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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

New report: What NC needs to do in 2018 to make elections work better

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 07:43

The good people at Democracy North Carolina are out with a “must read” new report this morning. This is from the release that accompanied it: (Durham, N.C.) — Democracy North Carolina, the state’s leading election watchdog organization, today released a comprehensive review of the 2016 election, providing detailed recommendations for improving voters’ experience at the ...

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State Board of Education questions small pool of applicants for Innovative School District

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 15:12

State Board of Education members say they’re concerned just two applicants are in the running for a contract in North Carolina’s controversial Innovative School District (ISD). “In my experience in the contract world, I’m just concerned that we only have two players wanting to participate with us,” said board member Eric Davis Wednesday, just weeks ...

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UNC-Pembroke Chancellor on reduced tuition experiment

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 14:12

When the N.C. legislature approved dropping tuition at some UNC schools to $500 a semester last year, there were a lot of concerns – lost revenue, the perceived value of a degree, what it would mean for the schools’ reputations to suddenly and explicitly become “value” universities. Two historically black colleges – including Winston-Salem State ...

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5 questions with Brennan Center’s Alicia Bannon, NC judicial expert

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:13

Alicia Bannon is an expert in North Carolina’s judicial woes. She serves as senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice and has authored several nationally-recognized reports and articles on judicial selection, access to justice and government dysfunction. Bannon has been keeping a close eye on the North Carolina legislature’s calculated moves to take over ...

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What’s race got to do with it? Census data show Black, Latino neighborhoods especially vulnerable to air pollution

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 11:09

Editor’s Note: This is part of an occasional series of NC Policy Watch blog posts examining disproportionate impacts on race — in the environment, education, the courts and other sectors — and the structural issues that lead to these inequalities. Some time next year it’s expected money will start flowing from North Carolina’s $92 million ...

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Editorial: Most recent GOP gerrymandering proves need for nonpartisan redistricting

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 09:10

The Fayetteville Observer is on the money again this morning with its assessment of the federal court fight over legislative redistricting that continues to drag on in Greensboro. The conclusion: If this doesn’t prove the need for nonpartisan redistricting that puts an end to political gerrymandering, nothing will. After explaining that federal judges will hear ...

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“There is no choice”: Teens petition Environmental Management Commission to reduce carbon emissions to zero

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 07:30

Although the eastern half of the United States is gripped by a record-setting cold snap, the frigid weather — contrary to Tweets from @realdonaldtrump — doesn’t indicate that climate change is waning. In fact, much of the rest of the globe is warmer than average, as much as 6 degrees above normal in the Arctic. ...

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State Board of Education to talk charter takeover program Wednesday

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 15:30

North Carolina’s top public school board, the State Board of Education, will get an update this week on the state’s Innovative School District (ISD), which is hoping to launch a charter takeover of one struggling school in Robeson County this year. The controversial program, backed by most GOP legislators in the N.C. General Assembly, would ...

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Republican Senators will give Democrats 2 hours to present at judicial reform meeting

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 14:55

Senate Democrats will have a chance Wednesday to sound off on judicial selection at a committee meeting and they plan to make the most of their time. After an exchange of letters between lawmakers serving on the Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting, the Republican co-chairs reserved two hours of the scheduled four-hour ...

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Get the lowdown on the North Carolina economy at January 8 Budget and Tax Center luncheon

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 12:15

The experts at the  North Carolina Budget and Tax Center will be holding forth on the state of the North Carolina economy at a Raleigh luncheon next Monday, January 8. Here are the details:   JOIN US IN THE NEW YEAR to hear timely analysis of the state of North Carolina’s economy. Analysts from the ...

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Editorial calls GOP scheme to slash judicial terms “a travesty”

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 08:30

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Sunday editorial in the Wilmington Star News joined a long list of critics to blast the latest Republican assaults on the state courts. The editorial reserved some of its sharpest criticism for Senate Bill 698 — a cockamamie plan to make every judge in the state ...

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Five things to have on your radar this week

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 05:00

#1 – Activists who have staged weekly protests outside Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh for nearly a year brave the frigid temps and return today at 11:30 am to express their outrage at his vote in favor of the GOP tax bill. Learn more about their ongoing protests here. #2 – The North Carolina ...

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Two days remain to comment on how DEQ should spend $92 million to clean up the state’s air

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 11:50

Tell the Division of Air Quality what projects you think the state should fund using the $92 million settlement money to reduce diesel pollution. Submit comments by 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 to this email address: daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Response to NC VW RFI”. A Boeing 737 headed for the runway a Piedmont ...

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Parties in racial gerrymandering case submit requests, questions for special master

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 12:50

A federal court told parties to a racial gerrymandering case last week that if they had questions for the special master to submit them ahead of the Jan. 5 hearing. Legislative defendants on Wednesday submitted 42 requests to the court for the special master to answer but none are in the form of a question. ...

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NC teacher decries legislature’s class size scam, promotes January 6 rally to demand action

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 10:35

In case you missed it over the holiday weekend, be sure to check out the op-ed penned by Charlotte educator Justin Parmenter regarding the impending crisis in out public schools that is the result of the General Assembly’s bogus plan to mandate K-3 class size reductions without providing the money to do the job. As ...

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More compelling evidence that Trump’s federal court nominee for NC is the wrong man for the job

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 11:15

In case you missed it over the holiday weekend, be sure to check out a story by Anne Blythe and Brian Murphy in Raleigh’s News & Observer about the passionate and growing opposition to Thomas Farr, Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the decade-old vacancy on the U.S. District Court bench in North Carolina’s Eastern District. ...

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Concerned about harm to sea life, DEQ temporarily blocks energy companies from seismic air gun testing off NC coast

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 08:33

New science about the hazards of seismic air gun testing could waylay plans of four international companies that had planned to explore and drill for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast. As part of its consistency review, the state Division of Coastal Management late last week asked the companies for more information about ...

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Republicans set conditions for Democrats who requested speakers at judicial reform meeting

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 16:37

The Republican lawmakers who head up a committee on judicial reform and redistricting have responded to Democrats’ recent request for certain speakers with their own set of demands. Senators Terry Van Duyn, Floyd McKissick, Joel Ford and Jay Chaudhuri wrote a letter last week asking for seven speakers to appear at the Jan. 3 meeting ...

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The best editorial of the Christmas weekend blasts Senator Tillis’ take on taxes

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 10:55

Raleigh’s News & Observer was right on the money over the weekend in “With sweeping tax cuts, US follows NC over a fiscal cliff.” As the editorial explained the notion that North Carolina’s ongoing experiment in trickledown economics  provides some kind of model for the nation when it comes to tax and budget policy is ...

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