Wednesday News: Introducing the Pittenger Award

NC CONGRESSMAN SUGGESTS PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS JUST MOVE TO ANOTHER STATE: U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger Tuesday defended his support of a provision in the Republican health care proposal that would let some states charge more for coverage of pre-existing conditions, telling reporters that “People can go to the state that they want to live in.” “Those who believe that big government, one-size-fits-all policies best serve the American people have trouble understanding legislation which protects those in need while giving states flexibility in how to meet those needs. Historically, individuals have relocated states because of tax advantages and other reasons. States are attractive for multiple policy interests.”

RACIAL TENSIONS IN WAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS RISE UNDER TRUMP: A Snapchat post is the latest in a string of racial incidents within the Wake County Public School System. The post shows the Apex Friendship High School step team performing during a school pep rally and is captioned "plantation owner watches his former slaves rejoice and celebrate their newfound freedom, circa 1864." Earlier this year, three Leesville Road Middle School students used racial slurs in an online video recorded off school grounds. Those students were punished. A week before the Leesville Road Middle incident, in a video posted online, a black student is seen pulling a white student to the ground at Wake Forest High School. The students said his actions stemmed from more than two months of racial slurs and threats against him.

ALDONA WOS GRANTED SOME SORT OF POSITION IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: The White House announced Trump intends to make Wos vice-chairwoman of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. The commission is responsible for interviewing candidates and recommending people to the president. Wos led the state Department of Health and Human Services for about 30 months. While her boss, former Gov. Pat McCrory, gave her high marks for controlling Medicaid spending, her term was marked by threats from the federal government to sanction the state for food-stamp failures, a temporary shutdown of food benefits to low-income women and infants, and questions about no-bid contracts and the hiring of an executive from her husband’s firm to a high-paying, contract position as her assistant. Her husband, Louis DeJoy, was a top Trump fundraiser in the state.

OVERWHELMING SUPPORT AMONG NC CITIZENS FOR LEGALIZATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA: North Carolinians overwhelmingly want to see medical marijuana legalized, according to a new Elon University poll. Twenty-nine states have signed off on the medical use of marijuana, and a majority of North Carolina voters polled say they want their state to become the 30th – 80 percent say they approve of legalizing it. Seventeen percent of those polled opposed legalization. Democrats and independent voters were the most likely to support medical marijuana legalization, with 83 percent approval. Republicans weren’t that far behind, with 73 percent approval.

GOVERNOR COOPER HONORS MARK BINKER DURING COUNCIL OF STATE MEETING: At the Council of State meeting Tuesday morning, Gov. Roy Cooper commented on the shock of Binker's sudden passing early Saturday morning. "Mark Binker was a reporter's reporter. He was always digging for the facts, was never afraid of the tough questions, played it straight down the middle, according to most everybody who's been involved in this, and that's a hard thing to do," Cooper said. "We all extend our deep sense of loss and our deep condolences to Mark Binker's family, to everybody who knew him. He will be sorely missed."