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Powerful and poignant words from an NC death row inmate

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 14:00
This post appeared last week on the website the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. It’s definitely worth your time. Speaking from the grave: Writings from inside death row By Kristin Collins The people on death row may be more isolated from the world than any other humans on earth. When we sentence ...

Damning emails once again underscore McCrory administration’s failures on coal ash pollution

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:48
If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out the latest story from Winston-Salem Journal reporter Bertrand Gutiérrez (“State toxicologist: Claim that NC well water was safe was ‘scientifically untrue'”) on the ongoing controversy concerning wells contaminated by Duke coal ash chemicals. As was explained in a May edition of the N.C. ...

“Striving for unity in our community”: Triangle area to host town hall on race relations tonight

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 09:30
WTVD-ABC 11 will be hosting a “digital town hall” tonight in Durham  that figures to be worth everyone’s while. It will feature an array of community leaders (including NC Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier) seeking to grapple with the issue of race relations. This is from the announcement on Facebook: “Racial tension is sweeping ...

Editorial: List of NC laws struck down as unconstitutional continues to grow

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 07:21
Last Friday’s welcome decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the state’s “Monster Voting Law” as unconstitutional was, of course, just the latest in a series of such rulings for North Carolina. In fact, as a new Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial points out this morning, the scoreboard now reads: Constitution 6 — ...

As #WageWeek winds down, local efforts stand out

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:45
This piece was written by Workers’ Rights Project volunteer Jhari Derr-Hill. This #WageWeek marks nine years since the last time the federal government voted to raise the minimum wage. Much of the country is just waking up to the fact that it is untenable to expect anyone to be contented working for poverty wages, no matter ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 15:07
1. Leading coastal scientist resigns from key state panel in protest It wasn’t just the political controversy over sea-level rise. Or the Coastal Resources Commission’s defense of a sea-level rise report. Or state environmental officials, who are allowing 21 eight-bedroom houses to be built on ecologically sensitive and flood-prone land on Sunset Beach. No, “it ...

BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down NC’s Monster Voting law (Updated)

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:44
There are 83 pages to wade through — click here to do it yourself — but one thing is clear from the ruling today issued by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: North Carolina’s “monster” voter suppression law has been struck down. These are the final two paragraphs of the court’s opinion: “It is beyond ...

At a weird meeting, Gov. McCrory warns ag board about “environmental extremists”

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 11:15
This week’s agriculture board should have been a snooze. Instead, it was a doozy. On the agenda were two ceremonial items: Governor Pat McCrory would sign the farm bill and Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby would swear in new board members. And then, the board would delve into a mind-numbing discussion of ag rules, including those on pen-raised ...

HB2 editorial: McCrory refuses to accept “responsibility he so richly deserves”

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 08:30
In case you missed it yesterday, the Virginian-Pilot, which serves as the newspaper of record for much of northeastern North Carolina, published a comprehensive editorial yesterday that condemn HB2 and Gov. McCrory’s ongoing performance with respect to the matter. Here are a couple of excerpts: After detailing the NBA’s recent decision to make good on ...

WATCH: NC NAACP president: We must “revive the heart of our democracy.”

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 06:51
NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber brought his Moral Monday message to Philadelphia Thursday preaching for the need to raise wages, improve labor conditions, enhance public education, and protect both LGBTQ and voting rights. “We need to embrace our deepest moral values…for revival at the heart of our democracy.” Click below to watch an excerpt ...

Greensboro teacher to address Philadelphia convention tonight

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 16:55
Dave Wils doesn’t want to think about the viewing audience when he takes the stage at 8 p.m. tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The Wells Fargo Center holds just a shade under 20,000, but given live streaming of the convention and video on C-SPAN, mixed with the occasional coverage for the less ...

N.C. Association of Educators condemns McCrory’s signing of charter takeover bill

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 14:39
As we reported Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed House Bill 1080, a controversial new law that could speed for-profit charter takeovers of five low-performing schools in North Carolina.   Now, North Carolina’s largest advocacy organization for public school workers—the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE)—is condemning McCrory’s move. “NCAE called on Gov. McCrory to veto ...

Teacher offers Bible lesson to pro-discrimination voucher school

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 13:49
N.C. Policy Watch friend and contributor Stuart Egan, who teaches in the Forsyth County public schools, has a fine new post that provides the people who run Bible Baptist Christian School in Matthews with a brief, but powerful (and amusing) Bible lesson. Egan was moved to action by yesterday’s Fitzsimon File in which Chris highlighted ...

Post highlights “worrisome” trends in NC’s support for higher ed

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 12:14
Gov. Pat McCrory is out today with a rather surprising news release in which he lauds five of the state’s HBCU’s for new national recognition that they received. According to the Guv, the schools “are an important part of our state’s longstanding commitment to excellence in higher education.” What a pleasant change of pace! For ...

Army vet skewers attempts to use military as excuse to derail wind energy

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 07:57
Today’s “must read” opinion piece for those who care about North Carolina state government and the future of clean, sustainable energy is Steve Harrison’s outstanding op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer. In it, Harrison, and army vet and one of the main driving forces behind the website Blue NC, does a masterful ...

National expert: Ten easy-to-understand reasons why Medicaid works

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 15:23
Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a fabulous post on the group’s Off the Charts blog today about the amazing successes of Medicaid. The post — “Medicaid Works: 10 Key Facts” — lays out “ten key facts about how Medicaid helps millions of Americans live healthier, more secure lives” and thereby ...

Gov. McCrory signs off on charter takeover of low-performing schools

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 11:29
As expected, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed House Bill 1080, controversial legislation that will allow for-profit charter takeovers of several low-performing schools in North Carolina. McCrory’s office announced the signing Tuesday, although the news was buried in a press release about the governor’s signing of legislation intended to help state officials keep track of veterans. It’s unclear ...

#WageWeek: Raising the minimum wage will help promote equal pay for women

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 09:41
As part of our #WageWeek celebration, we have invited partners to contribute to our blog series on the importance of raising the minimum wage. This piece was written by Bronwen Wade with NC Women United. Previous entries in this series can be seen here and here. Raising the minimum wage will help promote equal pay ...

McCrory’s weak whining about HB2 opponents

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 07:51
It’s hard to know what’s more pathetic at this point, Gov. Pat McCrory’s lame and inaccurate defenses of his LGBT discrimination law (HB2), his ridiculous efforts to blame his political opponents for the fact that the law is still on the books, or his new complaints about recent revelations that some of opponents were happy ...

Budget falls short of being a visionary plan for North Carolina’s economic future, finds a new report from the NC Budget & Tax Center

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 13:48
North Carolina lawmakers approved their state budget this month, a budget constrained by limited aspirations. The pursuit of a rigid spending formula combined with another round of tax breaks prevented lawmakers from proposing an adequate budget, let alone a bold one, as we explain in our new Budget & Tax Center report. The new tax ...

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