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Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago

State Supreme Court sends one of oldest racial gerrymandering cases back to trial court

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 16:30

A North Carolina racial gerrymandering case that the U.S. Supreme Court sent back to the state Supreme Court has been punted to the trial court. The order in Dickson v. Rucho was released Thursday. “Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s remand and instruction, and after careful consideration, this Court remands this case to the trial court ...

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$1.5 trillion revenue-losing tax cut is windfall for wealthy, leaves out everyone else

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 15:59

After many months of waiting, President Trump and congressional leaders have finally released their tax framework – and, while many details are still missing, enough has been outlined that shows the plan is full of budget gimmicks and major benefits to the wealthiest households. First, this tax plan is not fiscally responsible, as it would dramatically ...

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Chalkbeat: A Q&A with the new academic chief in Tennessee’s charter takeover program

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 15:10

We’ve reported extensively at Policy Watch on the wind-up to North Carolina’s controversial charter takeover program, the Innovative School District. Now, Chalkbeat is offering a Q&A with the new academic chief for Tennessee’s own program, which was used, at least partially, as a model for North Carolina’s fledgling district. North Carolina officials will choose from ...

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NC featured in new national report criticizing legislative overreach vis-à-vis local government

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 14:36

The widely respected American Constitution Society released a new report today that pans the efforts of North Carolina legislators to hamstring local government through state statutes that preempt city and county ordinances. The report is entitled “The Troubling Turn in State Preemption: The Assault on Progressive Cities and How Cities Can Respond.” This is from ...

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Charlotte activist who removed SC Confederate flag barred from Asheville school speech

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:11

  Bree Newsome, the Charlotte activist who rose to national prominence in 2015 after scaling a 30-foot pole to remove a Confederate flag on the South Carolina statehouse grounds, was scheduled to speak to students at Asheville Middle School this week. But the event has been cancelled, with the school system citing a policy barring ...

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Local physicians speak out for reproductive freedom on International Safe Abortion Day

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 09:42

Today, September 28, is International Safe Abortion Day. All across the planet, supporters of reproductive freedom and health are taking action, speaking up and promoting the Twitter hashtag #IResistWePersist. In commemoration of this day, a group of North Carolina physicians have authored the following essay. We’re proud and happy to share it here. North Carolina: ...

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Judicial maps move forward despite pleas to slow down from public, judicial stakeholders

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 06:30

H ouse Republicans in the judicial redistricting committee and two Democrats voted Wednesday to move judicial maps forward despite nearly four hours of debate and public comment that included numerous requests to slow down. With few favorable amendments, the maps in House Bill 717 will remake the structure of the state’s court system, with particularly ...

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Federal judges set hearing in racial gerrymandering case

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:32

The federal three-judge panel overseeing the redrawing of racially gerrymandered legislative districts set a hearing in the case to take place Oct. 12 in Greensboro. All documents in the case have been filed and the court is set to make a decision about whether lawmakers’ proposed legislative maps will be accepted as is or if ...

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GenX crisis deepens as DEQ finds more drinking water wells contaminated

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 17:22

Eight more private drinking water wells near the Chemours plant in Fayetteville have  levels of GenX in them that are higher than the state’s health goal, according to preliminary results released today The health goal for GenX is 140 parts per trillion. The new data brings the total number of affected wells to 19, state ...

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Richard Petty, NASCAR, money and patriotism

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:30

On Monday we looked at the prominent North Carolinians embroiled in the controversy over ongoing pro athlete protests against racial profiling and violence in policing. NASCAR, we said, was an interesting case as no drivers or prominent owners had yet taken a knee or otherwise publicly protested. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. – the sport’s most ...

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BREAKING: Plans for next week’s special legislative session detailed in House Speaker’s memo to GOP members

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:22

As North Carolina lawmakers prepare to return to Raleigh next week for the latest in a seemingly endless series of special legislative sessions, rumors have been plentiful about what might actually be on the agenda. One rumor held that lawmakers would discuss possible constitutional amendments. Another held that next week’s convening would feature only brief, ...

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Greensboro columnist blasts Congressman/Pastor Walker over “eye candy” remark

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 08:50

Just this week, reporter Lauren Horsch of the NC Insider posted a story about how women are still badly under-represented amongst elected officials in North Carolina. Yesterday, we got new confirmation as to why this is so — namely the neanderthal-like attitudes still adhered to by remarkably ignorant men. As the AP reported, one of ...

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Report: Johnston County school pushed back against charter takeover

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 16:00

In case you missed it, North Carolina’s list of schools eligible for a controversial charter takeover program has been whittled down to six schools. That list now includes two schools in Durham, two schools in Robeson County, and one school apiece in the Northampton and Nash-Rocky Mount school districts. But The News & Observer offered ...

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Great news from DC: Republicans admit latest Trumpcare proposal is dead

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 15:30

The good people at Think Progress are reporting that the Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare proposal is officially kaput for the time being: “A hastily written health bill — with deep cuts to Medicaid and major hits to patient regulatory protections — ran into the same political problems as bills before it, and failed to garner enough support ...

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Protesters turn up heat on Duke’s big rate hike

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 09:50

  No commotion. No clapping. No signs. No singing. With the rules of decorum laid out by Capitol Police, Duke Energy Progress District Manager Marty Clayton opened the rate hike hearing Monday night by telling the NC Utilities Commission, “We look forward to hearing from our customers this evening.” That may be true, but it had to ...

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New poll shows overwhelming support for DACA kids

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 08:44

The latest national poll results show that Americans overwhelmingly support legislation  that will allow DACA program participants to stay in the U. S. This from a story on ABC News: “A vast 86 percent of Americans support a right to residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, with support crossing ...

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Advocacy groups pan Tillis’ rigorous proposal to provide undocumented youth with legal status (with video)

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 06:27

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) unveiled a “merit-based” plan on Monday aimed at addressing the legal uncertainty facing young undocumented adults who were brought to this country as children. Tillis says the SUCCEED Act would provide a fair but rigorous track for undocumented children to qualify for conditional permanent resident (CPR) status. Here’s more from ...

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State Board of Ed Chair: Potential charter takeover schools had “plenty of time” to make improvements

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:58

As public school officials narrow down their list of schools eligible for the first year of a controversial charter takeover program, the chair of North Carolina’s top school board says the low-performing schools being considered are due for a change. “There is reason to believe that they’ve had plenty of time to deal with these ...

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North Carolina, sports and protest

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 13:12

Unless you were under a rock (and even if you don’t care about sports) you likely spent the weekend hearing about protests and reactions to protests in professional football, basketball, baseball, even protest (speculation) in NASCAR. The Carolina Panthers took the field for the National Anthem, with no one on the team taking a knee. ...

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Lunch & Listen: As GOP leaders tweak Graham-Cassidy proposal, health care repeal bill is widely unpopular (video)

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 12:35

The latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be before the Senate Finance Committee later today. Senate GOP leaders pushing the Graham-Cassidy plan tweaked the bill over the weekend in hopes of persuading Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote for the measure after losing Sen. John McCain’s support on Friday. But ...

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