State House oversteps boundaries with “big brother” reporting bill
The North Carolina General Assembly is an enormously important and powerful institution. Its 170 members are elected to represent and act on behalf of the state’s 10 million-plus residents in numerous ways – enacting and enforcing the state’s civil and criminal laws, raising and appropriating revenue, and appointing all manner of state and local public […]
Strategies for improving North Carolina’s struggling mental health system
Speakers agree Medicaid expansion is key; GOP lawmakers say a vote could come as early as March Cindy Ehlers is mother to a son with disabilities who came to live with her family as a traumatized young foster child. Ehlers is also a chief executive officer at one of the state’s regional managed care organizations for people with mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities.
Cooper administration should bring same approach it brought to education funding to serving people with disabilities
One of the most hopeful developments to occur in decades with respect to the public services, systems, and structures provided and maintained by the state of North Carolina was the recent seminal state Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Leandro education funding case. By directing the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars currently squirreled away in savings accounts on the state’s long-neglected public schools, the high court struck a powerful and vitally important blow for basic human and constitutional rights and...
When legislators veto constitutional rights
"The answer to all your questions is money." For well over 200 years, Americans have understood and widely accepted the concept of “judicial review” – the idea that the courts (and in particular, the U.S. Supreme Court and state high courts) will have the final say as to what laws and acts of government are and aren’t constitutional. There have, of course, been many efforts to challenge and undermine the premise of judicial review.
NC judge orders community services for more people with disabilities. The state objects, saying the deadlines are unrealistic.
Thousands of people with disabilities would receive services to help keep them out of institutions, and a waiting list of more than 16,000 North Carolinians needing direct care would be whittled to zero over 10 years under a sweeping court order issued this week. Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour’s order follows his 2020 decision that […]
NC’s behavioral health system puts children with complex needs – and their parents – in impossible situations
Earlier this month, a North Carolina father contemplated an unthinkable decision: should he bring his 12-year-old son home from his group home without the services necessary to keep his son and the rest of his family safe, or abandon his son by not picking him up at discharge? In considering giving up his child, this father risks judgments and assumptions, though none of them would be accurate. The reality? He loves his son unequivocally. It is because he loves his son that he is pondering this horrific choice.
Lawmakers should let veto of disingenuous anti-abortion bill stand
Though we are only halfway through 2021, this has already been the most catastrophic year for reproductive freedom in the United States since 1973 when Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right to an abortion. Eight states have passed unconstitutional abortion bans, and two, Oklahoma and Arkansas, have passed laws that seek to prohibit abortion in nearly all circumstances.
NC must end its cruel and unjust denial of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
While state leaders idle, thousands remain stuck on waiting list for decades A few weeks ago, I felt devastated when I read about the death of Ruby Loftin. Ruby was a beloved community member, sister, and daughter who died at age 64 after waiting in line (unsuccessfully) for more than 19 years to receive services...
North Carolina failed Ruby: 15,000 others still wait
Woman’s death highlights Innovations Waiver wait list crisis When I first learned about Ruby Loftin’s unexpected death a few weeks ago, I was heartbroken. Friends describe Ruby as bringing joy to all who knew her. I imagine her sweet spirit and welcoming smile and wish that I had known her.