NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 22 min 51 sec ago

N.C. charter school advocates Baker Mitchell, Paul Norcross resign from advisory board

52 min 2 sec ago
Two members of the state’s advisory board for charter schools unexpectedly submitted their resignations yesterday. Both Baker Mitchell, of Wilmington, and Paul Norcross, of High Point, co-founded charter schools and have been some of the more prominent advocates through the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools for the privately-run but publicly-funded schools. They also both ...

An August recess? General Assembly to pass budget, take a two-week vacation

2 hours 36 min ago
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how the North Carolina General Assembly is starting to look and sound more and more like Congress — especially when it comes to the influence of big dollars from corporate fat cats and plain old, general dysfunction. Today, we got another persuasive indicator: Legislators ...

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos honored at “old-fashioned love fest”

5 hours 58 min ago
Aldona Wos, North Carolina’s embattled Health and Human Services Secretary, was the woman of the hour at a luncheon held Wednesday that included remarks from Gov. Pat McCrory that Wos has been unfairly criticized. The Greensboro News & Record covered the event sponsored by the Greensboro Partnership, a booster group for city, that honored Wos.  ...

How Justice fares in the latest budget

6 hours 2 min ago
Here’s a quick look at how the compromise budget released last night affects the courts and justice system. Funding for the Administrative Office of the Court  The proposed budget calls for a $2.9 million reduction of funding for the AOC, but specifies that positions not be eliminated in any district operating at less than 100 percent of recommended ...

A quick look at the education budget

6 hours 40 min ago
Late last night, lawmakers released a final budget deal brokered between the House and Senate that provides pay raises for teachers and a number of other education funding adjustments. There’s a lot to process in the mammoth document, so let’s just get started with the basics on education, and I promise you — there will ...

Budget deal released: Tax cuts and tight revenues are making it hard to meet Tar Heel priorities

7 hours 32 min ago
The 2013 tax plan continues to rear its ugly head. The final budget deal released late last night is yet another reminder that the state cannot afford cost of the tax plan that primarily benefits the wealthy and profitable corporations.  If the state could afford those deep revenue cuts, budget writers would not be relying ...

Another dismal jobs report for NC metro areas

8 hours 10 min ago
Another new jobs report, the same old story for North Carolina’s metro areas–too many of the state’s urban centers are struggling to create jobs and meaningfully create opportunities for the unemployed. Some of the low-lights from yesterday’s June report on local area unemployment include: 13 out of 14 metros saw their labor forces decline since ...

Paid family leave takes step forward in U.S. Senate

8 hours 41 min ago
Support for Paid family leave advanced in the U.S. Senate yesterday, as lawmakers heard testimony on its benefits in a key Children and Families Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. During the hearing—which was requested by U.S. Senator Kay Hagan—North Carolina business owners, advocates, and representatives of working families made the case for why paid family ...

Ten Reasons why Educators dislike the state budget

11 hours 8 min ago
Even as House and Senate leaders tout a seven percent pay raise for teachers, the North Carolina Association of Educators is out with a top ten list of why the final 2014-15 budget lawmakers will vote this week on is bad for education. The NCAE notes the budget compromise takes away longevity pay, funds vouchers, ...

Huge Victory for Fast Food Workers

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:53
Yesterday the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board said that McDonald’s Corporation could be held liable as a joint employer for labor violations at its franchise operations.  The Labor Board is considering complaints brought by McDonald’s employees who claim they were retaliated against by their employers after participating in protests back in November ...

UPDATED: Court rules school voucher money can flow before final decision on program’s legality

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 14:09
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this story omitted the news that Judge Hobgood also ruled in favor of allowing Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger to intervene in the case and defend the school voucher program. Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood ruled Wednesday that the state can begin to disburse school voucher funds ...

Will the Outer Banks Survive?

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 13:03
It may be mid-summer, and the Outer Banks may evoke memories of beaches, lighthouses, and wild horses, but UNC journalist and educator Sara Peach reminds us in this must-read National Geographic multimedia essay (photos, videos and maps) that memories could be all that remain in a few short years. Among the scientists Peach interviewed is East ...

Senate confirms Pamela Harris to the Fourth Circuit

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 10:57
The U.S. Senate yesterday voted 50-43 to confirm Pamela Harris to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, taking the seat vacated by Judge Andre Davis, who assumed senior status in February. Harris is a Georgetown Law professor and previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Policy at the ...

McCrory’s last-minute media advisory: Update on budget negotiations, but press not welcome

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 10:05
The governor hasn’t been out in the public much this week, at least not in places where reporters could ask him about the $21.3 billion compromise budget Republican legislative leaders announced yesterday. But Gov. Pat McCrory’s office did take care Tuesday night to give last-minute notice to the state’s press corps that the governor would ...

A bad budget with one positive signal to progressives

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:07
Headline-hunting legislative leaders got what they wanted and needed (for now) with yesterday’s latest budget announcement. They wanted the story to be first and foremost about big teacher raises and it appears pretty clear that they got that. Media outlets around the state are reporting that central component of the proposed budget agreement this morning ...

State budget compromise gives teachers 7 percent raise, GOP leaders mum on details about potential cuts

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:55
In a joint press conference Tuesday, N.C House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger gave a broad outline of their recently-reached compromise on the state’s $21.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. The Republican legislative leaders used the half-hour press conference to outline what the budget would do ...

Public schools across North Carolina adopt universal meal programs

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:59
With a new school year approaching, many local school boards across North Carolina will join an effort to help end childhood hunger. For the 2014-15 school year the nation-wide Community Eligibility Program (CEP) allows high-poverty North Carolina schools to eliminate collecting school meal applications and offer breakfast and lunch to all of their students at ...

Renewed National Attention to NC Unemployment Insurance Cuts Tell Story of Harm and Unbalanced Approach

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:30
This week has already featured several prominent pieces on North Carolina’s unemployment insurance cuts with the final assessment that many jobless workers have likely been harmed and a more balanced approach to trust fund debt based on evidence not ideology was needed. On Sunday, the New York Times featured a piece by Justin Wolfers of ...

What we expect to be true in the soon-to-be released final budget deal

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:36
Budget writers announced over the weekend that the Senate and House leadership agreed to a basic framework for a final budget deal. That framework includes a pay raise for teachers averaging roughly 7 percent and further cuts to the Medicaid program that provides health insurance and long-term care to children and adults who are poor, ...

Veteran WaPo columnist: “North Carolina Republicans put ideology above lives”

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:12
Veteran Washington Post columnist Dana Millbank gets things just about right in this new essay about the stubborn refusal of the state’s conservative political leaders to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Millbank’s column was inspired by Belhaven mayor Adam O’Neal’s march to Washington that was designed to highlight the plight of his small ...

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