Commentary, News

The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

hb2-xgr31. Why McCrory and Berger have already lost the debate over HB2
Regardless of what happens in the new legislative session, North Carolina’s “brand” is badly damaged for the foreseeable future

It’s funny how politics and policy debates work. For five years, politicians with a destructive and reactionary agenda have been taking a wrecking ball to the once forward-looking state of North Carolina to relatively little national note. As was detailed at length last December in the special NC Policy Watch report, Altered State: How 5 years of conservative rule have transformed North Carolina, the list of subjects in which once moderate-to-progressive laws and policies have been razed and reversed is as long as your arm. Taxes, health care, civil rights, the social safety net, environmental protection, reproductive freedom, voting rights, consumer protection, LGBT rights; name the topic and North Carolina has moved backward.

Now, however, with arrival of HB2, everything has changed. Despite the obvious expectations of the sponsors of the now infamous state discrimination law that their actions would stir up a burst of energy and enthusiasm amongst conservative true believers for designated political candidates, provoke some grumblings from progressives and then fade away, the opposite has occurred.[Continue reading…]

Hunter2. NCPW Q&A: Meet the trans youth taking a stand against Gov. Pat McCrory and House Bill 2
Freshman year of high school is, for some people, already an uphill climb.
It was a different challenge altogether for Hunter Schafer, a Raleigh teenager who says she came out just before ninth grade and immediately began transitioning. By her sophomore year, Schafer had adopted female pronouns and began using the women’s restroom at school.
Today, she’s a proud transgender advocate, a visual artist at N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, and the latest addition to a pivotal legal challenge for North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
[Continue reading…]

Bonus read: Unvalued and unprotected: How HB2 increases the pressure on North Carolina’s LGBTQ students

McCrory_quest3.Seven questions McCrory still must answer a month after he signed HB2

It has now been more than a month since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2 and ignited widespread protests in North Carolina and around the country with corporations cancelling planned expansions in the state and groups shifting conventions and meetings to other places, costing the state millions in tourism dollars.

For most of the last month, McCrory has dodged questions from local reporters about HB2, preferring instead to issue video statements and appearing once on Meet the Press in Washington.

McCrory did respond to a few questions this week after an appearance in Wilmington at a meeting of the NC Sheriff’s Association, but his responses left many questions unanswered.

Here then for the third time are seven questions that Gov. McCrory has yet to answer about HB2. [Continue reading…]

ff-428-mc4. McCrory’s mediocre budget fails to divert attention from his pro-discrimination law

Things aren’t going very well for Gov. Pat McCrory these days.  The massive opposition to the anti-LGBT bill HB2 he signed into law last month continues to grow with more corporations demanding that legislators repeal the law while the tally of jobs and tourism revenue lost continues to rise.

Every day brings news of another group of corporate or religious leaders criticizing the law and another set of cancellations of performances and conventions.

Wednesday the NCAA announced a new anti-discrimination process for areas seeking to host its sporting events, putting North Carolina at risk of losing basketball tournaments and other NCAA competitions that pump millions of dollars into the state’s economy. [Continue reading…]

pv-mc-4275. Selling mediocre
Governor McCrory’s attempt to spin North Carolina’s economic performance comes up short

Governor McCrory is trying to convince everyone that, thanks to his team’s leadership, our economy is in great shape. In defending a largely status quo budget for next year, the Governor is clearly happy with where North Carolina is economically, and thinks that he deserves plenty of credit.

But, as millions of North Carolinians can attest from daily experience, these are not the best of times, not by a long shot. North Carolinians are right to wonder why the governor’s description of the economy doesn’t match what they deal with every day, and we should not be so quick to accept the current state of affairs as the full realization of North Carolina’s potential.

Unfortunately, the Governor is one of many voices trying to rebrand economic mediocrity as success, ignoring how little the policies enacted and implemented under his watch have done for most North Carolinians.[Continue reading...]

Bonus read: Initial review of Governor’s K-12 education budget: Falls short of ensuring public schools have adequate resources


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