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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Weekend editorials: Criticism of HB2 referendum idea piles up

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:30
Two more of the state’s major newspapers weighed in against the idea floated by some state lawmakers last week of putting HB2 on the November ballot. The editorials in the Wilmington Star-News and the Greensboro News & Record come on top of another one that blasted the plan in last Thursday’s edition of Raleigh’s News ...

Governor McCrory still spinning economic record, using economic measure that is out of touch with reality

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 15:10
Governor McCrory is at it again, peddling the myth that his team made North Carolina’s economy the best in the country. On Thursday, the administration trumpeted the glad tidings that North Carolina’s gross domestic product (GPD) grew faster than any other state since he took office. If that sounds out of touch, it is. Wages ...

The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 13:00
1. Why McCrory and Berger have already lost the debate over HB2 Regardless of what happens in the new legislative session, North Carolina’s “brand” is badly damaged for the foreseeable future It’s funny how politics and policy debates work. For five years, politicians with a destructive and reactionary agenda have been taking a wrecking ball ...

HB2 update: Guv flummoxed in Fox interview; Berger letter gets truth edits; N&R sportswriter says McCrory must “stand up”

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 09:44
If anything, the news surrounding North Carolina’s troubled LGBT discrimination law, HB2. has only grown in intensity this week. Here are three items  from just the last few hours: #1 – Pat McCrory went on Fox News last night to defend the law but found himself getting raked over the coals by host Megyn Kelly. ...

President nominates veteran state court judge to federal bench; Burr (surprise!) will block

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 08:09
Ho hum. Another day in which President Obama nominates a respected and highly qualified jurist to the federal bench; another day in which North Carolina’s senior senator makes himself look foolish in announcing he will block the nomination. And, of course, the fact that she would be the first person of color to serve as ...

Many communities still struggling, according to latest employment data

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 15:14
State leaders should not lose sight of the fact that many communities across the state are still struggling to erase the damage left by the Great Recession. While parts of the state have long-since surpassed their pre-recession economic peaks, more than half of the counties in the state still have fewer jobs than they did ...

Major education nonprofit, North Carolina New Schools, to close, WRAL reports

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 14:52
Surprising news from WRAL today about a theoretically well-funded education nonprofit that is shutting its doors.  The news station reports that North Carolina New Schools, a group that helps to train teachers and administrators across the state, will be closing, although no reason was provided. From WRAL: A spokeswoman for the group said it is a ...

No more March madness in NC? Sure looks like it after NCAA adopts new nondiscrimination rule

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 13:37
The good folks at Think Progress have even more bad news for the state of North Carolina in the ongoing wake of HB2: On Wednesday, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a new requirement: Sites bidding on NCAA events must demonstrate that they will provide a safe environment, free of discrimination. The directive could have ...

Is an eight-justice Supreme Court the new normal?

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 09:44
That’s one of the provocative questions that constitutional scholar Michael Gerhardt will tackle at the next NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon on Tuesday May 10 in Raleigh. RSVP today as it’s sure to be a full house. Here are the details: A conversation with nationally acclaimed scholar, author and commentator Michael Gerhardt: The Merrick ...

New York Times features voting rights op-ed by Rev. Barber

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 06:49
Be sure to check out the opinion section of the New York Times this morning, which features an op-ed by Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP entitled “The Retreat From Voting Rights.” Here are some highlights: “ON Monday, Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, N.C., upheld legislation passed in ...

Initial review of Governor’s modest public safety budget

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 17:08
Safe communities and efficient courts contribute to a quality of life in local communities that is attractive for raising a family and operating a business. Revisions to the Governor’s modest budget for Justice and Public Safety largely consist of funding for pay increases for state employees, in which the majority of these dollars represent one-time ...

Initial review of Governor’s higher ed budgets that fail to ensure affordable higher education

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 15:54
Here are key highlights from Gov. McCrory’s proposed higher education budgets. Community College System Consists of 58 community colleges across the state serving all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The community college budget follows a larger trend of failing to boost public investment in the state’s education pipeline, with the exception of some additional funding ...

Initial review of Governor McCrory’s modest budget for Natural and Economic Resources

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 15:24
Governor McCrory’s proposed budget for Natural and Economic Resources (NER) devotes additional funds for some critical needs. If the legislature acts on his recommendations, it would mean more support for apprenticeship programs, main street revitalization in rural North Carolina, removing underground gas storage tanks, and handful of other laudable goals. That said, Governor McCrory’s budget ...

Leading HB2 supporter says banning discrimination against LGBT people “undermines freedom”

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 15:13
The head of the misnamed NC Values Coalition confirmed again this week what we already knew about the real motivation behind HB2. Coalition head Tammy Fitzgerald said in an absurd column run on the Daily Signal, part of the Heritage Foundation, that any effort to add discrimination protections for LGBT people to state law was an effort ...

Inital review of Governor’s K-12 education budget: Falls short of ensuring public schools have adequate resources

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 14:57
Gov. McCrory’s proposed revised budget for K-12 education for the upcoming fiscal year maintains the status quo for public investments in public schools. Under the Governor’s budget, state funding per student remains well below pre-recession spending when adjusted for inflation and schools will continue to be hurting for resources.* Teacher pay is just one thing ...

Follow the money: The Governor’s budget keeps phased-in income tax cuts on the books, proposes no further rate changes, and leaves nearly $5 million on the table

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 14:43
Today, Governor Pat McCrory unveiled a budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year that provides modest funding increases to support early learning, education, mental health, and inconsistent pay bumps for teachers and state employees. His $22.3 billion budget proposal represents a 2.8 percent—or $600 million—increase over the current 2016 fiscal year budget. The Governor’s budget ...

Delivering efficient, effective, equitable public services

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 13:54
The operations of government and the targeted deployment of public services for public goals is the purpose of the General Government budget area. In year’s past, the General Government area of the budget has supported important investments in affordable housing development and the supports to managing efficient and effective core functions of government. Here are ...

ICYMI: Stephen Colbert offers his take on NC’s #HB2 (video)

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 13:51
From CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

Preliminary Review of Governor’s Health and Human Services Budget: Supporting the Health, Safety and Well-being of North Carolina Families

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 12:04
Public investments in health and human services of the state budget provide protections for the health and well-being of North Carolina families, children and seniors.  By strengthening healthy outcomes and ensuring access to high quality health services, North Carolina policymakers can improve the quality of life of all North Carolinians and build healthy communities that ...

Statement on Governor’s Released Budget Proposal from Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget and Tax Center

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 11:13
Now with the Governor’s budget proposal released, it is clear that unanticipated revenues available due to a recovering national economy and the lower than anticipated costs in Medicaid are allowing the  Governor to pursue small, targeted investments to promote child well-being and support improved educational outcomes. These additional investments represent a small fraction of what ...