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Members of British Parliament join U.S. farmworker leader in call for justice

On Sunday at Pullen Church in Raleigh at an event sponsored by the National Farm Worker Ministry, two members of the British Parliament–Ian Lavery and James Sheridan–joined American farmworker leader Baldemar Velasquez to speak to over 200 supporters about their current tour and mission in the U.S. to fight for justice among farmworkers. Velasquez is ...

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Updated: Fourth Circuit finds Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

In a 2-1 ruling today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — which decides appeals from federal courts in  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland — found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The precedent from the ruling applies to all of these states. Affirming a lower court ruling and writing for the Court ...

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Legislators pressed to strengthen coal ash bill before adjournment (video)

State lawmakers may come together with a final budget bill this week, but environmentalists say there is plenty of work to do on a final coal ash management bill before legislators wrap-up the session. Grady McCallie, policy director for the NC Conservation Network, says both the House and Senate versions of the coal ash bill ...

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Eastern North Carolina could see lower electricity bills, with deal announced Monday

A deal between two North Carolina electricity providers could finally give some Eastern North Carolina residents relief from monthly electricity bills that rank among highest in the state. The N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy announced Monday a plan for Duke to buy $1.2 billion worth of assets held by the municipal power ...

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Rep. Cotham to McCrory: Keep your word and veto bill that thwarts charter school transparency

Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenberg) sent a letter on Monday to Gov. Pat McCrory, asking him to veto legislation sent to him last week by the General Assembly that allows private, for-profit charter school operators to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds.  “While this bill requires that charter schools disclose the ...

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Unemployment insurance debt paid down by jobless workers

Last week as the Budget & Tax Center released its analysis of the impact of unemployment insurance changes on jobless workers one year later, the Department of Commerce Employment Security Division announced that the unemployment insurance debt will be paid down early. The resolution of the debt in August 2015 rather than November 2015 will ...

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“White smoke” on Jones Street really a sign of leaking oil

In an allusion to the signal that’s seen in the Vatican when the leaders of the Catholic Church elect a new Pope, at least one news media report this morning is talking about “white smoke” being visible on Jones Street. The story accompanying the headline, of course, is that leaders of the North Carolina General ...

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Income tax cuts cost more than originally projected according to Fiscal Research Division

Income tax cut costs will rise to more than $1 billion by 2016, raising serious concerns about whether the current budget negotiations are putting forward a fiscally responsible path to meet the priorities of our state. Before the budget is finalized, legislative leadership must consider this newly available information that the tax cuts will cost ...

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House OKs bill that allows private charter school education management companies to keep their employees’ salaries secret

House lawmakers approved legislation Friday that allows private, for-profit management companies that run charter schools to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds. The bill also fails to provide protections for LGBT students, even though an earlier version did. While the bill, SB 793, or Charter School Modifications, clarifies ...

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Technical corrections bill allows for-profit companies spots on North Carolina charter school boards

Buried deep in a House technical corrections bill unveiled yesterday is a provision to allow staff of for-profit charter school management groups to serve on the boards of the public charters schools that contract with them. The N.C. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the 55-page technical corrections bill today. The legislation would also have to ...

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