Voucher scheme is not about helping low-income children


After Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood understandably ruled last week that the sketchy unaccountable private school voucher scheme created by the 2013 General Assembly was unconstitutional, voucher supporters responded almost in unison with a single talking point, that somehow the judge had “trapped underprivileged children in failing schools.” The claim may be offensive [Continue Reading...]

Monday numbers


71—number of days until November general election (N.C. State Board of Elections) 153—number of sitting state legislators running for the General Assembly again in November (“State Legislators Pile Up $8 Million for Campaigns; Incumbent Advantage Will Grow with PACs’ “Gratitude Money,” Democracy North Carolina, August 18, 2014) 74—number of legislators seeking reelection facing [Continue Reading...]

Monday numbers


24—number of states including North Carolina that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (“What Is the Result of States Not Expanding Medicaid?,” Urban Institute and Robert Wood Foundation, August 2014) 6.7 million—number of residents of the 24 states that will remain uninsured in 2017 as a result of the decision [Continue Reading...]

Monday numbers


3.2 million—amount in dollars of the original no-bid contract awarded to out-of-state consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal to manage the finances of the state Medicaid program (“DHHS doubles money paid in no-bid Medicaid contract,”  News & Observer, August 9, 2014) 6.8 million—amount in dollars of the no-bid contract awarded to Alvarez and Marsal [Continue Reading...]

Monday numbers


183—number of days since a massive coal ash spill at an abandoned Duke Energy power plant near Eden contaminated the Dan River with 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash and 24 million gallons of ash-contaminated wastewater (Appalachian Voices) 33—number of unlined coal ash pits that Duke Energy has at 14 sites throughout North Carolina [Continue Reading...]

The Follies


Republican infighting derails coal ash bill It turns out the long “short” summer session of the General Assembly is not ending this weekend. Instead lawmakers are just taking a Congressional-like recess for a couple of weeks and reconvening in August and again in November. So much for limited and efficient government. There are [Continue Reading...]