NC JUSTICE NEWS: The Great Tax Shift Video + Statewide Chutes & Ladders Game + Flawed "Comp Time" Bill

April 16, 2013

GREAT TAX SHIFT: Russell the Investment Hound returns to protect NC families

Last year, Together NC enlisted Russell the Hound to highlight some of North Carolina’s vital taxpayer-funded public investments. But for Tax Day this year, as NC lawmakers consider reform proposals that would shift the tax load to middle and low-income North Carolinians while the wealthy and big corporations get a break, Russell has returned with a new mission — to stop the Great Tax Shift.

Yesterday, Together NC unveiled the latest chapter in the Russell the Hound saga, in which our hero prepares to take on Mr. Bates and his powerful friends in the NC General Assembly who’ve grown immune to evidence in other states that proves income tax cuts are not the path to prosperity for North Carolina.

Russell can't do it alone. At this pivotal moment in the tax reform debate, he needs allies to help protect hardworking North Carolina families. Watch the Great Tax Shift video and share it with your friends and partners on your Facebook and Twitter page.


CHUTES AND LADDERS: Statewide events in support of investing in children

NC MomsRising has partnered with The First 2000 Days Campaign to create a giant Chutes & Ladders board to spread the word that giving our kids a good start is not a game. Join NC MomsRising throughout the next couple of weeks across North Carolina.

Based on the classic Chutes & Ladders game, the board highlights the investments that move NC’s children ahead or set them back-investments like early learning, education, child care, infant mortality prevention, and health care. MomsRising will be hosting life-sized games in parks, community centers, and even at the NC General Assembly and inviting parents, kids, child care providers, business leaders, local elected officials, and lawmakers to join us.

It’s a fun, powerful way to remind our communities and leaders that investing in kids means investing in NC’s future. Check below to see when we’re coming to a town near you, then mark your calendar and plan to bring the whole family out to play.

  • April 6: Southport in Brunswick County, Kids Day in the Park, 11-2
  • April 12: Goldsboro, Goldsboro Cornerstone Commons, 10-12
  • April 13: Asheville, YMCA Healthy Kids Day, Pack Square Park, 11-5
  • April 17: General Assembly in Raleigh, Child & Family Day, Halifax Mall (located behind the General Assembly at 16 W. Jones St., 10-12
  • April 22: Durham. Details coming soon
  • April 26: Wilmington, Smart Start of New Hanover County, 3534 S. College Rd., 10-12
  • May 6: Greenville. Details coming soon
  • May 13: Charlotte. Details coming soon
  • May 22: Winston-Salem. Details coming soon

For more information, contact Beth Messersmith, NC MomsRising Campaign Director, 919-323-6179 or


CORPORATE TAX DODGING: Support new revenues by closing loopholes

As Congress continues to debate the federal budget, we keep hearing about the importance of “fixing” the national debt. While we all want to “fix the debt” and put our nation’s fiscal house in order, the real challenge facing our federal policy makers is how we accomplish this goal—and perhaps most importantly, who should pay for deficit reduction.

Unfortunately, unless large corporations are asked to contribute more in new tax revenues, the rest of us will have to pick up the tab through more spending cuts to the initiatives so important to working and middle class families. One great source of new revenues involves closing the loopholes, deductions, and credits that allow so many large corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Too many multinational corporations take advantage of these tax breaks to escape significant portions of federal tax liability.

Our Senators need to know that we need these large corporations to contribute to deficit reduction too. Contact your Senators and urge them to support new revenues by closing corporate loopholes and ending corporate tax dodging.

Follow throughout this legislative session for the latest updates on tax reform in North Carolina.


CRUCIAL CONVERSATION IN CHARLOTTE: Tax the poor, feed the rich?

North Carolina’s elected leaders have promised to enact major tax policy reform legislation this year. Unfortunately, all of the proposals under serious consideration thus far would further shift the responsibility for funding public structures and services away from corporations and wealthy individuals and toward the low- and moderate-income taxpayers who are already struggling in our tough economy.

What would be the likely impact of these proposals? According to Dr. Katherine Newman, it won’t be pretty. Join NC Policy watch on April 25 for a special Crucial Conversation event in Charlotte, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, featuring Dr. Newman and Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the NC Justice Center's Budget & Tax Center.

Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, has focused much of her scholarly work on the lives of the working poor and mobility up and down the economic ladder. She will be joined by North Carolina’s leading independent tax policy expert, Alexandra Forter Sirota, who will provide the latest details on the tax policy debate in the General Assembly. Don’t miss the opportunity to heart from these experts at this critical time.

Click here to register.


FEDERAL "COMP TIME": New bill fails to offer workers more time, money

Despite its name, the Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1406) is an empty promise — a smoke-and-mirrors bill — that offers neither the flexibility nor the support that working families need.

The "comp time" bill claims to give hourly workers more time with their families by allowing them, through an agreement with their employers, to choose paid time off as compensation for working more than 40 hours in a week. In reality, it would give workers less time, less money and less flexibility. It would erode overtime protections guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. It would mean a pay cut for workers without any guaranteed flexibility or time off to care for themselves or their loved ones. And it provides few protections for workers in cases of employer misconduct or bankruptcy.

Urge your representatives to reject H.R. 1406 and support real family friendly solutions, such as the Healthy Families Act, as well as expanded access to the Family and Medical Leave Act, paid leave, the Paycheck Fairness Act and more.


DEFENDERS OF JUSTICE AWARDS: Join us on May 9 in Chapel Hill

Join the NC Justice Center on Thursday, May 9 for the 15th Annual Defenders of Justice Awards. Each year, the Justice Center presents its DOJ Awards to honor individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions in the fight against poverty in four areas that reflect the scope of the Justice Center’s work.

The 2013 honorees are:

  • Legislative & Administrative Advocacy: Wayne Goodwin, NC Commissioner of Insurance
  • Litigation: Phil Lehman, NC Office of the Attorney General
    Mortgage Foreclosure Unit, Legal Aid of NC
  • Policy Research and Advocacy: Equality NC
  • Grassroots Empowerment: A. Philip Randolph Institute

Register and purchase tickets here.

The event will be held at the Carolina Club at UNC Chapel Hill's George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Contact Melissa Wiggins for details on sponsorship opportunities at (919) 861-2209 or, or click here.


SECOND CHANCE DAY: Join Second Chance Alliance at NCGA on April 23

The Second Chance Alliance is a statewide alliance of advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations, community leaders and directly-impacted and concerned citizens that has come together to promote polices that remove barriers to productive citizenship for individuals with criminal records.

Join the Alliance at Second Chance Lobby Day on Tuesday, April 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to show legislators your support for second chances. We will be voicing our support for a variety of specific reforms that provide genuine restorative opportunities to individuals ready and willing to move beyond their criminal records and contribute to their families and communities.

The event will be held at the NC Legislative Building at 16 E. Jones Street in Downtown Raleigh. For more details or to RSVP, please contact the Community Success Initiative at or visit the NC Second Chance Alliance’s website at

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