Covid-19

  • North Carolina will follow federal recommendations and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports that six women, none of whom were from North Carolina, had severe reactions after vaccination. While the vast majority of people in the country who received the J&J vaccine have reported only minor, transitory reactions, the state will wait until the FDA and the CDC complete an investigation and provide further guidelines about this single-shot vaccine. Experts at UNC Health and Duke Health told reporters that the pause in administering the J&J vaccine is proof that the system for monitoring of possible COVID-19 vaccine side effects is working.

Fair Representation and Voting Rights

  • NC House Democrats introduced the Fix our Democracy Act (HB 542), which includes provisions to facilitate voter registration and access to voting, creation of a NC Citizens Redistricting Commission, and reforms aimed at ensuring fair and impartial courts and government accountability and transparency. NC Senate Democrats introduced a companion bill (SB 716).

Education Policy


Economic and Housing Policy

  • The NC House gave near unanimous preliminary approval to HB 334, which gives tax breaks to businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. Businesses that received PPP loans to help pay expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic would be able to deduct these expenses from their state taxes. The bill does not address whether individuals who received unemployment benefits during the pandemic will have to pay state taxes on these benefits. The federal government is waiving federal taxes on these benefits.

Health Care Policy

Women’s Rights

Criminal Justice


Fair Representation


Voting Rights

  • On March 31 Democrats in the NC House introduced HB 446, “Safeguarding Voting Rights.” The bill includes many provisions to protect voting rights, including reinforcing existing law that establishes the Tuesday before Election Day as the deadline for applying for an absentee ballot and the third day after the election as the receipt deadline for absentee ballots -- both deadlines that Senate Bill 326, introduced by Republicans, seeks to make significantly more stringent. HB 446 also includes provisions to make voter registration and updates of voter information easier, make even-numbered-year November Election Days holidays for state employees, and extend early voting hours on the weekend before Election Day.


Education Policy



  • Republicans in the NC Senate filed a bill Wednesday that would require school districts to ensure that their curricula, professional development, and teaching standards “reflect balanced political viewpoints.” This means that if the “viewpoint of one political party” was presented in classroom materials, “the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.” Charter schools would be exempt from SB 700.


Economic and Housing Policy


Environmental Policy

  • The NC Department of Environmental Quality has fined Chemours nearly $200,000 for various environmental violations.


Health Care Policy


Women’s Rights and LGBTQ Rights



Criminal Justice



Governance


COVID-19

Voting Rights

Education Policy

Economic Policy

  • On Tuesday, Governor Cooper summarized the items he wants the state legislature to include in the 2021 budget, emphasizing teacher and state employee raises, Medicaid expansion, and infrastructure support. The NC legislature is responsible for writing a state budget in odd-number years, with minor adjustments made in even-number years. The state House and Senate take turns in proposing the budget, and this year the Senate will take the lead, with the process expected to begin soon. The Governor’s proposals received support from the North Carolina Association of Educators and the State Employees Association of NC, both of which cited his support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans were generally critical of the amount of spending in Cooper’s budget and continued to express a lack of support for Medicaid expansion.

  • SB 211, a bill to allow private water companies to request approval for rate increases in 3-year increments, received a favorable committee hearing and is likely to be voted on by the full NC Senate on Monday. Proponents say that under this plan companies will be able to plan capital improvements further ahead, saving them the costs of routinely going before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and potentially passing those savings along to consumers. A House version (HB 219) had bipartisan support and has already passed that chamber.


Environmental Policy

  • In his 2021-23 comprehensive budget proposal presented to the state legislature, Gov. Cooper included substantial increases in funding for the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality. This funding includes money to address flood mitigation and water infrastructure projects and to hire personnel needed to deal with the environmental consequences of climate change. It also provides money to deal with contaminants like PFAS and their impact on drinking water, help develop clean energy programs, and help local governments and schools transition to zero-emission school buses.

