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Other Voices Top Story

New report: Income tax amendment would put schools, transportation, public health at risk

A new report from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center finds that imposing an arbitrary income tax cap in the North Carolina constitution could fundamentally compromise our state’s ability to fund our schools, roads, and public health, as well as raise the cost of borrowing.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Reform advocates voice optimism as Courts Commission prepares to tackle bail reform

When the North Carolina Courts Commission meets Friday, it will begin to take a look at an issue making national headlines: bail reform. Last month, California became the first state in the country to officially end cash bail. Republicans and Democrats in the state came together to end a system the Chief Justice of the California called “outdated, unsafe and unfair.”

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Trump administration ‘fishing expedition’ could compromise privacy of millions of NC voters

If North Carolina election officials are forced to comply with federal subpoenas for election data, the government would have information about how more than two million people voted over the past eight years.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New report lays out roadmap for ending mass incarceration in NC

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina today released a report that outlines how North Carolina can reduce its jail and prison population by half and save more than $1 billion by pursuing reforms that include....

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Ethics officials must take a close look at Superintendent Mark Johnson’s iPad purchase

If you missed it last week and care at all about the subject of ethics in government, please take a few minutes to read Policy Watch reporter Billy Ball’s investigative report on the recent $6 million iPad purchase that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson completed earlier this summer.

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Environment Top Story

Do you live near a coal ash disposal site?

The Family Dollar store on East Second Street in downtown Weldon is a convenient spot for kayakers to grab a bottle of water and a bag of snacks before heading to the Roanoke River just three blocks away. But in late 2009 and early 2010, state environmental inspectors learned that coal ash from Roanoke Valley Energy, whose material three years earlier had been used to build the parking lot, was seen on the west side of the property.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Tuesday numbers: The state of working North Carolina

The following numbers are from the N.C. Budget and Tax Center’s new and special “State of Working North Carolina” report, “Crucial Connections How public works can boost: North Carolina’s work force and connect rural N.C.”

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Round and round we go: Ballot litigation updates

The clock has almost run out for ballot litigation, but in what seems to have become true North Carolina fashion, there will likely be more delay.

There were five pending lawsuits that could affect the November ballot — now there are three. Lawmakers had tried to address some court issues by rewriting two of the six proposed constitutional amendments in question but have just come under more legal fire.

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Environment Top Story

Pipeline fund battle continues: Lawmakers seek further review of Governor’s deal with Dominion

The $57.8 million carrot is wilting. The purpose of the voluntary fund, agreed to by Gov. Roy Cooper and Dominion Energy last January as part of a deal involving the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, had already been derailed.

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Education Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Ethics questions raised on DPI’s $6 million iPad purchase

When N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced a $6.6 million purchase of iPads to support early grade literacy in August, it seemed welcome news for North Carolina school districts that have long complained of inadequate state resources.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

As teachers and students return, state and federal lawmakers are still failing to address school safety

School has started again for most North Carolina children. And last week, Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education was debating whether schools could use federal funds to purchase guns for teachers.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Silent Sam’s future still uncertain; UNC Board demands plan from Folt, trustees by Nov. 15

A week after protesters toppled the only Confederate monument on a UNC campus, the fate of Silent Sam is still uncertain. The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors held overlapping special meetings Tuesday, a week after protesters tore the statue down.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

North Carolina’s principal pay plan does more harm than good

When school buses start to roll across the state this month for the beginning of school year 2018-19, North Carolina principals will begin their second year of a performance-based compensation system. Under the new system, principals are no longer compensated based on years of experience, given longevity bonuses or paid a higher rate for advanced degrees they’ve earned.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Desperate times for the Right lead to desperate measures in Washington and Raleigh

To say that these are extraordinary political times for our state and nation is to put things rather mildly. Across the country, open, high-level conversations about the President of the United States’ serial dishonesty and possible involvement in illegal – perhaps criminal – activity are as common as complaints about the infernal summer weather.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Death penalty attorney, 15 years after watching her client executed: “I still talk to him sometimes”

I watched him die 15 years ago, and I still talk to him sometimes. I talked to him a lot in the weeks after he was killed and thought maybe I was going a little crazy. And then I thought, it’s probably normal to go a little crazy when you see somebody killed 10 feet in front of you, somebody you knew really well and cared about and tried so hard to save.

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the history of women serving in the NC General Assembly

To get a sense of the historical marginalization of women in the General Assembly, look no further than the bathrooms in the Legislative Building. Slightly larger than a phone booth, the bathrooms contain only one toilet and one sink...

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