1. Consumer agency official sues Trump administration.

    The former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director’s hand-picked successor is suing Pres. Trump over his appointment of Mick Mulvaney to take over the agency.

  • Former CFPB director Richard Cordray tapped Leandra English to serve as acting director when he resigned from the position Friday. Lawyers for English filed the lawsuit “seeking to halt the appointment of Mulvaney.”
  • The disputed position has “pitted the Trump White House and Justice Department against top Congressional Democrats.” The White House has acknowledged its awareness of the suit while pointing to “an opinion in their favor from the bureau’s own general counsel.”
  1. Manafort’s Russia ties.

    New reports suggest Paul Manafort’s Kremlin ties are more extensive than previously realized.

  • Flight records show that the former Trump campaign chairman traveled to Moscow multiple times and indicate his “consulting work and business dealings were more closely linked to Russia than he let on.” Manafort’s business dealings have been closely investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
  • A spokesman for Manafort said that he “never — ever — worked for the Russian government” and continued to reiterate that Manafort did not collude with the Kremlin to undermine the 2016 election.
  1. Net neutrality. 

    Last Tuesday the Federal Communications Commission announced its plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality regulations.

  • The FCC proposal would give Internet service providers the ability to block websites and charge websites for speedier delivery of content. The successful rollback of the 2015 net neutrality regulations would be considered “one of the more significant deregulatory efforts by Republicans since Pres. Trump took office.”
  • While repeal of net neutrality rules would be a win for telecom companies, Internet giants like Amazon and Google as well as small businesses tend to oppose it.
  1. Coal ash & rate hikes take center stage.

    Duke Energy and state regulators will come before the N.C. Utilities Commission today as hearings on Duke’s proposed rate hike begin.

  • Duke and consumer advocates reached a tentative deal last week that would compromise on Duke’s proposed rate hike, although no negotiations are final until the Commission accepts them.
  • Duke’s rate increase request would include charging customers “nearly $200 million a year” for coal ash cleanup costs. Although the tentative deal reached last week compromised on some items, the two sides still disagree over how much coal ash cleanup cost should be passed along to ratepayers.
  1. Hospitals & healthcare.

    Changes in healthcare markets are occurring both in North Carolina and across the country.

  • The UNC system’s Board of Governors formed a committee last week to review the merger between Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Healthcare. The committee will hold public meetings, including its first this Wednesday, and is intended to “review UNC Health’s consideration and evaluation of the combination” of hospital systems.
  • Meanwhile, as healthcare regulations shift at the federal level insurers, hospitals and pharmacies are “venturing beyond their traditional lines of business” and “banding together… against upheaval in a rapidly changing health care environment.”