Health Care Policy


LGBTQ Rights


Criminal Justice


Covid-19

  • North Carolina will follow federal recommendations and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports that six women, none of whom were from North Carolina, had severe reactions after vaccination. While the vast majority of people in the country who received the J&J vaccine have reported only minor, transitory reactions, the state will wait until the FDA and the CDC complete an investigation and provide further guidelines about this single-shot vaccine. Experts at UNC Health and Duke Health told reporters that the pause in administering the J&J vaccine is proof that the system for monitoring of possible COVID-19 vaccine side effects is working.

Fair Representation and Voting Rights

  • NC House Democrats introduced the Fix our Democracy Act (HB 542), which includes provisions to facilitate voter registration and access to voting, creation of a NC Citizens Redistricting Commission, and reforms aimed at ensuring fair and impartial courts and government accountability and transparency. NC Senate Democrats introduced a companion bill (SB 716).

Education Policy


Economic and Housing Policy

  • The NC House gave near unanimous preliminary approval to HB 334, which gives tax breaks to businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. Businesses that received PPP loans to help pay expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic would be able to deduct these expenses from their state taxes. The bill does not address whether individuals who received unemployment benefits during the pandemic will have to pay state taxes on these benefits. The federal government is waiving federal taxes on these benefits.

Health Care Policy

Women’s Rights

Criminal Justice


Fair Representation


Voting Rights

  • On March 31 Democrats in the NC House introduced HB 446, “Safeguarding Voting Rights.” The bill includes many provisions to protect voting rights, including reinforcing existing law that establishes the Tuesday before Election Day as the deadline for applying for an absentee ballot and the third day after the election as the receipt deadline for absentee ballots -- both deadlines that Senate Bill 326, introduced by Republicans, seeks to make significantly more stringent. HB 446 also includes provisions to make voter registration and updates of voter information easier, make even-numbered-year November Election Days holidays for state employees, and extend early voting hours on the weekend before Election Day.


Education Policy



  • Republicans in the NC Senate filed a bill Wednesday that would require school districts to ensure that their curricula, professional development, and teaching standards “reflect balanced political viewpoints.” This means that if the “viewpoint of one political party” was presented in classroom materials, “the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.” Charter schools would be exempt from SB 700.


Economic and Housing Policy


Environmental Policy

  • The NC Department of Environmental Quality has fined Chemours nearly $200,000 for various environmental violations.


Health Care Policy


Women’s Rights and LGBTQ Rights



Criminal Justice



Governance


COVID-19

Voting Rights

Education Policy

Economic Policy

  • On Tuesday, Governor Cooper summarized the items he wants the state legislature to include in the 2021 budget, emphasizing teacher and state employee raises, Medicaid expansion, and infrastructure support. The NC legislature is responsible for writing a state budget in odd-number years, with minor adjustments made in even-number years. The state House and Senate take turns in proposing the budget, and this year the Senate will take the lead, with the process expected to begin soon. The Governor’s proposals received support from the North Carolina Association of Educators and the State Employees Association of NC, both of which cited his support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans were generally critical of the amount of spending in Cooper’s budget and continued to express a lack of support for Medicaid expansion.

  • SB 211, a bill to allow private water companies to request approval for rate increases in 3-year increments, received a favorable committee hearing and is likely to be voted on by the full NC Senate on Monday. Proponents say that under this plan companies will be able to plan capital improvements further ahead, saving them the costs of routinely going before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and potentially passing those savings along to consumers. A House version (HB 219) had bipartisan support and has already passed that chamber.


Environmental Policy

  • In his 2021-23 comprehensive budget proposal presented to the state legislature, Gov. Cooper included substantial increases in funding for the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality. This funding includes money to address flood mitigation and water infrastructure projects and to hire personnel needed to deal with the environmental consequences of climate change. It also provides money to deal with contaminants like PFAS and their impact on drinking water, help develop clean energy programs, and help local governments and schools transition to zero-emission school buses.

