Today on What Matters Mark speaks with Tim Boyum, anchor of Capital Tonight on the Time Warner Cable News Channel, to bring us our weekly legislative wrap-up. A flurry of bills were filed this week right before the lawmakers’ Easter recess, and the April 11 filing deadline, and Tim tells us if there is any likelihood that any of the more controversial “social” bills will be heard, particularly since House Speaker Tim Moore immediately said that the gay marriage ban bill would not be heard this session, also, how far away are we from getting the Senate’s proposed budget.
On this Thursday Ginger Bullock, former instructor with Cleveland Community College, joins the show to talk about the problems she encountered firsthand as a community college instructor with the North Carolina dual enrollment program. She says that many high school students are allowed to take college courses when they aren’t reading at the required level to take the courses. and that leaders at CCC ignored the problem because of a focus on increasing enrollment. She says when she brought these problems to the attention of her superiors at CCC she was fired.
Mark speaks with Jim Womack, a former Lee County commissioner who is currently seeking to be elected as the chairman of the NC Republican Party. Womack joins the show to give an update on the reconstituting of the Mining and Energy Commission as the Oil and Gas Commission, of which he is a member, and what to expect going forward related to hydraulic fracturing as well as his thoughts on why the state Republican Party should elect him as its next chairman.
Mark talks with Kerri Kupac, legal communications director for Alliance Defending Freedom, about what may be a landmark case for newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, where a church that contains a playground applied for a state program that helps non-profits re-surface their playgrounds but the church was denied access to the program because of its status as a church. The church is arguing that this it is unconstitutional, running afoul of both the clause protecting the free exercise of religion and the clause guaranteeing the equal protection of the laws.
Mark speaks with Dr. Mike Walden, professor Economics at NC State University, to give us and update on economic issues in North Carolina and nationally. What is the significance of Friday’s national jobs report showing fewer than expected jobs added, while the overall unemployment rate went down? Are there concerns that the stock market may be poised for a major selloff? And, what might be the economic impact of the proposed tax cuts that have been offered by the NC Senate? Also, what is the outlook for the Federal Reserve raising interest rates again this year?
Mark speaks with Rep. Sarah Stevens (R-Surry), speaker pro-tem of the North Carolina House, about the process of crossover for bills in the General Assembly as well as her thoughts on HB2 being replaced in HB142. Stevens also explains two of her bills making their way through the House, one that does away with cities and counties being able to charge impact fees on new construction to developers (HB436) and one that specifically does away with Orange County charging impact fees on new construction for capital improvements to schools (HB406).
Mark brings on Napier Fuller, a resident of Wilmington and an active critic of the LGBT political lobby, who is caught up in a cyberstalking case hinging on the protections of free speech. Fuller tells the story of how he was arrested, handcuffed, booked and had his mugshot released, all for sending emails to various people, mainly professors and students at UNC-Chapel Hill (UNC). Fuller details his multiple public records requests regarding UNC employees who may have violated state lobbying laws by advocating against HB2 to lawmakers which evolved into his sending emails to faculty and students at UNC about transgenderism resulted in his being issued a “cease and desist” order which he violated, leading to his arrest. Is this a case of his right to freedom of speech being violated or, is there a point where emailing can become so annoying that it can be shut down by the power of the state, even though it is not threatening?