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Mitch SetzerIf you haven’t had the pleasure of watching the folks now running the North Carolina General Assembly in action (like House Finance Committte co-chair Rep. Mitch Setzer – pictured at left) and have a little time at mid-morning today, check out WRAL.com at around 9:15. You’ll get to see what it looks and sounds like when a committee with 50 or so members tries to digest and amend a 68 page bill that will impose the most draconian cuts in unemployment insurance in modern U.S. history — all in about an hour and a half.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even let members off the public speak for a minute or two each before they jam the thing through on a voice vote.

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Dan Crawford of the N.C. League of Conservation Voters distributed the following statement this morning: 

RALEIGH, N.C. – In anticipation of the NC General Assembly’s return on January 30, an analysis of the 2012 Conservation Legislative Scorecard reveals a disturbing trend in regard to the new leadership and the environment. The scorecard published by NC League of Conservation Voters gives each state legislator a score of 0 to 100 based on his or her votes on key environmental bills during each legislative session.

The newly appointed leaders of House committees affecting the environment earned an average of 28% in the 2011-12 session, well below the overall House average of 42%, itself down from 67% in the 2009-10 session. Key roles in the House include the Environment Committee, the Transportation Committee, the Public Utilities Committee, the Regulatory Reform Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation.

More disturbing than the House scores, Read More

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Take The 350 ChallengeCommunity leaders challenge Gov. McCrory to live on reduced unemployment benefits for one week

Group says Governor has no idea how much pain he will cause lower and middle class families with new law.

Raleigh, NC – A group of community leaders and advocates are calling on newly-elected Governor McCrory to literally put his money where his mouth is and commit to live for one week on the maximum unemployment benefit of $350 that is being proposed by the North Carolina General Assembly. Read More

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Looking to get a handle on the kinds of initiatives the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly is likely to feature? Then, checkout Tuesday’s meeting of the Revenue Laws Study Committee. It is expected that the committee will take up (and perhaps formally endorse) a proposal drafted mostly in secret with the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce late in 2012 that would eviscerate the state unemployment insurance system and impose massive reductions in benefits and eligibility of a kind never imposed before anywhere else in the United States.

If the committee balks and evidences at least some caution, this could be an indication that there is some hope for the 2013 session in some areas. If it plows ahead as expected, you’ll have a strong signal that the Pope-ites are in full control and fully committed to repealing decades of progress in North Carolina. 

Stay tuned. 

 

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Immigration committee right to back off from harsh recommendations

STATEMENT FROM THE WE ARE NC COALITION

RALEIGH (Dec. 6, 2012) – America needs a just, fair and humane immigration policy that keeps families together. We Are NC is pleased to hear that the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy has backed off its plans to pursue harsh immigration laws in North Carolina.

The report’s release comes the same week as former President George W. Bush reiterated his support for reforming our broken immigration system; as a bipartisan Illinois state Senate voted in favor of undocumented immigrants’ access to driver licenses; and as House Speaker Thom Tillis stated that he has no interest in a sweeping anti-immigrant bill in North Carolina. While Rep. Harry Warren originally wanted to use this committee to explore harsh and vindictive legislation, like shutting off heat and utilities for undocumented immigrants, today’s report shows that public pressure has convinced the committee to pursue a new path.  Read More