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Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

State budget takes wrong turn on economic development

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:22
This is the third post in a series that takes a detailed look at the final budget passed by North Carolina lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. The first post provided an overview and examined how North Carolina’s investments post-recession have not bounced back nearly as much when compared to previous recessions. The second post ...

Could this be the most absurd and cynical anti-Obamacare argument yet?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:23
There’s very little that right-wing opponents of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act aren’t willing to claim in public about America’s increasingly successful and transformative health care law. From “death panels” to imaginary massive tax hikes to allegations about global conspiracies and plots to impose martial law and suspend the Constitution, the loony conspiracy ...

Increasing income inequality not a recipe for an economy that works for all

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 09:14
New data released by the US Census highlight the pervasiveness of poverty nationally and in North Carolina. In 2013, one in six North Carolinians lived below the federal poverty rate – less than $24,000 a year for a family of four and  $12,000 a year for an individual. For communities of color, the poverty rate ...

Editorial critical of latest DENR-Duke shenanigans

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 08:00
As noted in this space yesterday morning, federal regulators have been forced in recent days to put the kibosh on yet another sweetheart arrangement between Duke Energy and the McCrory administration that would have allowed the company to begin to address some of the problems in its coal ash “ponds” by draining the toxic liquid ...

McCrory, Tillis, Berger vow to continue defending Amendment One

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 17:55
Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court’s not to review the appeals court rulings striking down state bans on marriage for same-sex couples, has garnered this response from House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger: “The people of North Carolina have spoken, and while the Supreme Court has not issued a definitive ruling on ...

Court taking a deliberate path to same-sex marriage in North Carolina

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 16:49
The judge in two of the same-sex marriage cases pending in North Carolina  issued an order this afternoon requiring the parties to file reports within 10 days, detailing how the court should proceed in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review a Fourth Circuit decision rejecting Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. Saying that ...

Widespread poverty persists, work and income supports help offset economic pain

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 14:04
This is the eighth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. Previous posts examined: 1) how North Carolina is faring overall; 2) how poverty varies by race, 3) poverty by County; 4) child poverty; 5) the impact, or lack thereof, of ...

Still time to catch the “Nuns on the Bus”

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:58
They’ve been in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Greenville, but there’s still time to catch the “Nuns on the Bus” get-out-the-vote tour today or tomorrow if you’re in Asheville or Charlotte. To learn more about the tour, read here, or listen to NOTB Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell in her radio interview with Policy Watch’s Chris Fitzsimon ...

And same-sex marriage is now officially legal in Virginia

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:14
The Fourth Circuit has issued its mandate:  

What the Supreme Court’s inaction on marriage equality means

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:11
As reported, the ACLU will immediately file papers asking the federal judge handling same-sex marriage cases here to invalidate the state’s ban and allow marriages to go forward. For quick context on the the Supreme Court’s inaction today and what it means in North Carolina and elsewhere, see this VOX explainer. And for more detail, read ...

ACLU of NC responds to Supreme Court action on marriage cases

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 11:43
Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina issued the following statement in response to the announcement this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court that would not take up the appeals of various circuit court decisions upholding marriage equality: U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would not review appeals court rulings in seven states, including ...

More you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up coal ash news

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 08:55
In case you missed it on Friday, Michael Biesecker at AP had another troubling story on Duke Energy’s seemingly metastasizing coal ash mess. This is the lead: Federal environmental officials spurred North Carolina regulators to reverse a policy allowing Duke Energy to drain massive amounts of polluted wastewater from its coal ash dumps directly into ...

Editorials blast cuts by legislature and McCrory to driver’s ed as shortsighted, threat to public safety

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 06:29
The practical, everyday examples of the the General Assembly’s and Governor McCrory’s penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to education funding keep emerging. As Chris Fitzsimon explained last week, one of those areas is driver education — an area in which the very lives of North Carolinians have been placed at greater risk because the tax-cuts-over-common-sense-spending approach. This ...

McCrory less popular than Obama in Republican district

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:41
Buried in one the latest “flash polls” from the Civitas Institute is what appears to be bad news for Governor Pat McCrory. The poll was taken to get a read on the race for the state House between Republican incumbent Michele Presnell and her Democratic challenger Dean Hicks in District 118—Madison, Haywood, and Yancey counties. ...

More drama as the voting rights case escalates

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 11:39
Nearly 48 hours had passed since the Fourth Circuit ruled that certain provisions of the state’s new voting law — namely the elimination of  same-day registration and the prohibition on counting out-of-precinct ballots — likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and shouldn’t be implemented for the coming election. And U.S. District Judge Thomas ...

How to end child labor in state’s tobacco fields

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:17
As has been reported on this site on multiple occasions (and as amazing and discouraging as the truth is), the scandal of child labor in one of the country’s most dangerous professions remains a reality in modern America. Children as young as seven are still trooping into America’s (and North Carolina’s) tobacco fields to harvest ...

This week’s most under-reported story: McCrory’s DHHS to propose Medicaid expansion

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 08:58
If there’s one story that’s been notably and inexplicably under-reported in the mainstream news media this week it’s been this one. As  our former colleague Adam Searing, to his credit, reported Monday: In two interviews over the last few days, North Carolina’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Aldona Wos and ...

Lawmakers retreat from investing in early childhood in final state budget

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 17:13
This is the second post in a series that takes a detailed look at the final budget passed by North Carolina lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. The first post provided an overview and examined how North Carolina’s investments post-recession have not bounced back nearly as much when compared to previous recessions. Despite the fact ...

North Carolina moves to the U.S. Supreme Court after Fourth Circuit refuses to stay ruling on voting law

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:53
The same three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals which yesterday blocked state provisions eliminating same-day registration and prohibiting the counting of out-of-precinct ballots refused today, by a 2-1 vote, to stay its ruling pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court’s order is here. And as expected, the state shortly after asked the ...

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence sponsoring “thank you” note to Ag commish

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:02
If the recent actions of State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in upholding the ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the North Carolina State Fair has been enough to convince you that there may still be a little bit of hope for the Old North State, check out the “thank you” campaign that’s been organized by ...