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Updated: 36 min 32 sec ago

Editorials decry the Right’s trickle-down tax shift in NC

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 07:02
In case you missed them over the weekend, at least two lead editorials in major state newspapers once again condemned North Carolina’s mad rush to shift taxes from the rich to the poor and middle class. After quoting the Budget & Tax Center’s Cedric Johnson, Raleigh’s News & Observer put it this way: “Growing tax ...

Last Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 05:00
1. Discrimination agreement required at voucher-eligible school Burrow into Lee Christian School’s “lifestyle statements and covenant” –a wordy, contractual document requiring the signature of parents, school employees and students grades 6-12—and you’ll find this nugget: “Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological, psychological social and spiritual consequences of the human race’s fallen condition. This ...

Mumma case response: If we’re going to punish lawyers for misconduct, let’s really do so

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 14:30
Kristin Collins of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation authored the following post for the NC Center for Alternatives to the Death Penalty blog today: Let’s punish lawyers who put innocent people in prison, instead of those who free them Joseph Sledge spent 37 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. At his ...

Looking beyond the surface regarding news that revenue is up in NC

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 12:43
Revenue is up in North Carolina—which is no surprise because the national and state economies are growing. But before jumping to the conclusion that tax cuts are the reason why, take a look at the numbers. Revenue collections for the first half of this 2016 fiscal year are higher than the same period last fiscal ...

State lawmaker says he expects House education committee to mull discrimination policy for voucher schools

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 11:45
One day after N.C. Policy Watch reported the story of a voucher-eligible Lee County private school’s arguably discriminatory admissions policy, N.C. Rep. Ed Hanes Jr., D-Forsyth, says he expects the state House education committee to address the topic when the legislature reconvenes in April. Hanes, who sits as vice chair on the committee, says public ...

Could Trump at the top of the ticket cause problems for McCrory? (video)

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 11:23
The sixth Republican presidential debate may have done little to alter where the candidates stand in the polls – with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz still the apparent front-runners ahead of the Iowa caucuses. In North Carolina, Trump has been gaining support since last July, prompting some political pundits to wonder how Trump at the ...

Forbes prints inaccurate claims about unemployment insurance changes in North Carolina

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 08:24
A recent opinion piece in Forbes Magazine wrongly claims that steps North Carolina took to reduce how much unemployment insurance provides to jobless men and women – and make it harder to collect – are somehow helping North Carolina’s economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The article, written by North Carolina’s rightwing Civitas ...

Retired schoolteacher blasts McCrory’s bond proposal

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 07:53
In an op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, retired schoolteacher Ned Gardner of Apex does a good job of giving voice to the reasons that some progressives are unhappy about the state bond package that’s coming up for a statewide vote in March. According to Gardner, it’s not the idea of ...

Planned Parenthood fights back

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 15:16
Planned Parenthood and its California affiliates filed suit today for damages — including treble damages under civil racketeering laws — against organizations and individuals they contend launched an antiabortion smear campaign with edited videos and false accusations about fetal tissue donation practices. The 65-page complaint, filed in federal court in San Francisco, opens with this: This complaint details a ...

Are Duke Energy and the McCrory administration committing a human rights violation?

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 13:57
Some victims of Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution gathered with a group of advocates and activists in front of the North Carolina Governor’s mansion this morning. Their message to Gov. Pat McCrory (who was recently revealed to have had a secret dinner meeting last summer with representatives of his longtime former employer (i.e. Duke) even ...

N.C. House Speaker watches a teacher assistant at work

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 12:40
Legislators visit schools all the time, and as a longtime reporter, I can tell you that it’s typically uneventful stuff. But here’s a fairly interesting report from Wednesday’s Wilkes Journal-Patriot of N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore’s visit this week to an elementary school in Wilkes County, during which the speaker apparently got a chance to view a ...

RSVP today for lunch with one of America’s top pollsters

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 10:41
N.C. Policy Watch presents the first Crucial Conversation luncheon of 2016: A conversation with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling Click here to register With the 2016 election campaign already well underway and early voting for the March 15 North Carolina primary scheduled to commence March 3, this is an excellent time to get fully ...

Editorial: Further shift onto sales tax is a bad move for NC

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 07:12
In their never ending quest to tilt it more and more in favor of themselves and their wealthy backers, state lawmakers are again touting a plan to shift North Carolina’s tax system away from income taxes and further onto the sales tax. As Raleigh’s News & Observer reported in this article, the move was endorsed ...

“Ag-gag” goes to court

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 14:56
A law designed to discourage workplace whistleblower activity in North Carolina, signed into law last session over a veto by Gov. Pat McCrory, has landed in federal court in Greensboro with the filing today of a lawsuit by a collection of groups alleging violations of freedom of speech and freedom of the press protections set ...

NC NAACP presses state to clarify ID requirements for voters ahead of March primary (video)

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 12:42
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP wants the state to be much clearer about the state’s new voter identification law and what will be required at the polls the year. NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber told reporters Tuesday that the organization is distressed that the State Board of Elections is not doing more ...

Another disturbing message in Lt. Gov Forest’s charter school bullying

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 11:05
There have been lots of excellent critiques of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s recent Soviet-style demands for a rewrite of a report on the not-so-impressive performance of North Carolina’s charter schools. My colleague Chris Fitzsimon authored one of the best last Friday when he rightfully blasted Forest for trying to rewrite history to abet his ideological ...

NCGA reminded that many “business climate” rankings paint an overly rosy picture

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 10:16
Last Thursday, members of the Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee saw evidence that many “business climate” rankings overstate how well North Carolina is actually doing. Respected economic expert Ted Abernathy, formerly the Executive Director of the Southern Growth Policies board and now with Economic Leadership, an economic development and analysis consultancy, briefed the committee ...

Editorial: Solar is our energy future

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 08:04
This morning’s Fayetteville Observer gets it exactly right with this editorial deriding efforts to undermine North Carolina’s promising solar energy industry. Here’s an excerpt: “A state program that let solar developers deduct 35 percent of their startup costs from their state tax bill helped North Carolina become one of the top states in solar energy ...

How North Carolina’s congressional delegation responded to the State of the Union

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 22:59
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis: Congressman David E. Price: “Tonight, President Obama described a new kind of American leadership: leadership sustained by our values of acceptance and equality, our diversity of thought, and our ingenuity and determination; and leadership putting first reliance on diplomacy rather than military intervention. During the President’s administration, this new paradigm has ...

Hypotheticals continue to trump reality for some state lawmakers

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:22
Today the General Assembly’s Revenue Laws Committee held its first meeting for 2016. The meeting’s agenda included presentations to state lawmakers on the committee from state officials regarding tax changes passed last year as well as proposed tax changes that state leaders would like to pass this year. Also included on the agenda was a ...

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