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LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances take effect in four NC communities

As the legacy of HB 2 continues to fade, nine North Carolina cities and counties now bar discrimination against LGBTQ individuals Four new North Carolina communities now have LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, protecting citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW investigates: Lax reporting laws allow campaigns to hide how millions are spent

Election watchdogs call on regulators to better track and police campaign consultant expenditures In the final two months of the 2020 General Election, the campaign of Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina, shelled out $25 million to the consulting firm Screen Strategies Media, apparently for advertising.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

No more excuses for lawmakers when it comes to public schools

Veteran civil rights attorney explains why the General Assembly must comply with a court order to adequately fund public education Recently, state Superior Court Judge David Lee issued the latest order in the Leandro v. State lawsuit. The judge directed the state to remedy the longstanding violation of the constitutional right of North Carolina public school children to a “sound basic education” ...

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Protecting the health of North Carolinians shouldn’t be a game

Durham high school student explains why vaccine lottery could backfire in the long run North Carolina’s vaccine lottery just announced its first two winners. But while the $1 million and $125,000 prizes are going to two very lucky (and admittedly, very deserving) individuals, the lottery itself runs counter to our values as a society and a state.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

DC update: Debates over race, discrimination and history take center stage on Capitol Hill

U.S. House votes to scuttle statues of Confederate leaders and slavery defenders, including NC's Vance WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove from the Capitol a bust of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Marylander who wrote the despised Dred Scott decision—as well as evict statues and busts of men who fought for the Confederacy or served in its government.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As board prepares to vote on Hannah-Jones tenure, struggle continues over direction of UNC

Tenure supporters express optimism even as outside political pressure mounts After more than a month of headlines, revelations, petitions and protests, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday to confront the issue of tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Personal responsibility phonies: Conservative pols’ griping about baseball team’s dismissal is sadly emblematic

No modern politician ever got in trouble with their constituents by complaining about the way a hometown sports team was treated by officials. Especially in recent decades, griping about unpopular official rulings has become the default position for public figures looking to curry favor with voters.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The NC Drug Tax is designed to ensnare and penalize people, especially those of color

Damned if you do, damned if you don't: The tax is required, but nearly impossible to pay Last week, I tried and failed to pay the North Carolina Drug Tax. Turns out, failure was inevitable: It’s virtually impossible to pay this tax. So why is it still law?

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at how the Senate’s and the Governor’s budgets compare in some key areas

Legislators spent last week deep in numbers as the Senate Republicans released their budget proposal, which the full Senate approved on Friday. The measure now heads to the state House, where significant revisions are expected. The two chambers will then create a compromise budget sometime this summer that will go to Gov. Roy Cooper.

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Environment Top Story

House passes Farm Act, which will fast-track controversial biogas projects

Rep. Jimmy Dixon calls agriculture "a whipping boy," says opposition is unfair Mt. Zion AME Church sits a ways off the road, flanked by farm fields near the Sampson County town of Magnolia. The small brick church, whose congregation is predominantly Black, is 100 years old. But its drinking water well is new.

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Environment News Top Story

U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved major bipartisan legislation that aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, led by Michigan Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat and Fred Upton, a Republican, was approved 33-20 late Wednesday.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

PW special report: The right’s coordinated assault on Critical Race Theory in North Carolina

Conservatives warn of a conspiracy to indoctrinate schoolchildren, but critics dismiss claims as cynical political theater A well-orchestrated and growing movement to ban Critical Race Theory from America’s classrooms has taken root in North Carolina, even though many educators say the concept is not taught in public schools.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

A 303-mile hole in claim that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is critical to energy security

After the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, fossil fuel industry advocates have redoubled their efforts to frame the completion of other U.S. pipeline projects as a critical energy security issue. However, there is a 42-inch wide, 303-mile long gaping hole in this line of argumentation: the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC Senate on track to pass budget bill that includes controversial law changes

Special provisions target executive branch powers of Democratic officials Budget-writing season started with talk of hoped for cooperation and budget that would gain significant bipartisan support.   That’s all soured in the early stages of budget debates, with Senate Democrats questioning a Republican-written budget that’s pumped full of special provisions that would limit executive branch powers. 

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Settled into new homes, refugees in U.S. say they are working for a better life for all

Violence, persecution and wars amid a global pandemic added to the growing number of displaced persons around the world last year. The United Nations reports that 11.2 million people were displaced from their homelands in 2020, bringing the total number of displaced persons in the world to 82.4 million. Of those forced to flee their homes, 1.4 million had to leave their country.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The legislature’s secret energy bill: For our children and grandchildren, we simply must do better

In these divided, tumultuous and, occasionally, frightening times we inhabit, one powerful source of shared solace and hope for people of all identities and beliefs is this: we humans love our children and grandchildren. We may differ sharply on countless social, political, religious and ethical issues, but when it comes to our kids and their future, there is precious little to distinguish two gay parents...

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