Courts and Justice

NEWS & OBSERVER: Veto Override on Marriage Bill Postponed Again 
The North Carolina House adjourned for the weekend Thursday without formally deciding whether to cancel Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of legislation allowing some government officials to avoid performing gay marriages because of religious beliefs.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Court: Attempt to End Teacher Tenure Unconstitutional 
A three-judge panel ruled that legislators’ attempt in 2013 to end teacher tenure was unconstitutional, echoing the findings last year of a Superior Court judge.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Bill Requires Jury Excuses be Reported to NC Elections Board 
The reason potential jurors are excused from jury duty would be reported to the State Board of Elections under a House bill cleared by the Senate’s Judiciary II Committee last week. Many of the reasons that someone can’t serve as a juror, such as being a convicted felon, no longer living in the state or not being a citizen, also would disqualify someone from voting.

Economy and Economic Development

WINSTON SALEM JOURNAL: McCrory Touts Return of Manufacturing Jobs 
Governor Pat McCrory traveled a familiar path to Davie County last week, a trip he has made about five times over the last 1½ years in the name of economic development. He visited the new Dex Heavy Duty Parts LLC facility in an old textile warehouse on Cornatzer Road, touting the return of manufacturing jobs to a state that was hit hard by unemployment during the recent economic downturn.

Elections

WRAL: National Candidates, GOP Incumbents Gather for State Republican Convention 
North Carolina Republicans gathered in Raleigh over the weekend for the 2015 NC GOP Convention, hearing from the likes of presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Dr. Ben Carson. Gov. Pat McCrory and Sen. Richard Burr also had the opportunity to address attendees.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: North Carolina Republicans Close to Agreement on March Presidential Primary Date 
Lawmakers in North Carolina are working to push the state's 2016 presidential primary election back to March instead of February, meaning the state would avoid a stiff delegate penalty from the Republican National Committee.

Healthcare

NEWS & OBSERVER: State Owes Medical Providers for Caring for Poor, Elderly 
The state Medicaid office owes medical providers nearly two years worth of back payments for poor, elderly patients, an expense that will increase past and future costs, according to the state budget office. The state has not been properly paying providers for patients who use both Medicare and Medicaid.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Local Governments Ending Health Coverage for Spouses 
To combat spiraling medical costs, some local governments in the Charlotte area are joining a national trend of dropping health-care coverage for employees’ spouses. The latest action came Thursday, when the Lincolnton City Council eliminated coverage for all employee spouses.

NEWS & OBSERVER: A Medicaid Cloud Envelopes the Legislature 
Nearly a year has passed since the state House and Senate sharply divided over money for the state’s Medicaid program; the legislature may be facing a repeat showdown this year with bigger consequences.

Regulatory Reform

WRAL: Far-reaching Alcohol Bill Gets Tentative Nod from State House 
The General Assembly passed a bill last week that clears the way for distilleries to sell bottles of their own products to tourists, along with making dozens of other changes to state alcohol laws.

WRAL: Committee Gives Nod to Bill Expanding Access to Guns 
A sweeping firearms bill that passed the House Rules Committee on Wednesday morning would narrow the number of gun sales for which a background check is conducted, but would allow the state agriculture commissioner to ban firearms at the North Carolina State Fair.

NEWS & OBSERVER: ‘ Biscuit Bill’ Clears NC House Committee 
An NC House committee backed legislation Wednesday that would allow convenience stores to set up tables and chairs for customers eating inside.

WILMINGTON STAR NEWS: Legislation on Billboard Control Troubles City Leaders 
City officials are expressing concern about a bill working its way through the General Assembly that would give more freedom to billboard owners.

State Budget

NEWS AND OBSERVER: NC Senate Likely to Delay Budget Release 
The Senate will likely delay budget votes originally slated for Wednesday and Thursday, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown. Brown, one of the chamber's top budget writers, said he expects the schedule released late last month will change.

Transportation

NEWS & OBSERVER: Dredging at Morehead City Hasn’t Brought Relief Yet 
The state ports’ biggest shipping customer has been losing two million dollars monthly since October because the clogged navigation channel is still too shallow to handle fully laden freighters. A dredging operation which started in May is expected to bring some relief by August, helping the state’s second-busiest port get back to normal.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: I-485 The end of the era of new free lanes 
The opening of the last segment of Interstate 485 last week marked the end of a 27-year construction program to encircle Charlotte with a highway. It also marked another milestone: It was most likely the last large-scale highway program in Charlotte that won’t include toll lanes.

WRAL: Top Legislative Leaders Cast Doubt on Transportation Bonds 
Both Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that any bond package that comes out of the General Assembly this year will likely be smaller than the $3 billion sought by Gov. Pat McCrory.

NEWS & OBSERVER: House Panel Rejects Driving Permits for Undocumented Immigrants 
A House panel rejected a push Tuesday to gut legislation that would provide state-issued identification cards and driving permits for many thousands of immigrants in the United States illegally, while increasing penalties for selling or using phony IDs.