NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 26 min ago

Large increase in Charlotte Pride attendance – and participation by church groups

Sat, 08/27/2016 - 07:33
The Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade drew about 130,000 people last weekend, the Charlotte Observer reports. That’s about 10,000 more than last year’s estimated attendance. Around 3,500 people marched in the parade – including, the Observer, reports, a record number of faith groups. HB2 – and opposition to it – could be the driver. From ...

Judge blocks UNC from enforcing HB2 while trial proceeds

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 19:54
Here’s the statement from the ACLU of NC on Judge Thomas Schroeder’s ruling this afternoon enjoining the University of North Carolina from enforcing HB2: A federal court today granted a request to stop the University of North Carolina from enforcing H.B. 2, the state law that bans many transgender people from restrooms that match their ...

State Board of Education to discuss timeline for charter takeovers next week

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 15:00
State Board of Education members next week will discuss a timeline for phasing in “achievement school districts,” charter takeovers of a few low-performing schools in the state. State lawmakers approved the new district model in late June, and given the bill’s prescribed timeline, state board members have indicated they intend to move quickly to fulfill ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 14:00
1. Former state legislator adds fuel to the fire over how charter schools are funded When North Carolina lawmakers heard proposals in June to dramatically revamp how charters are funded, public school advocates pleaded for more time. The bill before the chamber, a state Senate draft authored by a staunch charter supporter would have bound ...

Redesigning TANF to lift more families out of poverty

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 13:21
The 1996 welfare law that created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has many shortcomings, as we’ve detailed in a blog series over the past week. Primarily, TANF fails to adequately support families with children who are poor through cash assistance and meaningful work activities—despite the law’s two core missions of providing a basic safety ...

Greensboro Police Chief attends White House discussion on “21st Century Policing”

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 13:20
Last week Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott and two staffers attended a White House briefing and discussion on “21st Century Policing.” Scott told the News & Record the Aug. 16 seminar was “an opportunity for us to broaden our horizons.” You may remember that the Greensboro Police Department, the center of a number of controversies ...

Forsyth County high school teacher attacks conservative claims about “commitment” to teachers

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 11:54
Forsyth County high school teacher and occasional NC Policy Watch contributor Stuart Egan has another essay in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal entitled “About those teacher salaries and raises….” In it, Egan explains why he views all the recent talk from North Carolina conservatives touting their supposed “commitment” to teachers and raising average salaries above $50,000 ...

Nobody puts Gov. McCrory in a corner, just on the wall

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 09:35
Cue scene from The Hunger Games: “Welcome! Welcome, welcome. Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Now, before we begin, we have a very special film brought to you all the way from the Capitol”: The Raleigh Agenda reported late yesterday that the Department of Administration lobby had received a makeover. ...

Former health insurance exec skewers Aetna’s and other industry complaints re: Obamacare

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 07:00
Former health insurance industry exec Wendell Potter, the author of multiple exposés on the greed and bad actions of the industry in which he once worked has a great column at healthinsurance.org that’s worth a few minutes of your time this morning. It’s entitled “Cry me a river, Aetna. Retreating carriers whine that exchanges bruised ...

WRAL prepares “NC school systems by the numbers”

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 16:50
In time for the arrival of the new school year, Raleigh-based WRAL has prepared a statewide database of student performance measures in order to compare school districts. It’s another tool for number-crunchers seeking to draw some conclusions about the unvarnished state of education in North Carolina today. From WRAL: In honor of a new school ...

What can NC do to lower premiums in the Marketplace? Expand Medicaid.

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 14:18
Earlier today, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report showing that premiums for health insurance plans on the Marketplace were 7% lower in states that had expanded eligibility for the Medicaid program as called for by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). So not only would closing the coverage gap create ...

Strip malls, amusement parks and gated communities for the rich: America without its national parks

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:42
Today is the 100th anniversary of a truly great American public institution — the National Park Service. To commemorate the anniversary, the NPS itself is promoting a host of events on this dedicated website. Other groups and media outlets are also weighing in as well. This story from USA Today, which features a great three ...

Duke Energy, Ken Rudo’s leaked deposition and the rights of the press

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 09:45
The public wasn’t supposed to know about the sordid details of the coal ash contamination. Duke Energy had ensured their secrecy through a legal maneuver to seal deposition, keeping their contents out of public view. But now that the secrets, at least some of them, have been aired, first by the Associated Press, Duke wants to know ...

Today’s “must read” – Toxic waste site in Columbus County shows impact of lax environmental protection efforts

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 08:51
It seems that hardly a day goes by in Raleigh anymore in which some conservative politician, corporate lobbyist or right-wing think tanker isn’t complaining about “burdensome environmental regulations.” The result of this drumbeat over the past five years, of course, has been the dismantling of the state’s environmental protection laws and the agency that was ...

Welfare reform doesn’t reflect our best ideas about addressing poverty

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 15:07
This blog is the 4th post in a series that will detail how lawmakers have weakened Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) over the past 20 years, explain why TANF is a cautionary tale rather than a model for other work and income support programs, and map out a better way forward. As North Carolina ...

Frack-o-nomics: Short-term gains, long-term problems

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 14:17
Aubrey Hilliard had just eaten a meal of chicken-fried steak and lemon meringue pie when a friend Mitchell George entered the diner. The year was 1978, the place, Jacksboro, Texas, in the Fort Worth drilling basin. “Check this out,” George told Hilliard, himself an oil and gas guy. “We’re drilling a horizontal well.” The company ...

Wow…just wow. Lt. Governor Dan Forest explains “transgenderism”

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 11:20
North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Dan Forest (pictured at left) has never made much of a secret about his extreme positions on the issues of the day. You can click here for a partial summary. Forest’s latest statements in defense of North Carolina’s all-purpose LGBT discrimination law, House Bill 2, however, take things to a new ...

Thom Tillis tells a tall tale about telecom

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 07:45
If you get a minute this morning, be sure to check out the outstanding letter to the editor that appears in Raleigh’s News & Observer from former North Carolina state lawmaker, Bill Faison. In it, Faison, shreds the lame, lobbyist-inspired excuses proffered by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (pictured at left) for his kowtowing to powerful ...

They cut taxes on the top 1% by how much?!!

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 15:05
Sometimes, the brazenness of conservative politicians in crafting public policy to benefit themselves and their rich patrons is just too much to be believed. Take, for instance, Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly. A new brief from the fiscal policy wonks at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center paints a truly remarkable ...

Punishing immigrants for being immigrants: Another component of U.S. welfare “reform” hits age 20

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 12:55
This is the third blog post in a series that will detail how lawmakers have weakened Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) over the last 20 years, explain why TANF is a cautionary tale rather than a model for other work and income support programs, and map out a better way forward. Emma Lazarus’s 1883 ...

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