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Will same-sex marriages soon be fully and officially recognized in NC?

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 09:07
Is such a momentous and historic victory really on the foreseeable horizon? Don’t miss your chance to learn the answers to this and other related related questions this Thursday August 7 at a very special NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon. The freedom to marry in North Carolina: Now what? Featuring Chris Brook, Legal Director ...

McCrory now reading budget AFTER deciding to sign it

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 07:33
Governor Pat McCrory called reporters to his office Friday afternoon and with his cabinet standing dutifully behind him proclaimed that he will be proud to sign the budget passed by the House and Senate. In case you are wondering when the signing ceremony will take place, a Monday Associated Press story reported that it will happen ...

Business incentives that are a real leap of faith: State of Kentucky to help pay for Noah’s Ark

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 14:46
The Christian organization Answers in Genesis, known for its rigorous campaigning against “secular evolutionists” through young earth creationist propaganda, has been struggling financially over the years to raise enough funds to build its $150 million Noah’s Ark theme park. But thankfully Kentucky, one of the few states that can apparently compete with North Carolina when it ...

Will Gov. McCrory veto a bill that makes charter schools less transparent and fails to protect LGBT students?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 13:05
Last week, I wrote about a bill that the General Assembly passed that would allow private, for-profit charter school management companies to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds. That bill, SB 793, or ‘Charter School Modifications,’ also ended up with no protections for LGBT students at charter schools, ...

Courts continue to reject admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 12:04
For the second time in days, a federal judge has ruled as unconstitutional state provisions requiring doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The decision in Alabama by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson follows a 2-1 decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29, rejecting a similar ...

Don’t miss this Thursday’s luncheon on what’s next in the marriage equality fight

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 11:25
NC Policy Watch, the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina are proud to announce a very special Crucial Conversation — The freedom to marry in North Carolina: Now what? Click here to register Featuring Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation; Jen Jones, Director of Communications and Outreach ...

Running government like a business…that’s going under

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 08:45
The right-wingers in charge at the North Carolina General Assembly made much of their desire to “run government like business” upon assuming power a few years ago and it’s clear now that they have succeeded. The only problem is that the business in question is probably Lehman Brothers or maybe Enron. Editorials in this weekend’s ...

Statement from Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, on the final budget

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 12:23
The NC House gave final approval (66-44) Saturday to a $21.1 Billion state budget. The measure now heads to Gov. McCrory, who said on Friday he would be proud to sign it. The Director of the NC Budget & Tax Center says the plan places our state on an unsustainable path. Here’s the full statement ...

Tennessee will shutter virtual school run by K12, Inc., for-profit company seeking to set up in North Carolina

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 16:27
Tennessee’s education commissioner has ordered the closure of a struggling K12, Inc.-operated online school, as lawmakers here at home debate a budget proposal that could pave the way for K12 to finally set up shop in North Carolina. Tennessee Virtual Academy began operating in 2011 and struggled to produce positive academic results from the get ...

UNC system puts brakes on using tuition revenue for need-based aid

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:36
North Carolina’s public universities can’t keep turning to tuition revenues to fund need-based aid for lower-income students, a move could lessen how much aid is available for coming classes and lead some to take on more student loans. The university system’s Board of Governors unanimously passed a four-year tuition proposal Friday that puts a 15 ...

$500 raise a “slap in the face” for school bus drivers, teacher assistants and other public school employees

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:19
Bettina Vinson has driven a school bus in Wake County for 17 years, and when she learned that after years of frozen pay she would receive a $500 raise according to the budget proposal state legislators are debating now in Raleigh, she was shocked. “It was like a slap in the face,” said Vinson. Lawmakers ...

Attorneys asking Supreme Court to review 4th Circuit ruling on Obamacare tax credit

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:49
Last week’s unanimous Fourth Circuit ruling in King v. Burwell, upholding the availability of Affordable Care Act tax credits to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange, may be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday, attorneys for challengers to that ruling filed a petition asking the high court to take the ...

Budget moves forward without acknowledgement of higher cost of tax plan

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:53
Over the course of the past three days, nearly 10,000 North Carolinians signed a petition calling on legislators to address the rising cost of the tax cuts that passed last year.  Tax cuts that primarily benefit wealthy taxpayers and profitable corporations.  The petition was delivered yesterday to legislators and yet early this morning the Senate ...

Here we go again with the three-judge court

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:10
The notion that the state should have a three-judge panel at the trial court level to decide constitutional challenges to state laws was the brainchild of the Senate, appearing in its budget back in May. Although the House had no similar language in its draft budget, the provision is back in the latest (and supposed final) ...

Latest budget details eugenics claims payment process

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:17
Provisions in the latest budget explain the payment process for the 780 eugenics claims submitted to the Office for Justice for Sterilization Victims by the June 30 deadline, and set some hard deadlines for those whose claims have been received by the deadline but are missing information. (Despite a request by the state NAACP, the General Assembly ...

‘New kid on the block’ scolds Senate leaders over budget rush-job (video)

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 09:58
Senator Jeff Jackson took Senate leaders to task Thursday for rushing to approve the $21.1 billion budget plan just hours after the 260-page document had been made public. The Mecklenburg County Democrat, appointed in May to  replace former state Senator Dan Clodfelter, chastised the chamber for failing to include any members of minority party in ...

How soon before Amendment One is off the books? Join NC Policy Watch August 7th for this special Crucial Conversation

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 08:10
This week’s marriage equality ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Bostic v. Schaeffer  has prompted a great deal of celebration by equality supporters in North Carolina and around the country. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s quick follow-up announcement that the state would no longer seek to defend the marriage discrimination ...

N.C. charter school advocates Baker Mitchell, Paul Norcross resign from advisory board

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 16:49
Two members of the state’s advisory board for charter schools unexpectedly submitted their resignations yesterday. Both Baker Mitchell, of Wilmington, and Paul Norcross, of High Point, co-founded charter schools and have been some of the more prominent advocates through the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools for the privately-run but publicly-funded schools. They also both ...

An August recess? General Assembly to pass budget, take a two-week vacation

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:04
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how the North Carolina General Assembly is starting to look and sound more and more like Congress — especially when it comes to the influence of big dollars from corporate fat cats and plain old, general dysfunction. Today, we got another persuasive indicator: Legislators ...

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos honored at “old-fashioned love fest”

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:43
Aldona Wos, North Carolina’s embattled Health and Human Services Secretary, was the woman of the hour at a luncheon held Wednesday that included remarks from Gov. Pat McCrory that Wos has been unfairly criticized. The Greensboro News & Record covered the event sponsored by the Greensboro Partnership, a booster group for city, that honored Wos.  ...

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