A recent Civitas poll suggests North Carolina will continue to play a role as an election battleground state in 2020. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, dissects the poll’s key findings. Henderson assesses the implications for Tar Heel politics during the next two years. Partisans on both the left and right tend to agree that our political debates have become far too polarized. In a recent column for National Review Online, John Locke Foundation Chairman John Hood offered ideas for addressing the crippling level of polarization. Hood highlighted the work of North Carolina’s bipartisan Leadership Forum. Today’s economy requires an increased role for community college training. That’s the assessment from N.C. Community College System President Peter Hans. He recently explained to University of North Carolina leaders how state community colleges are responding to the state’s changing economic needs. A special legislative study group is looking into the controversial $57.8 million fund Gov. Roy Cooper set up in connection with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Lawmakers want to ensure that Cooper’s office did not coerce pipeline operators into paying the money in return for a necessary state environmental permit. You’ll hear highlights from the group’s first meeting. State Treasurer Dale Folwell is taking steps to increase transparency related to health care costs charged to the State Health Plan for government workers and retirees. Folwell’s efforts are facing some opposition within the General Assembly. Dan Way, Carolina Journal associate editor, reports on the latest developments. Way also notes Folwell’s concerns about some local governments’ financial stability.