Must Reads

New ‘must read’ report shines a light on women and poverty in North Carolina

BY: - December 21, 2022

Over 3.2 million North Carolinians are poor or near poor, and many more experience economic instability and challenges over time. We’ve described some of these communities and the hurdles they face, individually and collectively, in our prior research. With this report, we examine the ways that women in North Carolina are caught in the crosshairs of irreconcilable social and economic demands.

New report: How North Carolina’s state budget fails to address the impacts of inflation

BY: - September 27, 2022

The state budget passed for the 2022-23 fiscal year fails to adequately address the impacts of inflation. Even with federal aid and a robust recovery driving higher than expected revenues, the state budget fell short of meeting the challenges created by inflation running at a 40-year-high in several ways...

What it takes to make ends meet in each North Carolina county

BY: - May 5, 2022

The 2022 Living Income Standard soars to new heights When COVID-19 arrived, few (if any) pundits predicted inflation would become one of the most fretted-over issues in 2022, but here we are. Supply chain disruptions, pent-up demand, war in Ukraine, and myriad other factors have made it harder and harder for many working families to make ends meet.

Fighting anti-trans legislation is suicide prevention

BY: - March 16, 2022

I’m trans. This year I turn 30, and my teenage self would be beyond surprised — not just at the joys that fill my life, but the fact that I’m alive at all. I’m part of the last generation that didn’t quite have the language for the feelings that flooded us as kids. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t take off my shirt as I stomped through puddles with my pals, why I was never invited to the sleepovers I actually wanted to go to, or why I seemed to be the only one that couldn’t quite envision my future self as a devoted wife and mother.

Must read report: The explosive growth in spending on judicial elections

BY: - January 26, 2022

In "The Politics of Judicial Elections, 2019-20," Brennan Center for Justice experts explain how and why special interests are spending more than ever on state high court races In 2019–20, state supreme court elections attracted more money — including more spending by special interests — than any judicial election cycle in history, posing a serious threat to the appearance and reality of justice across the country.

‘Must read’ report: The deep racial and ethnic disparities in state prisons

BY: - October 14, 2021

When former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in 2020, the world witnessed the most racist elements of the U.S. criminal legal system on broad display. The uprisings that followed Floyd’s death articulated a vision for transforming public safety practices and investments.

New and damning report: Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program

BY: - August 5, 2021

Experts call for feds to adopt anti-racist policy redesign WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities...

‘Must read’ report: The price of poverty in North Carolina’s juvenile justice system

BY: - April 28, 2021

A new 'must read' report from authors Gene Nichol and Heather Hunt of the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund at the UNC School of Law provides a powerful and damning examination of the ways in which poverty has become, in the words of one knowledgeable attorney, "the foundational principle of what's going on" in North Carolina's juvenile justice system.

“Must read” report: Damage to public schools from NC voucher programs continues to grow

BY: - December 22, 2020

New report says “Opportunity Scholarship” voucher programs undermine public education, foster division, and undermine children’s development while also costing the state millions During the 2020 legislative session at the North Carolina General Assembly, lawmakers made changes to the state's Opportunity Scholarship program that will cost the state approximately $272 million over the next 10 years...

Your voice, your vote: 14 issues to use in assessing the candidates

BY: - October 20, 2020

[Editor's note: As a part of an ongoing effort to help North Carolina voters become better informed and to use their knowledge in casting ballots in the 2020 election, experts at the North Carolina Justice Center (parent organization of NC Policy Watch) have prepared a series of brief and informative voter guides on 14 key policy issues.

Reports: Health care for 600K NC’ians in jeopardy as Trump pushes to strike down ACA

BY: - June 25, 2020

Impact would be even larger than previously forecast due to the COVID-19 pandemic The Trump administration was expected to file briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court today asking justices to strike down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. In anticipation of this event, analysts at two major Washington, DC policy think tanks released reports this week...

Report: NC’s failure to expand Medicaid constitutes “violence against the poor”

BY: - June 4, 2020

In late 2016, the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund issued a significant report on state access to health care entitled, “Putting A Face On Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina.” The study not only heavily documented the dramatic economic, social and health costs resulting from the state’s decision to refuse the proffered expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but it focused (somewhat atypically) on the stories of patients, families, doctors, nurses and other health care providers to illustrate, more concretely, the often tragic impact of the denial of expanded coverage on the lived experience of Tar Heels.