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A new poll out today finds North Carolinians of all political backgrounds favor raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing access to paid sick days and establishing local living wage ordinances.shrinwages

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, finds that 62 percent of North Carolina voters support a state law guaranteeing access to paid sick days. Even more North Carolinians, 63 percent, support city and county laws that would establish living wage standards.

The findings come at time that 8 out of every 10 jobs created since 2009 pays below the Living Income Standard, the amount needed for a family inn Northv Carolina to meet its basic needs.

Here’s more the poll findings from the NC Justice Center:

Perhaps most significant: the poll respondents were largely center-right. Even though most poll respondents identified as conservative and the majority voted for Romney, only 29 percent supported “relying on the private market to set wages without public intervention.” By contrast, twice that number – 58 percent of voters – support raising North Carolina’s minimum wage above the current $7.25 per hour standard. And a majority of “somewhat conservative” respondents (51 percent) plus 42 percent of “very conservative” respondents support local living wages as a way to build an economy that works for all.

Most respondents (43 percent) identified themselves as either “very conservative” (19 percent) or “somewhat conservative,” compared to 26 percent identifying as either “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” 32 percent of those polled identified as moderates.

“These results show strong support for worker-friendly policies in North Carolina,” said Carol Brooke of the Workers’ Rights Project at the NC Justice Center. “Paid sick days and living wages build an economy that works for everyone, and the vast majority of North Carolinians recognize that.”

Additionally, the majority of those surveyed judge the state’s job creation track record based on the quality of the jobs created rather than the quantity. 50 percent of those polled were more concerned “that jobs pay a living wage” rather than “that there are enough jobs” (37 percent).

In the face of still-modest job growth and a boom in low-wage work post-recession, such a finding suggests policymakers should focus on policies that create good, quality jobs in order to build an economy that works for all.

The poll surveyed 856 likely voters August 14th-17th. Complete poll results can be viewed here.

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Coal ash clean upThis morning’s Weekly Briefing tries to bring readers up to date on the sad state of North Carolina’s coal ash debate and the surprising — and potentially tragic — lack of action by state leaders to confront Duke Energy and protect the public’s well-being.

One important side story to the coal ash crisis that it does not get into, however, is the increasingly absurd saga of Gov. McCrory’s failure to report his Duke Energy holdings on required state ethics forms. Fortunately, Sunday’s Charlotte Observer editorial page took care of that issue pretty comprehensively:

“We’re not sure which is most upsetting:

• That Gov. Pat McCrory owned a substantial amount of Duke Energy stock for his first 15 months in office, including for two months after Duke’s massive coal ash spill, even though that posed an obvious conflict of interest as the utility lobbied the administration hard on all kinds of matters.

• That McCrory filed an inaccurate report with the State Ethics Commission, saying he didn’t own any Duke stock as of Dec. 31, 2013, when in fact he did. Doing so reveals either a desire to mislead or gross incompetence by him and his general counsel.

• That McCrory still doesn’t get it. The governor maintains “we haven’t broken any rules” when that is indisputably untrue. He says he is “amazed” at the questions surrounding his mistake, fully unable to comprehend that it’s a matter most North Carolinians consider newsworthy.”

Read the rest of the editorial by clicking here.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/08/16/5109117/mccrorys-mishandling-of-his-duke.html#.U_IW-8VdVAI#storylink=cpy
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Plaintiffs in the Virginia marriage equality case have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the request for a stay of the 4th Circuit decision rejecting that state’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.

As reported previously, attorneys for the Virginia county clerk who has been defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay implementation of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Bostic v. Schaefer

Without that stay, same-sex marriages can begin in Virginia on Thursday.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., who handles Fourth Circuit emergency filings, is expected to rule on the request, either on his own or after consulting his colleagues.

The clerk’s request was prompted by the Fourth Circuit’s refusal this past Wednesday to enter a stay of its own decision.

Read the plaintiffs’  full request to deny the stay here.

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Martin_appointmentAs expected, Gov. Pat McCrory today announced that he will appoint sitting Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin to serve as Chief Justice effective September 1, 2014, replacing the retiring chief, Sarah Parker.

Martin is the court’s Senior Associate Justice, elected to a seat there in 1998 at the age of 35. He previously served on the Court of Appeals and the Superior Court.

Although he will begin service in September, Martin must still run for that slot in November, facing off against Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis.

Here is an excerpt from the governor’s press release:

Justice Martin has served as the Senior Associate Justice since 2006, and our Court is better for it. The humility and integrity of his character has benefited our state, and his knowledge and depth of experience is inimitable. I look forward to his work as Chief Justice as he draws upon his more than 20 years of judicial experience.