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Federal Government
Republican Legislative Leaders File Motion To Intervene To Defend Voter ID In Lawsuit PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 15 January 2019 11:26
Lawyers for North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) filed a motion in federal court today to intervene in a NAACP lawsuit against the Voter ID law passed to implement the Constitutional Amendment that passed with wide support from North Carolina voters last year. In an obvious effort to keep lawmakers who wrote the law from defending it, the NAACP did not name any legislators as defendants. 
After receiving the mandate from voters, the General Assembly passed implementing legislation for voter ID in December that allows a broad range of photo IDs and makes it simple, easy, and free to obtain a photo ID. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the legislation, but the General Assembly overrode his veto in early December. The NAACP filed the lawsuit the morning after the veto override, but only named Gov. Cooper and the now defunct State Board of Elections as defendants, all of whom will likely be represented by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. 
“Gov. Cooper and Atty. General Stein have deliberately undermined the General Assembly’s efforts to enact voter ID on numerous occasions,” said Berger and Moore. “It is very clear from both their words and actions that they cannot be trusted to defend voter ID, which is why the NAACP deliberately left legislators who enacted the voter ID law out of the lawsuit. A majority of North Carolinians voted in favor of voter ID last November, but Gov. Cooper made it readily apparent in his veto message that he does not respect the will of the people. That is why we have filed a motion to intervene in defending this law and ensure voters receive the election security they have asked for.” 
In his veto of the voter ID implementing legislation, Gov. Cooper included a message that was an argument against voter ID in general rather than anything disputing the provisions in the bill. He said the bill, “was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor and elderly voters,” despite the fact that it was co-sponsored by former Democratic Senator Joel Ford.
In addition to his veto message, Gov. Cooper also vigorously fought against the General Assembly’s efforts to enact the 2013 voter ID law in his role as North Carolina Attorney General. He posted a petition online for those opposed to the bill to ask Gov. Pat. McCrory to veto it and even sent a letter to McCrory himself, urging the governor to veto the bill, calling the law “unnecessary, expensive and burdensome.” Cooper took his anti-voter ID stance a step further when he refused to fulfil his duties as Attorney General and participate in the petition for certiorari seeking review of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling striking down the voter ID law.
Attorney General Stein also has a track record in opposition to voter ID in North Carolina. In 2013 when the law passed the General Assembly, Stein was very vocal in his opposition to the bill while a member of the state Senate. Then, shortly after taking over as Attorney General in 2017, he moved to dismiss the state’s petition for certiorari from the Fourth Circuit’s ruling striking down the voter ID law, effectively derailing the state’s US Supreme Court Case. 
NC Receives $4.5 Million Federal Grant For Early Childhood Needs Assesment PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 15 January 2019 11:00

North Carolina has been awarded a $4.5-million preschool development grant, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The grant will help North Carolina improve the health, safety, and developmental and academic readiness of young children across the state.

“Every young child in our state deserves a strong start in a safe and nurturing family and early learning opportunities,” said Governor Cooper. “Winning this grant represents our continued commitment to that goal and a step forward in improving opportunities for North Carolina’s children.”

The grant will fund a comprehensive statewide needs assessment and planning process for the state’s early learning system, support family outreach and engagement efforts, and provide infant-toddler teachers with training and resources.

The grant comes from the U.S. Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Care. Funding for the grant is included in the current U.S. Health and Human Services budget and is therefore not impacted by the ongoing federal government shutdown.

The grant will help North Carolina make progress with its Early Childhood Action Plan. In August 2018, Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order directing the NC Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), to lead the development of an Early Childhood Action Plan. DHHS worked extensively with over 350 stakeholders from across the state to develop the draft Early Childhood Action Plan, released on Nov. 1, 2018.

The final plan will present a bold vision for North Carolina’s children from birth through age 8, and set measurable goals for improving children’s health, safety and well-being, and developmental and academic readiness. Governor Cooper will speak at an Early Childhood Summit to launch the plan on February 27th.

The grant will be administered by the Division of Child Development and Early Education, which promotes positive child outcomes by helping families access high quality early care and education. Research shows that children’s early experiences impact their brain development and provide the foundation for all future learning and health.

Tillis Urges Ninth Congressional District Constituents To Contact His Office For Federal Assistance PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 January 2019 11:10
Senator Thom Tillis is urging residents of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District to contact his office if they need any assistance with a federal department or agency.
“Given the uncertainty facing North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, all residents should know my Charlotte office is open and ready to help them resolve any issues they may be having with the federal government,” said Senator Tillis. “From assisting veterans seeking timely appointments at the VA to resolving issues seniors are having with their Social Security or Medicare benefits to helping families get expedited passports, my office does everything in its power to help North Carolinians.”
Constituents can reach Senator Tillis’ Charlotte Office by calling 704-509-9087 or visiting www.tillis.senate.gov.
Senator Tillis’ office has closed nearly 20,000 cases for North Carolinians, including:
Closing more than 4,000 cases on behalf of veterans, resolving a wide range of issues from helping secure appointments at the VA to resolving pending disability claims.  
Closing nearly 2,000 cases for North Carolinians who were having issues with their Social Security or Medicare benefits. 
Closing nearly 1,500 immigration-related cases for North Carolinians who were having issues with the Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. 
Assisting nearly 2,000 North Carolinians with getting expedited passports. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 09:54
Sen. Tillis Co-sponsors Bill That Would Protect Special Prosecutors PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 11 January 2019 11:03

U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced they will re-introduce the bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act this week.

The legislation would protect the current and any future Special Counsels from inappropriate removal or political pressure. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last Congress with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 14-7.

The Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act:

  • Codifies existing Department of Justice regulations to ensure that the Special Counsel can only be fired for good cause by a senior Justice Department official, and the reason must be provided in writing. 
  • Provides the Special Counsel a 10-day window in which he can seek expedited judicial review of his removal to determine whether the firing was for good cause.  If the firing is ultimately determined to have violated the good-cause requirement, the removal will not take effect.   
  • Preserves the staffing, documents, and materials of the investigation while the matter is pending.

“When we introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act last year, I stated that I do not believe President Trump intends to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller. I still believe that is true. However, I also believe this bipartisan legislation is good government policy with enduring value across the current and future Administrations,” said Senator Tillis. “This bill’s protections will help ensure that our Justice Department will have the independence it needs to conduct fair and impartial investigations with appropriate reporting to Congress. This will, in turn, reaffirm the American people’s confidence in our nation’s rule of law and the principle that no one is above the law. We were able to build a bipartisan base of support for this legislation last year, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to build the additional support required to advance it through the Senate.”


“This is a time when Republicans and Democrats need to stand up and protect the rule of law in this country,” said Senator Coons. “This bipartisan bill is the best way to ensure that Special Counsel Mueller, and future special counsels, can complete their work without interference, and to make clear that no one is above the law.”


“I have every confidence Mr. Mueller will be allowed to finish the job.  However, there needs to be institutional protections for special counsels both now and in the future.  Our bill allows judicial review of any decision to terminate a special counsel to make sure it’s done for the reasons cited in the regulation rather than political motivation. I think this will serve the country well. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues on this legislation,” said Senator Graham.


“One of the core principles of our justice system is that nobody is above the law,” said Senator Booker. “Our bipartisan bill defends that fundamental principle by protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and future special counsels, from political interference. It’s a common-sense, bipartisan bill that provides the appropriate and necessary checks and balances on Presidential power in order to avoid a constitutional crisis.”


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