N.C. General Assembly

N.C. General Assembly

Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC Republican lawmakers: Running government “like a business” alright

One supposes that it’s at least conceivable there could be merit to the idea of moving the headquarters of the 17-campus UNC System from the place it’s always been – Chapel Hill – to the state capital in Raleigh. Maybe. But here’s another obvious fact about such an ambitious plan: ramming it through without debate and without consulting the system’s Board of Governors would be a brazen and indefensible act.

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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

The legislature heads home – now what?

The North Carolina General Assembly brought its 2022 “short session” to a close last week. Well, at least, it kinda’ sorta’ did. Unlike in decades gone by in which the legislature generally adjourned in early summer, not to return until the following year, the current leadership on Jones Street prefers to keep the state’s supposedly part-time lawmakers yoyoing back and forth to the state capital. And so it is that the adjournment resolution approved by both houses last week...

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at pre-K access in North Carolina and around the country

When state lawmakers return to Raleigh later this month for the 2022 short session, look for renewed debate regarding the state's ongoing failure to comply with court orders in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that directed it to better fund North Carolina's public education system. One important aspect of those orders involves the state's commitment to providing quality early childhood education...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

State judiciary must protect NC from its power-hungry legislature

Among all the issues and challenges confronting North Carolina as 2022 gets under way – overcoming the pandemic, easing rural poverty, alleviating environmental threats, improving access to health care, on and on down the sobering list – it’s fair to say none is more urgent than shoring up our beleaguered public schools and strengthening citizens’ ability to participate meaningfully in our democracy.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Secret maps revelation, testimony of mathematicians deal blows to GOP defense as NC redistricting trial concludes

Three-judge panel to rule on plaintiffs' claims of illegal gerrymandering next Tuesday The trial on North Carolina redistricting ended with the bombshell that blew a hole in Republican claims of transparency, and included testimony from an array of mathematicians that computer programs could rarely, if ever, reproduce GOP-approved plans.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

General Assembly sends new state budget to Cooper for final approval

Despite concerns, most Senate and House Democrats vote to approve $25.9 billion plan  The first complete state budget in nearly three years will give teachers and state employees raises retroactive to July 1, spend nearly $1 billion to expand broadband, and billions more on new buildings.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

GOP legislative maps all but assure a less racially diverse General Assembly

Several Democratic lawmakers of color now reside in districts that strongly favor Republicans   More than a half dozen of North Carolina’s Black legislators are in danger of losing their seats, as Republican legislators decided not to draw election districts to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act as legislatures had in the past. 

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former McCrory aide, Locke Foundation staffer to help lead new, partisan oversight staff at legislature

After top Republican state lawmakers eliminated the legislature’s in-house watchdog agency, the Program Evaluation Division, in February Joe Coletti, then a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation lauded the decision. In a Feb. 22, 2021, article that appeared on the conservative think tank’s website, he opined that a partisan staff might be more nimble in performing the oversight function and making recommendations to increase government efficiency.

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Education News Top Story

Highlights and lowlights from the General Assembly as lawmakers pass 2021 “crossover deadline”

The state legislature marked “crossover” last week, the point at which most bills must pass at least one chamber to have a chance of becoming law this session.   House members had filed 969 bills by the end of last week, and senators had filed 721.  The House passed 351 bills by the crossover deadline, and the Senate passed 173. About two dozen have already become law.  

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Echoes of Trumpism continue to dominate at the General Assembly

While his serial dishonesty and corruption, criminal negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and complicity in a failed coup d’état clearly combined to make Donald Trump one of the worst presidents in American history, one has to hand the former chief executive one thing:  the man continues to inspire slavish loyalty from his blinded followers.

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Environment Top Story

Senate committee holds hostile confirmation hearing for Cooper DEQ nominee

And it's not over; hearing to be continued. Not until Minute 100 of a 120-minute confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Environment nominee Dionne Delli-Gatti did any lawmaker speak the words “environmental justice.” Even then, the context for the comment was not one of concern for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods who are disproportionately burdened by polluting industries.

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Education Top Story

Legislation to make autism services more accessible on the fast track at the General Assembly

Bipartisan Senate and House bills would follow lead of other states in licensing behavior analysts It’s difficult to imagine that a child being diagnosed with autism could bring relief to parents, but that’s what happened to Kyle Robinson and his wife, Bonnie.

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Original Commentary Top Story

N.C. General Assembly has failed to act, but the time to stop Chemours’ pollution is now

“How long before we say enough is enough?” state lawmaker Ted Davis Jr. asked his colleagues in the N.C. House in February. “How much more is Chemours going to get away with before something is done?”

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