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Updated: 2 hours 54 min ago

Why Berger and Moore’s suit against Gov. Cooper over Medicaid expansion is bogus

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:30

There are obviously a lot of substantive reasons why expanding Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act would be great for North Carolina. One can actually come up with thousands by doing nothing other than considering the number of human lives that would be saved from premature death. That said, it’s also worth ...

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Last call for tomorrow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon with Dr. William Spriggs

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 07:59

A few seats still remain for tomorrow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon: What is the true state of the economy and how do we make it work for everyone? Featuring special guest, Dr. William Spriggs, Chief Economist for the national AFL-CIO. Click here to register — Here are the details: As new administrations take office in Washington ...

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Federal judge temporarily blocks governor’s Medicaid expansion efforts

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 15:35

A federal judge over the weekend granted North Carolina legislative leaders’ request to block Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid. Plaintiffs, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, filed the motion for a temporary restraining order Saturday. U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan issued the order granting their motion the ...

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The toxics in the water at Camp Lejeune can be found throughout North Carolina

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 13:29

There have been at least six major wars and nine smaller U.S. invasions since the drinking water became contaminated at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville. Yet the cancer-causing contaminants are not limited to the military base. Benzene, which comes from petroleum and chemical industries; TCE, known as trichloroethylene, a metal degreaser; and PCE, short for perchloroethylene, a ...

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Forsyth County teacher dissects the folly and hypocrisy of school privatization

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 09:01

One of the best op-eds of recent days in North Carolina was the latest missive from occasional NC Policy Watch contributor and Forsyth County public school teacher, Stuart Egan. This is from Egan’s essay (“Offenders of public education should be its defenders”) that appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal this past Friday: “Public education is a sacred ...

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Feds file court motion in attempt to make NC comply with mental health services agreement

Sat, 01/14/2017 - 14:58

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion last week in federal court to enforce a 2012 settlement agreement with the state of North Carolina, alleging it failed to comply with requirements by not providing enough community-based housing to adults with serious mental illnesses. The agreement required the state to provide 1,166 community-based supportive housing slots ...

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Statement from NC Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier: Lawsuit against Medicaid expansion proposal should be dismissed

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 20:22

This evening, Republican state legislative leadership filed a federal lawsuit seeking to halt any attempt to increase access to health care for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. The lawsuit should be summarily dismissed for a number of reasons. First, it turns a solely state law dispute over the power of the Governor — one ...

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Duke Energy unveils payment, water plans for property owners with private wells

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 18:45

Duke Energy will offer to pay $5,000, plus other stipends to property owners whose wells are within a half-mile of coal ash basins, the utility announced late this afternoon. Duke Energy_release_watersolution In a news release, Duke Energy said it had received approval from the NC Department of Environmental Quality to offer new permanent water supplies to ...

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Legislators announce federal lawsuit over Cooper’s efforts to expand Medicaid

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 18:41

North Carolina legislative leaders filed a federal lawsuit Friday to stop Gov. Roy Cooper’s efforts to expand Medicaid, though he is not named in the court document. The 20-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger are listed as ...

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Senator Berger names environment/agriculture committee

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 16:14

Sen. Phil Berger named 17 lawmakers — 13 Republicans and four Democrats — to the committee on agricultural, environment and natural resources today. Brent Jackson and Andrew Brock are the best-known Republican names, having served on similar committees since the GOP took power in 2011. They have consistently sponsored or co-sponsored bills that would relax environmental rules. ...

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One week before Trump’s inauguration, national education leaders weigh how to store immigration data

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 15:40

We’re one week away from President-elect Trump’s inauguration, and many questions remain about how the firebrand new president will lead, particularly when it comes to the immigrant community. Fittingly, Education Week offers up a fascinating report today on how national education leaders are weighing changes in how they handle immigration data, given concerns that the ...

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This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 15:08

1. Cooper’s correcting a colossal blunder on Medicaid, not making one The folks on the Right are apoplectic these days that Governor Roy Cooper thinks it’s a good idea to follow the lead of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Kasich and 28 other governors and expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage to 500,000 ...

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Under van der Vaart, DEQ legal staff flourished, while number of scientists, support staff decreased

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:08

For attorneys working at the NC Department of Environmental Quality, the last four years were like living in the land of milk and honey. Rapid promotions, new positions, job security. For DEQ scientists, enforcement and monitoring staff, though, not so much. Robin Smith, former assistant secretary of the environment, published a sobering post on her SmithEnvironment blog, detailing the deep ...

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Five quick stories that explain the disastrous consequences of Obamacare repeal (and why Paul Ryan is dead wrong)

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 11:39

In case you missed them this week, here are five quick “must read/watch” takes on GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act: Number One is a story on Think Progress that document six essential health benefits that Republican senators voted to take away from Americans in one night this week. They are: protections for ...

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Editorial warns states with HB2 copycat proposals: Don’t do it; you’ll regret it!

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 07:44

This morning’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal has a warning for states like Virginia, Texas and others in which Republican lawmakers are attempting to push HB2 copycat bills: “Learn from our mistake. Don’t do it!” “As the Atlantic Coast Conference looks for a new home, we have some serious advice for neighboring states: Don’t ...

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In north Durham, scientists tackle the health of the Eno River Watershed; public can comment

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 15:19

For the next three weeks, a regiment of scientists and engineers, armed with dippers and water sampling bottles, will travel 72 miles of stream banks in the Eno River Watershed in Durham. They will evaluate stream conditions and water quality in this portion of the watershed — which drains all the way to the Atlantic Ocean — ...

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HB2 and conflicting principles in the new NCGA session

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 14:58

As we reported earlier this week, the controversial House Bill 2 is likely to be revisited in the North Carolina General Assembly’s new legislative session, which kicked off yesterday. As reported by the News & Observer, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore says he wants to find a “compromise” between assuaging business and sports interests that ...

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Following violent altercation at Rolesville High, advocates call for Wake County to remove police from schools

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 14:40

When Letha Muhammad first saw the video of a Rolesville police officer slamming a Wake County teen to the ground, she—like many who have spoken up since the violent encounter last week in a North Carolina high school—says she was “appalled.” “I felt sad for this young lady and her family,” said Muhammad, of the ...

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New study: ACA repeal would be the true job killer

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:39

Despite the fact that 30 million people would become uninsured within two years of repeal, President-Elect Trump and the GOP-led Congress remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they have yet to come up with a replacement plan. If the impact of repeal on peoples’ lives won’t slow down lawmakers, perhaps ...

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Trump to name U.S. Supreme Court nomination within two weeks of inauguration

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 10:51

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would name a U.S. Supreme Court nominee within about two weeks of his inauguration on Jan. 20. President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland officially expired Jan. 3, with the Senate refusing to hold a hearing or vote on the nomination. There’s been media reports of Democrats promising a ...

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