Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

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The budget chess match: Cooper offers compromise; Berger, Moore offer pork to woo Dems for veto override

Gov. Roy Cooper released a proposed budget compromise Tuesday as Republican legislative leaders continue to search for the votes to overturn his veto. The proposal does offer compromises on areas of disagreement from teacher raises and State Capital and Infrastructure Fund money to tax cuts and school vouchers.

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Monday numbers: In Pride Month, a closer look at LGBTQ mental health

June is Pride Month – a time to celebrate of LGBTQ equality and remember the origins of the ongoing struggle for it. This year it is being declared and celebrated in North Carolina from the capital to our smaller towns. But it is worth remembering: while today’s LGBTQ youth live in a world much more accepting than the one that sparked the Stonewall riot, many are still struggling.

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Sources link UNC-Vidant dispute to ongoing battles between Board of Governors and ECU

As lawmakers work to negotiate a final state budget by the end of the month, the ongoing conflict between Vidant Health and the UNC System continues to unfold through public jabs and in private mediation. In the balance: Tens of millions in medicaid reimbursements to one of Eastern North Carolina’s most vital hospital systems.

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Advocates hope changes in Durham are a bellwether for bail reform in NC

Serena Sebring and Kayla Hartsfield were arrested last month after chaining themselves to the gates outside the Durham County Detention Center. The two women, activists with Southerners On New Ground (SONG), were trying to bring attention to a cash bail system they say has utterly failed. Studies show the current system disproportionately jails minorities, the poor and those accused of non-violent crimes while failing to effectively assure defendants make their court dates in higher numbers than those who are offered alternatives to cash bail.

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Not so open: Critics say UNC Board of Governors excludes the public from its “public” meetings

Hoping to hear some discussion of the future of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument, Lindsay Ayling and a few other UNC-Chapel Hill students attempted to attend last week’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors. Attempted, as it turns out, was the operative word.

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Right and left find rare bit of common ground on “second chance” legislation

More than 1,000 people descended on the capitol Wednesday to lobby for the Second Chance Act -- a bill they say will profoundly change the lives of those with criminal charges or convictions on their record. Senate Bill 562 would automatically expunge criminal charges that have been dismissed or disposed...

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PW exclusive: ‘Boy Erased’ author talks surviving conversion therapy in Durham

When a 19-year old Garrard Conley was sent to a “conversion therapy” program in 2004, it wasn’t something people discussed openly. “If you were to search for it on the Internet -- probably on Yahoo back then -- you would have gotten all these smiling pictures and testimonials from people saying how it worked for them, how they weren’t gay now and they were happy.”

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PW spotlight: The case for banning conversion therapy in North Carolina

Mitchell Gold, like many gay North Carolinians, cannot understand why there isn’t already a state law banning so-called “conversion” therapy. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C. now ban the practice, which aims to “cure” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. and polls show a law forbidding it in North Carolina enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support.

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Facing ACLU deadline, N.C. officials balk on transferring transgender inmate from men’s prison

Kanautica Zayre-Brown, a transgender woman seeking transfer out of a men’s prison in Lillington, spent much of last month in solitary confinement. But last week, as the deadline to avoid a lawsuit from the ACLU approached, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety transferred Zayre-Brown from the Harnett County Correctional Institution. Not to a women’s prison, as she and the ACLU had requested...

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NC lawmakers introduce package of LGBTQ-friendly bills

On Thursday Democratic state lawmakers filed three bills designed to protect LGBTQ North Carolinians from discrimination, outlaw harmful “conversion” therapy that targets them and fully repeal HB2 -- the infamous law that cast an international spotlight on the state as a battleground for transgender rights.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the real world challenges confronting transgender North Carolinians

In 2016 the battle over HB2 cast an international spotlight on the struggles of transgender people in North Carolina. Despite the law’s partial repeal and replacement with HB421 - which critics continue to challenge as “HB2.0” - transgender people in the state continue to face hardships and discrimination.

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In North Carolina, the battle for transgender people’s medical coverage heads to court

At the end of this month, Michael Bunting is leaving his job at UNC-Chapel Hill after nearly 30 years. It wasn’t an easy decision. It’s not that he doesn’t love his job as an assistant athletic director. It’s not that he’s ready to retire at 52...

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Gun violence debate renewed with introduction of competing bills in the NC House

This month marked the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The deadliest high school mass shooting in American history, the Parkland tragedy made more urgent the always contentious political issue of gun laws.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at murder and extremism in the U.S.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has released its annual report on Murder and Extremism in the United States. The 2018 numbers show a sharp increase in murders by domestic extremists, especially right-wing groups.

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Days appear to be numbered for Winston-Salem Confederate monument

At the corner of 4th and Liberty Streets in downtown Winston-Salem, the city is changing. A construction crew is working throughout the week, where a pile of demolition debris will soon become a Hotel Indigo - part of a chain of hip, modern boutique hotels.

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Five of the top PW Investigates stories of 2018

1) Trove of emails provides a window into conflicts at UNC The University of North Carolina system has for several years struggled with the increasing politicization of the UNC Board of Governors, the members of which are appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

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