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Updated: 22 min 16 sec ago

State House member to constituents: Spare members from voting on controversial measures

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 09:15
You have to wonder what was going through Rep. Chuck McGrady’s head the other day when he was composing his latest newsletter for his constituents in House District 117. McGrady, who has a reputation as a relative moderate in the House GOP caucus, devoted the newsletter to a survey of the conservative social agenda bills ...

NC House saves controversial items for another day (video)

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 20:39
Two bills guaranteed to spark fireworks in the state House were not heard Monday evening as had been expected. Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer requested her bill (House Bill 562) eliminating North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit system be sent back to the Rules Committee. (Presently the Rules Committee is not scheduled to meet this week.) The Mecklenburg ...

Another national outlet hones in on UNC system’s Board of Governors

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 14:11
The Nation became the latest national media group to offer its thoughts on the changing direction of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors, with the publication today of “How A Right-Wing Political Machine is Dismantling Higher Education in North Carolina.” The progressive magazine took aim at recent decisions like the firing of UNC ...

More responses to Guv’s abortion flip flop

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 12:31
This morning’s edition of “Monday Numbers” has all the sobering stats you could want regarding Governor McCrory’s rather remarkable decision to go back on his 2012 campaign promise in which he pledged not to approve any new restrictions on a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. Click here if you haven’t already tired of watching ...

Moore County school board fires superintendent, state lawmaker blocks board from hiring new one

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 10:07
Without explanation, the Moore County school board decided last week to fire its superintendent in a 5-3 vote — and since then a political firestorm has erupted, with three members of the board resigning following intense community pressure and a state lawmaker filing a temporary restraining order blocking the board from hiring a new schools ...

With gun bill looming, courageous moms speak out

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 07:46
One of the best op-eds of the weekend came, as usual, from Ned Barnett of Raleigh’s News & Observer who shined a light on some courageous folks who’ve been working to stop the General Assembly’s latest nonsensical push to further the spread of easy guns into every nook and cranny. In “Code orange in North ...

This week’s top five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 14:18
1. Grades for a roller-coaster week in Raleigh Well, that was quite an up and down week in the North Carolina public policy arena. One minute, caring and thinking people were feeling encouraged and hopeful that common sense and relative moderation were mounting a serious comeback in the capital city. The next, they were pounding ...

New polling: Marriage equality reaches a tipping point in NC

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 12:05
Even as lawmakers move to override Governor McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2 — the proposal to allow magistrates, registers of deeds and assistant registers of deeds opt out of performing same sex marriages — North Carolina public opinion continues to move rapidly in the direction of tolerance. One of the nation’s most accurate polling ...

First the dentists, now the lawyers

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 09:34
LegalZoom, the online provider of legal forms and other services, has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the North Carolina State Bar for $10.5 million, contending that the bar is unlawfully prohibiting the company from providing prepaid legal services in the state. (The state bar is the state agency responsible for regulating the practice of law in North ...

Advocates respond to legislation that guts the state Environmental Protection Act

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 09:27
Yet another measure to emerge from the General Assembly during a wild week on Jones Street was a proposal to dramatically amend the state Environmental Protection Act. According to advocates at the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, the legislation portends disaster. Here are the statements from the two groups: NC Sierra Club Statement ...

State Board of Education approves twelve charter schools to open in 2016

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 16:24
A day after lengthy discussion about how a significant number of charter school applicants recommended to set up shop in North Carolina were moved forward along with significant reservations about their ability to accomplish their proposed missions, the State Board of Education voted Thursday to approve 12 out of the 18 charter school hopefuls to ...

Justice (finally) for two highlights justice denied to scores of others on death row

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 15:40
The good people at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation issued the following important statement in the wake of Gov. McCrory’s absurdly-delayed pardon announcement today for Henry McCollum and Leon Brown: With pardon finally granted, McCrory must address broken death penalty system McCollum and Brown case exposes flaws that could lead to executing an innocent ...

Free: Governor pardons McCollum and Brown

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 13:53
After being wrongfully convicted for the death of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie, spending more than 30 years in jail, and then waiting 266 days more for a pardon, Henry McCollum and Leon Brown are finally and fully free men. At a press conference held an hour ago (to which Policy Watch was denied access), Gov. Pat McCrory ...

Governor McCrory breaks his campaign promise…again (Video)

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 09:32
On Wednesday evening, Governor McCrory stated that he is planning on signing the controversial House Bill 465 when it reaches his desk. The Governor’s statement came hours after the House voted 71 to 43 to make the bill, which includes a 72-hour abortion waiting period, law in North Carolina. The Governor’s decision came as a shock ...

Businessman explains need for law to crack down on workplace fraud

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 07:35
Wake County businessman Doug Burton had had enough of the unfair competition that North Carolina continues to sanction with its failure to pass meaningful laws to crack down on the wrongful treatment on employees as “independent contractors.” In an excellent op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, he lays out the increasing ...

Governor pledges to sign abortion bill (video)

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 00:29
Governor Pat McCrory ended the suspense on Wednesday, issuing a statement saying that he would sign House Bill 465, legislation that triples the waiting period for women seeking an abortion. McCrory said he believes the bill serves to better protect women: “Regarding HB 465, some very positive progress was made during the last several days ...

Debate over “ag gag” bill shows why legislative process is important

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:09
[Update: The veto override motion on House Bill 405 passed the House by a vote of 79-36. The Senate is expected to take similar action in the near future]. One of the most unfortunate developments at the North Carolina General Assembly in recent years has been the GOP majority’s affinity for shutting down debate. Though ...

Breaking: Fourth Circuit sets Pitt County schools free from desegregation orders

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 13:21
Pitt County schools have fulfilled the obligations to effectively integrate their schools as required under desegregation orders first entered more than 40 years ago, and need no longer remain subject to federal oversight, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision released today. Writing for the panel in Everett v. Pitt County ...

North Carolina couple “treated like second-class citizens” when denied marriage license (from N&O op-ed)

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 10:25
Carol Ann and Thomas Person were planning to be married when they went to a Forsyth County magistrate’s office in 1976. To their suprise, they was turned away because two magistrates, citing their own religious beliefs, refused to marry an interracial couple. The couple now lives in Moore County and have been married for 40 ...

Dangerous gun bill on tap this morning in House Rules Committee

Wed, 06/03/2015 - 08:00
It appears that the North Carolina House will continue its return to the hard right policies of the Thom Tillis days this morning when the House Rules Committee, after numerous false starts, takes up the dangerous proposal to further eviscerate state gun safety laws. This is from the good people at North Carolinians Against Gun ...

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