News

If you weren’t able to attend NC Policy Watch’s Crucial Conversation with Mandy Locke, investigative reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer, that full program on worker misclassification is now available online.

Locke was joined by Raleigh businessman Doug Burton, President and Owner of Whitman Masonry. Burton is one of the numerous North Carolina employers who treats his workers fairly, plays by the rules and is regularly disadvantaged as a result of the state’s lax law enforcement in this area.

Please watch and then share this special presentation on fraud in the workplace:

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News

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger made good on his promise Wednesday to file legislation that would allow magistrates to refuse to perform marriages for same sex couples. Senate Bill 2 states:

Every magistrate has the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages under this Chapter based upon any sincerely held religious objection.

Senator Jeff Jackson, a former prosecutor, told reporters such legislation undermine marriage equality and seeks to legitimize discrimination:

“In this nation, we as citizens don’t have to pass any government employees personal religious test in order to receive government service. And that’s exactly what a magistrate does – provide a government service. In the United States we do not condition government service on the religious agreement by the government worker,” said Jackson during a press conference.

“Government offices that are open to the public, must be open to everyone on the same terms, including the people who are gay or lesbian.”

Click below to hear Sen. Jackson’s remarks:

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Commentary

Rev. T. Anthony Spearman of Greensboro, North Carolina explains why public schools are so important and why voucher programs shortchange students and communities. Spearman explains the arguments advanced by voucher advocates are wrong and harmful, especially to low-income families.

Click below to watch the first in a new series of videos produced by the NC Justice Center:

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News

North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators have introduced an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill intended to fast-track the exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil along the Atlantic coast.

Senator Thom Tillis took to the Senate floor Thursday to explain the provision that he says will create thousands of jobs over the next two decades. Click below to hear Tillis’ remarks as carried by C-SPAN:

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Late in the day, Governor Pat McCrory issued a statement praising the forward progress on offshore energy exploration:

“I’d like to thank Senators Burr and Tillis for taking a step in the right direction to help get North Carolina into the energy business. Responsibly exploring oil and gas reserves off our coast has the potential to make North Carolina a leader in energy, move America closer to energy independence, and create jobs.”

McCrory chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition.

News

A week from today state lawmakers return to Raleigh and begin work in earnest on the 2015 “long” legislative session. House and Senate leaders have indicated teacher pay, job creation, and possibly tax reform will be back on the agenda this year. But some members are concerned that recent tax reforms may leave North Carolina without sufficient revenue to make good on its promises.

A recent report by the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division finds General Fund collections through December about $200 million less than projections.

Rep. Darren Jackson says if the revenue gap widens lawmakers may have difficulty increasing the salaries of teachers and state employees. Jackson also agrees with Chief Justice Mark Martin that more must be done during this session to improve the technology in North Carolina’s beleaguered court system.

Rep. Jackson appeared over the weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon. Click below to hear an excerpt of our radio interview or click here to listen to the full podcast.

To learn more about the funding crisis facing North Carolina’s court system read this piece by Policy Watch’s Courts and Law reporter Sharon McCloskey.

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