BILL DELAYING SOME MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS UNTIL 2022 BECOMES LAW: A state bill pushing back some municipal elections, including Raleigh’s, will become law without the governor’s signature. The election delay is caused by delays in getting U.S. Census Bureau data. Now some local elections will occur at the same time as the March 2022 primary instead of this fall. The deadline for N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper to take action on SB 722 was Saturday. An amendment added to the bill, at the request of the Raleigh City Council, pushes back Raleigh’s municipal election even further, to fall 2022, That permanently moves the election to even years and changes the election from a run-off method to a plurality method.
MCCRORY CAMPAIGNS OFF OF WOLFPACK BASEBALL DISQUALIFICATION DUE TO COVID: The NCAA made the decision with the Douglas County Health Department in Omaha, Nebraska, where the tournament is being played. The Wolfpack was deemed unable to compete after several players tested positive for COVID-19. But in a post on social media just hours after the decision was made, former Gov. Pat McCrory called it “absurd.” McCrory, who is running in the Republican primary election for the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, started an online petition demanding that the NCAA president be fired and the Wolfpack be allowed to compete. “You wonder if it’s often about money,” he said. “Well, that’s not even a question anymore. It’s about their money.” The NCAA’s COVID-19 protocols had impacted the team even ahead of their disqualification, leaving the Wolfpack short several players in their Friday loss against Vanderbilt.
AG STEIN'S LAWSUIT AGAINST JUUL CONTINUES TODAY: The marketing strategies of JUUL e-cigarettes will be front and center on Monday, as Attorney General Josh Stein's case against the company continues with a hearing. Stein is expected to speak out against the vaping company today. North Carolina the first state in the nation to sue JUUL for advertising its products to minors and misrepresenting the potency of nicotine in its products. With flavors like 'Creme brulee' and 'mint' and 'mango,' the dessert and fruit-flavored pods were previously outlawed due to their popularity with teens. Those restrictions were put in place to help reduce youth vaping. In a release, Stein said JUUL's practices have helped create "an epidemic among minors." In 2017, nearly 17 percent of all North Carolina high school students reported using an e-cigarette within the previous 30 days. Two years later, those numbers had risen to 28%.
ALAMANCE LAW ENFORCEMENT VIOLATES COURT ORDER ON RELEASE OF BODY CAM VIDEO: The Alamance County Sheriff's Office and the Graham Police Department on Friday did not release body camera footage from the Oct. 31 "I Am Change" rally in Graham as previously ordered by a judge. While Graham Police filed an appeal prior to a 2 p.m. Friday deadline, it is unclear if the sheriff's office is also filing an appeal. "We have been told that we are not supposed to release the video by our legal department at this time," noted sheriff's office spokeswoman Michelle Mills on Friday. Both the order to release the tapes and the appeal deadline were ordered by Superior Court Judge Andrew Hanford, who previously ruled that the public should be privy to body camera footage from the Graham demonstration that resulted in multiple arrests and injuries when protesters and law enforcement clashed. While authorities released audio recordings of police radio chatter in the weeks that followed the demonstration, the release of body camera footage requires a court order.
PRESIDENT BIDEN SHIFTS FOCUS TO HOUSING ISSUES FOR THE POOR: The Biden administration mounted an aggressive push reshaping national housing policy in a span of 48 hours this past week, replacing a key regulator and pushing a flurry of other changes to try to address growing concerns within and outside the White House about a housing crisis for millions of renters and vulnerable Americans. On Wednesday, the White House named an acting director of the powerful Federal Housing Finance Agency, Sandra L. Thompson, who called out the lack of affordable housing and access to credit for many communities of color. The White House appointed her hours after tossing a Trump appointee. Then on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its eviction moratorium by one month. The Biden administration also announced initiatives to quicken the disbursal of rental relief and encourage local governments and courts to prevent evictions. As part of the effort, the White House will convene a summit this Wednesday for “immediate eviction prevention plans” to prevent an “eviction crisis.” Though Congress has allocated roughly $46 billion for emergency rental aid through pandemic-era aid packages, much of that money hasn’t reached tenants. On Thursday, the White House and Treasury Department released new guidance to help streamline application processes, calling for an “all hands-on-deck effort,” which is partly why the White House’s housing summit on Wednesday will bring together 50 cities to discuss plans for preventing evictions. The delays in getting relief in the hands of vulnerable tenants is a key reason advocates were clamoring for an extension to the eviction moratorium.