House Elections Committee approved a voter ID proposal after much debate last night, the House Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the bill this morning at 8:30 a.m. If the committee signs off, the bill would next go to the Appropriations Committee. House leaders have said they want to have a floor vote on the bill April 24.
TRANSPORTATION: Gov. Pat McCrory will make a "Major Transportation Policy Announcement" at 9:30 a.m. at the N.C. Museum of History downtown.
SENATE: The state Senate will meet at noon today. Among the bills the chamber will be taking up will be a measure changing how Wake County residents elect their school board members. The plan, approved by the Redistricting Committee Wednesday, would switch elections to the primaries of even-numbered years. It would also allow every voter to choose one representative from one of seven local districts and another representative from one of two "regional districts." Those regions would be divided between a donut-shaped outer-ring that takes in the county's rural areas and an inner urban ring representing the cities.
Senate lawmakers will also take up a bill that would require drug testing for those seeking welfare benefits and a measure allowing car insurance companies to offer different kinds of discount programs.
WRAL.com will carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.
HOUSE: The state House will meet at 1 p.m. Among the bills on its calendar is the chamber's education reform measure. The bill, which deals with career status for teachers and the grading of schools, runs counter to a similar measure that has passed the state Senate.
OTHER NEWS: Other stories we were following Wednesday included:
DOGS: A bill filed Tuesday in the North Carolina House would restrict ownership of six dog breeds and mixes deemed "aggressive." House Bill 956 would create a new "aggressive dog" classification for pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, chows, Presa Canarios, and wolf hybrids, as well as any mixed-breed dogs "that are predominantly of" those breeds.
EDUCATION: A bill approved Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee would end a decade-old policy of restricting classes in kindergarten through third grade to no more than 24 students.
EDUCATION CABINET: Gov. Pat McCrory met with his education cabinet for the first time Wednesday and said afterward various education leaders to speak with one voice on matters of policy and budget. And while he did not endorse a specific proposal, he did say that the state's teacher tenure system needs to change. "I do believe that the current system is not as effective as it should be," he said. "If we don't change, we're going to get the same results. So, I'm looking at new ways to help evaluate not only individual teachers, but schools and universities."
REDISTRICTING: More than half of the sitting members of the state House have co-sponsored a measure that would put the job of redrawing legislative and congressional districts into the hands of nonpartisan professional staff.