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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

Undocumented immigrants pay taxes too

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:03
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a study this morning highlighting the current contributions of undocumented immigrants through state and local taxes. In North Carolina, undocumented immigrants pay $278 million in state and local taxes currently. These tax dollars help the state invest in public schools and various other public services. From the ...

Obama is correct about NC’s education drop off

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 09:47
Governor Pat McCrory’s notorious hyper-sensitivity to criticism was on full display yet again yesterday. The Guv went to the trouble of issuing a special statement in response a mild and understated barb from President Obama about the well-documented decline in North Carolina’s commitment to public education. Here’s what the Prez said: “Funding now here in ...

Editorial blasts one of fracking’s most controversial components

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 07:04
This morning’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record has a fine editorial (“Whose property is it, anyway?”) that takes down one of the most pernicious aspects of fracking that was unaddressed by the state’s new law allowing the controversial energy drilling procedure: “forced pooling”: “Forced pooling began with good intentions. It was meant to limit ...

Why so far away? McCrory questions 50-mile drilling buffer

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 21:03
Governor Pat McCrory reiterated his support for offshore drilling to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Wednesday. But McCrory told the congressional panel the federal government’s 50-mile imposed buffer zone “unnecessarily puts much of North Carolina’s most accessible undiscovered resources under lock and key.” McCrory testified that the strict application of that ...

House committee advances bill allowing restricted driving permits for undocumented immigrants (video)

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 18:32
On a voice vote, members of the House Judiciary I committee gave the first approval Wednesday to a piece of legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a one-year restricted driving permit. Rep. Harry Warren of  Rowan County says the legislation has nothing to do with immigration, and would establish a more uniform ...

#1 trending story on Washington Post: White parents in NC use charter schools to secede from system

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:25
Be sure to check out the #1 trending story on the Washington Post this morning — it’s entitled “White parents in North Carolina are using charter schools to secede from the education system.” After detailing the battle over charters and the promise that even many progressives see in them, the article notes: “The most recent ...

Former #ncga Rep. LaRoque gets delay in sentencing date

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:10
Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque will find out his fate this summer , with his sentencing on a criminal charge of stealing federal funds now pushed back to July. LaRoque, a Kinston Republican and former co-chair of the powerful House Rules committee, plead guilty in January in front of Senior U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm ...

Early childhood budget trends in North Carolina

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:00
Editor’s note: The following post by Tracy Zimmerman at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundations, is the latest installment in “Raising the Bar,” a new series of essays and blog posts authored by North Carolina leaders highlighting ways in which North Carolina public investments are falling short and where and how they can be improved. ...

Hillary and the courts

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:01
With the 2016 presidential election already taking shape, one issue that likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton seems certain to emphasize in the months ahead is the future of the federal courts. GOP candidates will no doubt trot out their tired and absurd old claims about opposing “activist liberal judges,” but the truth of the matter ...

Five Fast Facts on Taxes before April 15

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 16:18
Ahead of Tax Day tomorrow, check out these five fast facts on taxes in North Carolina and remember: taxes make possible the smart investments that can build a stronger economy and vibrant communities across the state. More than half of the North Carolina’s revenue is collected through individual income taxes. More than half of North ...

In coal ash criminal proceedings, Duke Energy gets more time for plea hearing

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 14:14
For a short time this past week, it looked like Duke Energy’s negotiated plea agreements resolving coal ash-related federal criminal charges might be coming apart. Under the agreements, as detailed by the company in a February 20 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Duke Energy’s North Carolina subsidiaries would plead guilty to four Clean ...

Lawmakers debate ending personal education plans (PEPs) for at-risk students

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:38
Members of the House Education Committee (K-12) debated a bill Tuesday that would eliminate from public schools personal education plans (PEPs) that are intended to provide additional academic supports to students who are at-risk of failing. “PEPs are just additional paperwork for teachers to have to perform,” said Rep. Bryan Holloway (R-Rockingham), a co-sponsor of ...

With “3 ½ Minutes,” documentary film highlights timely and painful issue

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:21
On November 23, 2012, 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, by Michael Dunn, who was subsequently charged with – and eventually convicted of – first-degree murder. The altercation began with music being played too loud in the parking lot of a gas station and ended with the death of a young ...

NC needs good jobs, not more tax cuts

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:00
Editor’s note: The following post by Jeremy Sprinkle, communications director at the NC State AFL-CIO, is the latest installment in “Raising the Bar” — a new series of essays and blog posts authored by North Carolina leaders highlighting ways in which North Carolina public investments are falling short and where and how they can be ...

DENR gets an earful on coal ash storage permits

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:43
Lee County residents and concerned citizens packed the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford Monday night to voice their opposition to plans that would allow Duke Energy to move up to 20 million tons of coal ash to landfills in Lee and Chatham counties. While Duke Energy says proven technology will ensure that ash is ...

Happy Equal Pay Day

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:42
If you work, you deserve to get paid. Sadly, in these times, even that statement is controversial (just see all our wage theft work). So if it’s hard to even get workers paid, period, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are still opponents to the idea that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Maddening, ...

Op-ed tells it like it is on school vouchers

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:02
In case you missed it the other day, Asheville writer Martin Dyckman published an excellent essay in the Asheville Citizen-Times that explained the real deal with North Carolina’s toxic and troubling school vouchers program. As Dyckman explained, after describing a push poll/robocall he received from the voucher champions at the Pope-Civitas Institute: “Two days later, ...

Improving the formula behind A-F school grades: not gonna happen?

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 07:25
Lawmakers have filed several measures this spring that are intended to fix what they say is the design flaw in the way North Carolina’s new A-F school grades are calculated, including a bill filed last week by Rep. Graig Meyer and Rep. Paul Luebke that would change the formula for school grades so that they better reflect a ...

Close your eyes and maybe nothing bad will happen

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 16:21
It’s a brave new world in North Carolina, where worker fatalities don’t count unless the NC Department of Labor actually investigates them. The News and Observer’s piece yesterday documented another instance of NCDOL’s practice of distancing itself from addressing critical issues facing workers in our state. Last fall, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry refused comment on ...

North Carolina takes the prize for longest unfilled federal judicial vacancy

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 13:59
The nearly ten-year vacant federal district court slot in eastern North Carolina tops the list of “most ridiculously long judicial vacancies that the Senate hasn’t filled,” as highlighted by the Huffington Post this past weekend. Here’s a look at the worst Senate offenders when it comes to not filling long-vacant judgeships in their home states. ...

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