Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: More details on the GOP budget sent to Gov. Cooper last Friday

10 – The number of consecutive years that North Carolina General Fund spending has declined when measured as a percentage of total state personal income (i.e. the best measurement of our ability to afford public investments).

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Defending Democracy Must Reads Original Commentary Top Story

The secretly-negotiated 2018 budget: What’s in it? Why won’t legislative leaders allow real debate?

One would think that legislative leaders would be proud of yet another round of cutting taxes for the wealthiest and shortchanging everyone else. But if they are, why did they develop their budget in secret and why are they limiting opportunities for debate and amendments?

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

A truly Trumpian budget for North Carolina

Secrecy. Greed. Dishonesty. Self-dealing. Neglect disguised as concern. Contempt for democracy. If one were asked to describe the most notable hallmarks of the administration of President Donald Trump, it would be hard to come up with six more accurate characterizations.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

NC’s incentives bid for Apple needs more Road Runner, less Wile E. Coyote

Apple is reportedly coming to town, or at least considering it, and state lawmakers are tweaking the state budget to lure the corporate giant with a new package of incentives. Unfortunately, when one examines the latest proposal released by Senator Berger and Speaker Moore in today’s budget, it’s hard not to be reminded of the old “Looney Tunes” cartoons...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Tuesday numbers: A look at some key differences in the budget proposals of Gov. Cooper and legislative leaders

$130 million – the amount Gov. Roy Cooper has proposed to improve school safety in his budget in response to recent school shootings $35 million – the amount Republicans legislative leaders have proposed for the same purpose

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Weekend “must read”: Ten education policies to watch closely in the 2018 legislative session

With the 2018 legislative session underway, and rumors of a budget being unveiled soon, below are 10 education issues that bear close monitoring. 1. Teacher salaries ...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Latest Trump immigration “public charge” rule proposal plumbs new depths

In the aftermath of the recent successful push to ward off huge cuts to food assistance programs in the federal Farm Bill, advocates are now organizing to defeat another discriminatory and destructive attack on the supports to families who are struggling to get by and on our immigration system that should allow families to stay together.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

One simple, moral and business-friendly step NC lawmakers could take to boost the economy

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grown during this modern Gilded Age we currently inhabit, but two factoids from a recent CNN story say an awful lot about where things stand: #1 – The U.S. unemployment rate just dipped to an 18-year low recently at 3.9%, and #2 – nearly 51 million American households (around 43%) don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Why we march: A North Carolina teacher details the conservative assault on public schools

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions, and benefits in North Carolina’s education system would evaporate over the course of my teaching career. Since 2008, state education funding has been on a downward slide. When adjusted for inflation, North Carolina spends about 7.9% less than it did before the recession.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

Process schmocess: Berger, Moore say 2019 budget changes have already been negotiated

For those who pay only periodic attention to the ins and outs of lawmaking in the North Carolina General Assembly, there was a powerful reminder last week of just how broken things are and how cloistered and detached the conservative powers-that-be in the state Legislative Building have become after several years of unfettered rule.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Racial mortgage disparities persist as federal housing enforcement lags

In the classic movie film, Gone with the Wind, the owner of the Tara plantation admonished his daughter for remarking that she didn’t care about her home. In a sharp rebuke, Gerald O-Hara declared that “land was the ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

A new Poor People’s Campaign for the 21st Century launches next week

As daily news of scandal and corruption comes to light, an underlying message emerges: our nation is in dire need of a moral revival. We had a good start fifty years ago when the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood with sanitation workers in Memphis to demand fair wages and dignity. Their “I am a man” signs conveyed a simple message:

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