NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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ICYMI: Cooper files lawsuit against legislative leaders over Court of Appeals reduction, Industrial Commission appointments

2 hours 56 min ago

The power struggle between Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative leaders continued Friday when he filed another lawsuit accusing them of writing laws that impede on his powers. The 42-page lawsuit challenges House Bill 239, a measure passed into law that reduces the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12. Cooper vetoed the bill but ...

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Report: “Budgets” a top 5 issue for cities, particularly 98% of all towns in North Carolina (and why Trump’s budget could bankrupt them)

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 05:30

President Trump and the NC Senate have already proposed drastic budgets that would hurt millions of low and middle-income households across the country and here in North Carolina. If all politics is local, it is important to listen to what cities and towns have to say. The 2017 State of the Cities report released this ...

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President Trump’s budget does not add up ($2 trillion math error)

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 18:00

President Trump’s proposed budget was unveiled earlier this week and it includes a $2 trillion math mistake. According to the proposed budget, “a comprehensive overhaul to our tax code will boost economic growth and investment”, and assumes an aggressive 3 percent growth in the economy. This of course differs significantly from the Congressional Budget Office ...

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Senate committee beats up on stream buffers and plastic bag ban

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 15:30

Stream buffers: Dens of iniquity, sanctums of misdeeds, loci of vice. Members of the Senate Agriculture/ Environment Committee this week on buffers and the plastic bag ban, while trying to sneak a coastal development provision through the gatekeepers. The committee discussed HB 56, Amend Environmental Laws, a potpourri of legislation that survived crossover. Sen. Andy Wells, ...

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Trump budget goes after vulnerable children and families. Sad!

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 15:00

President Trump vowed to support working families by beefing up crucial supports like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). In an unsurprising twist, Trump has reneged on that promise and proposed slashing the EITC and CTC by $40 billion. Instead of supporting working families, he’s proposing raising taxes on the ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 14:30

1. Former House Speaker tried to strong-arm DEQ over chemicals in Jordan Lake Harold Brubaker, the former Republican House Speaker turned powerful lobbyist, tried to ram through a scientifically dubious cleanup project for Jordan Lake and allegedly used hurricane relief funding as leverage, according to emails obtained by NCPW under the Open Records law. Brubaker’s ...

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For DEQ, a House committee’s budget saves more jobs, exacts less revenge

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 11:17

I t’s premature for Secretary Michael Regan to cancel the NC Department of Environmental Quality bake sale, but at least the House budget doesn’t force him to scrounge for millions of dollars in “efficiencies.” That’s lot of brownies. DEQ’s budget has been clearcut so often over the past decade that the department has been reduced ...

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His words, not ours: Lt. Gov. Forest says he’s offering “reactionary commentary”

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:00

Since winning reelection last November, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has clearly been using his mostly ceremonial office as a platform to run, more or less full-time, for Governor in 2020. As we reported in this space, Forest told attendees at a Craven County GOP event in February that he plans on being Governor ...

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Hopeful sign for NC NAACP as respected pastor seeks to succeed Rev. Barber

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 08:18

A lot of North Carolina progressives have been feeling a bit of unease in recent weeks as they became aware of the impending departure of longtime NAACP President, Rev. William Barber. Rev. Barber, of course, has become national leader over the past dozen years as he transformed the North Carolina NAACP — often through sheer ...

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Democrats react to scant House budget details

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 16:43

Democrats in the N.C. House of Representatives responded to the House’s draft budget Thursday afternoon — or at least what they’ve seen of it. The full budget won’t be rolled out until Tuesday, after the Memorial Day weekend. But some details from various sections were discussed in House committees Thursday. It’s not how things should ...

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What’s that smell? The Farm Act of 2017.

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 16:07

W hile the House dashed through its version of the state budget at the speed of light, for the past two days the Senate Agriculture/Natural Resources Committee plodded through other Very Important Business: the finer points of the farm act, the criminal element that is rumored to loiter near stream buffers, a hinky provision concerning coastal ...

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Blue Cross: Trump, Congress to blame for new rate hike request

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 13:29

How disastrous would Trumpcare be for North Carolina? This disastrous: It’s only passed one house of Congress and it’s already badly destabilizing the insurance market. This is from the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project: Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it is requesting an average premium rate increase of 22.9 percent ...

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A few highlights from the House budget on Justice and Public Safety

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 12:30

The House’s base budget for Justice and Public Safety was unveiled this morning at an appropriations meeting. Committee members are still working through the amendment process and they will reconvene at 12:15 p.m. Below are a few highlights from the budget and this morning’s meeting. Similar to the Senate’s budget, the House budget will fund ...

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CBO report contradicts Tillis on Trumpcare and pre-existing conditions

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:30

During a Facebook Live Q&A session on May 11, Senator Thom Tillis told North Carolinians that he is comfortable with letting states decide whether to protect people with pre-existing conditions from pricing discrimination. His rationale? No state would want to take up the American Health Care Act’s (AHCA) waivers from those protections. Well, the experts ...

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Phony state legislative budget process continues this morning

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:39

Here’s a classic example of the absurdity of the North Carolina General Assembly’s budget writing process from this morning’s committee meetings on Jones Street. House Appropriations subcommittees convened this morning to look at a new version of the budget bill that House leaders authored in secret. Though a superficially better process than the Senate — ...

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What you need to know about the new report on Trumpcare

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:59

Health policy expert Brendan Riley of the N.C. Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project released his analysis of the Congressional Budget Office report on Trumpcare last night, Here’s what he found: Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the American Health Care Act passed on May 4 by the U.S. House of Representatives ...

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BREAKING: CBO report says Trumpcare would cost 23 million their health insurance

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 17:05

The Congressional Budget Office has released its much anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act (aka “Trumpcare”). Here’s a link to the report: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752 And here is a summary from the New York Times: A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the House this month would increase the projected number ...

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Putting a face on Hunger in North Carolina

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:39

North Carolina is the 8th hungriest state in the U.S. Each night, nearly 630,000 households, many with children, do not have enough food to eat. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as FNS or food stamps) is an extremely important tool in fighting hunger in our state. In 2015, 1.6 million North Carolinians ...

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House leadership should seize opportunity for ambitious teacher pay proposal

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 15:00

With the delayed release of the House budget proposal, legislative leaders have had ample opportunity to address the many shortfalls of the Senate budget proposal. Ideally, House leadership will take a more responsible approach towards funding future class-size requirements, resisting expansion of unaccountable voucher programs, and the dismantling of the Department of Public Instruction. However, ...

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NBA All-Star Game returns to Charlotte over LGBTQ protests

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:00

The NBA has announced its 2019 All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte. This year’s game was held in New Orleans due to the NBA’s opposition to HB2. But LGBTQ advocate groups Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign are denouncing the decision. The HB2 compromise recently struck by the General Assembly wasn’t a true ...

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