Gov. Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper

Education News Top Story

Push to comply with Leandro mandate for state’s schools gains momentum

Showdown with resistant General Assembly looms as gubernatorial commission urges implementation of court-approved plan Flush with cash, the state of North Carolina owes its children “nothing less” than a fully funded Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan, the Governor's Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education unanimously agreed Tuesday.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

President Biden unveils new plan to speed mass vaccination, strengthen school safety, aid states in need WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC just enacted ambitious criminal justice reform legislation. Here’s what it does.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a comprehensive criminal justice reform package (Senate Bill 300) into law last Thursday. The law became effective immediately. The bill, originally sponsored by Republicans with input from Democrats, gained bipartisan support – though not universal acclaim.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC House Democrats hope they can shape the final state budget 

Gov. Cooper remains excluded from negotiations, but some members of his party are trying to change that  Rep. Garland Pierce said his support for the $25.7 billion budget written by House Republicans is rooted in a meeting between local elected officials from the Democrat’s rural district and House Speaker Tim Moore and his staff where the local leaders laid out their budget hopes.

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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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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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Top Story Weekly Briefing

North Carolina’s incredible shrinking state budget

Cooper’s modest spending proposal illustrates how far we’ve fallen Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new two-year state budget a couple of weeks back and, as is almost invariably the case, critics and politicians on the right quickly issued statements of criticism and condemnation.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at Gov. Cooper’s budget

Gov. Roy Cooper's $27 billion budget for the next two years touches every segment of state government, both the seen and the unseen. We notice if  there are too few nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers in public schools ($80 million to increase the number); if there are inequities in the quality of public libraries ($1 million to standardize service); and if highway medians are overgrown or strewn with trash ($1 million for litter cleanup).

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Education Top Story

Competing sides remain divided over details of school reopening

State Board of Ed weighs in as vetoed Senate bill remains in limbo As state Democrats and Republicans both push to reopen schools for in-person instruction, they appear as divided as ever over the common goal. The parties are in a fight over Senate Bill 37, which would require all districts to provide an in-person learning option. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the bill on Feb. 26.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

In inaugural address, Gov. Roy Cooper looks to North Carolina emerging stronger after the pandemic

Gov. Roy Cooper started his second term Saturday facing the challenges of a pandemic that is killing dozens of North Carolina residents each day, as well as political divisions in the state and the nation.  Dozens of North Carolinians ...
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Top Story Weekly Briefing

When it comes to the pandemic, the NC political right should #StoptheStupid

#StoptheStupid. That little zinger of a Twitter hashtag drew national headlines in recent days after a Michigan Republican congressman named Paul Mitchell used it in a public plea to President Trump to cease his baseless, irresponsible and destructive claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

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News Top Story

‘We’re not through this’: Governors plead with Congress for emergency assistance

Republican congressman from NC calls hearing from governors a "waste of time" WASHINGTON — Democratic governors on Thursday begged Congress to come to the aid of ailing states, which face unexpected expenses as they attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as massive revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic. But Republicans at a House hearing rejected their pleas, arguing that states have yet to spend money provided by Congress earlier this year, and prospects appeared to dim for any kind of deal on additional emergency aid before the election.

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Environment Top Story

5 takeaways from Gov. Cooper’s document dump about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Gov. Roy Cooper's office did coordinate with state environmental officials on the timing of a key water quality permit approval and a controversial $57.8 million deal with Dominion Energy over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

But a Policy Watch review of more than 19,000 pages of public records found no evidence that the voluntary fund, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding between Cooper's office and Dominion, explicitly greased the way for project to proceed. Republican lawmakers have repeatedly alleged that the permit approval was contingent upon Dominion ponying up $57.8 million for a voluntary economic development fund. Both the approval and the fund were announced on the same day, Jan. 26, 2018, just 23 minutes apart.

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Environment Top Story

Meeting Gov. Cooper’s climate change mandate will take more than just turning out the lights. It will require a new way of thinking.

About five years ago, before the public widely knew that the world's greenhouse gas emissions were tipping the climate over the point of no return, Alex Johnson, Durham's urban forester, was weighing what trees to plant to replace the mass die-off of the city's willow oaks.

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