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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

House GOP advances school funding task force, reject calls to guarantee diverse membership

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 15:45

As expected, the N.C. House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved draft legislation launching a school funding task force, but only after Republican backers shot down pleas from Democrats to guarantee fair representation on the pivotal panel from both minorities and Democrats. “There’s no indication we’re going to get off the tracks,” said Rep. Craig Horn, a Union ...

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Back from the dead: Environmental bills weaken stream protections, billboard regulations

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 15:12

Like Chucky the doll, regulatory reform legislation will not die. Although  a regulatory reform bill succumbed to political disagreements in the final throes of last year’s session, a new(ish) measure, Senate Bill 131, was filed today. It mixes portions of last year’s lemon with another failed enviro bill from 2016: laying the groundwork to pull the plug on TV and computer recycling, exempting ...

The post Back from the dead: Environmental bills weaken stream protections, billboard regulations appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Hall faces subpoena in Senate confirmation fight

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 14:42

Former N.C. Rep. Larry Hall will face a subpoena to appear before the N.C. Senate Commerce committee for a confirmation hearing. The committee voted to issue the subpoena Thursday after Hall, who has been acting as Secretary of Military and Veteran’s affairs, did not appear at a scheduled hearing. It was the third time the ...

The post Hall faces subpoena in Senate confirmation fight appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

North Carolina Democrats introduce bills to bolster citizen review boards, expand hate crime protections

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 11:30

North Carolina lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give cities the authority to allow citizen review boards investigatory and subpoena powers. House Bill 165 is sponsored by Representatives Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg) and Amos Quick III (D-Guilford) and would also give cities the power to establish citizen review boards without having to first get permission from ...

The post North Carolina Democrats introduce bills to bolster citizen review boards, expand hate crime protections appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Second chance advocate: Why Christians should oppose mass incarceration

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 10:51

One of the few areas in which progressives and conservatives have managed to find some areas of common ground in the world of public policy in recent years revolves around the issue of reducing massing incarceration and promoting second chances for the formerly incarcerated. The growing momentum in North Carolina for raising the age at ...

The post Second chance advocate: Why Christians should oppose mass incarceration appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Making discrimination permanent: Why the latest HB2 proposal is no compromise

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 07:08

As Melissa Boughton reported last night in the post immediately below, a group of House lawmakers proposed legislation yesterday that purports to “repeal” HB2. Here’s why the proposal is ridiculous and deserves the widespread derision it has thus far received: #1 – It doesn’t actually repeal the old law’s most infamous prohibition – Instead of ...

The post Making discrimination permanent: Why the latest HB2 proposal is no compromise appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

2 Republicans, 2 Democrats file HB2 repeal forbidding cities from regulating bathroom access; Cooper expresses concern

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 17:17

Two Republicans and two Democrats have introduced a bill that would repeal House Bill 2 but forbid cities and municipalities from regulating access to multiple occupancy bathrooms, to showers and to changing facilities. Representatives Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Ted Davis Jr. (R-New Hanover), Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland) and Ken Goodman (D-Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland) are sponsoring the ...

The post 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats file HB2 repeal forbidding cities from regulating bathroom access; Cooper expresses concern appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Bills, threats recall NC’s militia movement of the 1990s

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 16:09

Worth your time today: Susan Ladd, columnist for the News & Record in Greensboro, writing about how a recent story about conservatives calling for violence against Muslims at a meeting in Kernersville is eerily reminiscent of the 1990s militia movement. From Ladd’s column: If you are inclined to laugh at the picture of Tea Party ...

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House GOP rebuffs call for gender, racial diversity on school funding task force

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 15:48

State House Republicans leading the push to assemble a school funding reform task force rejected calls from at least one Democrat Wednesday that lawmakers assure gender and racial diversity on the pivotal task force. The debate came as House legislators gave their tentative approval to create a task force of 18 lawmakers, although the draft of House ...

The post House GOP rebuffs call for gender, racial diversity on school funding task force appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Sheriffs, anti-gun control group have tangled before

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 15:43

If you haven’t yet read today’s story on two new gun bills that seek to do away with concealed carry permits in North Carolina, you should. We also have an update for you. On Wednesday Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell) filed House Bill 174. It would allow concealed carry on church-school properties outside of school hours. ...

