LAWMAKERS WANT TO ALLOW HANDGUN CONCEALED CARRY WITHOUT PERMIT (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A bill sponsored by 10 North Carolina Republican legislators would allow people to carry handguns concealed without a permit. In North Carolina, concealed carry of a handgun without a permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class H felony for a subsequent offense. Lawmakers proposed lifting permit requirements last year in the form of a constitutional amendment that would go to voters for consideration, but it never received a hearing. It would still be illegal to concealed carry a bowie knife, dirk, dagger, sling shot, loaded cane, metal knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun or other deadly weapons except on a person’s private property.
NC APPEALS COURT TEMPORARILY REINSTATES NEW ELECTIONS LAW (AP) — A N.C. Appeals Court has temporarily reinstated a state law that stripped the governor of his oversight of elections. The law was approved by Republican lawmakers two weeks before Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper took office. It was blocked by a three-judge panel after Cooper sued. The state Court of Appeals’ decision Thursday means the law can be enforced while the court decides whether to take up a request by Republican legislative leaders to overturn the lower court’s decision. The measure merges the state ethics and elections boards into one and gives legislative leaders half of the board appointments going forward. Previously the governor made the elections board appointments with a majority coming from his party. Late Thursday, Cooper’s attorneys asked the state Supreme Court to continue blocking the law.
NC'S FIRST WIND FARM, WHICH GOP LAWMAKERS ASKED TRUMP TO STOP, FULLY OPERATIONAL (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina’s first wind farm has begun spinning, its developer said Thursday, despite recent efforts by legislative leaders to kill it. The Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East sprawls across 22,000 acres of farmland in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. Its 104 turbines are expected to generate enough energy to power 61,000 homes a year. The farm began delivering power in December but reached full operation this month, developer Avangrid Renewables said.
LEGISLATORS: STOP POSTURING AND FULLY FUND YOUR MANDATE TO CUT SCHOOL CLASS SIZE (Capitol Broadcasting Co.) -- If North Carolina legislators are serious about improving education and not short-changing it, they'll fully fund their mandate to cut early-grade classroom size. The mandate has put instructional quality in jeopardy as school systems have been forced to contemplate eliminating arts, music and physical education instruction as well as increasing class size in upper grades. Rather than just kicking this can down the road, pretending to address an issue but really just leaving it to fester, how about showing some resolve and gumption?