NC Lawmakers Move To Limit Renewable Energy’s Impressive Gains

“Despite the good news about renewable energy, over the last few years, our state legislators and the Utilities Commission have allowed these smart policies to erode, and in some cases, have worked to slow the growth of renewable energy. For example, North Carolina state law prohibits consumers from purchasing electricity from anyplace other than the utility company,” writes School of Medicine professor Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, director of the Environmental Health Scholars Program, with a  colleague.

Read More in The News & Observer

Cuts To EPA, NIH Budgets Would Hurt Local Economy

President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget includes cuts to two federal agencies that could make a noticeable dent in the Triangle economy if it wins congressional approval. Dr. Nancy C. Andrews, dean of the School of Medicine, says in a statement she hopes Congress rejects any reduction of NIH funding and funding for other programs critical to people’s health and well-being. “Everywhere you turn, there is clear evidence of the impact of science and biomedical research on human lives,” she says.

Read More in The News & Observer

Cooper Aims To Steer NC On A New Course In State Of The State Address

Cooper can use the platform to advance his message that the state can reclaim its progressive sheen after four years of Republican control, says public policy professor Pope “Mac” McCorkle, who worked for former Democratic governors in North Carolina. “When (Gov.) Easley did it in 2001, it was to raise the red flag about our fiscal situation, given the dot-com bust recession.” (Gov.) McCrory in 2013 talked about how much things will change. “With Roy, I think, there is a new governor in town and he’s setting the agenda for what North Carolina can and should do.”

Read More in The News & Observer

A Novel Way That Citizens Can End Gerrymandering

“North Carolina’s current system of gerrymandered voting districts is indeed harmful. Undemocratic and alien to American values, gerrymandering – drawing electoral districts to favor certain parties and minimize competitiveness of general elections – also undermines our society in many ways. The answer to this problem, we believe, may seem counterintuitive, but is compelling: convince non-Republicans to register Republican or, almost as usefully, Unaffiliated,” write economics professors Charles Becker, Bruce Caldwell, Edward Tower and Michael Munger.

Read More in The Charlotte Observer

NC Legislators Eye National Constitutional Convention

Republican legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly seeks a convention of the states for constitutional amendments that would “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” However, says law professor Ernest Young, “… Whatever changes people might favor, people are mostly happy with the Constitution.”

Read More at NC Policy Watch

How the Democrats Lost North Carolina

“If progressives are to win again, they need to learn from the mistakes and successes of recent national campaigns. Rural America is not one unified region with one cultural narrative and one political preference. In North Carolina, there are Democrats aplenty in rural regions, as Obama’s rural wave underscores. The good news for progressives is that there is a path forward,” writes history professor Gunther Peck.

Read More in Medium

NC Lawmakers, Governor Ready for Showdown

“I’m not optimistic, at least at first,” says Pope “Mac” McCorkle, a professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. “It seems like a very poisonous atmosphere. … Neither side can withstand for too long a growing perception that Raleigh’s just one big mess.”

Read More in The New York Times

Looking For Bipartisan Consensus in North Carolina Politics

A bipartisan panel of political leaders and activists expressed optimism about the possibility of North Carolinians – and the country – working more across the ideological spectrum. But a key challenge is that the median Republican is more conservative than 20-30 years ago and the median Democrat is more liberal than 20-30 years ago, according to panelist John Hood, president of the Pope Foundation.

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Bridging Red and Blue America, Jan. 18-20

During presidential inaugural week, the Sanford School of Public Policy hosts a series of four events Jan. 18-20 to examine national politics and North Carolina’s role in some of the country’s most divisive issues. The events, starting today at 5 p.m., kick off “The Purple Project: Bridging Red and Blue America,” created by POLIS. The event series is free and open to the public, space permitting.

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NC Governor Pledges to Expand Medicaid, Despite State Law

Gov. Roy Cooper may want to get expansion approved before Obama leaves office, given Medicaid expansion’s uncertain future under a Trump administration — and before the state negotiates details of the ongoing reform with the federal government, says Don Taylor, a Sanford School of Public Policy professor specializing in health care policy.

Read More in AP

When One Party Has the Governor’s Mansion and the Other Has the Statehouse

Sanford School professor Pope “Mac” McCorkle says that if North Carolina Republicans “keep on sending people a message they are right-wingers,” newly elected Democratic governor Roy Cooper will have an advantage in the “outside game” of appealing to voters who think the state has veered too far from its moderate political tradition.

Read More in The New York Times

Why I Got Arrested at the General Assembly

“We scholars evenhandedly weigh evidence — but as citizens we should never be ‘evenhanded’ about democracy,” writes Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat, an associate professor of public policy and economics.

Read More in The News & Observer