Coming up this week….

A final fracking hearing

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources will hold its third public hearing this evening in Chatham County to present a draft report on the safety of fracking and take citizens’ comments.

Last month, DENR released a draft of their extensive study that found this controversial method of natural gas drilling can be done safely if regulations are put in place first. Eight grassroots groups have gone on record saying they do not support this conclusion.

Tonight’s hearing will run from 6:30pm-8:30pm at The Barn at Fearrington Village(100 Village Way ) in Pittsboro.

What’s at stake as the High Court considers healthcare reform

After three days of historic arguments over the national healthcare reform law, it’s up the U.S.Supreme Court to decide whether the Affordable Care Act stands or falls by the wayside. The public won’t know their decision until June, but what would happen if the individual mandate is struck down? How will North Carolinians benefit if the ACA is upheld?

On Tuesday, Adam Searing, Director of Health Access Coalition, will discuss what’s at stake in the court challenge at a noon-time presentation at Campbell Law School in Raleigh.

Unemployment Fraud

Also on Tuesday, the House Task Force on Unemployment Fraud will hear from Sec. Keith Crisco and others from the Department of Commerce about the integrity of the UI system.

You may recall back in February, House Speaker Thom Tillis appointed the task force after hearing anecdotal cases of abuse.

How to Talk the Talk about Amendment One

With the May 8th vote on Amendment One a little more than a month away, Protect All NC Families is stepping up its efforts to educate the public about the harms of the ballot initiative that would ban gay marriage.

Join Protect All NC Families on the campus of UNC-Wilmington (108 Leutze Hall) Tuesday evening as they teach others how to “talk the talk” about Amendment One. Tuesday’s event runs from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

On Wednesday, the group will be in Greenville at the Tipsy Teapot from 6:00pm-8:00pm as they continue their Eastern North Carolina speakers bureau trainings.

Trends in higher education funding

Wednesday evening at N.C. Central University a panel of experts from the N.C. Justice Center, Demos, and Young Invincibles will discuss higher education funding trends and the challenges.

The N.C. Budget & Tax Center will also release a new brief at this event on the disinvestment in higher education over the Great Recession and its impact on students.

By investing less in higher education, states are effectively shifting costs to students and their families in the form of escalating tuition and fees. For students of color, this shift has created even greater barriers to access and completion.

Want to learn more? The event gets underway at 7:30pm at NCCU’s Alfonso Elder Student Union,corner of Fayetteville and Nelson Streets, Durham, NC.

Eminent Domain

Thursday morning the Senate Judiciary-1 Committee will take up the issue of Eminent Domain. Readers of our blog may recall that  House Bill 8 was introduced in the General Assembly last session and would put before voters a constitutional amendment to prohibit condemnation of private property except for a public use. The bill, if approved in the short session, calls for the amendment to be voted on in the November 6th election.  That meeting begins at 10:00am in Room 1027/1128 of the Legislative Building.

Out of Control Tour comes to Greensboro

The second leg of the “Out of Control in Raleigh” tour continues with a stop this week in Greensboro.

N.C. Policy Watch, Democracy North Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies, N.C. AFL-CIO, and Progress North Carolina will hold a public meeting Thursday evening to discuss how hard-line conservatives are turning back the clock on progress in North Carolina, who’s bankrolling their agenda, and what it means for our lives.

Make plans to attend -  Thursday at 7:00pm at the Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1810 Phillips Ave., Greensboro, NC.

Pilgrimage and Way of the Cross

And Friday from noon-2:00pm at NC State Capital, religious leaders and activists will remember Jesus Christ’s suffering and death and the suffering of immigrants coming to this country in an “Economic Justice Way of the Cross”.

This Year’s Pilgrimage and Way of the Cross-focuses on the need for just and humane immigration policies, trade that allows for a fair price paid to producers and workers, as well as human rights for all.

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