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Coming up this week…

House and Senate budget writers are continuing to work out the final details on a $20 billion compromise budget. Educators are anxious to see if the final agreement in the legislative spending plan includes additional funding for public schools to offset the loss of federal ‘Edujobs’ money.

The House Education Committee meets later this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. to discuss Senate Bill 795, the Excellent Public Schools Act. If passed during this session, the measure will extend the school year by five days, heavily increase emphasis on reading before fourth grade and create a North Carolina Teaching Corps similar to Teach for America. The most controversial provision of the bill would be an end to teacher tenure – replacing it with annual contracts for educators.

Last week the NC House was successful in overriding Governor Perdue’s veto of a bill that would give all North Carolina community colleges the right to decline to offer low-interest loans through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program. This evening, the NC Senate is expected to have the votes needed to follow the House’s lead and override the veto. Governor Perdue originally vetoed House Bill 7 in 2011.

Also this evening,  members of Occupy Raleigh will be rallying outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to encourage Gov. Beverly Perdue to veto legislation that allows fracking in North Carolina.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina General Assembly won’t be the only group of people headed in the wrong direction.

To raise awareness about the legislature’s “Backwards Budget,” Together NC is convening the first annual Backwards Budget .5K! Participants will race backwards around the Halifax Mall (located directly behind the General Assembly) to shine a spotlight on the legislature’s backwards approach to the state budget.

The race begins at noon, so lace up your shoes and be ready to run in reverse. An awards ceremony follows the short race along with speakers on the impacts of the state budget.

On Wednesday morning the House Committee On Judiciary A meets to discuss a number of bills, including Senate Bill 205. Senator Austin Allran‘s bill would clarify state statutes to bar undocumented citizens from receiving state or local public benefits. The legislation would also make failure to report violations of federal immigration law a Class 2 misdemeanor.

The NC League of Conservation Voters 2012 Green Tie Awards Dinner will be held on Wednesday evening from 6:00 -9:00 p.m. at the Downtown Sheraton (421 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh).  This year’s honorees include: Representatives Pricey Harrison, Martha Alexander, Verla Insko, Susi Hamilton, Patsy Keever, Chuck McGrady, Joe Hackney, Grier Martin, and Jennifer Weiss.

This Saturday, local members of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress will screen the documentary “Vincent Who?

The local film-screening will be followed by a national panel discussion via Google Hangout connecting more than 30 cities, looking at past incidents of intimidation and looking forward to what a community can do about it.

Thirty years ago, Vincent Chin was bludgeoned to death in Detroit. His hate-crime murder triggered an outcry for justice and forged a diverse nationwide coalition. A similar incident happened in Raleigh in 1989 with the killing of Jim Loo. Such tragedies continue to happen today, such as the hazing and subsequent death of Pvt Danny Chen in 2011.

With increasing populations of Asian Americans nationwide and in North Carolina, the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community will discuss how we must all consider how we view and treat each other, as neighbors and as human beings.

The documentary and town hall will take place Saturday from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the NC Justice Center, 224 S. Dawson Street, Raleigh.

One Comment


  1. Alex

    June 19, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I still can’t believe that the state has squandered a $Billion dollars on the Medicaid Information System that is still not working, and was written in COBOL, a computer language so old that many new techies don’t even remember it. That billion would sure shore up the current budget.

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