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Friday Forward Roundup

The North Carolina Forward Party presents this week's "Friday Forward Roundup" to keep you informed about state politics and local topics throughout the state.


Fed Signals Planned Interest Rate Cuts in 2024 Amid Inflation Uncertainty

The Federal Reserve announced its intention to initiate interest rate cuts next year, expressing cautious optimism that rates are at or near their peak. Despite a recent decision to leave interest rates unchanged, Powell emphasized the uncertainty in the inflation path and the necessity for a continued effort to bring inflation down to the Fed's target of 2%. (ABC 11)

Democratic Congressman Wiley Nickel Shifts Focus to U.S. Senate Run in 2026, Citing Gerrymandering Concerns

Democratic Congressman Wiley Nickel has announced his decision to run for the U.S. Senate in 2026 rather than seek re-election to the U.S. House due to redistricting that left him with a heavily Republican district. Nickel emphasized the need to address extreme partisan gerrymandering, joining other Democrats in expressing concerns about the impact of gerrymandering on democracy in North Carolina. (NC Newsline)

North Carolina Sees Growth in Charter Schools and School Choice Options Amid Public School Enrollment Challenges

North Carolina ranked third in the nation for the growth of public charter schools, following Texas and Florida, with charter enrollments in the state increasing by 19% from 2019-20 to 2022-23. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools highlights nationwide growth in charter school attendance by over 300,000 students since the 2019-2020 school year, contrasting with traditional public schools struggling to recover the 1.5 million students who left the system during the pandemic. (Carolina Journal)

Enrollment in school choice options is on the rise in North Carolina, with public school numbers struggling to reach pre-pandemic levels, as traditional public schools experience a 0.4% decline in enrollment for the 2023-24 academic year and a 3.6% decrease since the pre-COVID-19 period. In contrast, public charter schools have seen a 4.9% increase in enrollment, continuing a trend from 2022, and homeschooling has surged, jumping almost 104% between the 2020-21 and 2019-20 school years, while private school enrollment has grown by over 32% following recent expansions in school choice options. (North State Journal)

North Carolina Lawmakers Explore Auto Insurance Reforms to Cut Premiums Amid Debate on Current System's Effectiveness

State lawmakers in North Carolina are considering changes to auto insurance regulations with the aim of reducing premiums for drivers. A legislative report revealed that approximately a quarter of insurance policies in the state end up in the Reinsurance Facility, leading lawmakers to question the effectiveness of the current system and consider alternative approaches, while Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey argued that North Carolina has a stable automobile insurance market with low rates and a low percentage of uninsured drivers. (WUNC)

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Unveils $8.2 Billion Investment, Including Record $1.09 Billion Grant for North Carolina's High-Speed Rail Project

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced an $8.2 billion investment in 10 passenger rail projects, including a record-breaking $1.09 billion grant for North Carolina, as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding will facilitate the development of a key section of the Southeast Corridor, connecting Raleigh to Wake Forest and laying the groundwork for a high-speed rail link from Raleigh to Richmond and Washington, D.C., reducing travel time and promoting economic growth. (NC Newsline)

Weaver Street Market: Nurturing Fresh, Healthy, and Sustainable Food in North Carolina

Weaver Street Market, a North Carolina co-op grocery store, has evolved since its establishment in 1988, expanding to four locations and emphasizing a mission centered on providing fresh, healthy, and sustainable food. Partnering with local farmers like Kamal Bell of Sankofa Farms, the market aims to address food deserts and improve access to nutritious options, emphasizing inclusivity and diverse roots while allowing community input to shape its ethical and sustainable practices. (WRAL)

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