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Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

NC Attorney General Josh Stein launches investigation into Chemours, demands documents

1 hour 52 min ago

Environmental documents, research data, organizational charts, marketing materials: These are the thousands of pages of information that Chemours must provide to the state attorney general’s office, which launched a civil investigation into the company late yesterday. The investigation focuses on the GenX, which Chemours has been discharging into the Cape Fear River from its Fayetteville ...

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Former DEQ secretary Donald van der Vaart passed over for No. 2 slot at EPA

3 hours 41 min ago

Despite a compelling cover letter to the Trump administration, former DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart will not be EPA deputy administrator, a job for which he was being considered. Instead, the Washington Post and Axios both reported, Trump intends to nominate Andrew Wheeler, coal industry lobbyist for Murray Energy, and a former aide to climate ...

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Reports: Traditional school enrollment down in N.C., charters and private school enrollment up

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 16:00

Multiple North Carolina news outlets have reported this interesting tidbit of the day: According to state data, enrollment in the state’s traditional public schools declined in 2017, while charter and private school populations surged. It’s the latest indicator of the growing influence of school choice in the state, which has seen a rapid expansion of ...

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Coming up: Redistricting to take center stage next week

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 15:30

Next week will be big for those keeping track of North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering issues. To start, the House and Senate Committees on Redistricting will meet jointly at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building in downtown Raleigh. An agenda has not yet been released, but the committees were selected to ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 14:30

1. General Assembly-ordered cuts likely to hamper services for poor, rural schools Support for needy districts and key positions within North Carolina’s top public school agency may be in jeopardy this week as the State Board of Education mulls ways to pass down millions in legislative cuts. Officials confirmed that the State Board of Education ...

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ACLU, Lambda Legal challenge HB 142, call it “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 12:56

The law that replaced HB 2 is just as discriminatory and perhaps even more harmful, according to a new suit brought Friday by Lambda Legal, The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of North Carolina. HB 142, passed in May after enormous backlash to HB 2, bars municipalities from setting rules who can use ...

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Republican legislative leaders dismiss lawsuit against Cooper over Medicaid expansion

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 08:30

Legislative leaders announced Thursday that they were dismissing their federal lawsuit against Gov. Roy Cooper because he didn’t follow through on “threats” to expand Medicaid. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said they were told by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the Governor had not followed through on attempting to expand ...

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The silent killer of the Affordable Care Act

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 17:15

A new report from the Daily Beast found that the Trump Administration is quietly using taxpayer money to undermine the Affordable Care Act, which remains law despite the Senate’s best efforts.  Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, released a series of 23 testimonials videos featuring individuals describing how they have been burdened ...

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State Supreme Court dismisses Cooper’s request to halt already merged Elections, Ethics Board

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:30

The state Supreme Court agreed to take on Gov. Roy Cooper’s appeal over the State Board of Elections and State Ethics Commission merger but it will not grant a temporary stay to halt the new agency from operating. Newly elected Justice Michael Morgan wrote the order dismissing Cooper’s motion for temporary stay as moot. The ...

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Warning: Last-ditch effort offering $200 billion to buy votes won’t fix unfixable Senate health bill

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:00

Earlier this week we reported that the Senate GOP health “repeal without replacement” proposal would do great harm to NC, as it would double the number of uninsured in North Carolina. Unfortunately, the latest is that in a last-ditch effort to save their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senate Republican leaders are ...

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Report: States receiving “mixed messages” from DeVos, feds over ESSA plans

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

A new report from Education Week indicates some states completing draft plans for adhering to new federal education laws are complaining of “mixed messages” from the U.S. Department of Education and its controversial leader, Michigan GOP booster Betsy DeVos. Federal lawmakers approved the nation’s update of education law in 2015 with the intent of eschewing ...

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“Not off our coast”: Gov. Roy Cooper opposes offshore drilling

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:50

Citing the environmental and economic risks to North Carolina’s sensitive shoreline, Gov. Roy Cooper today said he opposes seismic testing offshore drilling. “It’s a bad deal for our state,” Cooper said. “We will let Washington know loud and clear that North Carolina is opposed to it.” Cooper made the announcement at Fort Macon this morning. ...

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Unlike North Carolina, some states are making voter participation easier instead of suppressing it

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:33

Most of the voting rights news lately has not been very encouraging. State legislative leaders are promising to bring up another photo ID bill in one of the series of special legislative sessions likely to be held this summer and fall. The last effort at enacting a photo ID requirement was part of the massive ...

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State Supreme Court takes on Cooper’s lawsuit over Board of Elections, Ethics merger

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:30

The North Carolina Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to expedite Gov. Roy Cooper’s appeal over the General Assembly’s law merging the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission. The state’s highest court will hear arguments at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28 in Cooper v. Berger, et al. The Supreme Court’s decision to take the case bypasses ...

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Senate will vote today on right-wing blogger nominated by Trump for court of appeals

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 06:04

The full U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today at 12:15 pm ET, on the nomination of John K. Bush to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. As readers will recall, Bush has recorded his extremist views in a blog full of rhetoric so inflammatory as to call into serious question his ...

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Scathing letter to the editor calls out Phil Berger as his hometown hospital goes bankrupt

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 15:58

Winston-Salem Journal reader and letter to the editor writer Wendy Marshall had some powerful words for North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem and Medicaid expansion opponent Phil Berger (pictured at left) today. Marshall’s pointed comments came in response to a recent WRAL.com editorial (rerun by the Journal) entitled “The cost of not expanding Medicaid.” As ...

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State Board of Education puts off vote on DPI cuts, names new spokesman

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 14:41

Members of the State Board of Education emerged Wednesday with a widely-expected decision to appeal last week’s court ruling in their case with Superintendent Mark Johnson and state lawmakers, but a final decision on how to administer $3.2 million in legislative cuts to North Carolina’s K-12 bureaucracy is still in the works. Board members were ...

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New battle: GOP now slashing billions from programs that help Americans in order to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:35

In Congress, the House Budget Committee is moving forward today with discussing their recently released 2018 budget plan that will set a fiscal framework for budget, tax, and appropriations bills to follow and for years to come. To unlock Congress’ power to expedite tax overhaul this year, the House GOP fiscal blueprint, titled “Building a ...

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State Board of Education will appeal constitutional challenge decision favoring Superintendent

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:50

The State Board of Education announced today that it will appeal a court decision handed down last week that allows newly elected Superintendent Mark Johnson to be in control of the state’s public education system. A three-judge panel issued its ruling Friday that the Board of Education did not meet its burden of proof when arguing ...

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Senate GOP health “repeal without replacement” proposal would do great harm to NC

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:52

By now many have heard that the proposed Senate GOP “repeal and replace” health care bill is dead after some Senate Republicans could not support it. However, the bad news is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says they will now pursue a vote to repeal without replacement. McConnell announced last night that the vote— ...

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