RALPH HISE WANTS TO BAN TRANSGENDER TREATMENT FOR 21 AND UNDER: The legislation follows a nationwide trend of GOP-controlled state legislatures looking to limit treatments for transgender adolescents. Unlike other states, however, North Carolina would classify adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as minors under the “Youth Health Protection Act.” Medical professionals who facilitate a transgender person's desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex could have their license revoked and face civil fines of up to $1,000 per occurrence. The measure bars doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery. Senate Bill 514 would also compel state employees to immediately notify parents in writing if their child displays “gender nonconformity” or expresses a desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth. LGBTQ advocates fear the bill would out people under 21 who tell state workers that they may be transgender.
HARRY BROWN SELLS HORSE FARM TO ONSLOW COUNTY FOR $1.25 MILLION: For $1.25 million, Onslow County on North Carolina’s coast is getting nearly 155 acres of land complete with a horse farm, wedding venue, ponds stocked with fish, rental cabins and plenty of room for trails for joggers, bikers and horses. The man getting that money from taxpayers is a powerful politician. Some in the community say that raises red flags — in addition to complaints that the county isn’t able to properly maintain its existing parks and beach access points, even without taking on this new expense. “It goes against our fundamental values and beliefs as Republicans,” said Commissioner Robin Knapp, who joined Scott in voting against the deal. “...We need to eliminate that perception that we are in competition with private industry.” Knapp also criticized his fellow commissioner Royce Bennett, a Realtor who has business dealings with Brown, for not recusing himself. Bennett had the county attorney confirm that it was not mandatory for him to recuse himself, then voted in favor of the purchase. The North Topsail Beach mayor and other town officials attended the meeting, opposed to county leaders spending this money when a county-owned parking lot and concession stand at the beach in their town has remained half-destroyed and unusable for nearly three years, due to damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018.
BILL WOULD PROHIBIT SHACKLING OF PREGNANT INMATES BY CORRECTIONS OFFICERS: When she got to the hospital, said one of the doctors there, the deputy escorting her wouldn’t take off her shackles due to jail policy. So hospital workers had to cut off her clothes. She remained shackled while she finished delivering her baby, who was rushed into intensive care while the mom was whisked to the emergency room. The baby did not survive. Draft versions of the anti-shackling bill show it would apply throughout the women’s second and third trimesters, plus their postpartum recovery, not just during labor, which is covered by the current state prison policy. And unlike state prisons, the state’s 100 county sheriffs have no uniform policy for their jails — something this bill would change. As part of Crockett’s advocacy, she reached out to her former patient and received permission to tell her story to The News & Observer. Crockett is withholding certain details, including the woman’s name and the county she was jailed in. In Greenville, in the case of the woman whose baby died, Crockett said deputies eventually allowed the mom to be unshackled so she could hold her baby’s body. But it took Crockett demanding to go up the chain of command and call bosses at the jail and sheriff’s office. And even that depended entirely on the attitude of those individuals, she said, to solve a problem that never should have existed. “There’s kind of two parts to the tragicness of her story,” she said. “One is the loss of her baby and whether or not anything that happened in detention contributed to that. And then the other piece is how the indiscriminate use of restraints added to the horror of it.”
MCCONNELL THREATENS CORPORATIONS OVER THEIR OPPOSITION TO VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday accused corporations of siding with Democrats’ portrayal of the law as the new Jim Crow, which he called an attempt to “mislead and bully the American people.” He argued that it would expand, not restrict, voter access to the polls, and his statement included a threat of unspecified “serious consequences” if companies continued to stand opposite Republicans on a variety of issues. “From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” McConnell said in his statement. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.” The acrimony between Republicans and large companies over Georgia underscores the party’s increasingly fraying relationship with corporate America over social and cultural issues as GOP leaders grapple with the direction of the party after the 2020 election. The future of that relationship is complicated by the fact that Republicans continue to support economic policies advocated by the private sector on taxes and regulations, making it unclear what form of retribution leaders could pursue. But beyond policy, the attacks on corporate America could prove useful to Republicans looking to energize the party’s base of supporters who embraced Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric and focus on grievances over how the country is changing culturally and demographically. Republicans “are signaling to their base that this is a cultural war — and that they are martyrs in the culture war,” said Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta.
MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF TESTIFIES AGAINST OFFICER WHO KILLED GEORGE FLOYD: The prospect that a police chief would take the witness stand against a fellow officer is exceedingly rare. But there was the chief of the Minneapolis Police Department on Monday, condemning the actions of Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with murdering George Floyd, as wrong by every imaginable measure. “To continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back — that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy,” said the chief, Medaria Arradondo. “It is not part of our training. And it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.” The chief’s appearance, following testimony by two other Minneapolis police officials last week, underscored the difficulty that Mr. Chauvin and his lawyers will have in persuading the jury that the officer was just doing his job when he pinned Mr. Floyd to the ground with his knee for more than nine minutes last May. Chief Arradondo is the highest-ranking public safety employee to testify against Mr. Chauvin, with prosecutors also turning to Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter who tried to provide medical attention at the scene; Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-serving officer in the Minneapolis Police Department; and Inspector Katie Blackwell, who at the time of Mr. Floyd’s death was the commander of the training division. The chief’s testimony underscored the degree to which law enforcement groups have sought to distance themselves from the death of Mr. Floyd, which was captured on video and prompted condemnations from police officers, chiefs and unions across the country. Even Mr. Chauvin’s own union said he should have been fired. The chief notified the state agency that investigates police use of force, called the mayor and went to his office, where he watched footage of the arrest from a city-owned surveillance camera, which had no sound, was taken from a distance and showed the officers from the back. Nothing from the video “jumped out at me,” he said. But around midnight, he testified on Monday, he heard from a resident, who said, “Chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man at 38th and Chicago?” It was video taken by a bystander, close up, painfully graphic and showing the nine and a half minutes that Mr. Chauvin had his knee on Mr. Floyd. It spread across the internet, setting off protests over racism and police abuse across Minneapolis and in cities across the country. The chief fired the four officers involved the next day, and soon referred publicly to the death of Mr. Floyd as a murder. Three of the officers will be tried at a later date.