News

Five things to have on your radar this week

#1 – Activists who have staged weekly protests outside Senator Thom Tillis’
office in Raleigh for nearly a year brave the frigid temps and return today at 11:30 am to express their outrage at his vote in favor of the GOP tax bill.

Learn more about their ongoing protests here.

#2 – The North Carolina State Board of Education holds its first meeting of 2018 on Wednesday. Members will receive a special presentation from University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings on Thursday morning.

Education reporter Billy Ball will be live tweeting the Board’s monthly meeting. Agendas for both days can be found here.

#3 – The Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting meets Wednesday afternoon at 1:00pm. It appears Democratic Committee members will finally be able to present their ideas on redistricting and alternative methods of judicial selection.

Policy Watch’s Melissa Boughton will be covering this meeting.

#4 – The House Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality picks up where it left off on Thursday morning. Representative Ted Davis presides over the meeting as lawmakers determine how to protect North Carolina’s waterways from GenX and other emerging contaminants. The committee gets underway at 9:30am in Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building.

#5 – On Saturday, Save Our Schools! is holding a rally from 1:00-3:00pm on the Halifax Mall behind the Legislature, to encourage the General Assembly to repeal the class size mandate law when it reconvenes for its special session on January 10, and to make a long-term commitment to increase per-pupil spending.

Speakers will include teachers, students and representatives from public education advocacy groups from across North Carolina. Learn more about that event here.

Uncategorized

How NC’s Congressional delegation voted on the GOP’s sweeping tax-cut bill

Members of the U.S. House on Tuesday pushed through (227-203) the Republican’s sweeping plan to rewrite the nation’s tax laws.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) says the final GOP-Trump tax bill would provide most of its benefits to high-income households and foreign investors while raising taxes on many low- and middle-income Americans.

Republicans claim the tax overhaul will spur economic growth.

Here’s how the full delegation voted:

Nay
Rep. G.K. Butterfield – 1st District
Rep. Walter Jones – 3rd District
Rep. David Price – 4th District
Rep. Alma Adams – 12th district

Yea
Rep. George Holding – 2nd District
Rep. Virginia Foxx – 5th District
Rep. Mark Walker – 6th District
Rep. David Rouzer – 7th District
Rep. Richard Hudson – 8th District
Rep. Robert Pittenger – 9th District
Rep. Patrick McHenry – 10th District
Rep. Mark Meadows – 11th District
Rep. Ted Budd – 13th District

What select members of the delegation are saying about the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3):

Congressman David Price (NC-4):

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5):

Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8):

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams (NC-12):

Commentary

From Masterpiece cakeshop to the Muslim travel ban – the ACLU weighs in on civil rights in the era of Donald Trump (podcast)

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to listen to our interview with David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Cole recently joined us in studio to discuss the landmark case before the US Supreme Court that pits marriage equality against religious freedom. Cole also weighs in on the other cases the ACLU has taken to court this year to block actions by the Trump administration.

Watch a short video excerpt or listen to the full 10-minute radio interview below:

News

Republican negotiators reach deal on tax plan

House and Senate Republicans reportedly have struck a deal that could see both chambers voting on the sweeping tax reform bill next week.

As The Washington Post reports the agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

…would lower the corporate tax rate to 21 percent beginning in 2018…

The agreement would also lower the top tax rate for families and individuals from 39.6 percent to at least 37 percent, a change that would deliver a major tax cut for upper-income households.

Many of the benefits for families and individuals would be temporary, expiring after a period of years. The tax breaks for most businesses, however, would be locked in permanently, a condition that Republicans have said will help firms make long-term investment decisions.

The package is expected to add at least $1 trillion to the debt over 10 years. Republicans and White House officials have said it would lead to so much economic growth that it would wipe out any impact on the debt, though they haven’t offered any economic models to back up this assertion.

We spoke to Alexandra Sirota, director of the NC Budget & Tax Center about the broader impact of the the tax reform plan last week on News & Views with Rob Schofield. Click below to watch a segment of that interview:

Listen to Sirota’s full radio interview below:

President Trump pledged Wednesday business interests would be pleased with the reform package.

Democrats are seeking to delay a final vote on the tax overhaul bill until Alabama’s newly elected Senator Doug Jones can be sworn in.