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News State / Region

Bill makes its way past committee for the first time.

The initiative for ‘raising the age’ of juvenile jurisdiction in North Carolina is gaining steam as lawmakers in Raleigh have come out in support of it this legislative session. Currently, any person 16 years of age or older who commits a crime of any kind is charged as an adult in North Carolina courts—a nearly 100-year-old policy that has become the subject of national contention.

On June 20, House Judiciary Subcommittee A unanimously voted to approve a bipartisan- supported bill that would change the age at which adolescents are tried as adults.

Currently, North Carolina is one of only two states which automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-yearolds as adults for any type of crime.

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‘Fixes’ Medicaid and cuts gas tax

N.C. Sen. Jim Davis sent in the following statement which originated from the offices of Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, following the approval of the North Carolina state budget. The budget now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue for approval or veto.

State lawmakers reached a $20.18 billion budget agreement Wednesday morning. The agreement makes adjustments to the state’s current biennial budget which filled a $2.5 billion deficit Republicans inherited from previous leadership, reduced government spending by nearly $1 billion and enacted a $50,000 income tax cut for job-creating businesses.

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The House and Senate approved a budget Thursday that keeps North Carolina moving backwards. A year after losing 6,000 public school educators – including 3,000 teachers and teacher assistants – this budget leaves schools with $190 million less than they had last year. The total reduction to funding for K-12 education over two years will reach $650 million. Financial aid for UNC system students has been cut by $22 million.

The budget also continues the attack on women’s health by defunding cancer screenings and health services provided to women by Planned Parenthood. Cuts to programs for victims of rape and domestic violence remain in place. There are many problems with this budget and despite the good news that state employees and teachers are getting badly needed pay raises, I did not vote to support it because of the overwhelming number of bad items and its overall damage to education.

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Last Wednesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution 865, honoring the late Sen. Bob Carpenter (R-Franklin), who represented Western North Carolina’s Senate District 50 for eight terms. Carpenter passed away at the age of 87 in August 2011. Rep. Roger West (R-Marble) served in the General Assembly with Carpenter for many years.

“Western North Carolina has had no better friend than Sen. Bob Carpenter,” said West. “He was a dedicated public servant, an honorable family man, a patriot, and a dear friend. He is sorely missed.”

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