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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

His words, not ours: Lt. Gov. Forest says he’s offering “reactionary commentary”

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:00

Since winning reelection last November, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has clearly been using his mostly ceremonial office as a platform to run, more or less full-time, for Governor in 2020. As we reported in this space, Forest told attendees at a Craven County GOP event in February that he plans on being Governor ...

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Hopeful sign for NC NAACP as respected pastor seeks to succeed Rev. Barber

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 08:18

A lot of North Carolina progressives have been feeling a bit of unease in recent weeks as they became aware of the impending departure of longtime NAACP President, Rev. William Barber. Rev. Barber, of course, has become national leader over the past dozen years as he transformed the North Carolina NAACP — often through sheer ...

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Democrats react to scant House budget details

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 16:43

Democrats in the N.C. House of Representatives responded to the House’s draft budget Thursday afternoon — or at least what they’ve seen of it. The full budget won’t be rolled out until Tuesday, after the Memorial Day weekend. But some details from various sections were discussed in House committees Thursday. It’s not how things should ...

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What’s that smell? The Farm Act of 2017.

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 16:07

W hile the House dashed through its version of the state budget at the speed of light, for the past two days the Senate Agriculture/Natural Resources Committee plodded through other Very Important Business: the finer points of the farm act, the criminal element that is rumored to loiter near stream buffers, a hinky provision concerning coastal ...

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Blue Cross: Trump, Congress to blame for new rate hike request

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 13:29

How disastrous would Trumpcare be for North Carolina? This disastrous: It’s only passed one house of Congress and it’s already badly destabilizing the insurance market. This is from the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project: Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it is requesting an average premium rate increase of 22.9 percent ...

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A few highlights from the House budget on Justice and Public Safety

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 12:30

The House’s base budget for Justice and Public Safety was unveiled this morning at an appropriations meeting. Committee members are still working through the amendment process and they will reconvene at 12:15 p.m. Below are a few highlights from the budget and this morning’s meeting. Similar to the Senate’s budget, the House budget will fund ...

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CBO report contradicts Tillis on Trumpcare and pre-existing conditions

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:30

During a Facebook Live Q&A session on May 11, Senator Thom Tillis told North Carolinians that he is comfortable with letting states decide whether to protect people with pre-existing conditions from pricing discrimination. His rationale? No state would want to take up the American Health Care Act’s (AHCA) waivers from those protections. Well, the experts ...

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Phony state legislative budget process continues this morning

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:39

Here’s a classic example of the absurdity of the North Carolina General Assembly’s budget writing process from this morning’s committee meetings on Jones Street. House Appropriations subcommittees convened this morning to look at a new version of the budget bill that House leaders authored in secret. Though a superficially better process than the Senate — ...

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What you need to know about the new report on Trumpcare

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:59

Health policy expert Brendan Riley of the N.C. Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project released his analysis of the Congressional Budget Office report on Trumpcare last night, Here’s what he found: Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the American Health Care Act passed on May 4 by the U.S. House of Representatives ...

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BREAKING: CBO report says Trumpcare would cost 23 million their health insurance

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 17:05

The Congressional Budget Office has released its much anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act (aka “Trumpcare”). Here’s a link to the report: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752 And here is a summary from the New York Times: A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would increase the projected number ...

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Putting a face on Hunger in North Carolina

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:39

North Carolina is the 8th hungriest state in the U.S. Each night, nearly 630,000 households, many with children, do not have enough food to eat. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as FNS or food stamps) is an extremely important tool in fighting hunger in our state. In 2015, 1.6 million North Carolinians ...

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House leadership should seize opportunity for ambitious teacher pay proposal

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:00

With the delayed release of the House budget proposal, legislative leaders have had ample opportunity to address the many shortfalls of the Senate budget proposal. Ideally, House leadership will take a more responsible approach towards funding future class-size requirements, resisting expansion of unaccountable voucher programs, and the dismantling of the Department of Public Instruction. However, ...

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NBA All-Star Game returns to Charlotte over LGBTQ protests

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:00

The NBA has announced its 2019 All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte. This year’s game was held in New Orleans due to the NBA’s opposition to HB2. But LGBTQ advocate groups Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign are denouncing the decision. The HB2 compromise recently struck by the General Assembly wasn’t a true ...

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N.C. House to roll out its education budget Thursday morning

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:26

Key budget writers in the N.C. House of Representatives are expected to roll out their proposals for public education funding early Thursday morning. The news comes after a top House budget writer told Policy Watch last week that the chamber was likely to announce a spending plan that was considerably kinder to public schools than ...

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Another new low: Trump nominates right-wing blogger to the U.S. Court of Appeals

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:20

There is more compelling evidence this week  of the critical importance of progressives paying close attention to (and fighting back against) Donald Trump’s frightening plans for remaking our federal judiciary. This is from court watchers at the nonpartisan Alliance for Justice: “Paperwork submitted by John K. Bush, President Trump’s nominee for the Court of Appeals ...

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Twelve more big policy changes buried in the N.C. Senate budget

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:10

There are a lot of issues with the N.C. Senate budget proposal as drafted. One issue is the sheer number of major substantive policy changes, including in the biennial spending proposal. Absent a full debate by policymakers and public input on each of these items, it is impossible to fully consider the multitude of ways ...

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House committee debates, approves bill that would create delay for asbestos victims seeking recovery

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 07:30

North Carolina lawmakers are dipping into federal issues of civil law to help national stakeholders gain momentum in delaying asbestos cancer victims from getting recovery funds. Members of the House II Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to advance Senate Bill 470, which would require plaintiffs in asbestos claims to disclose information about bankruptcy trust claims in ...

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Four ways Trump’s budget will harm North Carolina

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:00

Smart public investments at the federal level can create jobs, raise wages, increase educational attainment, and give people a chance at a better unlocking economic prosperity for more people and places in our country. Here are four ways the President’s plan would take North Carolina in the opposite direction: 1. Trump’s budget on food assistance: ...

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Report: Trump education budget slams the working class that helped elect him president

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:30

President Trump’s newly-released K-12 budget would hurt the working class voters who helped elect him president in November, according to a new report from The Atlantic. The report comes with Trump announcing plans to slash spending on the federal education department by more than $9 billion as the Republican president seeks to bolster the school ...

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Trump’s budget guts Medicaid; would devastate services to children and others in need

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:00

When the U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) earlier this month, GOP lawmakers made it painfully clear that they intended to cut and dismantle Medicaid as we know it. Cuts to Medicaid as proposed by the AHCA would shift more than $6 billion dollars onto North Carolina state government as the proposal ...

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