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Progressive Voices Top Story

Effects of opioid epidemic: Another powerful reason to close the Medicaid coverage gap

From 1999-2016, opioid-related overdose fatalities increased by more than 800 percent in North Carolina, resulting in more than 12,000 preventable deaths statewide and a marked increase in the number of children heading into the state’s foster care system. ...
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Environment Top Story

Susan Wind had a reason to press state officials about a possible cancer cluster near Lake Norman. Her daughter had the disease.

The lump started small and hid behind her ear. Harmless, the doctor said, nothing to worry about.

So Taylor Wind, then 14, went about her business, attending high school, hanging out with friends and enjoying life in her neighborhood on the shores of Lake Norman in Iredell County.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

New voter suppression proposals echo North Carolina’s dark past

Would that North Carolina lawmakers had been so direct as “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, a virulent white supremacist from South Carolina who, in February 1900, told his colleagues on the U.S. Senate floor that the South’s methodical disenfranchisement of African Americans was, in fact, some sort of triumph.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Lawmakers on their way to changing judicial districts during candidate filing

The Senate voted along party lines Tuesday night to overturn a partial judicial redistricting bill in an apparent attempt to flex its political muscle at Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Local election officials detail problems with controversial early voting bill

Viola Williams has been crunching numbers and working out possible solutions since last week, when the General Assembly fast-tracked a controversial bill that makes sweeping changes to early voting.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Late session chaos: Lawmakers send a flood of bad bills to Cooper (and it could get worse this week)

“I’m speechless.” So began the heartfelt lament of Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) late last Friday afternoon as the veteran representative—a rare lawmaker of deep intellect and genuine compassion for the less fortunate in our society—rose to address yet another backroom deal on a matter of complexity and importance that would make life appreciably worse for a group of our society’s lowliest citizens: mentally ill prisoners.

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U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering rulings could put North Carolina cases front and center

It’s not over till it’s over, and all eyes are now on North Carolina to carry on the partisan gerrymandering fight after the U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped two opportunities from other states to intervene. The court released two highly-anticipated opinions Monday: Gil v. Whitford, a challenge to Republican partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and Benisek v. Lamone, a challenge to a Democratic partisan gerrymander in Maryland.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: All about voting

With midterm elections around the corner, lawmakers have, unsurprisingly, taken aim at last minute changes that would affect voters at the polls. Senate Bill 325 eliminates the last early voting Saturday before this year’s elections and create uniform early voting hours across the state. It was sent to the Governor’s Office Friday. Legislators have also introduced a constitutional amendment that would require voters to present a photo identification before casting a ballot. It’s expected to be voted on next week.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Allegations of sexism, partisanship follow local election board’s disqualification of Berger challenger

On May 25, the news headlines read that Democratic state Senate candidate Jen Mangrum had been disqualified from her bid to unseat Sen. Phil Berger, arguably the most powerful state lawmaker in North Carolina. Republicans had challenged Mangrum’s residency in Berger’s district near the Virginia line, and a panel of election officials from Berger’s Senate District 30 voted on party lines to oust Mangrum...

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Environment Top Story

Industry bill to limit nuisance suits against hog operations nearing final passage

If it seemed impossible that neighbors of industrialized hog farms had any legal rights left to lose, a new version of the N.C. Farm Act strips those residents of any ability to sue industrialized hog farms for nuisance. After being amended six times Wednesday, the Farm Act, also known as Senate Bill 711, is on the verge of becoming law, even though several Republicans broke rank and opposed the measure.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Trump proves once again that women are second-class citizens in his America

In another effort to pander to the minority of Americans who want to make abortion and birth control inaccessible, President Trump has again used women’s health to cynically play politics.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Previously undisclosed fiscal note says victims’ rights constitutional amendment could cost state millions

Can you put a price tag on victims' rights? A fiscal note obtained by NC Policy Watch that has been kept confidential for the past year would indicate that you can – and a hefty one at that. The fiscal note, dated February 8, 2017, from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), estimates that a change to the victim rights section of the state constitution -- a multi-part proposal known as known as Marsy’s Law -- would cost the courts $16.4 million to implement and $30.5 million annually in subsequent years for additional district attorney staff.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As the legislative session winds down, Democrats seek a compromise for storing “Silent Sam”

A new bill to relocate the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument on UNC’s flagship Chapel Hill campus aims to be a compromise in the contentious, decades-long fight over the statue.

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Original Commentary Top Story

GOP leaders seek to poison school safety bill with partisan attack on the Affordable Care Act

The practice of loading down noncontroversial legislation with divisive and partisan provisions is an all-too-common phenomenon at the modern North Carolina General Assembly. When former North Carolina senator Angela Bryant unloaded on this year’s class-size funding ceasefire, the characteristically blunt Democrat...

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Conservative leaders go with corporate power over human wellbeing (and even property rights)

It usually happens a few times every legislative session: at some point during their annual stay in the state capital, North Carolina lawmakers come to a bellwether moment or two at which they provide a full expression of who they are and what they stand for. Sometimes, these moments are about race...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Worst-of-all-worlds immigration bill would harm foreign and U.S. workers

Just when you thought U.S. immigration policy couldn’t get any crueler or more dysfunctional, along come the conservative Republicans in the congressional “Freedom Caucus” to take things to a new low. The latest potentially disastrous proposal:

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