Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Indy Week Vol. 30 Issue 25, June 2013
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The constitutionality of \"school choice\" is a hotly debated topic amongst politicians and citizens. Republicans are advocating a school voucher system which would take $50 million of state tax revenue away from public schools and reallocate to private education. Incorporating the voucher idea into the state budget may fall short because opponents contend that such a system would allow tax dollars to go to religious institutions.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed House Bill 850, legislation which allows law enforcement officers to ask suspects if they are carrying any needles. The measure is an attempt to protect police officers from being harmed by potentially dirty needles. This legislation was deemed necessary with 1/3 of the state's law enforcement officers affected and 28% reporting being stuck by a hidden needle multiple times.
Representatives continue to debate the state budget in both the Senate and House. A contentious topic is the allocation of state funds to mental health, an umbrella term encompassing mental health concerns, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse problems. The Senate budget proposes $675.7 million to these areas while the House budget offers slightly more at $704.7 million and the article discusses the specific services and facilities facing budgetary cuts.
The original budget approved by the House Appropriations subcommittee called for $1.45 million in cuts to the arts. In the late hours of the House session, this amount was amended to $597,000. The Department of Cultural Resources will take the biggest hit, $500,000 and will have to decide where these cuts will be administered.