Dozens Arrested At Raleigh Protest; Meck. County Proposes FY18 Budget, 4 Murdered Over Weekend

May 30, 2017

More than 30 people have been arrested in Raleigh during a protest staged inside the state legislative building. Meanwhile, the North Carolina redistricting case returns to the state Supreme Court.  And Mecklenburg County is releasing its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Afternoon headlines on WFAE.

Dozens Arrested At Raleigh Protest

The Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, was among 32 people arrested during a protest in the halls of the N.C. legislative building in Raleigh on Tuesday.

The protest was organized by the state NAACP and other advocacy groups and drew more than 100 protesters to denounce Republican lawmakers for failing to expand Medicaid coverage. A number of medical professionals and clergy were also present.

General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock says the 32 people taken into custody face charges of second-degree trespassing after holding a sit-in to push for Medicaid expansion and preserving the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The News and Observer of Raleigh reports protesters were blocking Senate Leader Phil Berger's office and refused to leave Senate Rules Committee Chairman Bill Rabon's office.

Murders Spike Over Memorial Day Weekend

Four people were murdered in Charlotte over the Memorial Day weekend, bringing the total number of homicides in Charlotte so far this year up to 36. Three of the weekend killings were the result of fatal shootings, according to police.

The most recent occurred Monday around 9:50 p.m., when police found an 18-year-old, Daveon Andrews, lying dead with a gunshot wound by the intersection of Rozzelles Ferry Road and Oregon Street. Police say a second person who had been wounded in the shooting was found a block away and was brought to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.

The three other victims of this weekend's homicides are Bobby Wesley Jr., 23; Anderson Biggers, 22; and Julian Williams, 35.

Mecklenburg County Releases Budget Proposal

CMS would get roughly $12 million less than it requested under next year's proposed operating budget for Mecklenburg County, released Tuesday. The school system had requested an increase of $27 million, but County Manager Dena Diorio is only allotting an additional $15.3 million.

The county manager has also released details of a long-term capital improvement plan which includes money to build or rebuild 10 schools and renovate 12 existing schools. The long-term proposal also provides money to tear down and rebuild the main library in uptown, and to tear down and rebuild the Discovery Place Nature Museum in Freedom Park.

Diorio also says the county is not giving up plans to bring a major league soccer team to Charlotte. Earlier plans were scuttled when Charlotte city leaders failed to embrace a plan that called for both the city and the county to contribute nearly $44 million each to build a new soccer stadium. Diorio said Tuesday that she's "hopeful" the city will revisit the deal and approve it on review.

North Carolina Redistricting Case Returns To State Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is telling the North Carolina Supreme Court to review a redistricting lawsuit filed by Democrats and other allies in light of last week’s ruling that found two of North Carolina’s congressional districts were racial gerrymanders.

The state Supreme Court twice upheld the districts, but separate federal lawsuits were filed challenging those maps. Now the justices are telling the state Supreme Court to review its previous rulings.

It’s still unclear what today’s order means for state legislative lines. The U.S. Supreme Court has not acted on the request of legislative leaders to consider a lawsuit throwing out 28 General Assembly districts.

NC House Tax-Law Writer Downplays Differences

A tax-law writer for the North Carolina House is downplaying differences with the Senate in their respective state budgets over which taxes to cut or incentives to offer.

House Republicans on Tuesday rolled out portions of their state spending plan for the next two years that address taxes, fees, and government pensions. The House plan would increase the standard deduction for tax filers — meaning more of their income would not be subject to state taxes. The Senate budget approved earlier this month would raise the deduction even higher, but also cut individual income tax rates.

The House proposal also repeals a sales tax on certain manufacturing machinery and would create new business-related tax breaks.