Tuesday News: Equal treatment

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TRANSGENDER STATE EMPLOYEES SUE DALE FOLWELL AFTER COVERAGE DISCONTINUED: They say the State Health Plan discriminates against them by not covering costs related to gender dysphoria, the medical term for when someone identifies as a gender different from their physical sex. Max Kadel, a transgender man who works at UNC-Chapel Hill, said the State Health Plan will not cover breast-reduction surgery for him, even though it would cover a non-transgender man or woman who wanted the exact same surgery. That message of unequal treatment was echoed by another transgender man who is part of the lawsuit, former N.C. State University employee Sam Silvaine. “I’ve been sent the message that my medical needs are not valid, and my mental and physical health are not important,” Silvaine said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article227408274.html

Despite Previous Statements, Thom Tillis Votes to Confirm Anti-Health Care Judge Chad Readler

In 2017, Senator Thom Tillis claimed that he supported keeping protections for pre-existing conditions, but last week he voted to give a lifetime appointment to a judge that led the effort to eliminate protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

The right bill for the wrong reason: NC Senate passes whistleblower protections

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Just in time for Sunshine Week:

A bill passed by the N.C. Senate last week to provide greater protections for government whistleblowers is a move in the right direction.

The Protecting Government Accountability Act passed unanimously, 44-0, after adopting two amendments that strengthen it. One requires heads of state agencies, departments and institutions to inform their employees about the law. The other clarifies that the protections cover state employee testimony to agents or employees of legislative inquiry panels appointed by the House speaker or Senate president pro tempore.

The key word there is "agents." They're called "private" investigators for a reason, because they operate outside normal parameters that dictate the behavior of government investigators. The Governor is right to shield state employees from their scrutiny, and to demand the General Assembly get its answers in a formal setting. And as for this observation:

Monday News: Costly mistakes

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NC GOVERNMENT PAYOUTS TO AVOID LAWSUITS REACH INTO THE MILLIONS: The city of Charlotte provided documents describing the settlement terms of more than 50 lawsuits. Among other things, the documents show that the city paid $950,000 last year to the family of a man who in 2017 was killed by a speeding police car. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was driving up to 100 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone when his car slammed into James Michael Short. The city spent another $9,045 settling a claim after Wilmington police busted into an apartment, pulled a woman out of bed and handcuffed her. She was undressed from the waist down, and repeatedly asked the male officers to cover her exposed body – a request they refused. Authorities later realized they were at the wrong address, and the woman they’d handcuffed was not connected to the warrant they were trying to serve.
https://www.wral.com/behind-the-scenes-of-government-millions-in-payouts-and-little-transparency/182...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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FINDING LIPSTICK TO PUT ON AN ELECTION-FRAUD PIG: It all made for riveting news from a state that has been in the spotlight too many times for all the wrong reasons in recent years, and the sad tale confirms some unflattering facts about North Carolina political life. It exposes questionable election practices that may have been going on for years, in at least some counties, and brings up possibilities that law enforcement and prosecutors may have been asleep at the wheel at best and turning a blind eye at worst. It suggests that some candidates want to win so badly they will cheat to do so. And make no mistake. Voter fraud in which a person tries to or does vote illegally is not in the same league as election fraud, where numerous ballots, in this case absentee ballots, are cast illegally. Some say a few ballots were cast illegally in the 9th Congressional District, some say hundreds were, and it could have been thousands.
https://www.wral.com/margaret-dickson-finding-lipstick-to-put-on-an-election-fraud-pig/18247420/

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