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GOP's plan to rewrite Jordan Lake protections not popular with local delegation

A side note to one of the controversial bills that sped through crossover week this week.

SB515, which would repeal current environmental protections at Jordan Lake so that new ones could be written, is a GOP-promoted idea. But not all Republicans are on board.

The three Republican senators whose districts include parts of Jordan Lake voted against it, although they didn’t take part in the floor debate. That would be Sens. Neil Hunt, Tamara Barringer and Chad Barefoot.

The bill could run into similar opposition in the House, which has several members whose districts also lap up against the shores of the lake, which provides drinking water for about 300,000 people and is a popular recreation site.

House Speaker Pro Tem Paul “Skip” Stam, Republican from Apex, said Friday he is against the bill, but allowed that it could be amended to address his concerns.

Bill would restrict teens' access to pregnancy, other health care

Young people wouldn’t be able to get medical treatment for pregnancy, venereal disease, substance abuse or mental illness without their parents’ or guardian’s written consent, under a bill filed this week.

SB675 adds those restrictions to the state law that already requires unemancipated minors receive that permission before they can have abortions.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina issued a statement Thursday saying such a law would deny youths access to confidential and potentially life-saving health care.

The bill’s sponsors are Sen. Warren Daniel of Morganton, Sen. Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro, Sen. Buck Newton of Wilson and Sen. Chad Barefoot, who represents parts of Wake and Franklin counties. All are Republicans.

Wake lawmakers split on interstate loop bill

Moving to erase a law that has stopped progress on the next leg of the 540 Outer Loop, two Wake County House members filed a bill Wednesday to allow study of the Red Route option – which would bulldoze parks and neighborhoods in Garner.

But Garner’s new senator said he would oppose the legislation. “I can’t support a bill that will approve study of a route that we don’t intend to fund – and will go straight through the middle of one of the towns that I represent,” said Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake Forest Republican elected in November, whose district includes Garner. The bill was filed Wednesday by Reps. Paul Stam of Apex and Nelson Dollar of Cary, both Republicans. Barefoot is Stam's former legislative aide.

Wake County leaders and state Department of Transportation officials favor the Orange Route, south of Garner, as the path for extending the six-lane 540 Outer Loop expressway across southern Wake. A 2011 law forbids DOT to build or even study the Red Route. Read more here.

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