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North Carolina’s Battle Against the Opioid Crisis

Attorney General Josh Stein has been instrumental in North Carolina’s response to the opioid crisis, obtaining over $1.4 billion in settlements from pharmaceutical companies and advocating for substantial legislative and technological measures to curb drug trafficking. His efforts have facilitated the establishment of a Fentanyl Control Unit and the implementation of border security technologies, underscoring a committed approach to tackling both the symptoms and root causes of opioid abuse in the state.

Polluters must pay to clean up areas contaminated with PFOA, PFOS

In a landmark move, the EPA has mandated that industries discharging harmful PFOA and PFOS compounds will be held accountable for cleanup costs under the Superfund law, reinforcing the polluter-pays principle. This ruling, which also imposes stringent reporting obligations, signifies a major shift towards proactive environmental protection and the safeguarding of public health.

Meet the volunteers trying to ‘FLIP’ North Carolina’s courts

In North Carolina, the grassroots organization FLIP NC, founded by Democrats Andrea Cash, Amy Cox, and Briana Brough after the 2016 election, has shifted its strategy towards judicial elections, focusing on the 2024 state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals races to combat gerrymandering. Despite challenges in achieving fair maps, FLIP NC is hopeful, engaging in “deep canvassing” that emphasizes meaningful voter interaction over scripted dialogues, underlining the crucial impact judicial decisions have on issues like education and reproductive rights.

North Carolina can do more to help people with opioid use disorder find treatment, a policy expert tells legislators

According to an expert from The Pew Charitable Trusts, large regions of North Carolina, including the northeastern part, lack health care providers who accept Medicaid for treatments related to opioid abuse. Andrew Whitacre’s testimony to the House Select Committee on Substance Use emphasized the need for policy adjustments to facilitate access to such treatments and align state strategies with financial support.

NC Appeals Court rules Gov. Cooper erred in COVID-19 bar closures

The North Carolina Court of Appeals deemed Governor Roy Cooper’s selective closure of bars during the early COVID-19 pandemic as “irrational and arbitrary,” lacking solid scientific backing to differentiate between types of bars in terms of transmission risk. Despite claims of relying on science, the ruling criticized the absence of evidence supporting why certain bars could not comply with safety protocols that applied to others allowed to operate.

Podcast: NCAE president Tamika Walker Kelly on what’s causing our state’s high teacher attrition rate

Recent reports reveal a significant teacher attrition rate of 11.5% in North Carolina public schools, with over 10,000 educators leaving between March 2022 and March 2023, highlighting ongoing challenges in the state’s education system. Despite these setbacks and continuous disinvestment, dedicated teachers persist in their roles, hoping for positive legislative changes as leaders like Tamika Walker Kelly, President of the North Carolina Association of Educators, advocate for improvement.

Clearing the Backlog of Rape Kits in North Carolina

Attorney General Josh Stein has made significant strides in eliminating North Carolina’s backlog of untested rape kits, a move that has led to 114 arrests and numerous DNA matches. This initiative, driven by bipartisan collaboration and the enactment of the Survivor Act, has strengthened the state’s justice system and underscored Stein’s commitment to supporting sexual assault survivors.

After years of work, North Carolina clears backlog of untested rape kits

A bipartisan effort in North Carolina, led by Attorney General Josh Stein, has succeeded in eliminating a backlog of 16,000 untested rape kits, a significant stride toward justice for survivors. This achievement, marked by a ceremony with key stakeholders including law enforcement and legislators, highlights the collaborative work across party lines and the essential role of federal funding in addressing these critical issues.

Hating on our babies: North Carolina’s shortsighted, cheapskate childcare policies

In his article for NC Newsline, Rob Schofield discusses the critical state of childcare in North Carolina, highlighting the pandemic-induced financial aids that temporarily stabilized an already fragile system. With the impending cessation of these funds, Schofield underscores a looming “childcare cliff,” predicting significant closures and increased costs that threaten the stability of childcare availability across the state.

Solar leases help NC farm owners up revenues, keep homestead

In the serene fields of Pendleton, North Carolina, Ajulo Othow, founder of EnerWealth Solutions, draws inspiration from her post-Katrina economic development work to establish solar installations that not only respect the landscape but offer sustainable income to local landowners. Her projects prioritize minimal disruption while maximizing benefits, reflecting a thoughtful approach to renewable energy in rural settings, and enhancing both economic and environmental resilience.