John Hood

John Hood

North Carolina Democrats held the General Assembly after the 2000 elections, as they had for nearly all of the state’s history. During the ensuing 2001 session, top lawmakers, Democratic consultants, and progressive activists devised a set of gerrymanders that would have guaranteed Democratic control of both legislative chambers for years to come, even if most North Carolinians voted for GOP candidates.

Many political and education leaders in North Carolina say that our economy would be better off if our level of educational attainment was higher. They’re probably right about that, as long as their definition of “educational attainment” is sufficiently broad.

What do North Carolina voters think of the job Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has done over his first two and a half years in the office? The signals are mixed at the moment.

RALEIGH — To the ears of politically engaged North Carolinians, it may sound strange to hear claims that changes in partisan control don’t yield significant changes in state policy. But among scholars, this has been a widespread view for many decades.

Although policymakers sometimes portray increasing access and reducing cost as separate objectives for health care reform, the two are closely related. When North Carolinians lack immediate access to primary care or mental health services, they bear the cost either of waiting for an appointment or of traveling long distances to get the care they need.

In 1940, some 3.6 million people lived in North Carolina, ranking the state 11th in the nation in population and first in the Southeast. Across the South as a whole, only Texas (6.4 million) was more populous.

In an act of integrity that also proved to be politically shrewd, future President John Adams served as defense counsel for British redcoats involved in the Boston Massacre of 1770.

 

We all want North Carolina to be an attractive place to live, work, create jobs, rear families, and build communities. When we move from ends to means, the level of disagreement moves from low to high.

North Carolina appropriates less taxpayer money to state colleges and universities in real terms than it did before the onset of the Great Recession. Tuition has risen markedly and now accounts for a larger share of total revenue. But our state remains one of the most generous in the country when it comes to funding higher education.

Although the North Carolina House has approved its version of a biennial budget, there’s a lot that North Carolinians can’t yet know about how much will be spent, and on what, over the next two years. But here’s something we can assume with near-certainty: Gov. Roy Cooper will veto it.

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