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It’s Throwback Thursday with More Tax Cut Proposals

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:55
For Throwback Thursday, the Senate is relishing in old school ideas. Case in point, a bill was filed today to further cut income taxes for the wealthiest taxpayers and profitable corporations – an eerily similar approach as the legislation passed in 2013, which is now hurting our state and economy. Income tax cuts like the ...

New proposed federal rules on payday loan predators: Promising but flawed

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 13:14
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unveiling some long-awaited proposed rules targeting the predatory payday lending industry at a big hearing in Richmond, Virginia today and you can follow along on Twitter at the hashtag #StoptheDebtTrap. Generally, the proposed rules amount to a promising start. There are, however a few worrisome potential loopholes. The ...

State budget cuts force Guilford schools to look to county for support

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:24
Guilford County Schools chief Maurice “Mo” Green is asking the county for an additional $26 million in local funds to help fill the gaps that schools are facing thanks to years of disinvestment in public education by state lawmakers. The News & Record reports that school leaders say they’re persistently seeing increased needs and mandates but dwindling funds. “We’re ...

NC Senate floats yet another silly and simplistic education proposal

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:43
It is becoming increasingly clear that the single, best thing that North Carolina lawmakers could do to aid public education in our state is this: nothing. Seriously, lawmakers would do our young people, educators, public education officials, employers, and the state at-large an enormous service if they would simply pass one bill each year providing ...

From teacher pay to Voter ID, dozens of bills fly in the Senate’s final day to file

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:16
A flurry of bills are being filed in the state Senate this week in advance of today’s deadline* for introducing public bills and resolutions. Here are five bills you may have missed that merit watching: Senate Bill 384 – Increase Pay/Experienced Teachers – Senator Joyce Waddell may be a freshman in the NC Senate, but ...

Could Supreme Court Alabama gerrymandering decision put GOP’s NC maps in jeopardy?

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 07:30
In case you missed it, the U.S. Supreme Court took actually issued a promising 5-4 ruling yesterday in the challenge to Alabama’s racially gerrymandered redistricting plan. Moreover, as the good folks at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice explain in the statement below, the decision could have a significant and positive impact in the challenge ...

Medical cannabis bill killed in the House Judiciary Committee

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:57
A bill to legalize medical marijuana, introduced by Representative Kelly Alexander, was considered by the House Judiciary I Committee today. Despite heart-wrenching testimony from veterans and others with serious medical conditions, the committee took less than thirty seconds to vote to give the bill an unfavorable report. If passed, the bill would have allowed North ...

US House and Senate propose deep cuts to food assistance for families with children, older adults, and people with disabilities

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:09
Food assistance for vulnerable communities would be slashed deeply under budget resolutions that the US House and Senate budget committees approved last week. The cuts would likely increase hunger, thrust more people into poverty, and push families that are poor even deeper into poverty. Considering that North Carolina has the 5th highest level of food insecurity ...

Trending today on Jones Street – Medical marijuana, a major redistricting ruling, and McCrory pans Senate tax plan

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:44
Looking for a quick round-up of the day’s news on Jones Street? Folks packed today’s first committee hearing on medical marijuana, there’s a major Supreme Court ruling on redistricting that could impact North Carolina, and the governor has a few choice words for the Senate’s tax plan. Some of the most retweeted stories are listed ...

Farmworker Awareness Week Events Show Scope of Challenges Farmworkers Face

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:22
Our friends at Student Action with Farmworkers are very busy this week, sponsoring and promoting events for Farmworker Awareness Week. The schedule of events, posted here, shows the range of issues important to the people who harvest our food. Films highlighting farmworkers’ stories and dreams for the future show the rich heritage and cultural contributions ...

Hardworking low-wage North Carolinians take it on the chin once again

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:04
State lawmakers once again turned their back on hardworking North Carolinians who struggle to support themselves and their families with low wages. Yesterday, just before the House Finance Committee was scheduled to debate an economic development bill, House Bill 89, the sponsor stripped out a provision that would have reinstated the state Earned Income Tax ...

Tens of thousands petition Governor to pardon exonerated brothers

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:53
Over 30,000 people have now signed an online petition pressing Governor Pat McCrory to issue a pardon for two half-brothers who were exonerated last September after serving 30 years for a wrongful conviction. Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown were convicted for the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. Three decades later new ...

Where the big-time pollution threat lurks in NC

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 08:03
The debate over fracking in North Carolina and the threat it poses to the long-term well-being of humans and the environment in certain parts of the state is obviously hugely important. But there’s a strong argument to be made that the threat from offshore oil and gas drilling is significantly larger and more worrisome. Not ...

A rally for more unaccountable taxpayer funded vouchers

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 15:09
Folks who support expanding the completely unaccountable school voucher scheme passed by the General Assembly last session were on Jones Street today with a rally and press conference, urging lawmakers to expand the program. One thing they didn’t mention was that there are no strings at all attached to the public funding that goes to ...

Tragic Worker Deaths and Injuries Highlight Dangerous Workplaces in North Carolina

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 13:37
Three workers were killed and one was gravely injured after falling from a scaffold which collapsed yesterday at the Charter Building in downtown Raleigh. A Department of Transportation worker was also killed yesterday in Wayne County. Construction and transportation are some of the most hazardous jobs in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department ...

The Costs of Delay on Immigration Directives

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 12:52
After several states including North Carolina challenged the extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans a preliminary injunction was issued holding up implementation of these immigration directives with the potential to reach 5 million immigrants without documents nationwide. While the issue is considered in the courts, the ...

New report highlight’s NC’s self-destructive decision not to fill the Medicaid gap

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:22
The beneficial impacts of Obamacare continue add up, but unfortunately, North Carolina isn’t getting its fair share. That’s that’s one of the takeaways from a new report distributed yesterday on the fifth anniversary of the law. As health policy expert Tara Culp Ressler of Think Progress reports: “According to a new report from the Department ...

Editorial: Tata needs to focus on his job

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:49
In case you missed it, this morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer rightfully tells the state’s $136,000 per year Transportation Secretary, Tony Tata, to start focusing on his job and ditch the Obama bashing on Fox News with Sean Hannity. Here’s the excellent conclusion: “Why Hannity is turning to Tata for wisdom on ...

Assessing the ACA and its impact on women at age five

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 16:52
Hard numbers and real life stories documented the impact of the Affordable Care Act today at an event in Durham commemorating the law’s fifth anniversary. “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Women” was a roundtable discussion that featured knowledgeable women from throughout Triangle region. Women experts and advocates from Duke Regional Hospital, Enroll ...

Digging a Deeper Hole: Senate Leadership Proposes More Tax Cuts for Profitable Corporations

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 13:39
It bears repeating that the first rule of climbing out of a hole is to stop digging. But some policymakers obviously haven’t learned that lesson. They are pushing more tax cuts for those who need them least, even though revenue for schools and other priorities is coming in below projections because of tax cuts that ...

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