SEANC pleased with commission's recommendation on handling of state pension fund

April 28, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The State Employees Association of North Carolina seems satisfied with the recommendation of a bipartisan commission that state Treasurer Janet Cowell must share investment details of the state's $87 billion pension fund with a board of trustees.

Legislative committee proposes replacing Common Core in NC public schools

April 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A draft bill was introduced Thursday that recommends replacing Common Core standards with new education goals to be created by the State Board of Education. North Carolina is in its second year of using Common Core curriculum, which raises standards in reading and math.

Judge gives Durham, Guilford counties reprieve from teacher-tenure law

April 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

In a lawsuit by school boards from Durham and Guilford counties, a Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that puts state-mandated contracts that eliminate teacher tenure on hold. The two school boards say a law – passed last year by the state General Assembly – eliminating all teacher tenure by 2018 is unconstitutional.

SEANC issues harsh report on handling of state pension fund

April 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A 147-page report commissioned by the State Employees Association of North Carolina claims state Treasurer Janet Cowell may have mismanaged the state's $87 billion pension fund. The report says Cowell hid $30 billion in investments from the public and may have violated numerous state and federal laws.

DHHS wants $12 million more in federal funding

April 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $12 million budget increase to pay for costs related to its troubled food-stamp program.

Study reveals Duke's campaign contributions to McCrory

April 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A study by Montana-based National Institute on Money in State Politics shows Gov. Pat McCrory received $98,000 in campaign contributions from former employer Duke Energy from 2000-2012, including $16,000 from the utility's PAC and $82,000 from executives.

GOP legislators blindsided by announcement of McCrory's coal-ash plan

April 21, 2014

(The News & Record, Greensboro)

State Sen. Tom Apodaca said GOP legislators were not given advance notice of Gov. Pat McCrory's plan for dealing with Duke Energy's coal-ash problems. Two weeks ago, Apodaca was assigned to work with House Republicans in crafting legislation to deal with coal-ash issues, but that group was not consulted when McCrory announced his new proposal last week. 

Mecklenburg, surrounding counties to expand early voting despite new voter law

April 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

While 38 N.C. counties will reduce the number of early voting hours in this year's primary election, Mecklenburg County will increase the number of hours in which to vote early from 121 in 2010 to 788. Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell and Union counties also will expand early voting hours.

School leaders concerned over increase in Wake County teacher resignations

April 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Teacher resignations in Wake County have increased 41% compared with the same time a year ago. Of Wake's 9,000 teachers, 612 have resigned since the school year began, up from 433 during the same time last year. North Carolina's average pay for teachers ranks 46th in the nation.

McCrory announces oversight plan for Duke Energy's ash ponds

April 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory plans to ask state legislators for broader authority over the handling of coal-ash at Duke Energy's 33 ash ponds in North Carolina. McCrory, a former Duke Energy employee, wants site-specific plans that would remove ash from some ponds while leaving others drained and capped and would require more frequent inspections.