Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on forcing work to get Medicaid, getting legislators to act on congressional redistricting and what's up with a former Asheville mayor.
Work exemption may mean Medicaid expansion
(Fayetteville Observer) -- It was a surprising to see last week that North Carolina is one of the state’s seeking a federal exemption that would allow it to require employment in return for Medicaid eligibility. That’s not the sort of request we’d expect from a Democratic governor. But there it was: North Carolina joined nine other states in requesting an exemption from Medicaid rules that forbid imposing a work requirement.
State officials say flu 'very virulent' this year
(WRAL-TV analysis) -- This year's flu season has gotten off to an early start and will only get worse in the coming weeks, North Carolina Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said.
POLICY & POLITICS
GARY ROBERTSON: Judges: No delay for new N.C. congressional map (AP news analysis) - Judges who struck down North Carolina's congressional map for excessive partisanship have refused to delay their order telling Republican state lawmakers to draw new lines by next week. The decision by the three-judge federal panel was expected, given that the judges wrote 200-plus pages last week explaining why the boundaries are illegal political gerrymanders violating the U.S. Constitution.
Action and inaction
(Greensboro News & Record) -- There’s a good reason why former Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight doesn’t see his neighbor and state representative, Pricey Harrison, around that much, as he complained in a letter to the editor last week. The legislature is gradually turning itself into a full-time, permanent branch of government.
Compensation almost complete
(Winston-Salem Journal) -- The state has almost finished compensation payments to the victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program. But we’ll reserve hallelujahs until the checks are in hand.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Brunswick revokes previous stance on offshore drilling
(Wilmington Star-News analysis) -- Narrow vote means the county does not support or oppose offshore drilling, at least for now. Brunswick County commissioners reversed course and rescinded a resolution that supported offshore drilling.
JOHN NEWSOM: N.C. Central’s law school faces questions from accreditor
(Greensboro News & Record analysis) -- The N.C. Central University School of Law will have to defend its admissions practices this summer to the American Bar Association. In a letter the ABA says N.C. Central is out of compliance with the association’s admissions standards. The ABA — the accrediting body for U.S. law schools —requires law schools to admit students capable of completing their legal studies and passing the bar exam.
STEPHANIE CARSON: For NC Teens, Community Service Starts Online
(Public News Service analysis) -- A growing number of North Carolina’s young people are finding community service opportunities online. DoSomething.org is one portal that offers various projects, including those focused on hunger, violence and discrimination. Historically, the organization found its home in traditional school clubs that held in-person meetings, but spokesman Dezmon Gilmore says it is finding better ways to reach the technology-focused generation.
JOHN BOYLE ANSWER MAN: Answer Man: Former Asheville Mayor Leni Sitnick working at Harris Teeter?
(Asheville Citizen-Times column) -- QUESTION: I was at Harris Teeter in Asheville not too long ago, and I saw former Asheville Mayor Leni Sitnick working there. How long has she been working there? Why is she working there? Isn't she old enough to retire? ANSWER: This is really just economics at work. "I'm working because I have to. No retirement fund and no other income, except for Social Security, which doesn't cover rent, utilities, food, gas, etc." Sitnick was Asheville's first woman mayor.