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Updated: 2 hours 39 min ago

Teacher op-ed blasts legislature for lack of funding for classroom supplies

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 12:12
In the coming weeks, students are preparing to return to the classroom in schools using the traditional school calendar. And, according to this Raleigh teacher’s op-ed in The News & Observer this week, getting students ready for “back-to-school” in North Carolina  is more of a challenge than ever. The author, Yolanda Barham, is a first-grade ...

Editorials criticize McCrory administration over clash with scientists

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:49
Multiple newspaper editorial pages are calling out the McCrory administration yet again this morning — this time over its troubling actions on the matter of drinking water polluted with coal ash chemicals and the interactions with scientists Ken Rudo and Megan Davies. The Fayetteville Observer: “On Thursday, McCrory was in Fayetteville, opening a new segment ...

Democracy advocates: Nonpartisan redistricting is essential in light of latest court ruling

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 16:50
The good government advocates at Democracy North Carolina issued the following statement this afternoon in response to today’s ruling by a three-judge panel that North Carolina legislators unconstitutionally used race when they drew legislative boundaries for state House and Senate members. Click here to read the ruling. “Today’s federal ruling overturning North Carolina’s racially-gerrymandered legislative ...

Residents affected by coal ash contamination call for resignation of Tom Reeder, Randall Williams

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 15:08
When the coal ash blew through the air in Sue Fife’s yard in Person County, she initially didn’t know what it was. “I thought, ‘What is this stuff?'” she said Thursday, before a rally in support of state toxicologist Ken Rudo and former state epidemiologist Megan Davies. “It looked like fog.” Standing outside the governor’s ...

IRS says N.C. Department of Public Instruction owes nearly $250,000 in back taxes

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 13:08
Officials with the IRS say the North Carolina agency that oversees the state’s public schools owes the federal government almost $250,000 in back taxes, according to an IRS letter obtained by Policy Watch this week. The letter, which was dated July 12 for the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), centers around an ongoing dispute ...

Court of Appeals ruling a defeat for Wilson’s public broadband efforts; Further appeals possible

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 10:01
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued a ruling yesterday that bodes ill for the efforts of towns like Wilson, North Carolina to get out from under the thumb of giant telecom monopolies. As N.C. Policy Watch reported back in March, Wilson was one of several American cities that had built out their ...

Voters, legal experts agree: Tillis and Burr are simply wrong on Supreme Court blockade

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 07:20
Not that it’s much of a surprise — polls have been consistent on this matter for months — but yet another one came out yesterday that shows overwhelming opposition amongst North Carolina voters to the U.S. Senate blockade (championed by Senators Tillis and Burr) of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. This is from the widely ...

Watchdog group sees “train wreck” looming in November without more time for NC voters to cast ballots

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 13:59
The good people at Democracy North Carolina released some startling numbers today that do not bode well for the mechanics of the November election in North Carolina. They also called on Gov. Pat McCrory to take immediate action to help address the potential crisis. Here’s their news release: 73,500 Extra Hours: More Voters, Needing More ...

This is news? Study: Closing the coverage gap improves access and health outcomes

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 12:05
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed the obvious facts that our Governor and legislature continue to ignore: when uninsured people get health care coverage, they enjoy improved health care access, fewer financial barriers to care, and better health outcomes. Over a two-year period between 2013 and 2015, researchers compared the health ...

Art Pope goes all in with partisan defense of HB2, attacks on LGBT advocates

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 10:54
The Charlotte Business Journal posted a lengthy interview that conservative financier Art Pope gave to reporter Erik Spanberg this morning. For the most part, Pope merely recites the usual partisan and ideological talking points that he has inflicted on followers of North Carolina politics for decades: Tax cuts are good. Public spending is bad. Gov. ...

Emails reveal that company provided “talking points” to McCrory administration

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 08:08
Ho hum – another day, another troubling example of the McCrory administration working as a virtual extension of a powerful corporation. Interestingly, however, the latest story is not about Duke Energy. This is from reporter Deon Roberts’ latest story in the Charlotte Observer, “State’s comments about MetLife were drafted by … MetLife”: “When MetLife announced ...

WATCH: Trump on ‘2nd Amendment people’ and Clinton’s judicial picks

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 21:33
Donald Trump raised eyebrows in Wilmington Wednesday suggesting that “Second Amendment people” could do something to prevent Hillary Clinton from making appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court who might restrict gun rights. Here’s the quote that has political pundits and the media buzzing: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” ...

New report: Promising numbers on impact of Obamacare

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 16:23
In case you missed it, the New York Times reported today that a new study indicates some promising developments for the Affordable Care Act: “Obamacare has provided health insurance to some 20 million people. But are they any better off? This has been the central question as we’ve been watching the complex and expensive health ...

State Rep. Larry Hall wants SBI to pursue Gov. McCrory, put staff under oath

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 12:45
This post has been updated. A leading House Democrat has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the actions of Pat McCrory, and may pursue other legal avenues to learn what the governor knew about drinking water advisories and coal ash. At a news conference Monday, House Democratic leader Larry Hall of Durham called for ...

Charlotte Observer editorial, Twitter users slam anti-LGBT slur from Charlotte-area county commissioner

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:22
You might have missed it this weekend, but the Twitter world, and The Charlotte Observer, did not. As Policy Watch reported in June, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has been something of a standard-bearer for transgender bathroom rights in North Carolina in the midst of the state’s ongoing HB2 controversy. But last week’s U.S. Supreme Court hold ...

National courts expert: “The shocking arrogance” of NC’s gerrymandered districts

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 10:12
As the latest edition of the The Weekly Briefing highlights, the recent lawsuit brought by the government watchdogs at Common Cause North Carolina against our state’s absurdly gerrymandered legislative maps is a very hopeful development. It’s the objective of the lawsuit to convince our federal courts to make clear, once and for all, that it’s ...

Editorials: Let the people vote!

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 08:26
It’s hard to believe that in 2016 we’re still combating efforts to keep North Carolinians — especially poor and minority North Carolinians — from voting. But here we are, 90 days from the election, facing just such a situation as local boards of election join with legislative leaders in an ongoing effort to restrict the ...

Waterkeepers investigate after coal pile spill at Duke Energy’s Cliffside Plant

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 12:59
This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to add comments from Duke Energy. Nearly a week after Duke Energy announced that 15,000 to 50,000 gallons of stormwater had spilled from a pile of unburned coal into the Broad River, it is still unknown if there is any contamination from the discharge. Now two riverkeeper groups are ...

Beyond the bathroom: Transgender student, educators discuss school complications

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 12:19
Today, North Carolina officials are awaiting a decision from a federal judge on whether the state’s mega-controversial bathroom law, House Bill 2, will be allowed to stand with a full trial still pending. But a recent video compilation from Education Week illustrates how complicated the issue really is for transgender students in U.S. schools today, with ...

Voting rights advocates decry voter suppression effort in Guilford County

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:40
It never ceases to amaze that powerful forces in American politics still want to make it harder for people to vote. Yet that’s where things stand once again this morning as county boards of election in North Carolina begin to gather to make decisions about how to organize and manage the November election. In Greensboro ...

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