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NC must end its cruel and unjust denial of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

While state leaders idle, thousands remain stuck on waiting list for decades A few weeks ago, I felt devastated when I read about the death of Ruby Loftin. Ruby was a beloved community member, sister, and daughter who died at age 64 after waiting in line (unsuccessfully) for more than 19 years to receive services...

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC journalism faculty members: Wealthy donors should not define the school’s values

Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill journalism school faculty overwhelmingly reject the notion that a mega-donor's "core values" of journalism should be the official values of the school, according to a recent survey. Instead, the faculty members favor independently determining the school's values.

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Environment Top Story

State officials investigating source of Cleveland County PFAS contamination

Tests show high PFAS levels at site that received contaminated soil from massive Colonial Pipeline spill, as well as nearby stream Julia Hughes was walking her dog near Shelby, in rural Cleveland County, last winter when she spotted a mysterious foam in a culvert by the side of the road.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

It’s time to say ‘no’ to the massive tax conservatives are imposing on Americans

As P.T. Barnum is so famously credited with observing a century and half ago, Americans can be a surprisingly credulous people. Whether it’s a circus sideshow curiosity, a new cure-all elixir or a supposedly surefire “get rich” scheme, ours is a nation of hopeful people who like to believe...

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On its 56th anniversary, America’s most popular and effective health care program needs an upgrade

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare, his “number one priority,” into law. On July 1, 1966, using primitive communication techniques such as post cards and door-to-door canvassing, the vast majority of Americans over 65 were enrolled. Today Medicare is our most popular and cost-effective health insurance program.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: New polling shows NC voters want to keep the corporate income tax, spend federal relief funds on core services

Last month the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would eliminate the state corporate income tax over five years, beginning in 2024. New polling, released last week by progressive policy group State Innovation Exchange (SiX), however, shows North Carolina voters overwhelmingly oppose such a change.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC Court of Appeals issues controversial rulings on involuntary commitment process

Why would public defenders representing patients want a requirement that prosecutors be present? Each year, Bob Ward, an assistant public defender in Mecklenburg County, helps more than 1,000 patients with mental illness navigate a process in which a doctor asks the state for permission to force them to receive treatment.

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Education Top Story

Controversial Republican-backed school-reform model on target to be phased out

The Innovative School District (ISD), a Republican-backed school reform model that has failed to produce results, could be phased out in two years.  A provision tucked inside the state Senate's proposed 2021-2023 budget calls for North Carolina to “Transition from the Innovative School District Model” and end plans to select additional schools for the district.

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Environment News Top Story

Capitol Hill update: Senate Republicans slow infrastructure plan, House passes PFAS bill

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

My daughter is enrolled in Pfizer’s vaccine trial because I don’t trust COVID

On a sunny Wednesday a little over a month ago, my 7-year-old daughter bravely held my hand as we walked into Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to participate in a pediatric vaccine trial.  After a numbing agent, a blood draw and a nasal swab, she was finally injected with either a placebo or the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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Environment News Top Story

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

WASHINGTON—Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, are expected to bring the measure to the House floor for passage later this week.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Faculty members protest Board of Governors’ interference with UNC Press leadership

BOG member says refusal to reappoint law professor Eric Muller is a message to students, campus leaders and faculty that they "are not in charge of the system" The UNC-Chapel Hill faculty is opposing what they say is undue political influence on appointments to the UNC Press Board of Governors.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Sowing death and destruction for political gain: the GOP and vaccine hostility

There have been many contributing factors to the disastrous scope and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States over the past year, but right now, tragically, misinformation and ignorance top the list. As NC Policy Watch investigative journalist Lynn Bonner reported last week, despite the rapid spread of the deadly and highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, millions of North Carolinians are still steering clear of vaccination...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Experts warn against ‘sham election audits’ movement

Experts from four different national nonprofits (the Brennan Center for for Justice, Protect Democracy, Fair Fight Action and States United Action) came together last week at an online panel discussion to examine the latest worrisome trend in undermining democracy: illegitimate election recounts.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis

State and national housing experts say the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout underscore the need for a stronger housing safety net. The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently released its annual report examining the significant gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former McCrory aide, Locke Foundation staffer to help lead new, partisan oversight staff at legislature

After top Republican state lawmakers eliminated the legislature’s in-house watchdog agency, the Program Evaluation Division, in February Joe Coletti, then a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation lauded the decision. In a Feb. 22, 2021, article that appeared on the conservative think tank’s website, he opined that a partisan staff might be more nimble in performing the oversight function and making recommendations to increase government efficiency.

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