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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

With attacks fading, “Obamacare is weaving into the fabric of American culture”

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 13:41
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Sahil Kapur’s article today on Talking Points Memo about the fast-fading attacks on Obamacare and why a political “nightmare” may be coming to pass for the American right. One of Kapur’s key sources: none other than long-time conservative icon William Kristol, who two decades ago ...

Kay and Thom: Just old friends?

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 10:05
There’s been a great deal of discussion in the media and elsewhere in recent days about the issue of sexism in politics and, in particular, whether it was just a friendly and appropriate sign of progress or a sexist and disrespectful bit of backsliding for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to repeatedly refer to ...

Why obstructionists are losing the battle over Medicaid expansion

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 08:19
Our old NC Policy Watch colleague Adam Searing had a great post last week on the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute blog, Say Ahhh! that explains why Medicaid expansion is fast reaching the tipping point as states that once said “no” are now seeing the light. Let’s hope North Carolina come to their sense soon. ...

Time running out for victims of mortgage foreclosure rip-offs to participate in settlement

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 16:13
From the consumer protection folks over at the North Carolina Department of Justice: North Carolina consumers have until Sept. 15 to file their claim forms in order to obtain relief under nationwide “Ocwen Settlement” If you lost a home to foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012, and if your home loan was ...

Back to School Series – Our resilient students

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 15:25
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlight various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6) Our Back to School series ends today just like the first or second week of school ...

First in Flight from the EITC: Heather’s Story (VIDEO)

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 14:48
Lawmakers let the state Earned Income Tax Credit expire at the end of 2013, making North Carolina the first state in nearly 30 years to eliminate this proven anti-poverty tool. The state EITC helps promote shared economic prosperity for all North Carolinians. It goes only to working people with modest incomes, offering extra support to ...

The best quote from yesterday’s marriage equality ruling

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 12:23
In case you missed it, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — a conservative Reagan appointee who has frequently vexed progressive lawyers down through the years — said the following yesterday in what Esquire’s Charles Pierce aptly describes as (among other amusing characterizations) a “remarkably plain-spoken” ruling in favor of marriage ...

Three takes on Art Pope’s tenure in the McCrory Administration

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 10:34
Art Pope officially departs the McCrory administration today, stepping down from the post of state budget director. Last month, in announcing Pope’s decision to leave, Governor Pat McCrory called the budget director and former state lawmaker “an important voice and important mentor.” Others outside the administration have suggested that the conservative donor had too much ...

Editorial, research: Halt rush to launch virtual charters

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 08:21
This morning’s editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right on the state Board of Education’s plan to approve two new “virtual” charter schools. The central message: “Not so fast!” Charters were seen initially as a chance to be “laboratories” for public education, as places to cultivate innovations that could be used in conventional ...

NC High School Graduation rate nears 84 %

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 08:05
The percentage of students graduating from North Carolina high schools now stands at 83.8 percent, the highest in state history. Since 2006, the first year the state reported a four-year cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students graduating from high school in four years or less has risen 15.5 percentage points. The State Board of ...

Advocates, average citizens demanding that Kroger adopt common sense gun safety policies

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 15:31
The good people at Everytown for Gun Safety have launched a powerful new campaign to convince the giant Kroger grocery chain to prohibit customers from openly carrying weapons in its stores. The campaign features three powerful photographs that highlight the absurdity of Kroger’s current policies — which prohibit customers from bringing in outside food, skateboards ...

Hagan v. Tillis: The health care debate within the debate

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 13:14
As expected health care played a major role in the first debate between Sen. Hagan and Speaker Tillis. Tillis took two major lines of attack against Sen. Hagan on health care: he chastised Hagan for saying that people could keep the insurance plan they like, and he criticized the policy of setting minimum standards for insurance plans. ...

Breaking: Appeals court vacates ruling on Obamacare subsidies

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 11:37
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has vacated a July ruling by a three-judge panel of that court striking down Obamacare subsidies issued through the federal exchange. The full panel of the court will instead review that challenge in arguments expected in December. Democratic appointees on the full court outnumber Republicans, and as ...

Not all Republicans thrilled with teacher raise

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 11:17
Just because House Speaker Thom Tillis couldn’t stop talking in the debate last night about the alleged 7 % percent teacher pay raise the General Assembly passed this year doesn’t mean all the Republicans in the General Assembly are happy with it. Rowan County legislators in particular don’t seem thrilled with the 7 % or ...

Texas judge takes it to proponents of state’s restrictive abortion law

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:55
Last night’s debate between Sen. Kay Hagan and former state speaker Thom Tillis included plenty of bantering about who cares more about women’s health issues — most of which concerned access to contraception after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Sen. Hagan called the decision as she saw it — a ...

A higher minimum wage AND reinstating state EITC good for the economy

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:38
As North Carolina continues to recover from the Great Recession, most of the jobs that have been added pay low wages, making affording even basic necessities difficult for many hard-working North Carolinians. Raising the state minimum wage and reinstating a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are two policy tools that North Carolina state lawmakers ...

Watchdog explains cynical politics in demise of straight-ticket voting

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 08:00
Be sure to check out the op-ed authored by Democracy North Carolina’s Bob Hall in the Winston-Salem Journal this morning about one of the less-well-publicized (but most cynical and manipulative) provisions buried in the state’s infamous “monster voting law.” As Hall explains, the decision to do away with straight-ticket voting was clearly the result of ...

Tillis, Hagan spar over education in first debate

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 06:04
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and House Speaker Thom Tillis went toe-to-toe Wednesday evening in the first debate of their tight U.S. Senate race. Hagan criticized Tillis’ legislative record, while Tillis repeatedly tried to link Hagan to President Obama. As you try to decide who won round one, be sure to read the fact check pieces ...

Back to School Series – Labor Day

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 15:28
It’s that time of year when school starts and the very next week Labor Day is here. It seems to make sense that Back to School week and Labor Day are so close together. It provides the opportunity to discuss those that labor in our public schools. Although, the truth is, there has been a ...

Marriage equality cases here on hold pending petitions for review before the U.S. Supreme Court

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 15:18
Federal courts in North Carolina have stayed proceedings in the same-sex marriage cases here while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Bostic v. Schaefer, finding Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional. Five petitions for review of lower court rulings on the issue are now pending before the high court in various stages ...

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