The post Sheriffs, anti-gun control group have tangled before appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

House passes bill to add party labels to Superior, District court judicial elections

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 15:17

The North Carolina House voted 65-51 today to pass a bill that would make Superior and District Court judicial elections partisan again. House Bill 100 will now go to the Senate for a vote. If passed, all of North Carolina’s judicial elections would become partisan since lawmakers already added party labels back into Supreme Court judicial ...

The post House passes bill to add party labels to Superior, District court judicial elections appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Another byproduct of the Medicaid Blockade: Catastrophic medical bills, massive debt for families

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:43

There are a lot of terrible problems that North Carolinians have been forced to endure as a result of the Medicaid Blockade that state legislators continue to enforce. Here’s another especially awful one: Every year, an average of 14,776 North Carolina families experience financial distress as the result of catastrophic medical bills. This is the ...

The post Another byproduct of the Medicaid Blockade: Catastrophic medical bills, massive debt for families appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Senate moves forward with confirmation hearing despite court order; Larry Hall’s absence criticized by GOP

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:59

The Senate Committee on Nominations proceeded Wednesday with a confirmation hearing despite a court order that states the advice and consent process can’t begin without Gov. Roy Cooper first formally submitting his nominees to the Senate president. Cooper has not formally submitted the names of his cabinet appointees and his office has said he will not ...

The post Senate moves forward with confirmation hearing despite court order; Larry Hall’s absence criticized by GOP appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Why strict voting laws like North Carolina’s are discriminatory: An explainer

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:24

Yesterday, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein took steps to withdraw the state’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state’s controversial 2013 voting law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down last July. For those not following the matter closely, here is a brief layperson’s explanation/reminder of what ...

The post Why strict voting laws like North Carolina’s are discriminatory: An explainer appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Good for Margaret Spellings: Conservative UNC president fights back against Trump on immigration

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 06:40

All over the country for the past month, caring and thinking Americans have been hoping and praying that some conservative Republican, somewhere, would stand up to Emperor-without-clothes Donald Trump with respect to his cruel, destructive and counter-productive immigration policy proposals. Yesterday afternoon, it happened — at least sort of. What’s more, and somewhat surprisingly, the ...

The post Good for Margaret Spellings: Conservative UNC president fights back against Trump on immigration appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

House Republicans pass committee hurdle to make last judicial elections partisan again

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 14:00

District and Superior Court judicial races could soon be partisan again. House Bill 100 passed the Elections and Ethics Law Committee after debate Tuesday about whether judges should be identified by their political affiliation. There were efforts in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s to hide judges’ party labels on the ballot to keep judicial races nonpartisan. “I ...

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Four states, 10 years and 6,648 spills from fracking

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:19

Fracking’s first wave also brought a wave of drilling-related accidents — 6,648 in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2014. A recent study by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Public Solutions analyzed the spill data; the Science for Nature and People Partnership mapped the incidents, the materials spilled and if it affected the ...

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Cooper, Stein take steps to withdraw request for U.S. Supreme Court to hear monster voting law

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:28

Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have taken steps to withdraw North Carolina’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the monster voting law struck down last summer by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is North Carolina v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and appellate judges found that ...

The post Cooper, Stein take steps to withdraw request for U.S. Supreme Court to hear monster voting law appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

ICYMI: Rep. Meyer: It’s imperative legislators fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:06

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out our interview with state Rep. Graig Meyer, who discusses the need to fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late and what legislative leaders might do with this year’s state surplus. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/News-and-Views-for-2-19-2017-SEGMENT-ONE.mp3 A growing number of local elected officials are also appealing to the ...

The post ICYMI: Rep. Meyer: It’s imperative legislators fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Expert: NC voter suppression law will be revived if Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is confirmed

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 07:33

In case you missed it the other day, U.S. Supreme Court expert Ian Millhiser posted another damning and sobering assessment of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. His first finding: if Gorsuch had been on the court last year, North Carolina’s “monster” voter suppression law would be in full force. This is from his ...

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