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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Editorial warns states with HB2 copycat proposals: Don’t do it; you’ll regret it!

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 07:44

This morning’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal has a warning for states like Virginia, Texas and others in which Republican lawmakers are attempting to push HB2 copycat bills: “Learn from our mistake. Don’t do it!” “As the Atlantic Coast Conference looks for a new home, we have some serious advice for neighboring states: Don’t ...

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In north Durham, scientists tackle the health of the Eno River Watershed; public can comment

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 15:19

For the next three weeks, a regiment of scientists and engineers, armed with dippers and water sampling bottles, will travel 72 miles of stream banks in the Eno River Watershed in Durham. They will evaluate stream conditions and water quality in this portion of the watershed — which drains all the way to the Atlantic Ocean — ...

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HB2 and conflicting principles in the new NCGA session

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 14:58

As we reported earlier this week, the controversial House Bill 2 is likely to be revisited in the North Carolina General Assembly’s new legislative session, which kicked off yesterday. As reported by the News & Observer, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore says he wants to find a “compromise” between assuaging business and sports interests that ...

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Following violent altercation at Rolesville High, advocates call for Wake County to remove police from schools

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 14:40

When Letha Muhammad first saw the video of a Rolesville police officer slamming a Wake County teen to the ground, she—like many who have spoken up since the violent encounter last week in a North Carolina high school—says she was “appalled.” “I felt sad for this young lady and her family,” said Muhammad, of the ...

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New study: ACA repeal would be the true job killer

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:39

Despite the fact that 30 million people would become uninsured within two years of repeal, President-Elect Trump and the GOP-led Congress remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they have yet to come up with a replacement plan. If the impact of repeal on peoples’ lives won’t slow down lawmakers, perhaps ...

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Trump to name U.S. Supreme Court nomination within two weeks of inauguration

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 10:51

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would name a U.S. Supreme Court nominee within about two weeks of his inauguration on Jan. 20. President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland officially expired Jan. 3, with the Senate refusing to hold a hearing or vote on the nomination. There’s been media reports of Democrats promising a ...

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Hope amidst the Jones Street gloom: Bipartisan group renews push for redistricting reform (Video)

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 07:15

Sometimes, sound policy solutions take a very long time to percolate their way up to a place at which logic can actually prevail over greed and avarice. Sometimes, of course, they never make it all the way. In the case, however, of the long sought establishment of an independent redistricting commission to replace North Carolina’s ...

The post Hope amidst the Jones Street gloom: Bipartisan group renews push for redistricting reform (Video) appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

2017 legislative session convenes with glimpse of what’s to come; call for bipartisan effort among lawmakers

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 16:11

The North Carolina Senate unanimously passed its rules Wednesday for the 2017 legislative session, including how it will consider confirming gubernatorial nominations or appointments. The rule does not state any sort of timeline for the process. For the first time in North Carolina history, the General Assembly passed a bill during one of the special ...

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Media report: New DPI superintendent hires former McCrory staffers

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 15:09

We’ve talked at Policy Watch about how reluctant new Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Mark Johnson has been to reveal the particulars of his plans for reforming a public school system he slammed as “outdated” last week.  But now, those looking for specifics may have a few tea leaves to read this week. According to a ...

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Memo to GOP: If you want to “work with” Cooper, start by halting the outrageous allegations

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 13:58

Rep. David Lewis, a prominent member of the leadership team in the North Carolina House of Representatives, told WRAL yesterday that legislative Republicans look forward to working with Gov. Roy Cooper this year. “We look forward to finding common ground with the governor. We think there are things that we can work with him on ...

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Charlotte Catholic School teacher fired for same-sex marriage announcement files federal suit

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:29

Lonnie Billard taught drama and English at Charlotte Catholic High School for more than a decade before he was fired in 2014 for announcing his nuptials to his longtime same-sex partner on Facebook. He filed a federal lawsuit today that claims his firing violates the Civil Rights Act. Billard is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ...

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Lawmakers return to town today: How ugly will things get?

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 07:44

The General Assembly officially convenes the 2017 “long” session today (click here for a preliminary primer) and for a lot of people this is dreary prospect. The Charlotte Observer went so far this morning as to use its lead editorial to spell out its five worst fears about the impending session: “1. The legislature’s relationship ...

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Environmental Management Commission Chairman Steve Rowlan resigning

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 17:05

Steve Rowlan, chairman of the Environmental Management Commission for the past year, is resigning and moving to Utah. He announced his resignation via email to his fellow EMC members Monday. Rowlan was the director of environmental affairs for Nucor, a Charlotte steel company, until his retirement last July. “I am excited to pursue these new ...

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UPDATED: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to temporarily halt special legislative elections

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 15:50

This is a breaking news story and will be updated periodically. The U.S. Supreme Court has granted North Carolina’s emergency request to halt this year’s special elections ordered by a lower court after legislative district maps were ruled racially gerrymandered. The order was released about two hours after attorneys for the state filed a brief in support ...

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Sigh…legislature will convene this week and then adjourn for two weeks to rake in PAC/lobbyist cash

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 14:44

In case you’ve been wondering about the General Assembly’s plans for the coming weeks, a recent email from one of House Speaker Tim Moore’s top lieutenants makes things distressingly clear. In a plea for cash sent out by Rep. David Lewis, the powerful Harnett County Republican and Rules Committee chair reveals that: a) lawmakers will ...

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A graphic look at the Voting Rights Act, its gutting, the future

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 12:51

Worth your time today: This cartoon from Andy Warner at The Nib, doing a bit of a deep dive into the Voting Rights Act, its gutting, where we are and where we’re going. The rest of Warner’s cartoons for The Nib are worth checking out, too. You can find them here.

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Study: Not knowledge, not political party, but perceived threat of climate disasters convinces coastal officials to act

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:36

Here’s a troubling statistic: More than 20 percent of coastal government officials surveyed as part of a recent study said they were only slightly informed about climate change. But even for those officials who’ve been keeping up with the greatest existential threat to the planet, just knowing about climate change is not enough to convince ...

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ACA call-in day: Advocates telling Congress to “protect our care”

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 09:00

Congress may vote this week to start unraveling the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even worse, as today’s edition of the Weekly Briefing explains, GOP leaders want to repeal the law without presenting a replacement plan. Not only would over a million North Carolinians lose health insurance coverage under this proposal, repealing the ACA would be a ...

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Durham Charter blames ‘systematic errors’ on improper graduation of 40% of its students

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 09:00

Officials with Kestrel Heights Charter School say an internal investigation uncovered no willful or malicious intent in awarding diplomas to 40 % of its students who did not have the sufficient credit hours to graduate. The Durham County school says their investigation, which stretched back to 2008, found that the “high school principals and counselor ...

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Editorial slams GOP special session power grabs; calls on courts to strike them down

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 07:18

There’s another fine editorial this morning excoriating the General Assembly for its outrageous and, quite likely, unconstitutional pre-Christmas attempts to seize power from Governor Cooper. Here’s the conclusion to “Judges right block legislative power grab” in today’s Winston-Salem Journal: “Republican legislators have said the blocked law [transforming boards of elections] would promote bipartisan oversight of ...

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