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Will the bipartisan House budget vote stick?
RALEIGH — The strong, bipartisan vote in favor of the state House budget showed that the 120-member chamber is becoming at least slightly more moderate, that Republicans are yielding a little gr ...

Bill raises multiple questions
Let’s say your elderly mother lives in a nursing home. The employees’ treatment of some of the residents is atrocious: They berate them; they refuse to change soiled sheets; they handle th ...

An invitation to the dance
RALEIGH — By all accounts, the $22.2 billion General Fund budget just passed by the North Carolina House is only one step in a dance routine that may well last throughout the summer. As a former ...

How will historians rate Barack Obama's presidency?
Following up my conversation last week with historian William Leuchtenburg about the challenges Hillary Clinton faces in her campaign, I wanted him to begin to put Obama in historical perspective, a c ...

More than 8 hours of mostly meaningless debate
RALEIGH – When the House finished more than eight hours of debate on its $22 billion budget late last week, many listeners had to wonder what of any consequence had been accomplished with all th ...

Comply with voter registration law
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 has a simple aim: Encourage voting by making it easier to register. To that end, the law included two simple requirements. First, states are to provide i ...

Openness in federal court
If you’d like to know more about the three-year prison sentence N.C. House Speaker Jim Black received on political corruption charges back in 2007, that information is just a Google search away. ...

The House is spending too much
RALEIGH — If leaders of the North Carolina House are right that the state needs a 6.3 percent increase in General Fund spending for the coming year, then they were wrong two years ago when they ...

House budget continues education policy shift
RALEIGH – If you haven’t paid attention to the direction the Republican-led General Assembly is going in K-12 public education, the proposed N.C. House budget offers a tutorial in a microc ...

Historian Leuchtenburg on Hillary Clinton's challenges
Is it too early to start putting the 2016 presidential election in historical perspective? Maybe. But it is never too early to ask presidential historian and UNC-Chapel Hill emeritus history pro ...

Most generous man I've ever known
For the last 10 years my desk phone would ring just about every day at 8:15 a.m. “Hey boss.” It would be Tommy. He called me “boss” even though he knew it made me uncomfortable ...

Observations about state's $400 million budget surplus
RALEIGH – The recently announced $400 million state budget surplus generated more discussion on Jones Street than just about anything this year. Here are four observations about it: 1) The su ...

Bad news for politicians - and the rest of us, too
I have some bad news for North Carolina politicians. Some of your best friends are dying. It is not people that I am thinking about. It is restaurants. In the small towns and cities in ou ...

Taxes about to drop again
RALEIGH — Because of tough decisions made by the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s payroll tax is expected to drop by about $280 million in 2016 and as much as $700 m ...

Just getting started at General Assembly
RALEIGH – Last week felt a lot like the culmination of a legislative session, but we’re not even close. Combined, the House and Senate passed more than 200 bills during the week, sendin ...

The making of the budget pizza
RALEIGH – The state budget process, which is about to begin in earnest, is like making a pizza. Start with the dough. That’s the revenue – about $21 billion in this fiscal year. I ...

Book connects U.S.-Mexico border to home
What does the 1,969-mile border between the United States and Mexico have to do with North Carolina? A North Carolina author delivers pages of answers in a book about his journey along the entire b ...

Fallacies impede sound policy
RALEIGH – Those who advocate rational public policy, based on a thorough understanding of the principles of human action and the benefits of voluntary exchange, are bound to be disappointed much ...

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