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Updated: 37 min 11 sec ago

Report: UNC President Spellings to lead North Carolina education commission

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 16:52

UNC System President Margaret Spellings will lead a new commission of influential business and political leaders that aims to shape North Carolina policy on K-12 and higher education, The News & Observer reports. Spellings announced the My Future N.C. commission this week, tapping a slate of nominees with connections to Gov. Roy Cooper and Republicans ...

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Cooper’s non-discrimination Executive Order is one step forward on road to diversity, acceptance in NC

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 15:31

Governor Roy Cooper’s non-discrimination Executive Order, which states transgender North Carolinians can use public restrooms and facilities that match their gender identity, is a most welcome reprieve from HB2 – and its partial repeal in HB142 – that have plagued our state for nearly two years. Critically, the proposal rightfully and finally prohibits discrimination on ...

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Finally, here is a list of DEQ, DHHS Science Advisory Board members — and it’s impressive

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:41

Toxicologists, ecologists, air quality experts and public health officials: After a wait of more than two months, the list of 16 appointees to the Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board has been posted on the NC Department of Environmental Quality website. The roster is current as of Oct. 17. The board will meet Monday, Oct. 23, at 3 ...

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Breaking: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approves extremist conservative Thomas Farr to be federal judge

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 10:36

With North Carolina’s Thom Tillis leading the way (including making arrangements for a couple of his fellow Republicans to run in at the last minute for the vote) the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved North Carolina arch-conservative Thomas Farr this morning to serve as a federal judge in the state’s Eastern District. The vote was ...

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Editorials blast legislature’s “petty,” “bullying” attacks on Gov. Cooper

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 07:52

The leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly continue to embarrass themselves and the state with their childish attacks on Gov. Roy Cooper. To their credit, bit the Fayetteville Observer and raleigh’s News & Observer are taking lawmakers to task for their behavior. Here’s the Observer in an editorial entitled “Bullying in the year of ...

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Cooper: Transgender North Carolinans can use public bathrooms that match gender identity

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 19:15

Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have proposed a solution for transgender North Carolinians who are prevented from using public restrooms that match their gender identity in legislation enacted to replace House Bill 2. Cooper signed a non-discrimination Executive Order today for the state “to promote diversity and prohibit discrimination in government agencies ...

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Parties to racial gerrymandering lawsuit can’t agree on a special master

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 16:38

The parties in a pending racial gerrymandering case told a federal court Wednesday that they could not agree to submit the names of three individuals fit to serve as a special master, should one be appointed to redraw legislative districts. “Plaintiffs and Legislative Defendants conferred and submitted names to one another (with Legislative Defendants stating ...

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Trump’s healthcare sabotage in action: New rate hikes from Blue Cross

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 16:09

From the good folks at the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project: Blue Cross Confirms Trump’s Sabotage Will Cause Higher Premiums for North Carolinians in 2018 Ending subsidy payments to insurers raises company’s premium increase from “near zero” to 14.1 percent Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced today that it would raise ...

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NC WARN taking its solar case vs Duke Energy to state Supreme Court

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:15

The question of whether the nonprofit environmental group NC WARN behaved like a public utility in selling a small amount of solar power to a Greensboro church will now be decided by the state Supreme Court. NC WARN filed its intent to appeal today. Three judges from the state appeals court ruled against the nonprofit ...

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Chalkbeat: Independent charters distance themselves from networks, Trump

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:07

Despite a clear alliance between some of the U.S.’ largest charter networks and President Trump cohorts such as U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, independent charter companies are looking to separate themselves from the fray, Chalkbeat reports. This week, the site covered a fascinating New York symposium that reportedly touched on, among other things, a divide ...

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Veteran journalist: GOP plan “the worst proposal yet for our courts”

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:48

It’s a high bar to scale, but veteran Greensboro News & Record columnist Doug Clark couldn’t be more right in his assessment of yesterday’s bizarre NC GOP proposal to amend the constitution so that every judge in the state must stand for election every two years. Here’s the conclusion to the column Clark posted yesterday: ...

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Editorial: Berger and Moore’s “malfeasance and mismanagement” wreaking havoc on NC

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:57

This morning’s lead editorial on WRAL.com rightfully pulls few punches in assessing the behavior of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore vis a vis North Carolina’s duly elected governor. It accurately accuses the two of engaging in the kind of behavior one would more commonly associate with a banana republic ...

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Former GOP Supreme Court justice: 2 year terms amendment continued effort to ‘intimidate judiciary’

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 16:37

The North Carolina Senate filed a Constitutional amendment Tuesday that would shorten all judges and state Supreme Court justices terms to two years and end all sitting judges terms in December 2018. Bob Orr, a prominent Republican who served as a justice on the state Supreme Court and as a candidate for governor, described the ...

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NC lawmakers override Governor’s veto to officially eliminate 2018 judicial primary elections

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 13:21

North Carolinians have officially lost an election to vote in next year. The General Assembly on Monday and Tuesday voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 656, which eliminates judicial primary elections next year. The bill is now law. Democrats vehemently opposed overriding the veto because of the section eliminating the primaries. ...

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Graph documents amazing scale of U.S. Senate’s proposed giveaway to the rich

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:12

New from the experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center: Upcoming Senate budget resolution vote paves way for windfall for wealthiest, destabilization of NC budget This week, the U.S. Senate will vote on a budget resolution that will allow them to fast track tax changes that are likely to primarily benefit the wealthiest taxpayers ...

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Day One of NC partisan gerrymandering case: 2016 congressional map an ‘extreme statistical outlier’

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 07:30

The 2016 congressional maps that led to 10-3 Republican representation from North Carolina constitute an “extreme statistical outlier in terms of its partisanship,” according to witness testimony from the first day of a federal partisan gerrymandering trial. “It’s pretty clear what Dr. [Tom] Hofeller was creating here,” said Jowei Chen, an associate professor of political ...

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Federal lawsuit alleges Chemours engaged in “willful, wanton and reckless conduct” over C8 and GenX discharges

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:35

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is accusing Chemours/DuPont of “willful and wanton” conduct over the company’s secret discharge of GenX and other pollutants into the Cape Fear River. Those chemical compounds wound up in the drinking water of several communities near the Fayetteville Works plant and farther downstream, including Wilmington. The allegation was one of ...

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Cooper calls on Berger and Moore to stop stonewalling his nominees

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 14:59

Governor Cooper called on legislative leaders today to end their silent blockade of numerous duly nominated individuals who have been put forth to serve on a number of boards and commissions — including the state Utilities Commission, Board of Education and Teachers’ and State Employees” Retirement System Board of Trustees. As the Governor notes in ...

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Don’t miss this Thursday’s Crucial Conversation luncheon on Hurricane Matthew

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:50

NC Policy Watch presents a special Crucial Conversation luncheon: Hurricane Matthew one year later: What happened, what hasn’t and how can we do better in the future? Click here to register On October 8, 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on North Carolina. The resulting flooding impacted 50 counties in the eastern part of the state, ...

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FERC approves Atlantic Coast Pipeline; lawsuits are likely

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:04

In a Friday night surprise, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted 2-1 to approve the $5.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, 160 miles of which will run through eastern North Carolina. However, the project still has yet to receive its required state permits and it is likely to face legal challenges from environmental advocates. FERC “completely ...

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