NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

Court of Appeals judge resigns in reaction to bill shrinking bench; Cooper appoints new judge in wake of veto

1 hour 42 min ago

It looks like Republican lawmakers are going to have to wait a little longer for their plan to reduce the Court of Appeals to take effect, even if they choose to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 239 this week. Judge Douglas McCullough, who is a registered Republican, resigned today from the state Court ...

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After months of delays, Senate committee to hear class-size funding fix

2 hours 14 min ago

A long-stalled proposal to assuage a looming class-size funding crisis in North Carolina public schools is finally slated for a hearing in the state Senate. Late Sunday night, Senate leadership added House Bill 13 to the Senate Education Committee’s agenda Monday evening. The bipartisan proposal is written to offer relief to districts across North Carolina ...

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The best editorial of the weekend

5 hours 11 min ago

The Republican power grabs just keep on a comin’ in Raleigh and so do the denunciations by the state’s leading newspapers. Yesterday’s lead editorial in the Wilmington Star News is the latest to blast GOP’s dishonest remake of the state Court of Appeals — what it calls a “naked grab for partisan power.” Here are ...

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Ten great Twitter pics from last weekend’s #MarchforScience

7 hours 11 min ago

One of our organizers representing at the science fair! #RM4S #raleighsciencemarch #sciencemarch pic.twitter.com/WrLkDWDZX9 — March for Science NC (@SciMarchRaleigh) April 22, 2017 Why would anyone wage war on science? The person holding the green sign has a clue. #raleighsciencemarch #marchforscience #alternativefacts pic.twitter.com/qBRvAOaFR2 — Laura Marsh (@LauraEloMarsh) April 23, 2017 #CharlotteMarchForScience pic.twitter.com/ewrgT6VjrF — Jeremy Mattsson (@HerrMattsson) ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 14:55

1. The truth about the Senate leaders’ tax plan from their own staff The wisdom of the plan by Senate leaders to cut taxes by $839 million was called into question this week by an important source, the nonpartisan legislative staff that works for them and inadvertently by a powerful Senator himself. Two weeks ago, ...

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HB2 appeal seeking transgender protections voluntarily dismissed; litigation in lower court over law still pending

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 14:24

All parties to litigation over House Bill 2 have agreed to dismiss an appeal that sought relief for transgender people from bathroom provisions of the law. The appeal was filed after a court granted a preliminary injunction in Carcaño v. McCrory preventing the North Carolina university system from enforcing HB2 against the three transgender plaintiffs in the ...

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Cooper vetoes latest GOP power grab bills

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:55

Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed two more of the embarrassingly partisan and ill-conceived government reorganization bills sent to him by the Republican General Assembly. This time the bills in question are Senate Bill 68 (the proposal to create the laughably misnamed “Bipartisan Board Elections and Ethics Enforcement”) and House Bill 239 (the proposal to shrink ...

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Greensboro columnist Susan Ladd on police brutality

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:30

Greensboro is one of many North Carolina cities that has, for years, been struggling with police/community relationships, cases of police brutality and – more recently – public access to records like police body camera footage. This week Susan Ladd, columnist for Greensboro’s News & Record, takes a look at the case of Jose Charles – ...

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North Carolina scientists speak up, rally for research on Earth Day

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:42

To coincide with Earth Day there will be marches in over 300 cities Saturday to celebrate science and the role it plays in our everyday lives. With evidence-based science under attack in  Washington and some state legislatures, renown scientist Sandra Steingraber is talking about the need for her colleagues to be more vocal. Steingraber, an ...

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Editorial: Save program for undocumented kids

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 08:42

The Greensboro News & Record has a fine editorial this morning that’s worth a few minutes of your time. “Save DACA” highlights the troubling signs that the Trump administration is chipping away at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — the Obama- era immigration policy that allows kids brought to the U.S. as young ...

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State Board of Education chair on charter expansion bill: “Not a good idea.”

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 16:48

Education lawmakers in the N.C. General Assembly are planning a full spate of votes next week in the final days before the legislature’s crossover deadline, including myriad charter reforms, school construction leasing, teacher licensing updates and changes to the state’s much-criticized method of classifying low-performing schools. But one of the state’s most influential education leaders ...

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From the departments of overkill and “what are they afraid of?”: Lawmakers advance anti-union constitutional amendment

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 15:00

In 2017, there can be no doubt that North Carolina is one of the most hostile states in America to labor unions. In a time in which corporate greed already reigns supreme and corporate-sponsored politicians have been waging an unrelenting and frequently successful war on working people and their families, generally, the union movement in ...

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New study: Vast majority of Americans support municipal broadband

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 14:00

A new Pew Research Center study this month shows 70 percent of Americans think local governments should be able to build their own high speed broadband networks. Even broken down by party, 67 percent of those who self identify as Republicans or lean Republican and 74 percent of those who self identify as Democrats or lead ...

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Floyd McKissick Jr. seeks District Court seat vacated by new lawmaker Marcia Morey

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 12:28

When one door opens for a judge to become a legislator, another door opens for a legislator to become a judge. Former District Court Judge Marcia Morey was appointed to N.C. House District 30 at the end of March, leaving vacant a seat on the bench that state Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. now seeks to ...

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Educators warn 5,500 “specialty” teaching jobs at risk if Senate fails to act on HB13 (video)

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:51

If you missed it this morning on the main Policy Watch website, make time to read Billy Ball’s latest on the push by educators and parents to get state Senators to take speedy action on a bill to avert a looming class size funding crisis. As Ball reports: Policy Watch has reported extensively on the ...

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Not exactly: Debunking conservative claims that NC is a “destination” for teachers

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 07:11

AJ Fletcher Foundation education writer Lindsay Wagner posted a fine story yesterday in which she examines the latest in a long series of claims by staffers at the conservative John Locke Foundation that North Carolina is a big teacher magnet, despite an almost decade-long conservative war on public schools. Wagner’s verdict on the conservative claim: ...

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Committee reigns in expansive powers for AOC director; approves District Court judges serving on Superior Court

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 16:53

After North Carolina representatives from both parties expressed concern about a bill that would give the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) director unfettered power over court processes, an amendment was approved to eliminate the provision altogether. Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell), the sponsor of the bill, said she would have preferred to keep House Bill 236 whole, ...

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Republican-backed campus free speech bill stalls in N.C. House committee, for now

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 16:31

A Republican-shepherded bill aimed at curtailing UNC campus protests of conservative speakers hit some snags in the state House Wednesday. When voting wrapped, members of the House Education Committee on Universities were deadlocked in a 6-6 tie on partisan lines over House Bill 527, legislation backed by influential Republicans such as Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. The ...

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Three ways Trump’s “America First” budget puts hungry Americans last

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 15:28

When it comes to hunger, North Carolina stands out. Each night, almost 630,000 North Carolina households do not have enough to eat. With 15.9 percent of households being food insecure, North Carolina has the highest rate of hunger on the East Coast, and the 8th highest in the nation. Even amongst North Carolinians, hunger does ...

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Good government watchdogs file suit against Forest, Berger and Moore over December special session

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:14

North Carolina lawmakers have rushed through a lot of high profile and controversial legislation in recent years, often with little or no opportunity for the public to be informed (much less comment) on the proposals under consideration. Today, one of the state’s leading good government watchdogs called them on it. This is from a press ...

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