Tillis’ over-the-counter birth control plan wouldn’t increase access (Carolina Mercury) -- When House Speaker Thom Tillis was asked during last week’s U.S. Senate debate whether or not he agreed with the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, the Speaker had a neatly packaged response ready. According to the Republican candidate, Hobby Lobby, which said that corporations with religious beliefs can deny employees contraceptive coverage, was not about birth control, but about religious freedom. On the supposedly unrelated topic of birth control, however, Tillis was quick to note that he supports broadening access to contraception
More confusion among GOP leadership on teacher pay after McCrory letter gives yet another ‘average’ increase number (WRAL-TV) -- When Gov. Pat McCrory wrote to welcome teachers back to the classroom, he touted a "substantial" pay raise that amounted to "an average pay increase of 5.5 percent for teachers." That might have been exciting news, except that for more than a month legislative leaders have been touting a 7 percent average pay raise. House Speaker Thom Tillis trumpets that 7 percent figures as "simple math" in a recent campaign ad for his U.S. Senate campaign. For educators like Michelle Pettey, a first-grade teacher at Wake County's Brier Creek Elementary School, that "simple math" doesn't add up; 5.5 percent doesn't equal 7 percent and neither number matches the smaller-than-expected pay bump that showed up in her first paycheck of the year. "No teacher can figure out what happened," said Pettey, a teacher with 16 years in the classroom who said her actual raise worked out to be something like 1.39 percent. Josh Ellis, a spokesman for Gov. McCrory, said the difference between the 5.5 percent number and the 7 percent number is a difference in accounting.