NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

5 hours 43 min ago
1. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse The NC Senate pushes a bevy of last minute constitutional amendments to lock in the state’s decline The conservative revolution in North Carolina: It’s been such a whirlwind for so long now that it’s easy to lose track of how far and fast we’ve fallen ...

Statement of Final Budget Passage from Alexandra Sirota, Budget and Tax Center Director

6 hours 22 min ago
A budget is the set of choices our policymakers make to lay a foundation for North Carolina’s future.  Will it stand future tests of economic challenges and opportunities? Will it extend to every corner and household of our state? The answer for this budget is that it will not. For those who say this is ...

Technical corrections bill includes $500K to cover HB2 litigation

6 hours 24 min ago
With a possible compromise on amending House Bill 2 in doubt, state lawmakers have approved legislation that would allocate $500,000 for litigation defending the so-called ‘bathroom bill.’ The budget technical corrections bill (HB 805) includes a  short provision that would transfer half a million dollars from the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund to ...

Budget cuts workplace safety inspectors, puts workers at risk

6 hours 30 min ago
Every worker deserves a safe workplace where their lives and health are protected. Unfortunately, a small provision in the joint budget does just the opposite—it puts workers at risk by weakening the ability of the Department of Labor to enforce the state’s occupational safety laws. Specifically, the joint budget adopts a House recommendation to eliminate ...

In session’s final hours, teacher background check bill advancing in N.C. General Assembly

8 hours 33 sec ago
With the N.C. General Assembly winding down its short session, lawmakers are hoping to speed though the final bills on their agenda Friday, one of which sets a new statewide background check standard for teacher licensure. Friday morning, the House Finance Committee gave its approval for Senate Bill 867, setting the stage for its likely passage in the final ...

California passes common sense gun safety package; NC should follow its lead

10 hours 30 min ago
There’s great news from the Golden State this morning. The Los Angeles Times explains: “Spurred by outrage over recent mass shootings, California lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown an unprecedented package of gun control bills, including a ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, background checks for those buying ammunition and new restrictions ...

Editorial calls on McCrory to veto police body camera bill

12 hours 17 min ago
A day after correctly describing the supposed “compromise” on HB2 an embarrassing joke, the Greensboro News & Record gets it exactly right this morning with a lead editorial decrying the bill passed by lawmakers this week to keep police body camera recordings secret. “Citing vague and flimsy concerns about ‘privacy,’ state lawmakers overwhelmingly have passed ...

NBA, Hornets reject current HB2 compromise bill

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 22:14
Legislative leaders hoping a compromise version of House Bill 2 might be enough to save the the 2017 NBA All-Star Game got their answer Thursday: No. In a joint statement on Twitter, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets made it clear that while they were continuing to talk to all sides about HB2, the legislative ...

National report highlights troubling career of recently deceased NC prosecutor

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 14:10
Kristin Collins of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation has a great post up today on the blog of the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (cross-posted below) highlighting a new report about the late Joe Freeman Britt of Robeson County. NC “deadliest prosecutor” valued winning over justice, new report shows By Kristin ...

N.C. General Assembly approves charter takeover of low-performing schools

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:36
Lawmakers in the N.C. General Assembly have signed off on a controversial charter takeover bill affecting low-performing schools. The state House voted 66-40 late Wednesday to approve the Senate’s version of House Bill 1080, a bill which will allow North Carolina officials to turn over management of five low-performing schools to for-profit, charter operators. The ...

More evidence that limiting our Constitution puts NC’s coveted AAA bond rating at risk

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:13
The Bond Buyer, an insider investment industry publication, has taken note of North Carolina Senators’ passage of a proposed change to the state’s Constitution that would limit the income tax rate to the low and arbitrary level of 5.5 percent. In a recent article on the risk to the state’s “gilt-edged credit rating,” the reporter ...

General Assembly approves book banning Franklin Graham employee for State Board of Ed

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:38
The North Carolina House and Senate gave final approval this morning to Gov. Pat McCrory’s controversial 2015 appointment of Todd Chasteen to the State Board of Education. As N.C. Policy Watch reported last April, at the time of the nomination, Chasteen — an employee of the controversial right-wing preacher Franklin Graham’s Samartian’s Purse organization — ...

Many items you may have not heard about in the General Government budget

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:22
Often overlooked amidst the hubbub over big ticket budget items, the General Government section of the joint budget catches a range of items from one-off technology purchases to the operation of many of the state’s administrative functions. While a more complete list is provided below, a few items deserve to be highlighted. First, the North ...

Editorial: Repeal of HB2 is the only option

Thu, 06/30/2016 - 07:05
Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it exactly right this morning with its scathing appraisal of the supposed HB2 “fix” getting cooked up behind closed doors at the Legislative Building. Here are some highlights: “The anger in some parts of the North Carolina business community over the two black eyes and bloody nose the state’s national ...

Floor debate brings false claims, misses key facts

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 16:18
Last night, the Senate debated and passed House Bill 3, a proposal containing multiple changes to the state Constitution including provisions that would set arbitrary and low income tax rates in the state Constitution and limit access to the state’s savings in times of emergency. The debate itself was full of false claims, and it ...

Proposed HB2 changes would do nothing to help this star U.S. athlete

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 14:28
Most Americans are absurdly and embarrassingly late to the game when it comes to understanding the reality of life for transgender people. HB2 and the ridiculous proposal to “fix” the hateful law that’s being floated right now at the General Assembly are conclusive proof of this. Still, the damaging everyday practical results that this blindness ...

Why draft HB2 “fix” comes up woefully short

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 12:33
Yesterday, in what appears to have been a premature release of a legislative leadership bill hopefully designed to begin the process of eventual repeal of HB 2, the press reported on a draft bill which, among other provisions returns the right of North Carolina citizens to sue for race, sex, ethnic, and religious discrimination as ...

Budget takes one step forward, two steps back on job training

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 11:39
North Carolina’s workers have been waiting for weeks to see how state legislators would address their needs, and now that the wait is over, they’re getting very little besides bad news. Not only does the compromise budget eliminate workplace health and safety inspectors at the NC Department of Labor, it also represents a missed opportunity ...

Shameless: Predatory manufactured home dealers push last minute anti-consumer bill

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 09:41
[This post has been updated.]  Things are getting very dark and dangerous right now over at the North Carolina General Assembly. With the final days of the 2016 legislative session in full swing, shameless corporate lobbyists are lining up with their shovels and wheelbarrows to load up and carry off whatever they can detach and ...

Equality, civil rights advocates blast proposed last minute, “backroom deal” on HB2

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 08:22
As reported here and other places, a proposed “compromise” emerged yesterday that would purports to make minor adjustments to HB2 and then commission a group appointed by the authors of the law to “study” further changes in the future. Not surprisingly, equality and civil right advocates are blasting the proposal. This is from Lambda Legal ...

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