Members of the House Committee on Food Desert Zones  will meet this afternoon to issue their recommendations on how to promote healthier eating in areas that have limited access to fresh, nutritional fruits and vegetables. Legislators are focusing on this issue as studies have shown residents who lack access to healthy choices in their local grocery store face higher levels of diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
This afternoon over at Duke University , Representative Graig Meyer and Governor Pat McCrory’s Senior Advisor on Education, Eric Guckian, will take part in a discussion about what makes for a successful K-12 education in North Carolina.
On Tuesday, members of a legislative committee examining  the impact of the Affordable Care Act will hear from U.S. Senator Richard Burr and Pam Silberman, President of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. The meeting gets underway at 10:00 a.m. at Elliot University Center Auditorium at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro campus.
One of the most highly anticipated meetings for the week comes Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. when the legislature’s environmental oversight committee holds a special hearing  on coal ash regulations. Members are expected to discuss Gov. Pat McCrory’s “comprehensive action plan”  that he be given broader authority over coal ash disposal.
If you missed it over the weekend, several Republican legislators said they were upset  that they were not notified about McCrory’s coal ash plan before it was released, and that it did not go far enough.
Two televised debates air this week to help North Carolina voters learn more about the top candidates in the Republican U.S. Senate primary. The first hour-long debate is slated for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Davidson College . Time Warner Cable News will broadcast the debate which will also be streamed by The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh.
WRAL-TV  in Raleigh will host the second senatorial debate with many of the leading candidates on Wednesday. The debates conveniently come in advance of early voting, which starts on Thursday.
The N.C. Justice Center holds its 16th Annual Defenders of Justice awards  ceremony Tuesday evening in Chapel Hill, honoring individuals or organizations who are making significant contributions in litigation; research and policy development; public policy advocacy and grassroots empowerment. You can read more about the 2014 honorees here .
Wednesday afternoon Environment North Carolina  is hosting an event at Durham Central Park School for Children  with Congressmen G.K. Butterfield and David Price to highlight steps people are already taking to fight climate change.
The school’s 4th grade class recently ran a fundraiser via kickstarter to purchase solar panels in an effort to cut their carbon footprint. They not only raised enough money to buy the panels, the class is taking an additional step and building small wind turbines to generate even more clean energy.
And finally, the Committee on Common Core State Standards  meets for a final time Thursday before delivering its recommendations to the General Assembly in advance of the upcoming legislative session. The question is will lawmakers recommend that the state opt out of the Common Core or delay its implementation as further review take place. Stay tuned…