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Veteran WaPo columnist: “North Carolina Republicans put ideology above lives”

Veteran Washington Post columnist Dana Millbank gets things just about right in this new essay about the stubborn refusal of the state’s conservative political leaders to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Millbank’s column was inspired by Belhaven mayor Adam O’Neal’s march to Washington that was designed to highlight the plight of his small ...

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Yet another environmental outrage at the General Assembly

It’s last-minute sausage making time down on Jones Street and lawmakers are doing their worst to ram through a raft of measures that are of, by and for the well-heeled special interests. See for example the 54-page “technical corrections” bill that was passed by the House last week and that’s scheduled to blitz through the ...

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Attorney General on defending Amendment One: It’s time to stop making arguments we will lose (video)

Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke out Monday following the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Cooper said while his office has “vigorously defended” North Carolina’s ban, today’s appellate ruling makes it clear that Amendment One will eventually be overturned. “It’s time to stop making arguments ...

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Members of British Parliament join U.S. farmworker leader in call for justice

On Sunday at Pullen Church in Raleigh at an event sponsored by the National Farm Worker Ministry, two members of the British Parliament–Ian Lavery and James Sheridan–joined American farmworker leader Baldemar Velasquez to speak to over 200 supporters about their current tour and mission in the U.S. to fight for justice among farmworkers. Velasquez is ...

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Updated: Fourth Circuit finds Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

In a 2-1 ruling today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — which decides appeals from federal courts in  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland — found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The precedent from the ruling applies to all of these states. Affirming a lower court ruling and writing for the Court ...

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Legislators pressed to strengthen coal ash bill before adjournment (video)

State lawmakers may come together with a final budget bill this week, but environmentalists say there is plenty of work to do on a final coal ash management bill before legislators wrap-up the session. Grady McCallie, policy director for the NC Conservation Network, says both the House and Senate versions of the coal ash bill ...

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Eastern North Carolina could see lower electricity bills, with deal announced Monday

A deal between two North Carolina electricity providers could finally give some Eastern North Carolina residents relief from monthly electricity bills that rank among highest in the state. The N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy announced Monday a plan for Duke to buy $1.2 billion worth of assets held by the municipal power ...

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Rep. Cotham to McCrory: Keep your word and veto bill that thwarts charter school transparency

Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenberg) sent a letter on Monday to Gov. Pat McCrory, asking him to veto legislation sent to him last week by the General Assembly that allows private, for-profit charter school operators to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds.  “While this bill requires that charter schools disclose the ...

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Unemployment insurance debt paid down by jobless workers

Last week as the Budget & Tax Center released its analysis of the impact of unemployment insurance changes on jobless workers one year later, the Department of Commerce Employment Security Division announced that the unemployment insurance debt will be paid down early. The resolution of the debt in August 2015 rather than November 2015 will ...

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“White smoke” on Jones Street really a sign of leaking oil

In an allusion to the signal that’s seen in the Vatican when the leaders of the Catholic Church elect a new Pope, at least one news media report this morning is talking about “white smoke” being visible on Jones Street. The story accompanying the headline, of course, is that leaders of the North Carolina General ...

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