Activity Updates

Interstate 77

NCDOT is trying to reduce congestion on I-77 from exits 19-35 around Charlotte by allowing hardened shoulders to become a lane in which people do not have to pay the tolls. The company that owns the tolls argues that to do so, NCDOT must provide them fair compensation.

Leandro Funding

The NCGA is continuing to fight against several plaintiffs pushing for the NC Supreme Court to require the state treasury to fund an education plan to the tune of $785 million. Possibly the longest litigation in NC history at almost 30 years, the case continues to have high-stakes and high-profile issues. From requests for justices to recuse, dismiss plaintiffs, and possible constitutional issues, it continues to keep the spotlight on NC education funding.

COVID Numbers

Numbers as of August 27, 2022:

  • 3,120,822 total cases
  • 26,335 deaths
  • 1,171 people – 7 day average of those hospitalized
  • 73% of adult population fully vaccinated, 63% of total population fully vaccinated

Emergency Order Ends

Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 267 on August 15 which ended the 2.5 year emergency order allowing the state to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The state budget included provisions to allow NCDHHS to continue to address the pandemic and issue orders for vaccinations, tests, and treatments which Governor Cooper sighted as another reason to allow the emergency order to end.

Election News

Residency Challenge

Senator Bobby Hanig has challenged the residence of his opponent, Valerie Jordan, in the NC Senate District 3 race. The Currituck County Board of Elections unanimously voted that Jordan did not meet the residency requirements and now the case will be heard by the N.C. State Board of Elections on Friday at 3pm.

Highlights from the initial hearing before the Currituck County Board of Elections:

  • Jordan typically spends 3-4 nights in Raleigh and was in Raleigh on the nights her car was photographed at her previous home where her sister now lives.
  • Jordan’s clothing and furniture are at the Warrenton house.
  • Her tax returns and filings for her business use the address of the Warrenton house.
  • Jordan receives Amazon Prime packages in Raleigh.
  • Neither side presented witnesses.

Vice President Harris Visit

The Vice President will visit Durham to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act on September 1 and will stay for a fundraiser in which tickets to attend range in cost from $10,000-$50,000.

Election Rules

Conservative groups opposing new rules imposed by the N.C. State Board of Elections governing the behavior of election and political-party volunteers at polling places got the NC Rules Review Commission to reject the rules last week. The Board stated the rules were enacted to reduce harassment at voting sites and keep volunteers from giving voters “inaccurate information about the administration of the election.”

Other Important Items

Employment Rate

Last week’s unemployment numbers of 3.4% for July were unchanged from June but remain below the national average of 3.5%. However, to get an accurate view of the labor market in NC, economists say you have to look at many other numbers. One statistic that should be considered is the number of people employed now versus pre-pandemic. In NC there are 162,100 more folks employed.