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Federal lawsuit alleges Chemours engaged in “willful, wanton and reckless conduct” over C8 and GenX discharges

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:35

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is accusing Chemours/DuPont of “willful and wanton” conduct over the company’s secret discharge of GenX and other pollutants into the Cape Fear River. Those chemical compounds wound up in the drinking water of several communities near the Fayetteville Works plant and farther downstream, including Wilmington. The allegation was one of ...

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Cooper calls on Berger and Moore to stop stonewalling his nominees

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 14:59

Governor Cooper called on legislative leaders today to end their silent blockade of numerous duly nominated individuals who have been put forth to serve on a number of boards and commissions — including the state Utilities Commission, Board of Education and Teachers’ and State Employees” Retirement System Board of Trustees. As the Governor notes in ...

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Don’t miss this Thursday’s Crucial Conversation luncheon on Hurricane Matthew

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:50

NC Policy Watch presents a special Crucial Conversation luncheon: Hurricane Matthew one year later: What happened, what hasn’t and how can we do better in the future? Click here to register On October 8, 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on North Carolina. The resulting flooding impacted 50 counties in the eastern part of the state, ...

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FERC approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline; lawsuits are likely

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:04

In a Friday night surprise, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted 2-1 to approve the $5.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, 160 miles of which will run through eastern North Carolina. However, the project still has yet to receive its required state permits and it is likely to face legal challenges from environmental advocates. FERC “completely ...

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Best op-ed of the weekend

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 07:45

It comes, from of all people, the usually reactionary George Will — a man, who like a growing number of other conservatives, is willing to brand the current inhabitant of the White House for what he is: an ignorant and destructive figure who surrounds himself with dangerous people. Here’s Will in “Sinister figures lurk around ...

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State official recommends Robeson County elementary—excludes Durham, Rocky Mount, Northampton schools—for Innovative School District

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 15:21

(Note: This is a developing story; check back for updates.) The leader of North Carolina’s Innovative School District (ISD) will recommend a Robeson County elementary for the first year of the state’s Innovative School District, Policy Watch has learned. The selection excludes schools on the short-list from Durham, Nash and Northampton counties. Robeson Board of ...

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Lawmakers to take vote Tuesday to override veto of bill eliminating judicial primaries

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 15:13

Lawmakers will officially return Tuesday to take a vote on overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656, which would eliminate judicial primaries. The bill was passed by both chambers last week and vetoed by Cooper early this week. Lawmakers weren’t expected to take up a veto override until January, but members have been ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:14

1. North Carolina’s greatest scandal continues UNC center’s latest report on poverty provides powerful reminder of the communities and individuals being left behind When you consider the matter for a moment, it’s really not all that surprising that conservative politicians in Raleigh have been so hell-bent for so long to silence Professor Gene Nichol and ...

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Explained: Trump’s latest mad health policy diktat

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:23

From the health policy experts at the NC Justice Center… Health Care Sabotage Effort Puts a “Trump Tax” on North Carolinians’ Premiums Next Year Latest move will increase North Carolinians’ premiums by 14 percent, destabilize insurance market, and increase the federal deficit RALEIGH (October 13, 2017) — Last night, the Trump administration announced it will ...

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The far right of the far right: NC GOP members of Congress hit new low

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:31

Wow. Just wow. Every time you think North Carolina’s conservative members of Congress have hit a new low, they plumb new depths. As Doug Clark of the Greensboro News & Record explains in “North Carolina against hurricane relief,” nine of North Carolina’s 10 GOP members of Congress voted “no” on a hurricane relief bill yesterday ...

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Innovative School District head defends background with groups seeking state contracts

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:08

The head of North Carolina’s Innovative School District (ISD) says his professional ties to two groups seeking state contracts to manage struggling schools should not be a conflict. Some public school advocates have suggested ISD Superintendent Eric Hall’s relationship with those organizations—AMIKids Inc. and Communities in Schools (CIS) of Robeson County—may hinder his objectivity in ...

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Richard Burr’s hometown newspaper: Control rapid fire weapons now

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:13

The lead editorial in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal is on the money: it’s long past time for congress — including North Carolina’s two NRA-owned and operated senators, Thom Tills and Ricard Burr (pictured at left) — to put the good of the country first and act now to ban a host of dangerous mass killing ...

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Groups with ties to Innovative School District head seeking state contracts for charter takeovers

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:24

Two groups seeking state contracts to run struggling North Carolina schools have professional ties to the man who may ultimately steer the decision to hire them, N.C. Policy Watch has learned. According to documents obtained by Policy Watch, AMIKids Inc. and Communities in Schools (CIS) of Robeson County are two of eight organizations that have filed ...

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The latest on NC’s racial gerrymandering case: Will a special master get involved in a map redraw?

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:36

A decision was not reached Thursday in a federal racial gerrymandering case about whether or not proposed remedial legislative maps would be approved, but a three-judge panel indicated it could still appoint a special master to take on the task of drawing constitutional districts. “A court does not want to get in to policy decisions,” ...

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DEQ names head of science advisory board, will tackle emerging contaminants in drinking water

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 14:45

A distinguished UNC professor who has written about the Flint water crisis and other drinking water contamination issues, is the chairman of the newly formed state Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board, the Department of Environmental Quality announced today. Jamie Bartram, a professor and founding director of The Water Institute at UNC Chapel Hill, will lead the ...

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Legislators will attempt to override Cooper’s veto of “The Electoral Freedom Act” on Tuesday (video)

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 13:48

Legislative leaders reportedly will attempt to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656 next week. The so-called “Electoral Freedom Act” eases ballot access requirements for third party candidates, but also seeks to eliminates next year’s primary election for judicial races and district attorneys. As Melissa Boughton explains in her story today, the move ...

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What you should know about Trump’s latest disastrous action on healthcare

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 13:23

A statement from the North Carolina Justice Center (the parent organization of NC Policy Watch) explains today’s potentially disastrous Trump administration effort to further undermine the Affordable care Act: Trump Executive Order Jeopardizes Health Care Affordability and Access for North Carolinians with Pre-Existing Conditions Order will bring back junk insurance plans, destabilizing health insurance markets, ...

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Who are the UNC Board of Governors task forces? We’d love to tell you.

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:19

If you’ve been following our coverage of the UNC Board of Governors the last few weeks, you’ll have seen us write about two task forces: one on how the board conducts its meetings and another on the purpose of UNC General Administration. Yesterday, we also attended a sub-committee meeting on a “free expression” policy being ...

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House GOP passes budget to slash Medicaid and Medicare by $1.5 Trillion over the next 10 years

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:10

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a federal budget for 2018 that calls for more than $5 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years to multiple important programs that help communities and working families all across America. It also contains the latest in a series of backdoor approaches to reduce health insurance coverage ...

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UNC Board of Governors committee crafting “free expression” policy

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 16:00

A UNC Board of Governors committee has begun crafting a controversial “free expression policy” called for by a bill passed earlier this summer. The bill, which initially stalled in the House before changes allowed it to become law in July, aims to “restore and preserve free speech” by having the UNC system create a uniform ...

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