January 26, 2014
GOP may abolish Supreme Court filibusters: Top Senate Republicans are considering gutting the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees — a move that could yield big rewards for whichever party controls the White House and Senate after 2016. Read more here.
Objections by Women Open Rift in G.O.P.: House Republicans struggled on Thursday to mend another unwelcome rift that threatens to tarnish their party’s image with women and younger voters, shelving a contentious bill to outlaw most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Read more here.
Foreign policy divides 2016 hopefuls at Koch forum: Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) took the stage late Sunday evening at the California winter meeting of Freedom Partners, a conservative, free-market group aligned with Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch. Read more here.
Bobby Jindal: ‘I Certainly Will Support’ A Constitutional Amendment To Ban Same-Sex Marriage: One day after leading the nation in a day-long Christian evangelical prayer rally, Republican governor Bobby Jindal appeared on ABC’s "This Week" on Sunday, telling George Stephanopoulos that he would not only support Ted Cruz‘s marriage amendment but would go one step further in outright allowing states to ban same-sex marriage. Read more here.
Infographic: The Middle Class Needs Unions: As inequality grows, unions are more important than ever in helping boost workers’ wages and benefits, as well as ensuring their access to basic workplace protections. See more here.
Teacher to legislators: Here’s how your decisions impact my students every single day: Lori Rice is a fourth-grade teacher at West Elementary in Wamego, Kansas, who has taught K-2 reading as well as kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade for the past 19 years. Her students read books that are held together by tape, and because of budget cuts her school does not have a full-time librarian, art teacher, technology teacher or music teacher. As a result, she says, “our schedules are limited and cannot be arranged for what is best for students.” Read more here.
Republicans signal ‘more normal’ agenda for General Assembly session: Conservative groups, meanwhile, are prepared to punish Republicans who try to walk a more moderate bent. The state chapter of Americans for Prosperity will call out GOP lawmakers back in their home districts who veer from fiscally conservative principles, state president Donald Bryson said. The group is opposed to restoring film production tax credits and expanding Medicaid. Read more here.
Jobs, education on legislative radar, but specifics are scarce: If you boil down everything senior lawmakers have said about the upcoming legislative session over the past two weeks, the result would be three words: jobs, education, Medicaid. Read more here.
Fewer students pursuing teaching: N.C. A&T is now the nation’s largest historically black college or university, said Anthony Graham, interim associate dean of the A&T School of Education. “But when you look at the teacher education enrollment, it’s another story,” he said. “Our enrollment has declined since 2010 by 15.9 percent, and it’s still heading south.” Read more here.
Schools bracing for their report cards: The Department of Public Instruction is not releasing information about how schools did on the new grading scale until Feb. 5, and school administrators have been forbidden from talking about the data behind the grades until then. But schools do know that 80 percent of the grade will be based on "achievement," a measure largely based on how students do on end-of-grade tests. Only 20 percent will be based on growth. Read more here.
Editorial – Is film industry fading to black?: January is usually a busy time in the state and local film offices. But early in 2015, the pickings look slim for the coming year. The state office notes that no film productions are currently scheduled or negotiating seriously to locate in North Carolina. The Fox series "Sleepy Hollow" also will leave next year for Atlanta if renewed, and some local crew members may move with it. Read more here.
Study finds Triangle ‘punches above’ its weight as a tech hub: How does the Triangle stack up to other emerging technology hubs? CED, a Triangle-based support group for entrepreneurs, has the answer. Or, to be more precise, lots of answers. Read more here.
Is legal marijuana likely, eventually, in NC?: While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, federal officials have largely allowed states to move ahead with state-run programs allowing medical and recreational marijuana. And of interest in Western North Carolina, the U.S. Justice Department last year gave American Indian tribes the authority to legalize marijuana on their reservations. Read more here.