Morning Memo: Playing games on Jones Street and parsing words

Posted by John Frank on June 19, 2014 

Will they be gone by July 1? That’s the question on the minds of Jones Street watchers. Today’s Senate appropriations meeting may provide some clues, but the how-many-different-unrelated-provisions-can-you-stuff-into-one-bill game seems like a pretty good indicator that some legislators want to leave Raleigh as soon as possible. We assume they’ll head for shady mountains and coastal waves for a cooling down period.

*** For a look at what they did and what they’re going to do as well as other political news, keep reading Dome Morning Memo. ***


The governor’s office did not release a public schedule. The House convenes at 11 a.m. and the Senate at 11:30 a.m. Meetings after session in the House hold interest with movement on Medicaid and Common Core. The Senate appropriations committee meets at 1. Is it possible they have found new adjectives for crazy?

#NCSEN --- Notes from the U.S. Senate campaign trail.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY: The two-year-old video that Democrats unearthed earlier this week of House Speaker Thom Tillis’s comments about the state’s “traditional” population continues to reverberate. Wednesday’s Memo brought you the gist of it from the Asheville Citizen-Times but the Washington Post, NBC News and even an Esquire blogger have all weighed. Now offended groups are speaking out.

The background: Tillis was speaking in 2012 on Carolina Business Review about the GOP’s chances with minority voters. He said: “The traditional population of North Carolina and the United States is more or less stable. It's not growing. The African American population is roughly growing but the Hispanic population and the other immigrant populations are growing in significant numbers. We’ve got to resonate with those future voters.”

The explanation: Tillis’ campaign told Talking Points Memo, which first reported his comments: “Traditional” North Carolinians refers to North Carolinians who have been here for a few generations. A lot of the state’s recent population growth is from people who move from other states to live, work, and settle down in North Carolina. Thom Tillis, for example.”

What’s next: The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, a local civil rights group, is holding a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday at 10.30 a.m. in the family life center at Martin Street Baptist Church to denounce Tillis’ remarks.

#NCGA — A look at the major stories from the N.C. General Assembly.

HOUSE GOP SPLIT OVER REG BILLS: In a sign that time and patience are running out in the final hectic weeks of the short session, House leaders drew fire from fellow Republicans over a pair of regulatory bills that surfaced Wednesday.

Several House members objected to the grab-bag nature of issues thrown into what is titled the “2014 Regulatory Reform Act,” calling it a mix of individual bills that couldn’t clear committees. Others complained about new provisions rushed into an environmental bill at the last minute.

Read more here.

LOTTERY OFFICIAL: HOUSE BUDGET WRITERS KNEW CURBS ON ADS WOULD REDUCE INCOME: The state’s lottery director said in public on Wednesday the lottery cannot meet a $106 million target set by lawmakers in the state House because they wrote several other lottery restrictions into their plan, undermining a signature part of the House budget that passed on Friday.

The lottery’s target would help finance pay raises averaging about 5 percent for school teachers across North Carolina, under the House plan.

... Senate reaction: Republicans in the Senate called the House approach “foolishness” and an “absolute disaster.” A Democrat said it was a “gamble on gambling to pay teachers.”

Read more here.

#NCPOL — More political news from North Carolina.

MAKE DUKE PAY: “N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper is urging state lawmakers to spare the public from paying the potentially billions of dollars that Duke Energy will incur if the legislature passes a bill to fix leaky coal ash lagoons. Read more.

RACE FOR NO. 3 HOUSE SEAT DIVIDES NC GOP IN CONGRESS: Several North Carolina lawmakers are front-and-center – but backstage – in the effort to drum up votes for their preferred candidates in this week’s battle over a key spot on the House Republicans’ leadership team.

In the election Thursday for House majority whip – the number three spot in the House hierarchy –Reps. Renee Ellmers and Patrick McHenry are backing staunch conservative and front-runner Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Tar Heel Republican Reps. Richard Hudson and George Holding, meanwhile, are behind Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, currently the chief deputy whip. Read more here.

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