It turns out that the whole controversy about the anti-LGBT law HB2 that is costing North Carolina thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tourism revenue is all the fault of “the radical left” in Charlotte that includes Mayor Jennifer Roberts.
That was Pat McCrory’s take Monday on the law that threatens to swallow his governorship. In recent weeks McCrory has also blamed the liberal media, a politically correct mob of elites unfairly smearing the state, and the Human Rights Campaign in Washington.
He even accuses Roberts and Attorney General Roy Cooper of coordinating with companies looking at boycotting North Carolina. [Continue reading…]
2. Time for McCrory and Burr to shut things down for the year?
Under conservative standards applied to President Obama, they would have no other choice
In case you missed it amidst the hubbub surrounding North Carolina’s new and infamous all-purpose discrimination law, HB2, there was other news in the public policy world last week. One of the more important developments for North Carolina took place on Thursday when President Obama nominated former state Supreme Court Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson to fill a decade-old vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the state’s Eastern District. If confirmed, Timmons-Goodson would be the first judge of color to ever serve in the Eastern District (a region of North Carolina in which the African-American population is higher than any other) in the history of the federal courts.
For those of you who are counting, that’s 237 years. [Continue reading…]
3. Is it time to scrap the state’s salary schedule for teachers?
Key budget writer ponders better approach to compensate and retain educators
N.C. Rep. Craig Horn, an influential budget writer from Union County who chairs the House education appropriations committee, isn’t sure he likes the current salary scale for teachers, the one adopted by lawmakers two years ago that nixes annual raises for teachers in favor of a multi-tiered approach with bigger pay bumps every five years.
He’s not sure he likes Gov. Pat McCrory’s idea either— a 5 percent average pay increase coupled with a return to yearly salary increases for teachers.
Today, in fact, the only thing that Horn seems sure of is that he’s not sure at all.[Continue reading…]
Deep tax cuts are preventing Gov. McCrory from proposing a bold, visionary state budget for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year. The 2013 and 2015 tax cuts are draining more than $1 billion in revenues annually, squeezing out much-needed reinvestment in the programs and services that help children, families, and communities thrive. Under his budget, North Carolina will continue to be held back by substantial unmet needs.
There are few public dollars available for anything else after previous deep tax cuts and the governor’s prioritizing of an uneven compensation package for teachers and state employees. Without those tax cuts, what could have been possible for North Carolina? There has been plenty of coverage of what is in his budget over the last week but there has been little coverage of what’s not in his budget. Below is a short list of investments that are missing in action but still greatly needed to build a stronger, more inclusive economy for us all. [Continue reading…]
An African-American has never served as a federal judge in the Eastern District of North Carolina and Senator Richard Burr apparently intends to keep it that way, judging by his knee-jerk opposition to President Obama’s latest nominee to fill a seat on the court that has been vacant for 10 years, the longest vacancy in the country.
Obama twice nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker for the seat but Burr blocked her nomination by refusing to turn in his blue slip, part of the antiquated Senate custom that requires senators to sign off on the nominee from their home state before the Senate Judiciary Committee can hold hearings on the nomination.
Burr’s refusal to support May-Parker was made all the more curious by the fact that in 2009 he supported her for the court. [Continue reading…]
****Upcoming event on Tuesday, May 10th: Crucial Conversation — The Merrick Garland nomination and its implications for the U.S. Supreme Court
It’s been well over a month now since President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, however, Senate Republicans (including Richard Burr and Thom Tillis) have remained adamant that Garland’s nomination will not even receive a hearing – much less an “up or down” confirmation vote.
To veteran constitutional law expert, Professor Michael Gerhardt, this is an important and disturbing turn in the history of the Court and the politics surrounding it.