Bobby Norfleet wasn’t the only elderly imprisoned person in NC eligible for parole

BY: - April 7, 2023

Earlier this week NC Newsline published an in-depth story about Bobby Norfleet, a 67-year-old man who was sentenced to life in prison in 1979. The story is about the myriad ways the justice system failed Norfleet, a poor and disabled Black man who grew up in a big, loving family in small Eastern North Carolina […]

Despite signs of progress in hurricane recovery, ReBuild NC continues to struggle

BY: - March 28, 2023

Leoni entered this world on Jan. 23, a daughter of Donnie Red Hawk McDowell and his wife, Humming Bird, hurricane survivors and members of the Tuscarora Nation.  In March, Leoni, her 3-year-old sister, Dyani, and their parents moved to a room on the second floor of an Extended Stay America in Fayetteville while their new mobile home was installed near Maxton.

Monday numbers: As national conservatives target schools, a look at the new wave of book banning

BY: - March 27, 2023

Last week the U.S. House passed H.R. 5 -- a federal “Parents Bill of Rights” that's part of a conservative wave of similarly named legislation that targets books and speech on topics like race, gender and sexuality in schools and would compel teachers and school staff to out transgender children to their families.

Not dead yet: Republican lawmakers seek to pass several previously vetoed bills

BY: - March 6, 2023

Lela Ali was in the Legislative Building last Wednesday as the organization she is part of, Muslim Women For, works to oppose a bill that would require sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration officials.  She also happened  to be sitting in the House gallery that day as lawmakers approved a bill along party lines that takes responsibility for the state’s three schools for deaf and blind students away from the State Board of Education and gives it to local boards of trustees. 

hands clasped in front of a rainbow flag

Monday numbers: Facing hostile legislation, rising generations are more LGBTQ than ever

BY: - February 27, 2023

Last week Gallup released its latest study of how Americans identify their own sexuality. The result: 7.2% of US adults identified as LGBTQ in 2022, double the percentage who identified that way when Gallup began measuring a decade ago. Younger generations — millennials and adult members of Generation Z — were the most likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual or asexual, according to the study.

Medicaid recipients with disabilities at risk of losing their doctors if health care providers don’t sign contracts

BY: - February 20, 2023

People who use Medicaid and have severe mental illness, substance use disorders or developmental disabilities soon might have to switch doctors if their health care providers don’t sign on with new managed care plans.   These providers include many of the state’s large health systems, major hospitals and their physicians’ offices. They have been slow to sign on to Medicaid managed care networks that the state calls tailored plans. These plans are supposed to cover both the physical and mental health needs of people with behavioral health or cognitive disorders.  

Homelessness and the First Amendment on trial in Asheville

BY: - February 17, 2023

City draws fire for its treatment of unhoused population and arrest of journalists attempting to cover police sweep of city park It was Christmas night, so Veronica Coit hadn’t expected to stay at Aston Park for long. They had come to bring their colleague, Matilda Bliss, a plate from dinner: turkey, sweet potato- and green bean-casseroles, collard greens and a slice of pie.

Monday numbers: North Carolina and the national wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation

BY: - February 13, 2023

Last week, Policy Watch delved into the stories of LGBTQ youth as new bills legislating their education, healthcare and identities work their way through the North Carolina General Assembly. The bills are part of a continuing wave of hundreds of new anti-LGBTQ measures filed across the country in the new year, many targeting transgender young people.

In appeals court case, a political fight over transgender identity and health care

BY: - January 30, 2023

When a federal District Court judge ruled last year the North Carolina State Health Plan’s exclusion of gender-affirming treatments for transgender people was discriminatory and unconstitutional, the state’s LGBTQ community celebrated victory in a legal fight it had been waging since 2019. But that decision is being revisited on appeal this month in a political environment in which conservative activists, politicians and lawmakers increasingly portray transgender people as mentally ill, those who support them as a threat to children, and doctors who treat them as “mutilators.”

UNC System asks legislature for $24.3 million to expedite professors’ retirement, improve on-time graduation rates

BY: - January 25, 2023

As the North Carolina General Assembly begins its legislative session in earnest this week, the UNC System is requesting additional money to reduce salary costs at universities and help students graduate on time. The UNC Board of Governors is asking for a one-time appropriation of $16.8 million to incentivize eligible professors to retire, and a recurring $7.5 million to assist students at five campuses that need to shore up their on-time graduation rates.

300,000 North Carolinians who were able to use government health insurance since 2020 could lose it

BY: - January 23, 2023

About 300,000 people in North Carolina are on track to lose their government health insurance by the middle of next year.   That estimate comes from the state Department for Health and Human Services, which is preparing plans to have Medicaid recipients’ family, health, and income information checked to make sure they are eligible for the insurance plan.

Monday numbers: A closer look at the mounting toll of fentanyl on the nation’s youth

BY: - January 16, 2023

Last year, Policy Watch delved into the epidemic within the opioid epidemic: the terrifying rise of synthetic opioid fentanyl and staggering number of deaths it has caused in North Carolina and across the country. This month a new analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by the non-profit Families Against Fentanyl shed new light on the ongoing crisis, particularly deaths among children 14 and under. The group’s analysis found fentanyl deaths among that group are rising faster than any other, tripling nationwide in just two years from 2019 to 2021 (the last year for which full CDC data is available). Over the same period, fentanyl deaths among infants increased twice as fast as overall deaths.