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Updated: 37 min 50 sec ago

Preemption bill reduces freedom, hurts the economy

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 14:46
Now that we’ve had a few hours to digest the General Assembly’s newly proposed pre-emption bill, it looks even worse than we originally thought, representing a full-frontal assault on anti-discrimination protections in North Carolina. Not only does the bill ban local governments from prohibiting discrimination by private businesses, it sharply reduces their ability to raise ...

Does Trump’s latest primary win make things harder for Richard Burr? (Audio)

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 14:41
Donald Trump’s victory in Arizona on Tuesday helped further cement his front-runner status in the Republican presidential nomination. His win also coincides with a new general election poll for the US Senate race in North Carolina that finds a Trump victory could make life harder for other Republican candidates down ballot this fall. Public Policy ...

So-called “libertarian” group endorses religious right’s pro-discrimination law

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 14:17
It’s bad enough that North Carolina elected officials are enshrining discrimination and ignorance in state law today at the behest of the theocratic far right, but now comes word that the inhabitants of the John Locke Foundation — an group that likes to fancy itself as “libertarian” and that has long bragged that it stays ...

Disability community voices concerns about special session to overturn Charlotte bathroom ordinance

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 10:22
As legislators gather this morning in special session to repeal Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance, they might want to take time to read today’s  lead story at NC Health News. Reporter Rose Hoban spoke with disability rights advocates who worry heavy-handed action by the General Assembly might make it more difficult for North Carolina caregivers assisting someone ...

Bathroom bill will be far ranging; purports to defines gender, bans living wage laws

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 08:06
As had been feared, the outrageous plan to override the Charlotte anti-discrimination ordinance in today’s planned kangaroo session of the General Assembly goes much further than just bathrooms. Under the bill that will apparently be considered today (NC Policy Watch obtained a copy last night – click here to view the draft), not only will ...

Teach for America cuts 100 positions, revamps organization

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:43
Teach for America, the national organization that helps to train college grads for placement in needy schools, is reportedly undergoing a structural reorganization in the midst of its second consecutive year failing to meet its recruiting targets. First reported by education activist Diane Ravitch on her blog Monday, and later confirmed by The Washington Post, the news ...

Contraceptive mandate at the Supreme Court – again

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 13:24
Just weeks after hearing argument over states’ TRAP laws (“targeted regulations against abortion providers”), the U.S. Supreme Court ventures back into the reproductive rights arena tomorrow morning, taking on yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The case, Zubik v. Burwell, is an effort to further push the limits of religious liberty already ...

Latest poll shows voters support Charlotte’s right to pass LGBT protections without state interference

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 12:50
On the eve of a special legislative session to repeal Charlotte’s recently passed anti-discrimination ordinance, Public Policy Polling is out with an interesting new poll. PPP surveyed 843 registered voters last weekend and found only 25% of North Carolina voters believe the General Assembly should override the ordinance. That compares to 51% who think Charlotte ...

Tomorrow’s special legislative session: Uninformed sausage making at its worst

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 12:00
There are a lot of reasons to be disgusted that state lawmakers will return to Raleigh tomorrow for a one-day special session to repeal Charlotte’s new anti-discrimination ordinance. Here’s one, however, that will probably get lost in the shuffle: It’s less than 24 hours to the start of the session and we don’t have any ...

SCOTUS gives class action plaintiffs a break

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 11:04
Class action plaintiffs lawyers can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief today as the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in one of several class action cases before the court this term, ruling in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo that in certain circumstances representative and statistical evidence can be used to establish classwide ...

Pat McCrory, Tim Moore, Phil Berger, Dan Forest: Not smarter than a sixth grader

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 07:02
As the post below indicates, North Carolina’s elected leaders will take the latest step in their five-year-long crusade to make our state a symbol of discrimination and exclusion (not to mention a national laughingstock) tomorrow when they call a special session to pick on transgender people. It is an act of such transparent ignorance and ...

Special session on Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance set for Wednesday; LGBT advocates label it “political theatre”

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 20:10
House and Senate and House leaders announced Monday evening they will convene in special session this Wednesday to pass legislation that would block Charlotte’s new ordinance that prohibits discrimination in public accommodations. The most controversial portion of the ordinance allows transgender residents to use either a men’s or women’s bathroom, depending on the gender of ...

North Carolina public schools are seeking charter-like flexibility

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:04
Last week, at the Public School Forum of N.C.’s panel on low-performing schools, we heard from multiple principals who espoused the value of charter-like flexibility for their struggling schools. “If one person speeds, I don’t think we all deserve a ticket,” said Kristy Thomas, principal at Rock Rest Elementary in Union County, arguing that burdensome ...

Editorial: McCrory should take a cue from S.C. Congressman when it comes legitimate drilling concerns (w/ Audio)

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:32
The Greensboro News & Record noted over the weekend that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and South Carolina U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford offered two very different reactions to last week’s news that the Obama administration would not be opening the Atlantic to oil and gas exploration. While McCrory labelled the President’s decision a “special political ...

Don’t miss Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts at next Tuesday’s Crucial Conversation luncheon

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 15:15
N.C. Policy Watch invites you to a special Crucial Conversation luncheon: Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts: Why the General Assembly should not repeal my city’s nondiscrimination ordinance Click here to register In this most volatile of election years, there have been a lot of efforts by cynical politicians to manipulate voters with misinformation regarding importa nt ...

Ahead of short session, Stein resigns to focus on Attorney General’s race

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 11:18
State Senator Josh Stein – a four-term Democrat from Wake County – announced this morning he would resign his legislative seat to focus on his bid for NC Attorney General. Stein will face Senator Buck Newton – a three-term Republican from Wilson County – in November’s General Election. The Wake County Democratic Party Executive Committee ...

Kinston doctor’s letter is an absolute must read for NC legislators refusing to expand Medicaid

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 10:18
The headline of Kinston cardiologist Pradeep Arumugham’s letter in The Charlotte Observer says it all: “My patient is dead, but at least N.C. taxpayers saved money.”  Dr. Arumugham leaves no doubt that the failure of North Carolina’s legislature to expand Medicaid to cover thousands of uninsured North Carolinians is costing lives.  He explains: I had ...

Editorials, op-eds, cartoons blast Burr/Tillis for blockade of Supreme Court nominee

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 07:39
Editorial boards across North Carolina have blasted the U.S. Senate refusal to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in recent days. Here’s the Greensboro News & Record: “There is no precedent for the Republican position and no logic behind it. The next president will fill court vacancies that occur during his or her term; the ...

This week’s top five stories on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 17:27
1. Obama nominates Merrick Garland as next Supreme Court Justice President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the open slot on the U.S. Supreme Court is 63-year-old Merrick Garland, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The President made his announcement Wednesday morning from the Rose Garden, setting off a ...

Justice Edmunds recuses himself from challenge to retention election law

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 12:47
As noted on the order sheet released today by the state Supreme Court, Justice Bob Edmunds has recused himself from taking part in the appeal concerning the new Supreme Court judicial retention election law. Under that law, enacted in October and effective immediately, sitting Supreme Court justices running for re-election would be subjected to an up-or-down vote ...

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