Poor families facing cuts to child-care program

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Fewer working families will be eligible for child-care subsidies, if proposals in both the state House and Senate budget to change the income thresholds of participating families are adopted. The changes could affect up to 11 percent of the families that currently receive help, with legislative fiscal staff estimating nearly 12,000 of the 110,000 children [Continue Reading...]


Your Soapbox — On the Chopping Block: Elderly and disabled speak up about state budget cuts putting lives at risk

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Legislative leaders with the state Senate proposed massive cuts last week to the state’s Medicaid and other health and human services programs that serve the poor, disabled and elderly. The cuts include eliminating Medicaid coverage for nearly 12,000 elderly blind or disabled people and a $1 million reduction to a popular program that delivers meals and provides in-home health services to the elderly. [Continue Reading...]


State’s jobs czar without economic development experience, faced questions in past job

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The Raleigh businessman and “change agent” selected to steer the McCrory administration’s privatization of the state’s job recruitment efforts came into the high-profile job with no economic development background and a checkered work history. Richard “Dick” Lindenmuth, 69, will be taking charge of an entirely new method of economic development in the state [Continue Reading...]


DHHS looking at cuts to program for disabled babies, toddlers after ENC consolidation plan falls apart

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The state health agency’s cost-saving plan to shut down three offices serving developmentally delayed babies and toddlers has unexpectedly derailed, leaving questions about how deeply services will be cut. With the offices now staying open, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services still needs to find $10 million worth of cuts the [Continue Reading...]


State tax policy adds confusion, costs, and complications for NC’s same-sex couples

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Marie Baker and Amanda Niles received yet another reminder this tax season that their family isn’t recognized, much less embraced, by the state of North Carolina. When they began to consider how to file their taxes this year, the Durham couple realized that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages meant the couple would be filling [Continue Reading...]


On Sunshine Week: Public records, diligence reveal problems in DENR/Duke Energy relationship

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In fighting for the clean-up of coal ash ponds around the state, the Southern Environmental Law Center has depended on an unusual weapon, North Carolina’s public records law, to make its case about the dangers posed by the lagoons of toxic sludge that dot the state. The group has filed multiple requests for public documents [Continue Reading...]


New state economic development group outside of ethics laws

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The new public-private group that will run North Carolina’s business recruiting and economic development efforts won’t be subject to North Carolina’s ethics laws,  the set of rules requiring public servants, elected officials and state board members to disclose financial interests and avoid conflicts of interest. The board members for the Economic Development Partnership [Continue Reading...]


Food stamps backlog nearly met, but some still facing hardship

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State officials say they’re closing in on what was up until recently a massive backlog of thousands of low-income North Carolinian households waiting weeks or months for food stamps. At a legislative committee hearing Tuesday, N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers that a “herculean effort” from state and county [Continue Reading...]


State studies how virtual charters should work

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High numbers of withdrawals, unchecked truancy and low graduation rates can thwart success at virtual high schools, two online school providers told a state study group developing recommendations for how the controversial schooling choice could operate in North Carolina. “High school is a nightmare,” said Mary Gifford, the senior vice-president of education policy [Continue Reading...]


For-profit online school company tries again to open N.C. school

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A for-profit online school company has kept its eyes on North Carolina’s public education funding stream and recently renewed attempts to open a taxpayer-funded virtual charter school. If granted permission to open, K12, Inc., a Virginia-based education company traded on Wall Street (NYSE:LRN), would operate a school where students take [Continue Reading...]