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Updated: 27 min 16 sec ago

Monday deadline looms for eugenics compensation

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 10:32
Monday marks the deadline for victims of North Carolina’s eugenics program to apply for compensation. Some 7500 men and women were involuntarily sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 under the authority of the state Eugenics Board.  It’s estimated fewer than 2,000 of those individuals are still alive. Last year lawmakers set aside $10 ...

Charter school discrimination vote highlights absurdity of voucher law

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 09:00
The North Carolina House voted yesterday to amend the state charter schools law to bar discrimination against children “with respect to any category protected under the United State Constitution or under federal law applicable to the states.” While the language was drawn hastily in the aftermath of Rep. Paul Stam’s embarrassing homophobic rant of the ...

New report: Accidental shootings took lives of 100 children, including 3 in N.C., last year

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 08:15
A hundred children, including three in North Carolina, were shot and killed in accidental shootings last year, largely in situations where loaded guns had been left unattended in places reachable by small children. The 2013 deaths of children under 14 were tallied through press reports by the gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and ...

Charter school bill now includes language barring discrimination against students (video)

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 22:17
House lawmakers approved an amendment to a broader charter school modification bill Thursday that  bars discrimination against students. The legislation, introduced by Buncombe County Republican Rep. Nathan Ramsey, came two days after another non-discrimination amendment was derailed after Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam stated on the House floor that pedophilia and necrophilia were sexual orientations. While ...

Is state program devoted to fighting inefficiency and redundancy redundant?

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 15:39
A friend of NC Policy Watch points out that a new and controversial $4 million McCrory administration program to fight inefficiency in state government may itself be an example of inefficiency and redundancy. As WRAL reported earlier this week, the head of the NC Government Efficiency And Reform initiative (NC GEAR) — a former John ...

Experts: Senate coal ash bill is an improvement but still not nearly enough

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 12:03
Lest anyone have the impression that the coal ash clean-up plan adopted in the Senate yesterday takes care of all of the problems and inadequacies in the Governor’s proposal, be sure to check out this list compiled by the experts at the Southern Environmental Law Center. Though certainly an improvement (the Sierra Club calls it ...

Conservative politico’s charter school still stonewalling on salary info

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 10:57
The once semi-prevalent illusion that the charter school movement is somehow about aiding public education and not just privatizing it continues to fall apart. The latest confirmation comes from the Wilmington Star-News which which has still more news on the stubborn and absurd refusal of charter school chain owned by conservative power broker Baker Mitchell ...

House makes incremental progress on elections transparency; will Senate follow suit?

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 07:17
It kind of feels like dispensing praise for not robbing a bank, but hey, in today’s North Carolina political world , we’ll take what we can get. Accordingly, the House of Representatives deserves a sincere ‘attaboy and ‘attagirl for passing legislation this week to require electronic records filing by most local and state candidates and ...

House Appropriations Committee passes a new $21.25 billion budget as conference process stalls

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 17:35
In a bizarre turn of events, the House Committee on Appropriations met today to review and vote on a new spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The bill passed in what appears to be along partisan lines, and it heads to the House floor tomorrow. For the most part, the new spending plan leaves ...

McCrory partners with Tillis on teacher pay as House revises its education budget proposal

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:24
House Speaker Thom Tillis partnered with Gov. Pat McCrory today to announce their efforts to work together toward a teacher pay plan they characterized as responsible and affordable—but key details of the House’s new mini-budget proposal, unveiled today, remain unclear. “We’ve been preparing plans from not inside the belt line but outside the belt line ...

Statement on the new House Budget from Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:06
The new House budget is a shell game not a financial plan. It moves money around without addressing North Carolina’s growing needs and promoting broad prosperity. It shows once again that the tax plan adopted last year lowers our state’s horizons, making it impossible to meet priorities of all North Carolinians like quality education, healthy ...

What’s really behind the competing budget proposals on Jones Street

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 16:00
As illustrated by Thomas Mills with Politics NC, the state budget will inevitably reflect the ideological interests and goals of the men in charge of our state legislature rather than the actual needs of real people. He writes of their personal motives: The GOP is only unified about two things. First, they want to make sure that ...

New report: Even when powered by coal, electric cars are good for the environment

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 15:17
Who says there’s no good news out there? A new, fascinating and encouraging report from the good people at Environment North Carolina extols the benefits of the growing movement toward electric-powered cars. This is from a release that accompanied the report: “The report, “Driving Cleaner: More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution,” shows that electric vehicles ...

Time finally catching up with Rep. Stam’s hate and bigotry?

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 11:58
It’s funny how time usually seems to catch up to hate and bigotry (and the people who purvey them).  As society progresses and humans become more enlightened, language and viewpoints and images that once were widely held and expressed become less and less acceptable. Sometimes, the change happens rather suddenly — so suddenly that the ...

Breaking: Cell phone privacy upheld by high court

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:33
In what SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein called “a sweeping endorsement of digital privacy,” the U.S. Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cellphone seized from an individual who has been arrested. The direct issue in two cases before the court was whether police could search the ...

Governor orders budget cuts in case budget standoff lingers beyond end of fiscal year

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 09:15
In an unexpected move on Monday, Governor McCrory directed state agencies to prepare for budget cuts in case lawmakers fail to iron out a budget deal before the fiscal year ends in six days. Art Pope, the Budget Director at the Office of State Budget and Management, laid out the budget guidelines in a two-page memo ...

N.C. Rep. Stam calls pedophilia, masochism sexual orientations (with video)

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 08:47
State Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex Republican, rankled his fellow lawmakers and others with comments Tuesday he made on the House floor likening pedophilia and sadism to sexual orientations, as opposed to sexual perversions. Stam is one of the most socially conservative lawmaker in the legislature, and was a leading proponent of 2012’s Amendment ...

N.C. Supreme Court candiate apologizes for campaign running N.C. Policy Watch article without attribution

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:25
A campaign website for a judge running for the state’s highest judicial seat posted an N.C. Policy Watch reporter’s article without attribution, leaving the false impression the article had been written by the judge. Judge Ola Lewis, a Brunswick County Superior Court judge running to be the next chief justice at the N.C. Supreme Court, ...

Is paid family leave really bad for business?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:11
Not  according to a new and detailed report from the wonks at the Center for Economic and Policy Research that examined the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (or FLI)  program. The program allows workers to take up to six weeks of paid leave (capped at $595 a week in 2014) to care for new babies, ...

Supreme Court refuses to hear Wisconsin case on law requiring admitting privileges by abortion providers

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:08
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday blocked efforts by Wisconsin’s Attorney General to reinstate a state law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That provision was one of several restrictive measures hastily passed by the Wisconsin legislature in 2013. In the lawsuit that followed in federal court there, U.S. District Judge William Conley enjoined enforcement ...

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