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Updated: 2 hours 14 min ago

Last Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 10/17/2016 - 05:00

1. McCrory administration asks schools to submit plans for $173 million budget cut: Request comes despite large state surplus and big unmet education needs After years of complaints of paltry spending on public education in North Carolina, public school leaders say they may soon be facing another round of devastating cuts. School officials say a ...

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A sobering look at health – and health care – in North Carolina

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 15:58

As part of the News & Observer & Charlotte Observer’s look at how the state is doing heading toward the Nov. 8 election, the papers are doing great work looking at health issues in the state. From today’s piece on the thousands of North Carolinians who lack health insurance:   North Carolina is below the ...

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This Week in Pollution: coal ash, wastewater, dead animals

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 15:06

Reason No. 42,098 not to enter flooded areas: The historic high water that has inundated eastern North Carolina is a toxic vichysoisse of sewage, animal waste, coal ash and carcasses from the thousands of industrialized farms — all of which threaten the health of people living in that area. The state agriculture department estimates that at least 2 million dead ...

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NC Democratic Party suing State Board of Elections to extend voter registration deadline

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 14:31

The North Carolina Democratic Party filed a lawsuit today against the State Board of Elections to extend voter registration by five days. The deadline for residents to register is at 5 p.m., but many counties are experiencing significant flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The suit, which also names Kim Strach, Board of Elections executive ...

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Roy Williams’ inspiring stance on the National Anthem controversy

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 11:58

In case you missed it in all the hubbub this week (or just never received your newspaper, as has happened to a lot of folks), one of the most encouraging North Carolina political stories emanated from the world of sports. As Raleigh’s News & Observer reported Wednesday, UNC basketball coach Roy Williams has had some ...

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Editorial: Extend voter registration deadlines in aftermath of deadly storm

Fri, 10/14/2016 - 07:31

With Hurricane Matthew’s flood waters not yet receded, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people in our state are not in a position right now to get the details of their lives fully in order. This would clearly include registering to vote. While the recent action of the federal Court of Appeals striking down ...

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Department of Justice to begin collecting nationwide police use of force data

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 16:18

The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it plans to launch an online database early next year to begin tracking all instances of police use of force across the nation, not just incidents that lead to death. The effort is the largest federal undertaking of its kind but not unprecedented, and comes in the wake of numerous police-involved ...

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State charter school board talks streamlining charter approvals

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 14:51

As we reported at Policy Watch in August, members of the State Board of Education (SBE) and their Charter School Advisory Board aren’t seeing eye to eye these days. Case in point: Several charter board members and charter advocates expressed outrage after SBE members turned down a slate of prospective new charters this summer, citing ...

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More than 300 editorial boards across the nation have called for hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nomination

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 13:56

There have been 638 editorials written by more than 300 editorial boards in every U.S. state urging the Senate to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. Veteran D.C. court watcher and environmental policy advocate Glenn Sugameli released a state-by-state compilation of excerpts and links to the editorials. Of the ...

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Vinroot on Voter ID: No secret about it – Republicans tried to “curtail” Democrats

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 09:42

The Charlotte Observer’s Taylor Batten has an amazing account of Republican Richard Vinroot speaking out on the motivation behind voter ID. Vinroot, a respected Republican who served as Charlotte’s mayor from 1991–1995 and made three unsuccessful runs for governor, was asked about voter fraud and the need for voter ID at a Charlotte business lunch ...

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Authors of HB2 special session say “no” to holding one for hurricane response

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 09:35

Sometimes you just can’t, as they say, make this stuff up. In March of this year, North Carolina’s political leadership took the extraordinary step of summoning 170 legislators to Raleigh for a special session of the General Assembly. The urgent purpose: to pass a law enshrining discrimination against LGBTQ North Carolinians in state law. Now, ...

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Today’s “must read” news story: The hate that helped fuel and sustain HB2

Thu, 10/13/2016 - 08:15

Be sure to check out a powerful news article that appears in this morning’s Charlotte Observer. In “Permission to hate: North Carolina doesn’t see a need to protect LGBTQ people. But we found victims whose stories say otherwise,” reporter Elizabeth Leland details the experiences of several LGBTQ North Carolinians who have been discriminated against, victimized ...

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State Board of Elections addresses voting contingencies after Hurricane Matthew

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 17:09

Many North Carolina counties are still recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, but voting must go on. In a memo Wednesday to County Boards of Elections, the State Board instructs officials to process voter registration through next week regardless of the postmark, as long as the voter’s application is dated by the Friday deadline. ...

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Planned Parenthood CEO makes stop in Triangle, encourages women to vote in upcoming election

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 16:00

Women’s rights are very much on the ballot this November, and now more than ever, they should exercise their right to vote, according to Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. Richards was in the Triangle as part of an effort to raise awareness of reproductive rights and other women’s issues in the run-up to the election. ...

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HPU Poll finds likely voters more cynical about politics overall

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 14:54

In case you needed confirmation that the sky is blue, water is wet and even likely voters are cynical about politics…the latest High Point University poll has you covered. From the poll: The new HPU Poll reports that large majorities of likely North Carolina voters agree that they are well-qualified to participate in elections (96 ...

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State charter school board to consider virtual charter report; application process Thursday

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 14:44

North Carolina’s Charter School Advisory Board, which makes pivotal recommendations to the State Board of Education, is expected to consider a slate of items Thursday that includes a report on a virtual charter pilot program and the ever-bustling application process for new charter openings. Since North Carolina lifted the 100-school cap on charters in 2011, the ...

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In eastern NC, hog lagoons, coal ash basins flooded; environmental damage still unknown

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 12:26

  The Neuse River has flooded three inactive coal ash basins at Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee plant near Goldsboro. However, the extent of the damage and any contamination will be unknown until the waters recede. Mike Rusher, spokesman for the NC Department of Environmental Quality, said an active ash pond at Lee was recently reinforced under ...

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Former North Carolina governor thinks Senate should have confirmed Obama’s Supreme Court pick

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 10:30

Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin told The Charlotte Observer the Senate should have confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. He told the newspaper the most important issue to him is the choice of Supreme Court justices. “The way to address it is to make sure we have a ...

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Is this the dumbest statement yet about the National Anthem controversy at ECU?

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 09:49

There have been a lot of ridiculous and irresponsible (and even dangerous) responses to the peaceful protest undertaken by some members of the East Carolina University marching band during the playing of the National Anthem at a recent football game. As a story in Raleigh’s News & Observer highlighted once more yesterday, the bizarre claims ...

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WATCH: McCrory, Cooper spar over HB2 repeal in gubernatorial debate

Wed, 10/12/2016 - 06:15

Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper wasted little time Tuesday evening in getting down to a heated exchange over North Carolina’s brand, and the need to repeal the anti-LGBT law known as HB2.

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