Headline Roundup: SC Governor Released From Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit, More
A federal judge in South Carolina has dismissed governor Nikki Haley from a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. But U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs yesterday ruled the case can continue against South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Wilson has asked for the suit to be tossed out based on last week’s decision in the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld similar bans in several Midwest states. The Fourth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the Carolinas, the Virginias, and Maryland, earlier this year struck down a similar ban in Virginia.
NAACP Pushes For Medicaid Expansion In NC
The North Carolina NAACP continues to push Governor Pat McCrory and the state General Assembly to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Ace. The state NAACP President William Barber yesterday sent a letter to the govenor and House Speaker Thom Tillis asking for a special legislative session as soon as possible on expanding the program that offers health coverage for low income people.
The legislature in 2013 rejected Medicaid expansion. But Tillis, who joins the U.S. Senate in January, said during his senate campaign that lawmakers should consider expansion because the state Medicaid program has improved financially. McCrory has said previously he'd be willing to hold a special session on Medicaid reform if there was consensus.
Mecklenburg County Officials Ask State To Set Minimum For Property Tax Refunds
Mecklenburg County government has been writing a lot of checks to property owners lately. The refunds stem from a re-do of the botched 2011 property revaluation. State law requires the county to refund property owners who paid too much tax – no matter how small the amount. That means the county has written more than 36,000 checks for under five dollars – and about half of them for less than two dollars. County officials are asking state legislators to set a minimum amount for the refunds. But Representative Becky Carney of Mecklenburg County says she wants more information before lawmakers make any changes; Carney wants to know if there is a way to credit someone's property taxes with these small amounts.
Carney and other legislators from Mecklenburg County met on Monday with county officials and CMS representatives to discuss priorities for the legislative session that begins in January.
Fort Bragg Soldiers Deploy To West Africa
About 100 soldiers left Fort Bragg yesterday for West Africa. The units are deploying to help fight Ebola. The troops are are based at Fort Bragg as well as Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart in Georgia.
It's the first deployment for the operation from Fort Bragg.
Last week, the Defense Department named Fort Bragg one of five bases where it will quarantine troops returning from West Africa.
Haley Picks Former Deputy Chief Of Staff To Head State DHHS
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has picked her former deputy chief of staff to head the state Department of Health and Human Services. Haley has nominated Christian Soura to lead the agency after current secretary Tony Keck leaves at the end of the month. Keck will become an executive at Mountain States Health Alliance in Tennessee.