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North Carolina

If only we’d allow Obamacare to “not work” in NC like it’s “not working” in Washington state

As Adam Linker explained last week when he debunked the latest conservative mythology surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the law continues to succeed despite its imperfections and the endless, hysterical attacks of the President’s political opponents. Today, there’s still more confirmation of this undeniable reality from Washington state. As The Olympian reported this morning, the ...

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The message to lawmakers: teachers are everywhere

Teacher pay is at the heart of the 2015 budget negotiations right now—and if you’re wondering why, consider this: in 64 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, a school system is that county’s largest employer. WUNC reporters Dave DeWitt and Keith Weston put together a fascinating infographic that highlights this reality, noting that in 24 more ...

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N.C. unemployment stays at 6.4 percent in June, while number of jobs in state goes down

June’s jobs numbers are out for North Carolina, showing that the state has held on to its unemployment rate of 6.4 percent for the second straight month. The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent for June. The North Carolina numbers for June released by N.C. Commerce Department show a much lower unemployment rate than a ...

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California court confirms futility of the death penalty

(Cross-posted from the blog of the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty). By Kristin Collins Yesterday, a California court confirmed what we have known in North Carolina for years: The death penalty is so dysfunctional as to be not just unconstitutional, but futile. The ruling said of a system in which inmates sit ...

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Senate bill would further limit local governments’ tax authority and force a choice between public education and transit

Plans to finance both public education and transit at the local level would be stopped in their tracks under HB 1224 that passed the state Senate Finance Committee yesterday. The bill not only places a hard cap on the local sales tax rate at 2.5 percent but also only allows counties to levy a sales ...

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Editorial: Common Core “repeal” likely symbolic

An editorial in this morning’s Greensboro News & Record offers some important insights on the legislation — soon to be law — that “repeals” North Carolina’s adherence to Common Core education standards (i.e. the standards we’ve already spent tens of millions of dollars on to implement). The movement led by some Republicans to withdraw North ...

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North Carolina’s Poet Laureate resigns post

Less than a week after being appointed North Carolina’s newest Poet Laureate, Valerie Macon resigned from the post on Thursday. The self-published poet from Fuquay-Varina said in a letter to Governor Pat McCrory she appreciated his confidence in her, but she did not want to distract from the Office of Poet Laureate. Macon’s appointment drew ...

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Mission accomplished?

Steve Harrison over at Blue NC has a good catch today in a post entitled “90% of coal ash remains in Dan River after Duke ‘completes’ cleanup.” As Steve notes: If this is what they call “success,” one would hate to see them fail: “Since the operation began on May 6, approximately 2,500 tons of ...

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Tonight’s take-home reading assignment

As state lawmakers continue to go about the business of overhauling important aspects of state government “on the fly” with complex, last-minute proposals that receive only superficial review in kangaroo committee meetings — see, for example, the Senate’s latest mad effort to privatize the state’s Medicaid system in the waning days of the 2014 session ...

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Governor: Laureate honor not reserved for ‘elite’

Governor Pat McCrory is now answering questions about how he came to choose Valerie Macon as North Carolina’s newest poet laureate. The governor defended his decision Wednesday saying the little known self-published poet from Fuquay-Varina would bring a new voice to the position: “One of my objectives is to open up the availability of all ...

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