NC House Speaker Tim Moore readies another set of gavels to hand out to new committee chairs

Morning Post for Jan. 29, 2015

Legislative session starts out on controversial note: The first bill filed in the state Senate yesterday was an anti-LGBT bill that would allow magistrates and register of deeds staffers to refuse to marry same-sex couples due to religious objections. The bill would also require a recusing official to stop performing marriages across the board. A second, broader “religious freedom” bill is expected to be filed later in the session. Read more.

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Morning Post for Jan. 28, 2015

For those who were worried about a boring, restrained legislative session: Never fear, Skip Stam is here. One of Rep. Stam’s first orders of business is a “religious freedom” bill. While Stam has been vague on the details, the bill is likely to allow magistrates and state employees to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the basis of their religious faith. The N.C. Values Coalition will hold a closed-door legislative briefing to outline a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Read more.

Lawmakers aren’t the only ones back in Raleigh: Protesters with the Forward Together Movement plan to return to the state legislature Wednesday for a “Preach-In and Pray-In for a Moral Agenda in the General Assembly.” The NC NAACP will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. and then march to the General Assembly for a pray-in in the rotunda. More information and livestream link here.

Moore announces committee chairs

This just now from the speaker’s office:

“Each House Committee has the task of advocating for and improving some of the most
important aspects of our community. The decision to choose the Representatives to
lead these committees was made with great scrutiny. I have full faith in my
colleagues placed in these positions of leadership, and look forward to starting a
productive House session this week,” Speaker Moore stated on Monday.

NC unemployment rate falls to 5.5 percent

North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell .4 percent to 5.5 percent according to the latest numbers out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Items of note:

The largest decline in the number of jobs was in the government category — a loss of 5,400 jobs (.8 percent)…

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Food insecurity in North Carolina

As we stuff our refrigerators with Thanksgiving leftovers and compile shopping lists in preparation for a month of holiday feasting, it is humbling to reflect on grim statistics that rank North Carolina among the most hungry states in the nation…

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