WAKE GOP PUSHES RECKLESS PETITION ON SCHOOL MASKING, VACCINES : The Wake County Republican Party is trying to get 5,000 signatures by Monday on a petition asking the district to make face masks optional. The petition had more than 3,700 signatures as of early Monday afternoon. “Parents who wish to send their children to school in masks should do so if they choose,” according to the petition sponsored by the Carolina Teachers Alliance, a group that’s trying to be a conservative alternative to the N.C. Association of Educators. The petition also says Wake shouldn’t promote students getting the COVID-19 vaccine or allow vaccination clinics to be held on school property. While most doctors and medical groups say the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, the petition claims that they are “experimental medical treatments.”
IT'S TIME FOR THE STATE TO CLOSE DOWN CHEMOURS PLANTS: Ever since the Gen X contamination story broke four years ago, state regulators have been trying to figure out how to deal with these "emerging contaminants." On Monday, Frannie Nilsen, a toxicologist at the state Department of Environmental Quality, told the agency’s science advisory board that Gen X and four other PFAS compounds show up in more than half the wells they sampled near the Chemours plants in Bladen and Cumberland counties. John Vandenberg, who recently retired as the EPA chief on human health risks, is also on the state panel. He had to double check the numbers he was hearing. "When you compare what’s actually in people's blood serum, it seems to me these detected PFAS are of concern as well, considerable concern to me," he said. If you can't run your business without poisoning the people and environment, then you shouldn't be allowed to run your business. It ain't rocket surgery.
SPRING LAKE LEADERS TEMPORARILY DODGE STATE TAKEOVER: State Treasurer Dale Folwell said Tuesday that the elected leaders were back in charge in Spring Lake after a brief government shutdown, but the investigation into the town's finances continues. Members of the state's Local Government Commission warned the town in June that they could face a state takeover after concerns over potential budget deficits, longstanding fiscal disarray and an investigation into missing money. Spring Lake has an estimated budget deficit of $1.2 million, but the town's proposed budget funds only $285,000 of that shortfall, state officials said. The commission seized control of the Wayne County town of Pikeville's finances in April. Folwell said local government offices were shut down "for a number of days" so that the commission could collect and secure documents.
TIDAL WAVE OF EVICTIONS IS CRESTING, BIDEN AND CONGRESSIONAL DEMS SCRAMBLING: Historic amounts of rental assistance allocated by Congress had been expected to avert a crisis. But the distribution has been painfully slow: Only about $3 billion of the first tranche of $25 billion had been distributed through June by states and localities. A second amount of $21.5 billion will go to the states. More than 15 million people live in households that owe as much as $20 billion to their landlords, according to the Aspen Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. In Columbus, Ohio, Chelsea Rivera showed up at Franklin County court Monday after receiving an eviction notice last month. A single mom, she’s behind $2,988 in rent and late fees for the one- bedroom apartment she rents for herself and three young sons. Some cities with the most cases, according to the Eviction Lab, are Phoenix with more than 42,000 eviction filings, Houston with more than 37,000, Las Vegas with nearly 27,000 and Tampa more than 15,000. Indiana and Missouri also have more than 80,000 filings.
BIG RALLIES IN DC MONDAY AND TUESDAY PROMOTING VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION: Democratic lawmakers, including more than 100 state legislators, are rallying Tuesday outside the U.S. Capitol to urge the Senate to delay summer recess until passing the For the People Act, a sweeping elections and ethics bill to expand and protect voting rights. The state lawmakers at Tuesday’s rally are traveling from across the country, some from Republican-led legislatures that have passed or are considering new voting measures, and are joining Texas Democrats who fled to D.C. last month to block Republicans from passing voting restrictions. Some lawmakers rallying Tuesday are coming from states where GOP leaders have supported former president Donald Trump’s false claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election. “It is critical that this legislation is enacted before the 2022 midterm elections and before partisan maps that would disenfranchise voters for the next decade, especially voters of color, are drawn,” Morgan said. “We call on Sen. [Charles] Schumer to delay Senate recess until the bill is sent to the president’s desk.” The For the People Act has stalled in the 50-50 Senate because of the filibuster, which has prevented Democrats from pushing this legislation through without Republican support. Activists have been turning up pressure on Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), two Democratic lawmakers opposed to ending the filibuster. The Poor People’s Campaign held a demonstration Monday where prominent civil rights leaders the Revs. Jesse L. Jackson and William J. Barber II were among about 200 people arrested outside the Capitol protesting to end the filibuster, to protect and expand voting rights, to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and for “fair and respectful treatment” of immigrants.