North Carolina Justice Center

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

North Carolina lawmakers, business leaders and economists are touting a positive economic outlook for 2014.

Governor Pat McCrory gives a lot of credit for the state’s economic comeback to his administration’s overhaul of unemployment policy. 

In Washington, lawmakers continue to debate whether to approve a federal unemployment extension for more than one million jobless workers.  It’s an extension many in North Carolina had to do without several months ago.

During a speech in Research Triangle Park, McCrory said he likes what he sees.

A supporter of the Dream Act petitioned for its passage last August.
OneAmerica via Flickr, creative commons

Last summer, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rolled out a plan to allow undocumented young people who meet certain requirements to receive a temporary legal reprieve. More than 17,000 people in North Carolina have applied for status under the measure, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly is set to vote on a budget this week, one that has defenders of public education up in arms. The proposed budget ends teacher tenure, holds teacher salary flat and cuts funding for teacher assistants.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly recently decided to implement cuts to unemployment benefits as well as the maximum number of weeks one can receive unemployment funds. But altering unemployment benefits before the end of 2013 means North Carolina has been disqualified from receiving federal unemployment funding.

Wake County Justice Center
www.wakegov.com

Many Wake County employees are moving into a new downtown justice center this week.

County officials have invested three years of construction and $184 million in their new government headquarters.  Office workers have begun setting up in the facility.  The county's Register of Deeds will the first to open its doors Wednesday.

Father and son relaxing in a living room, a scene from American Winter film.
http://www.americanwinterfilm.com/families

Gene Nichol, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said on The State of Things today that the financial collapse really hurt the poor but that the problem is multifaceted.

The non-profit North Carolina Justice Center is trying to bring attention to sub-minimum wage workers this Valentine’s Day. Most of these workers are in food service relying on tips.