Red Route Restrictions Lifted
Gov. Pat McCrory has given the “green light” to opening up studies of the controversial “Red Route” as a possible I-540 loop. The signing removes the previous restrictions on conducting studies of that particular corridor, but it does not promise or guarantee such a route would ever be built. Controversy has surrounded the Red Route because of its encroachment on Garner’s parks and recreation areas, as well as its conflict with the city’s development plan as a whole. Other options for corridors include the Orange Route and the Lilac Route. Before being signed by the governor, the bill had passed 44 to 5 in the Senate, with Democrat Dan Blue and Republican Chad Barefoot giving the only local “noes.” The House passed it 98 to 12, with local Democrats Rosa Gill, Yvonne Lewis-Holley, and Darren Jackson dissenting.
Changes Made to Capital Punishment
Some changes to capital punishment are the result of a new law signed by the governor. Now, health care professionals cannot be penalized by their professional boards for performing lethal injections. In fact, according to the new law, lethal injections are not the practice of medicine. Further pressure is also removed from judges, who will no longer have to set an execution date; that will now be handled by the Department of Public Safety. The bill was divided heavily along party lines throughout debate in both the House and Senate, but it became law nonetheless Wednesday with McCrory’s signature.
Ayers and Grace Confirmed
The seal of approval has been bestowed upon Christopher Ayers and Ray Grace to be appointed to their respective positions. Ayers, now the executive director of Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, was unanimously elected by the Senate and approved by the House 112 to 4. His term begins July 1 and is set to expire in the summer of 2019. Likewise, Ray Grace is the state’s new Commissioner of Banks. Grace, who was the acting commissioner until his appointment, was unanimously received by both the House and the Senate. He is set to serve until March of 2015.