Morning Call 4.17.17

By Tyler Cralle, in Blog Tyler Cralle on .

Lawsuit Dropped

HB2 lawsuit dropped by Trump admin…The Trump administration on Friday dropped a federal lawsuit that challenged North Carolina’s House Bill 2, citing the repeal last month of the controversial law as its impetus…The federal lawsuit that was dropped by the Trump justice department Friday was filed nearly a year ago by Loretta Lynch, a North Carolina native and the U.S. attorney general under former President Barack Obama…READ MORE

—–Sixteen mayors from across North Carolina – including Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines – have sent a letter to mayors in Seattle, New York City and Chicago urging them to consider putting North Carolina back on their travel lists.

Not all HB2 lawsuits are over though…the ACLU and Lambda Legal have no plans to step away from another lawsuit pending in federal court. That suit was filed a year ago by a transgender man who works at UNC-Chapel Hill, a lesbian law professor at N.C. Central University, a transgender man who is a student at UNC-Greensboro, a transgender teenage girl who is a student at the UNC School of the Arts and a lesbian couple in Charlotte…READ MORE

—–The plaintiffs have said not only do they plan to continue seeking damages from the harms of HB2, they plan to amend their lawsuit to encompass HB142.

—–They also have been affected by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of a Virginia teen whose lawsuit against the Gloucester County schools has been a major test for transgender rights.

GOP Infighting

 Legal battle over who controls public education…State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey said he is “baffled” and “shocked” by some of the things Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has done in their ongoing power struggle over the state’s public school system…READ MORE
—–Fight began in December…At the heart of the legal battle between Johnson and the state board is a law passed in December that would transfer many of the board’s powers to Johnson. The board quickly filed suit against the state, claiming the law diminishes the board’s constitutional authority and “raises significant legal concerns.”
—–Johnson wants change, board does not…According to court documents, Johnson said he asked the state board “to hire a certain candidate who shares my vision” and would be “a positive change agent for DPI” for the CFO position. Instead of voting on his candidate, Johnson said, the board posted an ad for the job and had a committee review the applicants. The committee then made its own recommendation to the state board, which the board supported…READ MORE

Medicaid Expansion

375k uninsured would be eligible for coverage…The N.C. Institute of Medicine analyzed the bill sponsored by Rep. Donny Lambeth of Winston-Salem and three other Republicans, as well as a separate Medicaid expansion bill filed by Senate Democrats, and Gov. Roy Cooper’s expansion proposal…READ MORE

Similar to traditional Medicaid expansion…Under House Bill 662, the state Department of Health and Human Services would create a program similar to Medicaid, dubbed Carolina Cares, for people ages 19 to 64 who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but are still below 133 percent of the federal poverty level…READ MORE

—–Recipients would have to pay…Participants would have to pay 2 percent of their annual income as an insurance premium, as well as routine co-pays, and they would have to undergo routine health screenings, such as physicals and mammograms, to remain eligible.

—–Democrats could be on board…Rep.Verla Insko, D-Orange, called the proposal “a step in the right direction” but said she is concerned about some of the restrictions in it. “There are probably places in the state where people don’t have jobs and can’t get jobs because they’re not qualified for any job that’s available and no one will hire them,” Insko said.

—–Republicans, not so much…House Speaker Tim Moore said he’s leery about anything that smacks of Medicaid expansion. “At the end of the day, I want to see people on private insurance that have jobs and not expand any type of entitlement that’s out there,” Moore said, adding that he is willing to consider the measure…READ MORE