Ben McNeely

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General Assembly Adjourns After Late Night

GASessionAdjournedRALEIGH – The General Assembly officially completed this year’s work session this morning after nearly 10 months on the job.

The session ended shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning once legislators finalized a large “technical corrections” bill.

The state budget passed just two weeks ago after a stalemate and negotiations on Medicaid changes.

Barring a veto from Governor Pat McCrory, the state legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until next April.

Capital Tonight Sept. 28: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

ct28_jpgOn Capital Tonight: Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler talks about a fact-finding trip to Cuba, preparations for avian flu, and what to expect at this year’s State Fair. Pat Gannon of NC Insider and Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal join our Reporter Roundtable. Watch the program here.

North Carolina Lawmakers Return to try to Wrap Up Session

General_Assembly_NCRALEIGH—Legislators still have many votes to take before what is expected to be the last week of this year’s North Carolina General Assembly session.

The House and Senate return to Raleigh on Monday and will debate and vote on several bills.

The House is ready to vote for a $2 billion bond package that cleared the Senate last week and requires a statewide referendum next year for the borrowing to occur. The final flurry of committee meetings of the year kicked off throughout the day as lawmakers look to finish up work on bills that just a vote or two away from completion or others that are being heard for the very first time.

“The purposes of this article are to establish an agricultural pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state,” said Rep. Jeff Collins, a Nash County Republican.

A proposal that got no opposition, after assurances were made that the THC level is mandated to be at a level so low it could not get a person high, like marijuana could.

Other bills that have already gotten some big public debate were back in the spotlight, including a bill that needed a House concurrence vote which would end the marketing and sale of fetal tissue in North Carolina.

It is proposal that some say is unnecessary and based off of controversial videos of Planned Parenthood, but others say shows a strong stance from North Carolina.

“It is not based on reality, on true videos, but they are based on doctored, heavily edited and untrue videos,” said Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham County Democrat.

“I’m disgusted, and I hope you will vote for this bill because you are just as disgusted as I am,” said Rep. Pat McElraft, a Carteret County Republican.

Also in the House was a bill to help one rural hospital in Belhaven to re-open by creating a definition for a legacy hospital under state certificate of need laws.

“Right now DHHS does not have a policy in regards to how long you can be closed without being an existing facility. They don’t have case law to support any decisions DHHS would and there is no statute that would also allow for any direction,” said Rep. Paul Tine, a Dare County Independent.

As the bills continue to move quickly from committee to the floor and then on the other chamber, leadership says this is the pace that’s necessary for this session to come to an end.

“Understand this is the final few days of session and I would expect over the next two to three days that there will be times where we are in session where we have to take a recess to have committee meetings or conference committees to meet, but then coming back to dispose of business,” said NC Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Moore.

Both chambers are expected to work long hours over the next few days as they plan to adjourn from session for the year.​

– Loretta Boniti

Capital Tonight Sept. 25: Bow Tie Caucus

vlcsnap-2015-09-28-12h23m18s43On Capital Tonight: The Bow Tie Caucus convenes and analyzes US House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to resign. Dr. Michael Bitzer and Joe Stewart join Tim Boyum. Watch the program here.

House Speaker John Boehner Will Resign at End of October

john-boehner-genericWASHINGTON — In a stunning move, House Speaker John Boehner has told Republicans that he will step down at the end of October, giving up his leadership post and his seat in Congress in the face of hardline conservative opposition.

The 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his GOP caucus early this morning when he informed them of his decision in a closed-door session.

In a statement, Boehner said: “The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.

Florida Rep. John Mica responded to Boehner’s resignation saying he “just does not want to become the issue.”

Conservatives have demanded that any legislation to keep the government operating past next Wednesday’s midnight deadline strip Planned Parenthood of his funds, a stance opposed by more pragmatic lawmakers. The dispute had threatened Boehner’s speakership and roiled the GOP caucus.

Boehner took over the speakership in January 2011.

– TWC News and The Associated Press

 

Capital Tonight Sept. 24: Lawmakers on Primary Move

captonight_24On Capital Tonight: Sens. Bob Rucho and Mike Woodard debate the merits of combining North Carolina presidential and state primaries to one day. Budget experts Sarah Curry and Alexandra Sirota look at the impact of the new state budget. Watch the program here.

Capital Tonight Sept. 23: Fmr. Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour

MissgovernorOn Capital Tonight: Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour talks about his new book on his state’s response to Hurricane Katrina and lessons learned 10 years later, and we get his take on the 2016 presidential race. Watch the program here.

Medicaid Overhaul in North Carolina Now Officially Law

medicaid_bill1RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory says his signature on far-reaching Medicaid legislation is just the beginning of a years-long process to transform the health care program that serves more than one in six North Carolina residents.

McCrory signed a Medicaid overhaul bill into law during a ceremony Wednesday at the Executive Mansion, surrounded by legislators who helped negotiate the law. Also there was Rick Brajer, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which will carry it out.

The law will phase out the fee-for-service method North Carolina Medicaid uses to pay for treatment for most of its 1.8 million enrollees. Insurance companies and provider networks will enter into contracts and receive a fixed amount per month for each patient. This change isn’t expected until 2018 or 2019.

– Associated Press

Capital Tonight Extended Interview: Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour

MissgovernorCapital Tonight anchor Tim Boyum sits down with former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour to talk about the upcoming presidential race as well as his new book.

Former Congressman Howard Coble in the ICU

howard_coble_22_jpgGREENSBORO — Former U.S. representative Howard Coble is in the ICU at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, according to his former Chief of Staff Ed McDonald.

Former Representative Coble had surgery on his skin cancer about two weeks ago and has been experiencing complications since then.

He isn’t able to talk right now due to swelling, but staffers say he looks the best he has in several weeks.

The 84 year old represented North Carolina’s 6th district for 30 years. He was succeeded by Mark Walker.

Time Warner Cable News will have more details as they become available.