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Updated: 2 hours 37 min ago

Loretta Lynch: We will restore trust and faith in the criminal justice system (video)

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 20:46
North Carolina native Loretta Lynch was formally sworn in Monday as the 83rd U.S. Attorney General. Lynch is the first African-American woman to serve in this role. To hear some of her remarks, click below.

Veteran educator speaks out from experience against bill to make student assaults on teachers a felony

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:59
When Charlotte native and veteran teacher Scott Yamanashi saw NC Policy Watch reporter Lindsay Wagner’s recent news story (“Lawmakers move bill that would make it a felony offense for a student to assault a teacher”), he felt compelled to speak out. It turns out that Mr. Yamanashi has extensive direct experience in the area. Not ...

Day 228 of Gov. McCrory denying justice to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:08
Monday marks the 228th day that Governor Pat McCrory has refused to grant a pardon of innocence to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, the two Robeson County men who both spent 31 years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. McCollum and Brown, both mentally disabled, were freed September 4 of last ...

Busy week at General Assembly poised to get off to lousy start with environmental bills

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:52
This Thursday is “Crossover Day” at the General Assembly — a self-imposed deadline used by lawmakers to weed out some of the hundreds of bills that have been introduced so far this year. Without going into the details, it’s enough to note that the crossover deadline will make for a busy week of sausage grinding ...

From bobcats, to raw milk to religious freedom – look for a frenetic week at the General Assembly

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 11:10
It’s crossover week at the legislature – that time during the session that bills that don’t have an impact on spending must pass through one chamber or the other  to remain alive for consideration this year. That means you can expect long hours and a flurry of activity this week on Jones Street. Here’s just ...

Obama administration loses its way on “Trans-Pacific Partnership”

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:27
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank is a “hit and miss” columnist who who frequently comes off as the worst kind of D.C. insider, but his latest column on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the plan to “fast track” approval, which is featured in the morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, is on the money. ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:15
1. A stark reminder that the far-right still rules in Raleigh Just when you think there’s a glimmer of hope that the flood of reactionary ideas in the General Assembly is finally slowing down and the abuse of the democratic process is waning comes a stark reminder otherwise, that folks running things in Raleigh are ...

WaPo: Eight things teachers want you to know about them

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 15:41
Just as I was getting ready to begin a weekend of fun with my kids and even look forward to a bit of relaxation here and there, I read this blog entry (see below) by Lee Ann Meredith, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher, which was reposted by the Washington Post with permission. And then I remembered ...

Politico story: Attorney General Loretta Lynch still overcoming North Carolina-based obstacles

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 13:33
The national news site Politico has a new and interesting story that shines additional light on the new U.S. Attorney General, Greensboro native Loretta Lynch. The story is entitled “What made Loretta Lynch’s father see red,” and it features several candid comments from the A.G.’s father, 83-year-old Lorenzo Lynch) about his daughter’s rise and the ...

RSVP today for May 14 Defenders of Justice Awards

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:10
Don’t miss out on the 17th Annual Defenders of Justice Awards When: Thursday, May 14, 2015,  6:00-9:00 p.m. Where: William and Ida Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive in Chapel Hill Each year, the North Carolina Justice Center presents its Defender of Justice Awards to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions in ...

“Ag gag” bill still poses many troubling questions

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 09:02
The North Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday with the misleadingly simple title of “Property Protection Act.” The bill has also come to be referred to as the “ag gag” bill because it is widely understood to be targeted at silencing those who would record and publicize disturbing images or sounds from facilities used to ...

The bravest speech of the legislative session

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 06:26
The NC House passed legislation Thursday tripling the state’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours. Rep. Tricia Cotham shared her own story of a physician-assisted miscarriage, as she told the chamber that politicians have no place inserting themselves in a deeply personal decision between a woman and her doctor. Click ...

Day 224 of Gov. McCrory denying justice to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 16:08
Thursday marks the 224th day that Governor Pat McCrory has refused to grant a pardon of innocence to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, the two Robeson County men who both spent 31 years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. McCollum and Brown need the pardon to receive the financial compensation ...

NC native Loretta Lynch confirmed as Attorney General

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 14:25
After waiting longer for a confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate than any other cabinet nominee in recent history, Loretta Lynch has been confirmed as Attorney General by a vote of 56-43, becoming the first African-American woman and the first native North Carolinian to serve in that role. The daughter of a black Baptist minister ...

N.C.’s outgoing higher education leaders on how to keep both faculty and students on campus

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 13:35
UNC President Tom Ross and N.C. Community College President Scott Ralls were joined by two lawmakers, state Sens. Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg) and Josh Stein (D-Wake), at the RTP Headquarters in Durham. With Ross & @RallsScott on way out, bound to be big conversation about future of #highered in NC #ncpol — Sarah Ovaska (@SarahOvaska) ...

A stark contrast of the few favored over the many

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:50
I recently noted the differing approaches of President Obama and Congress regarding tax changes, developing a budget and supporting the economy. In particular, I noted Congress’ push to eliminate the federal estate tax – which applies to very large inheritances by a small group of wealthy heirs. Over the years, the amount of inheritance that ...

The shareholder pushback against Citizens United

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:32
A movement by shareholder groups across the country to force transparency about political activity upon their companies is gaining some traction as annual meeting time approaches. Those efforts aren’t necessarily new. According to CitizensVox,  shareholders have filed more than 500 resolutions calling for more transparency in corporate political activity since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision ...

Not a magic bullet – amending NC’s CON law

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:00
On Monday of this week, the North Carolina House Committee on Health met to hear from advocates for and against House Bill 200, also known as an amendment to North Carolina’s Certificate of Need (CON) law. While both advocates had strong arguments, there was something that Connie Wilson, a lobbyist representing the North Carolina Orthopedic ...

Women’s advocates respond to abortion waiting period bill

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 08:00
It didn’t take long for state lawmakers to fire up women’s health advocates with the anti-choice bill that was unveiled and rammed through the House Health Committee yesterday morning. Advocates at NOW, Planned Parenthood and other organizations have announced a rally at the state Legislative Building this morning at 10:45. You can learn more at ...

Bill to curtail teachers’ political activities during the school day advances (video)

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 06:45
Teachers with an interest in politics may want to read up on Senator Andy Well’s latest bill – but only after they’re off the clock. Senate Bill 480 prohibits teachers from campaigning for a candidate during the school day and from using a school’s computers or telephones for campaigning. Wells says the legislation does not ...