The N.C. General Assembly returns to work May 16 in Raleigh. The so-called “short session” focuses primarily on adjusting the second year of the General Fund budget. But lawmakers will also address other hot topics, such as safety issues in public schools and prisons. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, assesses the top issues lawmakers are likely to address during the next couple of months. Despite the sharp partisan divide in American politics, there are signs of a “search for solidarity.” That was one of the key themes in Yuval Levin’s recent John W. Pope Lecture at N.C. State University. Levin, editor of National Affairs and author of the book The Fractured Republic, shares ideas from that lecture during a one-on-one conversation with Carolina Journal Radio. Critics don’t believe average Americans will see benefits from the federal tax reform plan approved late last year. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, says the “proof is in the paycheck.” Tillis touted the positive impact of the recent federal tax reform during a campaign-style meeting in Charlotte. Corporate CEOs seem to have played a more active role in political controversies in recent years. It’s a development that has attracted attention from Duke professor Aaron Chatterji. During a recent speech to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society, Chatterji detailed his research into CEOs’ involvement in hot-button political issues. Public school teachers from across North Carolina plan to converge May 16 in Raleigh on the day state lawmakers return to work. Their goals: increased pay and increased funding for public education. So many teachers in one system — Durham Public Schools — plan to take the day off that the local school board decided to cancel classes. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, discusses the ramifications of the school board’s decision.