In recognition of our faithful call and of this time in history, the Council’s annual Lenten guide focuses on poverty and the ways we can respond to our sisters and […]
A newcomer to Raleigh sooner or later comes up against a riddle: How can the city have two First Baptist Churches? Here’s a non-surprise: The answer is rooted in the […]
It’s easy to imagine the response from legislative leaders to a new scholarly look at the impacts of North Carolina’s recent election law changes: “Get over it!” Those same Republican […]
Whether anecdotal or empirical, the evidence is clear: North Carolina has done a poor job of furnishing its public school teachers with adequate salaries. By “adequate,” we should mean pay […]
The election law changes approved last year by North Carolina’s General Assembly face court challenges on grounds of voter suppression and racial discrimination. However the courts rule, it’s hard not […]
By the time last year’s edition of the NC General Assembly finished its work, it was as though the laws and policies by which this state is governed had been […]
Our country’s annual salute to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. honors him as the foremost crusader in the grand civil rights movement of the mid-20th century – the […]
Elections in the United States must be carried out in line with rules meant to ensure honesty and accuracy, and to expose candidates to timely judgments about their merits. But […]
At the close of a momentous year for politics and public policy in North Carolina – a year that challenged many people of faith to act on their beliefs — […]
The “peaceable kingdom,” where lions lie down with lambs amid other unlikely combos, turns out to be not so far-fetched when it comes to one of North Carolina’s most vexing […]
As so often happens, the occasion of a person’s death becomes a time not only for mourning the end of a life but also for celebrating a life well-lived. When […]
Perhaps they’re hearing footsteps – the footsteps of all those teachers who have turned out in recent months to call for better pay and more generous overall support for North […]
It’s ghoulish to think about, but everyone has heard of dictatorial regimes that will execute a democracy-minded dissenter and then supposedly make the martyr’s family pay for the bullets. Then […]
Does hunger cause people to work harder, or to make better decisions as to how to spend what little money they may have? OK, let’s say the pangs of an […]
Most people would agree that a young person’s success in school tilts the odds in favor of success in life. Most people would agree that students are more likely to […]
Isn’t the federal Affordable Care Act supposed to help low-income Americans obtain the health insurance coverage that has been out of reach for millions? To be sure, that’s the idea […]
Once the budget snarl in Washington finally is untangled and the federal government is back up and running – hopefully in time to avoid a perilous default on the country’s […]
The political stakes and motives are plain to see. President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill are locked in a desperate struggle with the Republicans who control the […]
Let’s hope this isn’t the case, but recent history suggests that President Obama is not done with a duty that surely is among the most difficult and heart-wrenching aspects of […]
Many Americans without health insurance coverage look forward to the coming weeks and months. Starting Oct. 1, they’ll be able to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, President […]
Call it the year of North Carolina’s Big Right Turn. A conservative General Assembly, with a conservative governor in tow, veered away from the moderate consensus that had set the […]
When the General Assembly during its recently concluded session turned out one misguided bill after another – to hold down the racial minority vote, weaken environmental rules, cut taxes for […]
Of the many public policies North Carolina has followed across the decades, none has brought greater dividends than the state’s commitment to invest in education at all levels. No other […]
North Carolina’s new voter ID law also cuts the period for early voting and makes other changes in election rules. Does the law discriminate against some voters on the basis […]
Gov. Pat McCrory has said he’ll soon dispose of the 30 or so bills remaining on his desk following the General Assembly’s July 26 adjournment. He can either sign them […]
If Gov. Pat McCrory goes along with the General Assembly’s partial “disassembly” of state environmental rules – and if North Carolina loses significant ground in the battle against pollution, as […]
The teachers were upset. And with North Carolina now embarked on a program of aggressive backsliding in its commitment to public education, who could blame them? Teachers, many of them […]
The General Assembly has adjourned its 2013 session after a final cascade of disappointing and disturbing bills that now await review by Gov. Pat McCrory. Among the bills approved are ones that will make it less convenient for many citizens to vote and that weaken regulatory oversight of the environment.
There was at least one bright spot, as the House rejected a last-minute push by the Senate to speed up the environmentally risky natural gas extraction process known as fracking. But on the whole, legislators succeeded in putting the crowning touches on a session devoted to a conservative agenda the likes of which modern North Carolina has never before seen.
Democracy can become a farce if the rules by which votes are cast are skewed so that the voices of some citizens are muffled. That is the troubling prospect facing […]
A budget to carry North Carolina state government through the next two years is poised for approval in the General Assembly. It represents a triumph of diminished expectations. That is […]
With the end of the 2013 legislative session in sight, Republicans in the General Assembly are making a final push to adopt photo identification as a requirement for voting. The […]
It could be said that the elephant – symbol of the Republicans who control North Carolina’s General Assembly and governor’s office — has labored and brought forth a mouse. But this is a mouse with sharp teeth.
After weeks of effort, the legislature’s Republican majorities and Gov. Pat McCrory have agreed on a spate of changes to the state’s tax laws centered on cuts in personal and corporate income taxes. The cuts aren’t as deep as some conservatives wanted. Still, they will sap revenues that finance the entire portfolio of state programs and services.
North Carolina Republican legislators seem to be a little conflicted when it comes to their opinion of the federal Voting Rights Act. How many of them would disagree with the […]
The saga that North Carolina legislative leaders like to describe as tax reform could be at the beginning of the end. Or is it the end of the beginning? After […]
It was a sure bet that the Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, working in tandem with a new Republican governor, would seek this year to cut […]
North Carolina Republican leaders who were waiting for a signal from the U.S. Supreme Court to forge ahead with a photo ID law for voters have gotten their wish. Sadly, […]
Upwards of 70,000 jobless North Carolinians are about to see their finances go from bad to worse as they lose their unemployment benefits. Those are the benefits that can help […]
North Carolina’s state government leaders will make some heavy-duty decisions over the next few days. A new state budget is supposed to be in place by July 1, and the […]
The law setting up the North Carolina Public Campaign Fund is clear about its goals. Chapter 163, Article 22D of the General Statutes aims “to ensure the fairness of democratic […]
A funny thing happened to House Bill 998, the Tax Simplification and Reduction Act, on its way through the state Senate. It got simplified. House Republicans had approved the bill […]
“Moral Monday” demonstrators at the General Assembly bring a wide range of grievances. They charge the legislature’s Republican majorities with failing to uphold the interests of North Carolinians who count […]
The death penalty is troubling on many levels. Among them: The public must bear the extraordinary costs associated with death penalty trials and appeals. The penalty’s effectiveness in deterring other […]
For all the Christian emphasis on forgiveness and redemption, many if not most churchgoers likely are comfortable with the old maxim, “Do the crime, do the time.” Law-breaking has its […]
The North Carolina General Assembly has no more critical task than enacting budgets that set state government’s scope and mission – programs to serve the public that must be financed […]
We can’t go about our business as a society without messing up the environment to some degree. The challenge is to keep that damage to a minimum, ideally through steps […]
The Council’s 2013 Legislative Seminar on April 11 featured a workshop about voting rights. It was provided by Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina, a group that advocates for voting rights and for proper safeguards against the influence of self-serving special interests in the political system.
The debate over whether voters should have to show a photo ID has raged from state to state, with backers saying such IDs are needed to combat voter fraud.
Nobody wants to see even one vote cast illegally, and it’s true that most voters already have photo IDs. However, those who don’t have them tend to be among society’s vulnerable.
There’s no telling how the tax cookies will crumble by the time the 2013 General Assembly closes shop. But chief bakers in both the House and Senate seem intent on […]