Update: Why the 2015 state budget undermines North Carolina’s competitiveness


State investments in education, health care, infrastructure and other priorities are essential for economic opportunity and quality of life. Yet, North Carolina’s 2015 state budget is unsustainable and inadequate. It undermines North Carolina’s economic competitiveness by not meeting the needs of North Carolina families and communities. This will continue to be a problem [Continue Reading…]

New poll finds broad support for good, quality jobs for all


The results show North Carolinians back living wage standards, minimum wages and paid sick leave across all political affiliations [Editor’s note: As the 2014 session of the North Carolina General Assembly lists slowly and painfully toward its conclusion, many important subjects remain unaddressed or still in dispute. Unfortunately, one area in which legislative [Continue Reading…]

The Follies


If you’re a regular NC Policy Watch reader, you’ve probably noticed by now that the Fitzsimon File has been on vacation this week. That’s because the state’s hardest working and best informed political observer/commentator has been too. Unfortunately for the folks at the North Carolina General Assembly, however, they appear to have missed [Continue Reading…]

Monday coal ash numbers


156—number of days since a massive coal ash spill commenced at an abandoned Duke Energy power plant near Eden and contaminated the Dan River with toxic coal ash Approximately 39,000—amount of coal ash (in tons) that spilled into the river (Duke Energy revised estimate – original estimate placed the figure between 50,000 and [Continue Reading…]

Caregivers at risk


New report documents the urgent need for fair pay and paid leave for those who care for our aging population Direct care workers such as home health aides and unpaid caregivers (usually family members) are the foundation of long-term care in North Carolina’s homes and communities. Unfortunately, the state lacks supportive workplace policies [Continue Reading…]

The real and underreported problem with NC’s business incentives program


As state lawmakers return to Raleigh this week, business incentives (and especially incentives provided to the film industry) will again be a subject of significant discussion. Lawmakers will debate whether they really create jobs and whether they’re worth the expense. Unfortunately, one aspect of the business incentives debate that continues to get far [Continue Reading…]

Budget debate offers legislators opportunity to change North Carolina’s direction


The Legislature’s upcoming budget debate offers an opportunity to change North Carolina’s direction and ensure a stronger recovery from the Great Recession by making critical investments in areas that support North Carolina families and communities, says a new report. Legislators can make the 2014 session a success by increasing investments in the classroom, [Continue Reading…]

First in flight from EITC: Working families bid farewell to NC Earned Income Tax Credit


Unless lawmakers reverse course, close to one million working families in North Carolina will claim the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the last time this tax season, bringing pain to individual families and the state’s economy. Last year, North Carolina lawmakers put an end to the state EITC and subsequently pursued deep tax [Continue Reading…]