2015 offers McCrory’s biggest test, yet

Capitol Press Association by Patrick Gannon Surrounded by families, friends and fellow lawmakers, 170 incoming members of the General Assembly will get sworn in to two-year terms this week. There will be more than enough smiles, congratulatory handshakes, hugs and photographs to...

School woes aren’t werewolves

John Locke Foundation by John Hood Because of the tremendous benefits conferred by better education, it would be great if policymakers knew precisely what silver bullets to fire to eliminate obstacles to higher achievement. But obstacles to achievement aren’t werewolves. They are...

Courts agree GOP overstepped in abortion law

Capitol Press Association by Patrick Gannon Critics of Republican leadership in the General Assembly are often quick to use words such as “extreme” to describe policies pushed by the majority. Republicans use the same rhetoric about Democrats’ ideas. Sometimes, critics exaggerate...

Burr favored in duel

by John Hood Pretty much as soon as the polls closed on Election Day 2014, the political prognosticators began laying bets on what will happen by Election Day 2016. At the national level, attention quickly focused on the seemingly endless parade of Republicans seeking to take on...

Eight quotes that defined 2014 in state politics

Capitol Press Association by Patrick Gannon Each year, state lawmakers and observers make memorable comments that sum up the news of the day. The following are eight quotes from 2014 that reflect major news in state government and politics, with brief explanations to remind you...

What will 2015’s economy look like?

By Dr. Mike Walden N.C. Cooperative Extension Economists receive much attention at the beginning of a new year. People want some insight into how the economy will perform. No economist can predict every individual’s economic outlook. Instead, we try to forecast the general trends...

Jobs lost at a minimum

by John Hood Correct ideas are not always popular ones. I freely admit that most North Carolinians favor increasing the legal minimum wage, through either congressional or legislative action. Supporters believe that it will help workers rise out of poverty, and that the cost will...

Wake school estimates must be double-checked

by Robert Luebke Before Wake County asks taxpayers for pay for more buildings, the school system needs to ensure its population estimates are accurate. In October 2013, Wake County voters approved an $810 million bond referendum to finance new schools and repairs. Now, a little...

A brief history of Tar Heel presidential politics

Capitol Press Association by Patrick Gannon An early poll suggests that North Carolina will again be a battleground state in the 2016 presidential race, especially if former First Lady Hillary Clinton ends up as the Democratic nominee. Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling released...

Put family farmers back into Farm-to-School

by Wyatt Fraas Center for Rural Affairs Farm-to-school programs appeared in the 1990s with a three-way focus: fresh, local foods in schools; agriculture and nutrition education in classrooms; and purchases that support local family farms. Years since have seen these programs grow...

From the ‘there is no voter fraud in N.C.’ file

by Susan Myrick The midterm elections saw record turnout and relatively few glitches, but a few things stood out to undermine the liberal claim that “there is no voter fraud in North Carolina.” Here are just a few examples of potential or actual fraud. Famous felon votes No voter...

Transportation priorities a test for administration

by Patrick Gannon Last week, state officials released the first batch of transportation projects to be funded through 2025 under the new strategic mobility formula proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory and approved by the General Assembly. Lawmakers, transportation officials and the...