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Five things to watch this week on Jones Street

  The Budget – Legislators have just a week left in the fiscal year to reach a compromise on their 2014-15 budget. Click here for a House and Senate Comparison Report on the competing plans. And we should learn shortly whether the budget talks will be open to the public, as Sen. Tom Apodaca suggested ...

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NC House action on marijuana extract for epilepsy a start, but not enough

In case you missed it, Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina posted the following insightful essay last Friday about action by the state House to allow physicians to recommend an oil derived from marijuana for treating certain epilepsy symptoms: NC House Overwhelmingly Approves Marijuana Extract for Epilepsy, but Ignores Countless Others Who Could ...

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North Carolina represents at White House Summit on Working Families

Today, in Washington DC, hundreds of business leaders, workers, moms and advocates from around the country will be discussing what needs to change to make work something that works for our 21st century families at the White House Summit on Working Families (you can live-stream it from the link.) It’s the first time a conversation ...

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The single, most disastrous decision of the 2014 legislative session…

…is highlighted in this fine editorial in the Charlotte Observer entitled: “Expand Medicaid – It has value in NC.” To quote: “N.C. lawmakers don’t seem inclined to reconsider their unwise decision not to expand Medicaid. But that doesn’t mean we should stop shouting loudly why they should. A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report last ...

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Diverse organizations support Common Core as N.C. and other states back away

An array of organizations have voiced support for the embattled Common Core Standards following recent efforts to drop or water down the standards in states like Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Aside from original supporters and developers of the standards like the National Governor’s Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Gates ...

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Missing Workers Update: May 2014

Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the NC Division of Employment Security released data on the state of North Carolina’s labor market. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.4 percent over the month but is still below where it was a year ago.  Despite this annual improvement in the unemployment rate, the reality is ...

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Legislator: Last year’s tax cuts impacting ‘essential services’ (video)

State budget negotiations will spill over into next week as lawmakers remain at odds over Medicaid and the best approach for funding raises for teachers and state workers. Rep. Verla Insko believes legislative leaders may have a difficult time reaching a consensus after last year’s budget cut taxes “too much, too fast.”: “One of the ...

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Breaking: Federal labor officials want same-sex couples in all states (and N.C.) covered by Federal Medical Leave Act

The federal Department of Labor announced today that it will move to include same-sex marriages under the Federal Medical Leave Act, a decision that will mean more legal protections for families in states like North Carolina that don’t currently recognize gay marriages. The rule change being sought by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez would ...

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Tuition Equity: An Idea That Works For Everyone

In 20 states, undocumented students that graduate from an in-state high school can go to college for in-state tuition. Studies show that these states are reaping serious economic benefits — and a new report shows why it’s time for North Carolina to join them. Given the demographic and economic changes driving the state’s need for ...

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Editorial: ‘Clumsy budgeting and absolutely bizarre plan’ to hike teacher pay

If you haven’t been closely following state budget negotiations this week, take time to read the News & Observer’s Friday editorial that explains the wide-gulf between the House and Senate spending plans and the ‘troubling hypocrisy’ that comes from trying to boost teacher pay with gambling proceeds. Here’s an excerpt: The House plan is hopelessly ...

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