Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: NC treasurer’s love for cash in the pension fund hobbled returns during the stock market boom  

State Treasurer Dale Folwell refers to himself as the “Keeper of the Public Purse.” And since he was elected to the job that includes managing pension funds for state and local government employees, Folwell has been stuffing that purse with cash.  Under Folwell’s direction, the pension fund holds more of its money in cash than the department’s own guidelines direct and has considerably higher cash holdings than similar public pension funds. North Carolina’s pension fund is among the 10 largest public pensions in the country. None of the other nine hold close to as great a proportion of their assets in cash as North Carolina does, according to their most recent financial reports.  

...
Read more 0
Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

ReBuild NC spent $10.6 million to house Hurricane Matthew survivors who have languished in motels — some for years

ReBuild NC has spent $10.64 million on motels, moving and storage unit expenses in three years for displaced Hurricane Matthew survivors, as construction and administrative delays have kept people from returning to their homes. The figures were included in Temporary Relocation Assistance (TRA) data provided by ReBuild NC, also known as the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

...
Read more 0
Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State elections board rejects NC GOP signature matching request for absentee ballots 

The NC Board of Elections, in a 3-2 party line vote, rejected state Republicans’ request for signature verification on absentee ballots.   Republicans wanted local elections officials to be able to compare voters’ signatures on their registration cards against signatures on requests for absentee ballots and on the returned ballots. 

...
Read more 0
Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As construction delays continue, ReBuild NC is incurring enormous costs to house displaced Hurricane Matthew survivors in motels

Displaced homeowners also finding their belongings damaged in mobile storage units; state paid for them but says it's not responsible The NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency could not produce records to Policy Watch of how much money it has spent in the last five years on motels and storage units for people displaced by Hurricane Matthew, according to a spokesperson’s email. However, based on figures for just six families, the amount likely runs into the millions of dollars.

...
Read more 0
News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: The military history and civilian tragedy of the AR-15

Why the weapon of choice for so many mass murderers is not what a lot of its defenders would have us believe Last month, after the horrific mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Monday Numbers took a look at the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifles favored by mass shooters in America.

...
Read more 0
Health News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Medicaid expansion would help people incarcerated in jails and prisons — the ‘black hole of the mental health system’

Thousands of people currently cycling in and out of jails and prisons are among the roughly 600,000 who would get health coverage under Medicaid expansion, potentially transforming North Carolina’s justice system. Dorel Clayton became unmoored after his mother died of ovarian cancer, in 2001.

...
Read more 0
News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In national health care rankings, North Carolina is chronically ill

The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes high-quality health systems, publishes a scorecard each year that ranks states on 56 benchmarks, such as healthcare access, health disparities, and quality.  The nonprofit added seven benchmarks related to COVID-19 to this year’s scorecard, including “excess deaths.”  Overall, North Carolina ranked 34th of 51. (The District of Columbia is included in the rankings with the 50 states.) North Carolina ranked better than most states in the Southeast, but lagged behind neighboring Virginia, which came in 20th. Hawaii was No. 1 and Mississippi was 51st.

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Alarmed, but not panicked”: NC experts look to what could be next for LGBTQ rights after the Dobbs ruling

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, eliminating a constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years, the justices also fueled speculation that other established rights could be next on the chopping block. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in the Roe decision.

...
Read more 0
Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Transgender North Carolinians see legal victories on birth certificates, health coverage

Transgender people born in North Carolina can now change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing medical transition, according to a consent judgment in a federal law suit issued Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed last year by Lambda Legal, Baker Botts LLP and Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard, challenged state restrictions on how transgender North Carolinians can change their gender markers.

...
Read more 0
News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the prevalence of extremist views in different groups of Americans

Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center released the results of a poll designed to determine the extent to which extremist beliefs and narratives have become prevalent the general public. The poll of more than 1,500 Americans, conducted in late April, found a rising acceptance of the use of violence against political opponents and of the notion that marginalized groups such as LGBTQ people are inherently dangerous.

...
Read more 0
News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State Treasurer backs legislation that would give millions in NC free or discounted hospital care. It faces more review.  

Millions of North Carolinians would be eligible for discounted or free hospital care, even after their insurance was billed, under proposed legislation debated this week.   People who make up to 200% of the federal poverty level – this year, that’s $55,500 for a family of four - would receive free hospital care, under House Bill 1039. People in households of four people with incomes between $55,500 and $166,500, or 600% of the federal poverty level, would be eligible for discounts.

...
Read more 0
Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Kids are already struggling as ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ head to governor’s desk

This week House Bill 755 - the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” - is headed for one more procedural vote in the N.C. House and then to the desk of Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper, a Democrat, has signaled he will veto the bill. But democratic lawmakers say tha will serve Republicans’ political purposes, letting them campaign on their opposition having killed a bill that would ban any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in Kindergarten through third grade.

...
Read more 0
Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Parents’ Bill of Rights,” targeting LGBTQ kids, is full of wrongs, opponents say

On Wednesday night, after the state Senate voted to approve House Bill 755, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” State Rep. Cecil Brockman sounded ...
Read more 0
News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Living in his car, then a one-star motel, Goldsboro man who survived Hurricane Matthew gets little relief from state

Man's advocate says NCORR ignored requests for emergency repairs The grumbling of outboard motors announced that help had arrived.  In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew engulfed the city of Goldsboro in 15 inches of rain, lifting the Neuse River to a record 29.7 feet — 11 feet above flood stage.

...
Read more 0
Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Roverta and Franklin survived Hurricane Matthew, only to be ignored by the state’s RebuildNC program

For 28 years, Roverta and Franklin have owned a spacious mobile home and a lot in Dudley, in Wayne County. Here, they raised a family. They planted a flower garden. They barbecued in the backyard. Roberta ran a day care, as the couple’s own children grew into adults.

...
Read more 0
Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Unnatural disaster: A special PW series on North Carolina’s struggles to aid homeowners displaced by Hurricane Matthew

NC Policy Watch investigative reporter Lisa Sorg has documented in an ongoing series of powerful reports, the failure to deliver recovery services to scores of families who suffered grievous damage to their homes during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. That collection of reports is presented here.

...
Read more 0
Send this to a friend