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Updated: 2 hours 56 min ago

Despite Obama’s ban, energy companies could still drill off the North Carolina coast; they’ve tried it before

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 11:19

North Carolina has the second-largest coastline on the Eastern Seaboard, but its boundaries extend well into the sea. The state’s administrative borders include 64 million acres in the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, a region rich with rare ecosystems and ripe for offshore drilling. Despite yesterday’s announcement that the Obama administration has banned oil and gas exploration in the Arctic and parts ...

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As NC General Assembly weighs HB2 repeal, LGBT advocates urge for statewide protections again discrimination

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 07:30

Members of the state legislature return to Raleigh today for a fifth special session – this one geared at repealing House Bill 2. The state law, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in March, bans transgender people from using the restroom of their choice  and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. Media ...

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Two transgender perspectives on potential repeal of HB2

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 15:42

With the repeal of HB2 likely to come in tomorrow’s special legislative session, there has been some controversy over the Charlotte City Council’s repeal of the LGBT protections in its original ordinance in a deal with legislative leaders in Raleigh. If both the Charlotte ordinance and HB2 are repealed, the status quo will essentially revert ...

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NC Court of Appeals: Gov. Pat McCrory not immune from open records lawsuit

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 14:30

Gov. Pat McCrory will not be immune from an open records lawsuit in trial court, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. In the opinion, Judge Linda Stevens wrote that McCrory’s attorney failed to properly plead, raise, or argue the affirmative defense of sovereign immunity. The appeal came about from a partial grant of judgment on the ...

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NY Times columnist blasts McCrory’s behavior as emblematic of troubling national trend

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 13:50

If you get a chance, be sure to check out New York Times columnist David Leonhardt’s column from this morning comparing the post-election responses of President Obama and our own Governor Pat McCrory. One demonstrates how to handle an election defeat with class, grace and eye toward the common good, and the other — well, ...

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State Board of Education talks possible lawsuit over legislative limits to their power

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 11:01

Calling House Bill 17 an attempt to “diminish the board’s constitutional authority,” State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey and the members of the state’s governing public school panel retired to close session to discuss their response with attorneys Tuesday morning. Board members indicated they would not be returning to open session to discuss the ...

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North Carolina’s high levels of income inequality no accident

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:27

North Carolina is among the states with the highest income inequality in the country, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. North Carolina ranks 14th in the country, with its richest residents— the top 5 percent of households— having average incomes 14.71 times as large as the bottom 20 ...

The post North Carolina’s high levels of income inequality no accident appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Peevish, petulant and petty to the end: McCrory puts an exclamation point on four dreadful years

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 08:00

There was just a smidgen of hope this week in good government circles that Gov. Pat McCrory would summon up a shred of courage and class and do what’s right by vetoing House Bill 17 from last week’s kangaroo special legislative session — the measure that, among other things, decimates a good deal of gubernatorial ...

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After governor signs controversial bill, State Board of Education chair condemns new law as “unconstitutional”

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 20:02

Minutes after Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday signed a controversial bill mandating stiff new limits on the powers of Gov.-elect Roy Cooper and the State Board of Education—a panel composed of gubernatorial appointees—state board Chairman Bill Cobey vowed his board would meet with their attorneys to consider their response. “I don’t want to pass judgment ...

The post After governor signs controversial bill, State Board of Education chair condemns new law as “unconstitutional” appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Did Gov. McCrory battle court packing scheme, or was it a media myth?

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 18:28

In a press release late Monday Gov. Pat McCrory said he would sign N.C. House Bill 17 – the bill that strips incoming governor Roy Cooper of a number of powers and appointments McCrory enjoyed while in office. But one of the stand-out statements in the release had nothing to do with HB17. In listing ...

The post Did Gov. McCrory battle court packing scheme, or was it a media myth? appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Gov. McCrory will sign HB17, stripping next governor of various powers, appointments

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 18:14

Governor Pat McCrory will sign N.C. House Bill 17, stripping incoming Gov. Roy Cooper of a number of powers and appointments. McCrory made the announcement late Monday in a prepared statement. “Last week, I was extremely proud of our bipartisan effort to enact much needed relief to help our citizens recovering from Hurricane Matthew. “I ...

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Incoming N.C. schools chief applauds transfer of powers to his office

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 14:41

North Carolina’s incoming secretary of public education—Winston-Salem Republican Mark Johnson—is reportedly celebrating last week’s highly controversial move by state lawmakers to shift powers from the State Board of Education to his office. While he didn’t respond to questions for comment on the bill from his local paper, the Winston-Salem Journal reports that the corporate attorney, who ...

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Mere HB2 repeal is not enough to put things back where they were for workers

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 14:09

Regardless of how one feels about the apparent deal engineered by Gov.-elect Cooper, the Charlotte City Council and state legislative leaders today (i.e. a long overdue return to sanity that paves the path to further progress or a troubling backroom deal that abandons trans people), it needs to be pointed out that merely repealing HB2 ...

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Prominent NC conservative on special session last week: ‘Would have been better to provide more time’

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 12:30

John Hood, president of the John William Pope foundation, told Vice News on Friday that Republicans in the North Carolina legislature may wish they had slowed their roll. “These are significant changes to the government of the state,” he said. “It would have been better to provide more time.” He was speaking about last week’s surprise ...

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Cooper: Special Session tomorrow to repeal HB2

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 10:22

Governor-Elect Roy Cooper says a special session will be called Tuesday to repeal the controversial N.C. House Bill 2. The announcement came after the Charlotte City Council voted Monday morning to repeal its own ordinance granting LGBT protections, including the ability of transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity. The repeal ...

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McCrory has still not signed one major bill from last week’s special session

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 09:16

For what it’s worth — and it may not be much — Gov. Pat McCrory has still not signed House Bill 17 from last week’s special session. This is the bill, you will recall, that  makes a host of changes (and by changes, I mean drastic reductions) in the powers of the Governor’s office in ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 15:06

1. The cynical, undemocratic and outrageous spectacle in Raleigh Early in the special legislative session Wednesday called by Gov. Pat McCrory for disaster relief, House Rules Chair David Lewis responded on the House floor to a question about the rules governing the session by saying House leaders were trying to be “as transparent as they ...

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McCrory signs Senate Bill 4 in less than an hour; appoints chief of staff’s wife to Industrial Commission

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 14:06

Well, that was fast. Less than an hour after Senate Bill 4 made it back to the Senate after it was passed in the House, Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law and then recommended his chief of staff’s wife as an appointment to the Industrial Commission. The outgoing governor has not responded to multiple ...

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The startling dishonesty of the power grabbers

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 09:59

One of the most striking things about the unprecedented power grabbing currently underway at the General Assembly is the dishonesty of some of the people leading the offensive effort. Case in point is House Rules Chair David Lewis, who as we reported this week, started the disaster relief session claiming that House leaders were being ...

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Even Pope group, former GOP governor join opposition to legislative power play

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 08:37

Lest anyone find themselves falling for the absurd claim emanating from GOP excuse makers in the state Legislative Building that this week’s special session power play is just “business as usual” in North Carolina politics, think again. It is, in fact, an unprecedented and outrageous assault on democracy that lawmakers are taking so many enormously ...

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