Candidates in this year’s legislative races will gather this afternoon at the John Locke Foundation office to hear JLF analysis of some of the top issues facing North Carolina government leaders. Candidates will hear from President John Hood, Executive Vice President Kory Swanson, and Vice President for Outreach Becki Gray. Issue-oriented presentations are scheduled from: Roy Cordato, Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar; Terry Stoops, Director of Research and Education Studies; Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies; Sarah Curry, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies; Katherine Restrepo, Health and Human Services Policy Analyst; and Tyler Younts, Legal Policy Analyst.

Speaking of the research staff, the News & Observer published Stoops’ column recommending that North Carolina establish two new permanent commissions to address concerns about Common Core standards and public school curricula and testing. The N&O interviewed Stoops for a pair of articles about the Wake and Durham school boards expressing concern about a new North Carolina law eliminating the tenure system for public school teachers. The N&O also sought Stoops’ expert opinion about the State Board of Education’s vote to approve lower passing scores on standardized tests. The Heritage Foundation’s “InsiderOnline” promoted Stoops’ latest Common Core report.

Younts released a new report calling for repeal of North Carolina’s Map Act. Chapel Hill’s Daily Tar Heel interviewed him for an article about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder‘s recommendation that state attorneys general refuse to defend state laws banning same-sex marriage.

The Lumberton Robesonian published Cordato’s recent column on problems caused by a government-mandated minimum wage. The Powerline blog cited his analysis of libertarian concerns surrounding the controversial Keystone pipeline.

The Carteret County News-Times quoted Sanders’ concerns about North Carolina’s certificate-of-need law. (The effort to repeal the law has support from the conservative John Locke Foundation, which points to a study saying the CON law has failed to lower health care costs as intended. “State policymakers should give health care consumers — including the poor, the elderly, and people with emergencies — what they really need: more choices, closer access to care, and lower costs,” said report author and JLF Director of Regulatory Studies Jon Sanders. “Repeal of the certificate-of-need, or CON, law would accomplish all three goals.”) promoted Restrepo’s research newsletter on alternatives to the Affordable Care Act and Curry’s newsletter on the proceeds from state alcohol sales.

In addition to the policy briefing, Gray addressed this week’s Chatham County Republican convention. She continues her twice-weekly radio updates on politics and public policy for WTSB.