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Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

Why NC cyclists are insisting the Senate backpedal on House Bill 44

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:11
The word bicycle does not appear in the title of House Bill 44, but the bill stands to have a major impact on those who like to bike for pleasure or as an alternative form of transportation. Buried in the Local Government Regulatory Reform Act is a provision that stands to restrict the advancement of ...

Belhaven mayor reaches D.C., calls for more help for rural hospitals

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:01
Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal completed a walk from his small Eastern North Carolina town to the nation’s capital today, calling on national leaders to help rural communities with sparse healthcare options. The 283-mile walk – the second year the Republican mayor has done it –– was to bring attention to the pressures faced by the ...

NCGA may tap school privatization advocates to hand out taxpayer funds to charter schools

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:48
State lawmakers could soon decide to anoint pro-school privatization nonprofit Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) to distribute taxpayer dollars to new charter schools in the state, according to the Associated Press. From the AP: The budget proposal being considered by the General Assembly may break new ground in state spending by letting ...

NC abortion ultrasound law rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 09:55
In an order released this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused, over a dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia,  to review a ruling striking down North Carolina’s 2011 law requiring doctors to give women a narrated ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. The Court’s decision means the law, which had been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, ...

Charlotte Observer editor wants in on Senate Bill 2 law; What about you?

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 09:19
Now that North Carolina has made it state law that magistrates and registers of deeds can get out of doing parts of their sworn duties due to “sincere religious beliefs,” Charlotte Observer editorial page editor Taylor Batten has a long list of duties he would like to be excused from in his job. For instance, ...

Report bolsters call to close election reporting loophole; Advocates hopeful that lawmakers may act

Sat, 06/13/2015 - 09:00
There hasn’t been much to cheer about in the General Assembly this session, but some of the good folks working to reform our broken and plutocrat-owned election system are finding some inklings of hope. Word on Jones Street is that there may be a chance that lawmakers will insert a provision into this year’s omnibus ...

Is Elmo really all preschoolers need to succeed?

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 15:39
This week, researchers from the University of Maryland and Wellesley College released a report that finds that the learning gains young children experience from watching Sesame Street are on par with what students learn in preschool. From The Washington Post: The researchers also say those effects probably come from Sesame Street’s focus on presenting viewers ...

North Carolina Communities Benefiting from Immigration

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 15:04
Immigrants are increasingly important to North Carolina’s long-term economic vitality. The smokescreen of rhetoric surrounding immigration can obscure facts on the ground, but that makes it all the more important to take a sober look at the actual evidence. As documented in a recent Budget & Tax Center report, immigrants bring needed skills and expertise, ...

Senate tax plan would double down on further tax cuts, hold back reinvestment

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 13:39
The state Senate unveiled a proposal yesterday that would take the modest revenue gains that our state is experiencing and give them away in the form of tax cuts rather than reinvest them in the building blocks of community well-being. That would be a mistake. Lawmakers already deeply cut revenue collections in 2013 and this ...

Common core review commission seeking feedback from public

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 12:56
The Academic Standards Review Commission, which is tasked with recommending changes to the state’s Common Core standards for English and math, wants to hear from the public this coming Monday, June 15. Those who want to weigh in on the standards and their impact on students are invited to send an email to Jo Herrera ...

One Register of Deeds’ perfect response to the new marriage discrimination law (SB2)

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:17
The New Hanover County Register of Deeds didn’t ask for a law allowing her employees to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages if they invoke “any sincerely held religious objection.” So when the state House voted Thursday to join the NC Senate in overriding the bill vetoed by Governor Pat McCrory, Register of Deeds Tammy Beasley ...

Condemnations of new marriage discrimination law continue to pour in

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 08:57
Today, on the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down state laws banning interracial marriage in the case of Loving v. Virginia, condemnations continue to pour in from across the country for North Carolina’s absurd and offensive new marriage discrimination law. Here are just a few: From Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Senate ...

Senate tax plan would continue down a path to nowhere

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 18:53
A tax plan state Senate leaders presented this week would promote neither shared economic opportunity nor prosperity across North Carolina. Far from it. The proposal would cost more than $1 billion in annual revenue loss as the tax plan continues down the path of handing out more costly tax cuts to large, profitable corporations at ...

Today’s marriage discrimination vote: Four cowardly minutes

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 16:29
Today’s vote in the North Carolina House of Representatives to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2 — lawmakers’ latest effort to preserve some precious shreds of hate and discrimination in state marriage law — was absurd and offensive for a number of reasons. There was the substance of the new law that ...

Medicaid reform: Is a new day dawning?

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 15:14
Yesterday, the highly anticipated Medicaid Modernization Act or Medicaid reform bill  was described as transformative, innovative and the dawning of a new day by members of the House Health Committee. During the morning meeting, Representatives Dollar and Lambeth explained that the aims of Medicaid reform are to produce long-term cost savings, budget predictability, as well ...

NC lawmakers: Standing in the courthouse door on an apt anniversary

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 11:56
The decision of North Carolina House to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2 this morning comes on an appropriate anniversary in American history. As the Jackson Mississippi Clarion-Ledger reminds us this morning: “June 11, 1963: Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in front of a schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in ...

Equality advocates condemn House’s decision to override Governor’s veto on anti-gay marriage bill (SB 2)

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:34
The state House wasted little time on Thursday in voting (69-41 ) to override Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2. The legislation allows magistrates and registers of deeds to opt-out of performing same-sex weddings.  The Senate overrode the governor’s veto on June 1st, meaning the measure now becomes law despite McCrory’s objections. “The ...

The “pave paradise” crowd strikes again, unveils another bill to decimate environmental rules

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:13
The hits (and slashes and burns) to North Carolina’s ever-more-fragile natural environment just keep on a comin’ at the North Carolina General Assembly. Yesterday morning, while few people were watching, a Senate Committee unveiled and quickly approved yet another new proposal to lay waste to environmental rules (and a lot more of the state’s land ...

The healthy path to even fewer abortions

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 07:36
Nobody wants there to be more abortions in North Carolina. The issue is women’s health and the fact that thousands of women every year must grapple with unintended pregnancies. Happily, as the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer reminds us, there is a way to get after both problems: readily ...

Rep. Glazier on his departure from the legislature: ‘My heart now calls me to a different place to work’ (video)

Wed, 06/10/2015 - 21:36
Rep. Rick Glazier announced Wednesday his plans to resign from the state House at the end of this session to become the new Executive Director of the NC Justice Center. Click below to hear Glazier’s remarks to his colleagues.