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It was a short but busy week with Martin Luther King celebrations on Monday, a Senate election, a Supreme Court ruling, a Wake County School Board meeting and corruption charges from a grand jury in a State Elections Board hearing. NC Policy Watch covered it all.

In his Weekly Briefing “From Massachusetts to Wake County,” Rob Schofield argues that low turn out elections where only a small percentage of voters participate should not be seen as any type of mandate for policy change.

Chris Fitzsimon focused on education with two commentaries on the issue. His first “Race to the Right” exposes several attempts by conservatives to dismantle the North Carolina public education system.  “Six weeks of backing up” looks at the “accomplishments” of the Wake County School Board, but there’s not much to boast about.

Fitzsimon’s commentary “Democracy or auction?” questions this week’s Supreme Court ruling against the back drop of state corruption charges against Lanny Wilson, an Easley insider.

Progressive Voices Commentator Adam Searing wrote about health care in his commentary “Saving money and improving health care quality.”

Chris Fitzsimon wrapped things up with “The Follies” commentary. Read it to find out who he skewered with his sharp wit this week.

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Here’s a brief recap of the issues that the folks at NC Policy Watch have been following this week.

Chris Fitzsimon reports on two committees, the Joint House and Senate Finance Committee and the Governor’s Budget Reform and Accountability Commission, that met Thursday in his column “The more things in Raleigh change, the more they stay the same.” Despite the challenges facing the state budget, it doesn’t look like we can expect any innovative reforms in this election year.

Fitzsimon also reports on Governor Perdue’s road show in his column “Perdue reboots agenda.” Perdue is traveling across the state this week laying out her plans for the next three years.

Rob Schofield highlights why immigration reform should be part of our national recovery in his Weekly Briefing entitled “A new and improved “us”.”

Making reference to a popular T.V. game show, Schofield takes a jab at conservative lawmakers who refuse to acknowledge the impact of global climate change in his Setting the Record Straight commentary entitled “Wanted: “Lifeline” for conservative lawmakers.

Chris Fitzsimon also takes on the conservatives in his column “The repetitive right-wing rhetoric rolls on.” Repeating statements to the contrary does not change the fact that government stimulus is helping lift the economy out of recession.

This week’s edition of “Monday numbers” is reminder to all of us why we are celebrating the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King. Many activities are planned throughout the Triangle starting Friday and continuing through Monday. Please check the community calendar on the NC Policy Watch home page (just below the main article) for a list of events.

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Rob Schofield suggests ten New Year’s resolutions for progressivives in his Weekly Briefing commentary “Building momentum for change.

Chris Fitzsimon gives state lawmakers a wake up call in his column “Lawmakers can’t ride this one out.” The state budget will be in serious trouble when federal stimulus money and temporary tax increases run out later this year unless lawmakers make changes.

In his latest commentary, “The wrong measuring stick,” Fitzsimon reminds readers that the Senate primary race is likely to be decided by big-money donors rather than voters. Not exactly what our forefathers of democracy had in mind.

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Chris Fitzsimon attends another Wake County School Board meeting and reports on the undemocratic actions of the new board members in his column “The clear MO of the Wake County Gang of Five.”

In his weekly feature “Monday numbers,” Fitzsimon takes a unique look at the North Carolina Legislature.

Progressive Voices commentator Adam Linker argues “It’s time to fix the state health plan.”

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Today, NC Policy Watch republished Rob Schofield’s Weekly Briefing “Several important accomplishments.” Originally written at the conclusion of the 2009 legislative session, this column is worth re-reading today as you reflect of this past year and think hopefully about the future.

Schofield’s commentary is a good reminder that while our state was faced with many adversities, our legislative leaders successfully raised nearly a billion dollars in revenue essential to preserving our pubic health and public education systems and passed numerous bills benefiting both workers and consumers.