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School voucher group already reaping the benefits of Florida trip

In case anyone had any doubts, pay-to-play politics are alive and well in the North Carolina General Assembly. As Policy Watch investigative reporter Sarah Ovaska reported here yesterday afternoon, a conservative House leader announced yesterday that he would introduce legislation this week that would establish a new tax break for corporations that fund slots in private schools.

The plan is modeled on a Florida program (now, there’s a highly successful state everyone wants to copy!) that was pitched to a group of 11 state lawmakers, including House Speaker Thom Tillis, at an all-expense paid trip to the Miami area that the pro-voucher group funded in March.

And, of course, the trip — which certainly appears to violate the state’s prohibition on gifts from lobby groups to lawmakers — had absolutely no impact whatsoever on the group’s friendly reception from House leadership or its success in winning introduction of the bill.  

To learn more about what the voucher group and its friends in the corporate world and the General Assembly appear to be up to, check out this excellent article in yesterday’s New York Times  “Public money finds back door to private schools.”

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In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.