News 14 Carolina Web Staff

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Legislators taking stand on women’s health bills

RALEIGH — Supporters for women’s rights are taking a stand against bills they said limit women’s access to health care.

In a news conference Tuesday, they announced their intent to repeal the Women’s Right to Know bill to impose ultrasounds and detailed counseling to women seeking an abortion regardless of their circumstances.

"Funding has been cut for domestic violence program, child care programs, programs that help women in the prison system," said Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake.

They said the new legislative majority wants to ban planned parenthood from receiving state funding for their services.

N.C. Ethics Commission to investigate top aides to House Speaker Tillis

RALEIGH – The N.C. Ethics Commission launched an investigation involving top aides to House Speaker Thom Tillis.

The Observer reports the investigation will determine whether two lobbyists who had romantic relationships with the aides violated the state’s ban on gifts.

Lobbyists Jessica Hayes and Dean Plunkett are being probed for possibly failing to report expenses linked to their relationships with legislative employees.

The investigation also includes the State Home Builders Association where Hayes worked, and the commission will also be questioning several of Plunkett’s clients.

Tillis’ Chief of Staff Charles Thomas resigned back in April upon questioning about an intimate relationship with Hayes.

Last month, a legislature ethics committee declined to investigate the relationships.

Dentists, patients gather to oppose proposed dental legislation

RALEIGH – Dentists and patients from across the state gathered outside the legislative building Tuesday oppose proposed dental legislation.

The bill would tighten rules on dental service organizations, or DSOs, which help manage the business aspect of dental practice.

Opponents say the bill would be a financial burden on many dentists.

"it doesn’t help access to care and it puts undue burdens on those of us who are practicing and affiliated with dental organizations now," said Dr. Bruce Gray from Affordable Dentures.

Opponents also believe the restrictions would force them to increase costs and limit access to affordable dental care.

Senate passes education reform bill

RALEIGH – The state Senate passed a major education reform package Monday.

The Excellent Public Schools Act changes tenure for teachers and offers performance bonuses.

It would also focus on literacy, school accountability and teacher training, and would grade schools on an A through F scale.

Last week state Senate Pro-Tem Phil Berger gave more time for input on the bill from critics. He is calling this new bill a compromise.

The legislation received sharp criticism from Democrats.

The bill goes on to the House for debate.

Capital Tonight June 4: Billy Warden and Greg Behr on campaign advertising

On Capital Tonight: Billy Warden and Greg Behr talk campaign advertising and Kelly McCullen with UNC-TV and Allen Johnson of the Greensboro News & Record talk the John Edwards trial and the education budget under consideration in the General Assembly.

Ethics committee won’t investigate conduct of former Tillis aides

RALEIGH – A state legislature ethics committee has declined a request to investigate romantic relationships between lobbyists and two of state House Speaker Thom Tillis’ former aides.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the committee says it does not have the authority to investigate legislative employees or lobbyists, though it does govern the conduct of lawmakers in the General Assembly.

Democrats had asked the committee to investigate after two aides to the Republican resigned because of their relationships with lobbyists.

A request for the state Ethics Commission to investigate is pending.

Capital Tonight June 1: NC GOP vice-chairman Wayne King, on the state convention

On Capital Tonight: Tim Boyum talks with Wayne King, the vice-chairman of the N.C. Republican Party about the state convention this weekend. Loretta Boniti recaps a busy week On Jones Street and we get the latest reaction to the John Edwards verdict.

Capital Tonight May 31: John Edwards verdict coverage

On Capital Tonight: An extended edition for complete analysis of the John Edwards case. Plus Young Voters speak out on the issues, and Loretta Boniti recaps House debate on the Cherokee gambling.

Lawmakers want say in future of Dix Hospital land

RALEIGH – State lawmakers have advanced a proposal that would mandate the General Assembly get a say in what happens to the property where Dorthea Dix Hospital currently sits in Raleigh.

The hospital is expected to fully close its door by the end of the summer and normal state procedure would allow the Council of State to determine what is done with the property. Lawmakers say because of the huge state Health and Human Services personnel presence on the land, legislators say they should get to determine what is done with the property.

“Plans have been made and iI just thought this would help put the money where it needs to be, and for us to have a say as a state,” Rep. Pat Hurley, a Randolph County Republican, said.

Some members of the Wake County delegation say they are still hopeful the hospital would not close its doors but want to make sure if it does, that money from the property will be directed toward mental health services.

Capital Tonight May 30: NC Chamber president Lew Ebert

On Capital Tonight: Tim Boyum talks with Lew Ebert, president of the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, about the state’s unemployment system.