NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

Income tax cuts cost more than originally projected according to Fiscal Research Division

3 hours 59 min ago
Income tax cut costs will rise to more than $1 billion by 2016, raising serious concerns about whether the current budget negotiations are putting forward a fiscally responsible path to meet the priorities of our state. Before the budget is finalized, legislative leadership must consider this newly available information that the tax cuts will cost ...

House OKs bill that allows private charter school education management companies to keep their employees’ salaries secret

5 hours 47 min ago
House lawmakers approved legislation Friday that allows private, for-profit management companies that run charter schools to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds. The bill also fails to provide protections for LGBT students, even though an earlier version did. While the bill, SB 793, or Charter School Modifications, clarifies ...

Technical corrections bill allows for-profit companies spots on North Carolina charter school boards

7 hours 33 min ago
Buried deep in a House technical corrections bill unveiled yesterday is a provision to would allow staff of for-profit charter school management groups to serve on the boards of the public charters schools that contract with them. The 55-page technical corrections bill that the N.C. House of Representatives is expected to vote on today. The legislation would also ...

Editorial: Apply common sense on ACA subsidies

9 hours 2 min ago
This morning’s Greensboro News & Record makes some sound points in assessing the split in the federal courts over the Affordable Care Act and the availability of subsidies in states without state-based exchanges. While the editorial (which is entitled “Save the subsidies”) acknowledges the ambiguity of some of the language in the statute, it also rightfully calls ...

Medical Society issues scathing takedown of NC Senate Medicaid proposal

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:05
North Carolina doctors pulled no punches in their review of the Medicaid “reform” (i.e. privatization) plan adopted by the state Senate today. This is the official statement from the NC Medical Society: “Today the Senate had a clear choice between the health of our state’s most vulnerable citizens and the health of Wall Street corporations, ...

Most North Carolinians in the Medicaid gap are working

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 15:50
This morning consumer advocacy group Families USA released a report along with the NC Community Health Center Association and the NC Justice Center showing that most people who stand to benefit from closing our state’s health insurance gap are working. Many of these folks are in low-wage service jobs. The report also examines the top occupations in ...

Charter school bill now excludes LGBT protections, makes some charter school salaries public

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 14:03
A bill that would address some sticky points in governance of the state’s 127 public charter schools is calendared for a Senate vote today. The discussion had begun on the Senate floor at 2 p.m. Click here to listen. (The bill passed out of the Senate) The charter school modification bill, Senate Bill 793, coming ...

10 million reasons that Obamacare is a success

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:42
Winston Churchill famously stated that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” One is increasingly tempted to offer the same assessment of Obamacare. Is it flawed and messy? Absolutely. Could we call envision a scenario in which each of us — acting as philosopher kings — could craft a better ...

Broken cookie delivery to mark anniversary of Guv’s broken promise on reproductive freedom

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 09:55
From the good people at NARAL-Pro Choice NC: NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina member activists will deliver broken cookies to the Governor’s Mansion this morning at 11:00 am to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor McCrory’s broken promise not to support restrictions on access to abortion care. Last July, Governor McCrory signed into law Senate Bill ...

Editorials: Expand Medicaid now and stop bullying immigrant kids

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Here are two morning editorials that ought to be a “must reads” for North Carolina’s conservative political leaders: The first comes from the Fayetteville Observer and it’s entitled “Yes, Republicans can expand Medicaid too.” As it notes: Last month, hundreds of representatives from North Carolina hospitals and other health-care institutions brought a united message to ...

This is a what a second grade classroom looks like without a dedicated teacher assistant

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:07
Do you remember Barbara Dell Carter? She’s the second grade classroom teacher at John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School in “little” Washington, who I visited late last summer while she dutifully prepared her classroom for the first day of school. As she straightened up her books (many of which she procured through her own means), Carter told me of ...

Former state Rep. LaRoque gets new trial date

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:18
Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque will wait until February for a jury trial on charges of stealing $300,000 from two federally-funded economic development groups he ran. LaRoque, a Kinston Republican, was scheduled for an October trial in a federal criminal courtroom in Greenville. The trial was pushed back to Feb. 2 because of delays in ...

Moral movies in Raleigh and Durham next week

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 14:49
From our NC Justice Center colleagues: Join us in Raleigh and Durham for FREE screenings of “Inequality for All” The North Carolina Moral Movies Film Series draws to a close this month with screenings of the acclaimed documentary Inequality for All. The film features Robert Reich – professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member – ...

Somebody tell the Pope people about this

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:22
The market capitalism lovers at Forbes announced today for the fifth time in eight years that the Raleigh metro area is the nation’s best for business and careers. Here are the factors highlighted first in the story Fueling Raleigh’s consistent results are business costs that are 18% below the national average, and an adult population ...

McCrory signs Common Core repeal bill into law

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:23
Gov. Pat McCrory, previously a Common Core supporter, signed a bill into law Tuesday that could set the stage for North Carolina to rid itself of the more rigorous academic standards—although he doesn’t quite see it that way. “It (the legislation) does not change any of North Carolina’s education standards,” McCrory said in a press ...

Missing Workers Update: June 2014

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 09:58
With the release last month of the latest labor market figures, the Budget & Tax Center has updated as well its estimate of the number of missing workers in North Carolina’s labor market.  This measure estimates the number of workers who would be in the labor market, looking for work, if job opportunities were stronger.  ...

McCrory signs on to this week’s most ridiculous development in the national immigration crisis

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 09:16
There is a lot of lousy stuff happening the world of immigration these days and, lord knows, the Obama administration deserves its share of the blame — mostly for its unfortunate kowtowing to the xenophobic right and its aggressive deportation of thousands of good people who pose no threat to our country. That said, there ...

What today’s competing Obamacare rulings mean for North Carolina

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 15:32
The good folks over at Get Covered America, who have been working tirelessly and with great success to get hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians into affordable health insurance over the last several months despite the mean-spirited obstructionism of the state’s conservative political leadership, issued the following common sense response to today’s competing U.S. Court ...

New Report: 26% of North Carolina’s children live in poverty

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:51
A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation provides a sobering look at how children are faring in North Carolina. The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which looks at 16 separate factors, ranks our state 38th in overall economic well-being, 28th in education, and 32nd in health. The annual report concludes: ‘Although unemployment is ...

Breaking: Fourth Circuit panel unanimously upholds Obamacare subsidies for all eligible purchasers

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:40
A unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit in Richmond has upheld the availability of Affordable Care Act tax credits to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange. The decision in King v. Burwell comes just hours after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a contrary ruling in Halbig v. Burwell. Writing ...

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