Health Care Policy


LGBTQ Rights


Criminal Justice


Covid-19

  • North Carolina will follow federal recommendations and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports that six women, none of whom were from North Carolina, had severe reactions after vaccination. While the vast majority of people in the country who received the J&J vaccine have reported only minor, transitory reactions, the state will wait until the FDA and the CDC complete an investigation and provide further guidelines about this single-shot vaccine. Experts at UNC Health and Duke Health told reporters that the pause in administering the J&J vaccine is proof that the system for monitoring of possible COVID-19 vaccine side effects is working.

Fair Representation and Voting Rights

  • NC House Democrats introduced the Fix our Democracy Act (HB 542), which includes provisions to facilitate voter registration and access to voting, creation of a NC Citizens Redistricting Commission, and reforms aimed at ensuring fair and impartial courts and government accountability and transparency. NC Senate Democrats introduced a companion bill (SB 716).

Education Policy


Economic and Housing Policy

  • The NC House gave near unanimous preliminary approval to HB 334, which gives tax breaks to businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. Businesses that received PPP loans to help pay expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic would be able to deduct these expenses from their state taxes. The bill does not address whether individuals who received unemployment benefits during the pandemic will have to pay state taxes on these benefits. The federal government is waiving federal taxes on these benefits.

Health Care Policy

Women’s Rights

Criminal Justice


Fair Representation


Voting Rights

  • On March 31 Democrats in the NC House introduced HB 446, “Safeguarding Voting Rights.” The bill includes many provisions to protect voting rights, including reinforcing existing law that establishes the Tuesday before Election Day as the deadline for applying for an absentee ballot and the third day after the election as the receipt deadline for absentee ballots -- both deadlines that Senate Bill 326, introduced by Republicans, seeks to make significantly more stringent. HB 446 also includes provisions to make voter registration and updates of voter information easier, make even-numbered-year November Election Days holidays for state employees, and extend early voting hours on the weekend before Election Day.


Education Policy



  • Republicans in the NC Senate filed a bill Wednesday that would require school districts to ensure that their curricula, professional development, and teaching standards “reflect balanced political viewpoints.” This means that if the “viewpoint of one political party” was presented in classroom materials, “the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.” Charter schools would be exempt from SB 700.


Economic and Housing Policy


Environmental Policy

  • The NC Department of Environmental Quality has fined Chemours nearly $200,000 for various environmental violations.


Health Care Policy


Women’s Rights and LGBTQ Rights



Criminal Justice



Governance


COVID-19

Voting Rights

Education Policy

Economic Policy

  • On Tuesday, Governor Cooper summarized the items he wants the state legislature to include in the 2021 budget, emphasizing teacher and state employee raises, Medicaid expansion, and infrastructure support. The NC legislature is responsible for writing a state budget in odd-number years, with minor adjustments made in even-number years. The state House and Senate take turns in proposing the budget, and this year the Senate will take the lead, with the process expected to begin soon. The Governor’s proposals received support from the North Carolina Association of Educators and the State Employees Association of NC, both of which cited his support for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans were generally critical of the amount of spending in Cooper’s budget and continued to express a lack of support for Medicaid expansion.

  • SB 211, a bill to allow private water companies to request approval for rate increases in 3-year increments, received a favorable committee hearing and is likely to be voted on by the full NC Senate on Monday. Proponents say that under this plan companies will be able to plan capital improvements further ahead, saving them the costs of routinely going before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and potentially passing those savings along to consumers. A House version (HB 219) had bipartisan support and has already passed that chamber.


Environmental Policy

  • In his 2021-23 comprehensive budget proposal presented to the state legislature, Gov. Cooper included substantial increases in funding for the NC Dept. of Environmental Quality. This funding includes money to address flood mitigation and water infrastructure projects and to hire personnel needed to deal with the environmental consequences of climate change. It also provides money to deal with contaminants like PFAS and their impact on drinking water, help develop clean energy programs, and help local governments and schools transition to zero-emission school buses.

Health Care Policy


LGBTQ Rights


Criminal Justice

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