Weekly wrap: Medicaid, NC FAST, coal ash, Senate debate

Posted April 17, 2014

— Lawmakers got another update this week on Medicaid spending, and a key lawmaker said the shortfall might be small enough to provide modest raises to all state workers, not just starting teachers.

Meanwhile, Department of Health and Human Services officials told lawmakers that problems with the NC FAST social services management system has cost the state $21 million so far, and that figure is expected to rise.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Pat McCrory rolled out proposed legislative changes for how the state regulates coal ash. His proposal would result in the closure of coal ash ponds statewide, but much to environmentalists' dismay, wouldn't require Duke Energy to dig up the toxic sludge and move it to lined landfills.

Looking forward to next week, WRAL News is hosting an April 23 debate between some of the leading Republican U.S. Senate candidates. Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte and Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant will take part, but House Speaker Thom Tillis declined an invitation to participate.

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  • BigBrokeBill Apr 18, 2014

    Coal Ash, the gift that keeps on giving. How did power plants in the 1950's and 60's handle this problem, did they just dig a hole in the ground? Is this just an case where we now have to deal with decades of neglect or "ignoring the problem"? It seems that we have some hard choices to make. Do we fill up our landfills with this stuff or take the cost of sending it back to where the coal was mined (if they'll even take it)? Who pays the cost? No easy answers in this mess.