State Briefs, March 19, 2015
SENS. BURR AND TILLIS AMONG THE 47 GOP’ERS WHO SIGNED IRAN LETTER
[WASHINGTON, D.C] Among the 47 Republican US senators who signed and sent a open letter to the Iranian government in hope of crippling Pres. Obama’s negotiations over their nuclear capabilities, were North Carolina senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Burr is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The letter, spearheaded by Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, warns the Iranian government that any deal reached with the Obama Administration regarding their having a nuclear weapon will be changed once he leaves office in 2017. The 47 have been blasted by the White House for undermining the president’s authority.
LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO APPEAL COMMISSIONS RULING
[RALEIGH] Gov. Pat McCrory accused state House and Senate leaders of overstepping their constitutional bounds, and a three-judge state appellate panel agreed with him. The Legislature had no right to create three independent environmental commissions to oversee coal ash cleanup, oil and natural gas drilling, and mining in the state. That duty constitutionally belonged to the governor, McCrory, along with former governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin, claimed in a lawsuit that the appellate court agreed with this week. State Senate President Pro tem Sen. Phil Berger an d House Speaker Tim Moore issued joint statement saying that they were “disappointed” in the ruling, and that they will appeal.
WHO SHOULD WIN THE NORTH CAROLINA AWARD?
[GOLDSBORO] What North Carolina citizen do you know of who has selflessly sacrificed to make this a better state for all? From now until April 24th, residents from Murphy to Manteo can go online at http://www.ncdcr.gov/NCAwards/Nominations/Submit, secure a nomination form, and submit that form, a cover letter, at least three letters of support and examples of the nominee’s work, and a bio of their choice for who should receive the North Carolina Award this November from Gov. Pat McCrory. Past honorees include author Maya Angelou, UNC Pres. Bill Friday, musician Branford Marsalis and evangelist Billy Graham.
UNC REACHES $335,000 SETTLEMENT WITH WHISTLEBLOWER
UNC – Chapel Hill has reached a $335,000 settlement with a former academic adviser who blew the whistle that many students athletes there did not meet academic standards. Mary Willingham will now see her legal fees covered, in addition to receiving $40,000 in back pay. Willingham says the school retaliated against her when she spoke out, changing her employment status in July 2013. She will not get her job back under the agreement.
NC JOBLESS RATE STALLS AT 5.4 PERCENT IN JANUARY
Even though the actual number of people listed as unemployed in North Carolina has reportedly gone down, the jobless rate statewide remained at 5.4 percent in January, slightly lower that the nation’s 5.7 percent in January. The state jobless rate has dropped 1.4 percent since January 2014.