a doctor consults with a mother and daughter in an examination room

Out of legislators’ sight, North Carolinians watched and waited for Medicaid expansion

BY: - September 27, 2023

Evita Bass, director of a childcare center in Hillsborough, lives with constant pain from three wisdom teeth that need to be pulled and back pain from scoliosis.  Bass, 31, has not had health insurance since she was 26 and on her mother’s insurance. She has always made too much to qualify for Medicaid and too […]

U.S. Supreme Court building

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s request to stay redistricting decision

BY: - September 26, 2023

The United States Supreme Court Tuesday denied Alabama’s request to stay a lower court decision directing a special master to draw new state congressional maps to remedy Voting Rights Act violations. The nation’s high court dismissed the request in two one-sentence orders Tuesday morning. No opinions were given with the decision, which could open the […]

Tracy Anthony stands in front of a solar panel array

Battery storage seen as ‘backbone’ of reliable electric grid but adoption uneven across US

BY: - September 26, 2023

SEARCY, Ark. — In the decarbonized future envisioned by many states, utilities and the federal government, expect more power plants like Entergy Arkansas’ facility here, where thousands of gleaming panels and banks of batteries spread across 800 acres about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Searcy Solar Energy Center, a 100-megawatt solar and storage […]

a photo of the L. Richardson Preyer Federal Courthouse

North Carolina’s new abortion law is back in federal court

BY: - September 26, 2023

Under the state’s new abortion law, doctors are not allowed to prescribe abortion pills before a patient’s embryo is visible on an ultrasound, which happens at about five or six weeks.   Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and Dr. Beverly Gray, a Duke OB-GYN, are asking a federal court judge to put a freeze on that provision […]

a child in a highchair with piece of broccoli at her mouth

Food benefits for low income families at risk in a government shutdown, White House says

BY: - September 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — As Congress barrels toward a partial government shutdown, the White House Monday warned that a program that helps millions of low income families afford healthy food could see substantial cuts. The White House released a state-by-state breakdown, estimating that nearly 7 million people who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, […]

This is a photo of a metal building, about a half mile long, that housed the former Alcoa plant in Badin, in Stanly County

In the shadow of Alcoa, West Badin residents want you to visit their town to see the environmental threats they live with every day

BY: - September 25, 2023

The hulking metal shell of the former Alcoa plant in Badin, in Stanly County, is roughly a half-mile long and severs the west side — which is historically and predominantly Black — from the rest of town. Beneath the 700,000-square-foot building pollution from the smelting operations is curdling. For much of Alcoa’s tenure, there were […]

Senator Natasha Marcus weighs in on the state budget, Medicaid expansion and casino gambling

BY: - September 25, 2023

After an extended period of inactivity that’s left the state without a new budget for the first quarter of the new fiscal year, the state legislature kicked things into high gear last week passing a $30 billion budget and a series of lengthy, momentous, and controversial proposals. The sudden deluge of contentious ideas — most […]

North Carolina Budget & Tax Center director Alexandra Sirota on the latest poverty data

BY: - September 25, 2023

One of the very few silver linings to accompany the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant decline in American child poverty. Thanks to various relief initiatives and, most notably, the expansion of the federal child tax credit that the Biden administration championed, poverty numbers fell significantly for a time as the federal government provided what was, […]

Reporter Joe Killian on the effort by Republican lawmakers to remake our public universities

BY: - September 25, 2023

For several years now, North Carolina’s Republican-dominated state legislature has been pursuing a determined effort to overhaul the state’s university system. Whether it’s the makeup of the boards and chancellors that oversee the system and its various campuses, or the actual academic programs the campuses house and the professors they hire and fire, conservative politicians […]

an aerial photo of a giant hog farm with eight long metal barns and two waste lagoons that appear to be purple

Ratified and en route to the governor, House Bill 600 defangs state environmental law

BY: - September 25, 2023

It began as benign, but over the summer House Bill 600, the Regulatory Reform Act, transmogrified into a Medusa of environmental rollbacks and favors to pipeline companies, the hog and poultry industries and other special interests. When the bill was filed in April, it contained an anodyne section requiring publicly funded animal shelters to keep […]

UNC Old Well

Budget sets tight timeline, new specifics for controversial new school at UNC-Chapel Hill

BY: - September 25, 2023

When the General Assembly’s Republican majority revealed and passed a new budget in a whirlwind 48 hours last week, it set an aggressive timeline for an unprecedented new school at UNC-Chapel Hill. The budget provides $2 million in funding in each of the next two fiscal years for the new School of Civic Life and […]

NC General Assembly (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

Weekend reads: What to know about NC’s new $30 billion budget

BY: - September 24, 2023

Gov. Cooper will let state budget bill become law without his signature By Lynn Bonner Gov. Roy Cooper said he will allow the state’s new $30 billion budget to become law without his signature. He made the announcement Friday morning, shortly after the Senate gave the plan its final approval. Pursuant to the state constitution, […]