NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 31 min 12 sec ago

The week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

8 hours 36 min ago
1. Speaker Moore admits the alleged deal on HB2 was a sham Two weeks ago Raleigh was buzzing about an alleged deal to repeal HB2, the anti-LGBTQ law that has demonized a group of people and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs. The N.C. Restaurant ...

New Report Finds Impact of Immigration is Positive

11 hours 48 min ago
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has just released a new report measuring the impact that immigrants have on federal and state budgets. The report follows up on a 1995 NAS study on the same topic. Since the release of the previous report, the United States immigrant population has more than doubled, from 24.5 million ...

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest warns farmers of ‘environmental terrorism’

11 hours 50 min ago
The aroma of hog waste hung in curtains of humidity outside the Duplin County Event Center last night, where inside, in the air-conditioning, 400 or so farmers and their families enjoyed pork loin sandwiches. The agriculture forum was attended by several elected state officials, including Gov. Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. An architect by trade, Forest ...

North Carolina draws more national attention as Comedy Central’s Daily Show lampoons HB2 (video)

13 hours 53 min ago
As Policy Watch has noted before, HB2 is about far more than bathrooms. Comedy Central’s Daily Show decided this week to demonstrate what the discriminatory law looks like when a business puts it into effect. Click on the picture below to go to Comedy Central’s page. (***Note that while certain words are bleeped in the ...

In Guilford County, charter school candidates take aim at school board incumbents

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 15:52
In Guilford County, where the North Carolina General Assembly has changed elections to the school board from non-partisan to partisan, the race is taking on a new and different edge. From a story by Jordan Green in this week’s Triad City Beat: With all seats on the reconfigured Guilford County School Board up for re-election ...

Commerce Secretary John Skvarla would rather deal with coal ash than HB2

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 15:02
Faced with an unprecedented environmental disaster like coal ash or an unprecedented civil rights disaster like HB2, Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said he would choose pollution. “I’ll go back to DENR and take coal ash all day long,” he recently told members of the NC Travel and Tourism Board. “Candidly, I can quantify coal ash. And I can ...

Federal judge orders people to stop killing red wolves

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 14:45
The last surviving red wolves in the world have received a reprieve. Today U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle issued a preliminary injunction ordering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop allowing endangered red wolves to be killed in eastern North Carolina. This prohibition includes private landowners who have been issued “take permits” to kill the wolves. “This is ...

Speaker Moore admits the alleged deal on HB2 was a sham

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 14:14
Two weeks ago Raleigh was buzzing about an alleged deal to repeal HB2, the anti-LGBTQ law that has demonized a group of people and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs. The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association announced it was brokering an agreement under which the ...

Op-ed: It’s time HB2 critics talk about more than just the economic harms of the NC law

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 13:58
Equality advocate and former U.S. Senate candidate Jim Neal has today’s must read op-ed on House Bill 2. Neal notes in the Charlotte Observer that while plenty of politicians and business leaders have spoken out strongly against the economic harms of HB2, far fewer have been vocal about the negative impact on LGBTQ individuals. Neal ...

NC Department of Commerce found to violate Civil Rights Act

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 11:11
  A multi-year investigation launched after a complaint was filed by Legal Aid of North Carolina, the North Carolina Justice Center, and Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont found the North Carolina Department of Commerce failed to comply with its obligations to provide services to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). And yesterday, the state ...

The startlingly bad record of the General Assembly on Civil Liberties

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:05
The ACLU of North Carolina released its legislative report card on civil liberties today and it is not a pretty picture. Here is how ACLU-NC Policy Counsel Susanna Birdsong put it. Simply put, the General Assembly has had an abysmal record on civil liberties in recent years. These recent bills, many of which became law, ...

Charlotte mayor calls for repeal of new police video law

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 21:03
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is calling for the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal a new law that restricts access to police videos. But the conservative leaders of the General Assembly say Roberts botched the follow-up to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer last week and should take responsibility for ...

Delay of Obama nominee for Eastern District federal judgeship hits five months

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 17:00
It’s been 3,924 days since a federal judgeship in the Eastern District of North Carolina was left vacant. That’s more than 10 years for those who aren’t good at math, or, in layman’s terms, it’s the longest unfilled federal vacancy in the nation. Today marks five months since former Supreme Court of North Carolina Justice ...

Tax Foundation’s newest ranking leaves much to be told

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 16:27
We are once again hearing about North Carolina’s business climate moving toward top-ten status among states according to a new ranking by the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization that favors tax cuts. North Carolinians should be weary of jumping on the celebration band wagon, however. As I’ve highlighted before (see here and here), ...

Demographics around North Carolina’s coal-fired power plants

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 15:21
Environmental justice concerns are particularly acute near coal-fired power plants and coal ash sites. Of the 22 power plants in North Carolina, more than half are located in ZIP codes where the percentage of people living below the poverty level is greater than the state average. *Read the full story here.

Five Questions: Jonathan Jones on police video, open records

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:11
Jonathan Jones is director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and an instructor of media law, ethics and media writing at Elon University. In the wake of last week’s fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police and the controversy over release of the video, we talked with Jones about the state of ...

Statement from the NC Justice Center on the shootings and protests in Charlotte

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:44
Our hearts remain heavy in the wake of the shootings and protests in our state one week ago. There are still many things we don’t know about the tragic events in Charlotte. What we do know is that — regardless of specifics — the deaths of Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, Tyre King, and countless ...

Editorials: NC must repair or repeal police body cam law

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 08:00
Two more editorials from major media outlets are blasting the new state law regulating access to video derived from police body cameras that’s set to go into effect on Saturday. This is from an editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal entitled “Legislature needs to repeal police cam law”: “After last week’s shooting in Charlotte, we again ...

As Charlotte works to heal, a young girl sums up a community’s anguish (video)

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 21:10
Zianna Oliphant brushed back tears as she told the Charlotte City Council Monday evening that fear and violence should not be a part of childhood in the Queen City. Oliphant was one of more than 50 speakers to pour out their raw emotions in the aftermath of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. “We ...

New poll: NC seniors want state government to help with retirement security (infographic)

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:20
I had the opportunity to speak at an AARP North Carolina breakfast this morning that explored some of the issues that concern seniors and that are, sadly, receiving fairly minimal attention from the gubernatorial candidates. Topping the list for a lot of senior voters is the issue of financial security. According to a recent AARP ...