NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 17 min 36 sec ago

Proposed budget shows how Governor McCrory turns blind eye to self-inflicted revenue constraints

5 hours 46 sec ago
This morning, Governor McCrory released his two-year plan to invest in education, health care, public safety and other priorities that are essential for economic opportunity and quality of life. He spoke of a “new paradigm” for state budgeting. A new paradigm indeed, one that abandons many of the practices that served North Carolina well in ...

Governor’s budget props up beginning teachers, emphasizes ‘flexibility’

7 hours 17 min ago
Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his recommended $21.5 billion budget Thursday, which continues his promise to boost beginning teacher salaries up to a minimum $35,000 a year but does not provide significant increases for veteran teachers and makes yet another cut to the state’s university system. “We’re changing the basic paradigm of how we evaluate and distribute our limited ...

Pope-Civitas keynote speaker doubles down on his bizarre views of human sexuality

8 hours 15 min ago
For those of you that may be wondering who in the heck this strange would-be GOP presidential candidate named Ben Carson is — you know, the troubled soul who claimed this week that prison turns people gay and then issued a non-apology apology for the absurd statement — rest easy as you’ll get your chance ...

Statement on the Governor’s Budget from Alexandra Sirota, Budget & Tax Center Director

9 hours 12 min ago
The “tough choices” Governor McCrory says he made in his just-released budget proposal were self-inflicted. They come from tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, meaning there is too little left to invest in education and other building blocks of a strong economy. Also troubling is the Governor’s use of changes to ...

McCrory administration’s war on environmental protection continues

12 hours 45 min ago
It should probably come as no surprise when a state elects a governor who’s spent most of his adult life in the employ of one of the planet’s biggest polluters and he fails to make environmental protection a top priority. That said, there is something disturbing and notably blatant about the way the McCrory administration ...

“Religious freedom” bill may not leave enough magistrates to perform marriages

14 hours 17 min ago
Yesterday afternoon, members of the public were given an opportunity to share their thoughts on Senate Bill 2 before the House Judiciary I Committee. The bill, which would permit magistrates and registers of deeds to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages due to their religious beliefs, has been hotly contested since it was first introduced ...

In State of the Judiciary speech, Martin lauds the work of the courts and asks for support

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 16:36
In the first “State of the Judiciary” speech given to the General Assembly since 2001, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin invoked the Magna Carta, introduced lawmakers to the judiciary’s work during challenging economic times and urged them to appreciate the need for better funding in order to ensure the integrity of the state’s ...

The state of the courts is not good

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 15:02
There’ll be few surprises when Chief Justice Mark Martin appears before the General Assembly this afternoon to give his “State of the Judiciary” speech. He’s made several media appearances these past few weeks to talk about how neglected and overlooked the courts have been when it comes to funding, and as the new leader of the ...

A formula for failure

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:53
Some legislators want to severely limit the resources the state can invest in schools and other needs and are considering arbitrary formulas to guide those decisions, even though we are already doing less with less. State investments as a share of the economy would be $3.2 billion higher if North Carolina caught up to 2008 ...

A welcome breath of fresh air on Jones Street

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:00
There’s not a whole lot of encouraging news emanating from the North Carolina General Assembly these days. Today at 12:30, for example, a House Judiciary committee took up legislation to allow some public servants to refuse to perform their sworn duties when it comes to marrying same-sex couples. So, it was especially encouraging this morning ...

Trending Wednesday on Jones Street – #stopSB2, #endCitizensUnited, and #HistoricPreservation

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:53
Legislation that would allow magistrates to discriminate against same sex couples, a renewed push to end dark money in the political process, and a bi-partisan effort to save the historic preservation tax credit mark our top stories of the day: #ncga House committee to debate #SB2, bill allowing magistrates to opt out of same-sex marriage, ...

Low wages are a choice

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:17
In a piece released on Monday, Paul Krugman reflected on the decision by Walmart to raise the minimum wage of its workers. He notes that this will likely lead to many more companies following suit. Indeed TJ Maxx-Marshalls has already signaled that it will do the same for its workers this year. More than moving ...

Follow the Supreme Court arguments in the Obamacare case

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:32
The U.S. Supreme Court gets a second shot at the Affordable Care Act this morning, with arguments set to start any minute in King v. Burwell. If you were hoping to catch the arguments via live stream, well, you can’t. That’s because the nation’s highest court still does not allow cameras in the courtroom. A ...

Rep. Fisher: Magistrates recusal bill ‘opens the door wide’ to discrimination (Audio)

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 09:56
Senate Bill 2 – Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies – will be before the House Judiciary Committee later this afternoon. The legislation would allow North Carolina magistrates to opt out of gay marriages, if they hold a ‘sincere religious’ objection. Editorial writers have called the legislation “a silly maneuver” that allows sworn public officials to ...

Former UNC chancellor: Now is the time for the people to come to the aid of their university

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:00
In case you missed it, be sure to check out the thoughtful essay written for the group Higher Education Works by former UNC chancellor James Moeser yesterday. In it, Moeser laments the morale-busting policies of the current state political leadership: “My point here is not to re-litigate the closing of the Poverty Center at UNC ...

Incentives advance to the House as Chief Justice seeks critical court funding (video)

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:27
Mark Martin, Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court will address a joint session of General Assembly this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Martin will be making the case for an additional $30 million for the state’s court system. Hours before Martin delivers his State of the Judiciary Address, the House will take up an incentives ...

More consistent policy choices would flow from analysis

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 15:37
The News & Record had an editorial this weekend on the inconsistent choices policymakers have made as it relates to tax code spending. Some tax breaks have ended while others remain and even may get expanded this session. From the piece: Tax breaks for movie productions and historic property renovations are out. Tax breaks for ...

Education committees gearing up for 2015 session

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:55
After a slow start thanks to snow and ice wreaking havoc on legislative meeting schedules for the past two weeks, members of the House K-12 Education committee finally gathered this morning to get acquainted and begin moving legislation. Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union), co-chair of the committee, introduced House Bill 18, “Planning Year for CIHS,” which would provide ...

The awful gift that keeps on giving …

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:47
Senate Bill 20 passed another hurdle this morning, moving out of House Finance and to the floor for a full vote.  As I recently highlighted, state lawmakers are pursing tax changes that would further shift responsibility for paying for public investments and services to low- and middle-income taxpayers and away from the wealthy and profitable ...

New infographic shows fast-growing economic and political power of immigrants in NC

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:23
There are new numbers out out today that confirm the remarkable, ongoing and encouraging growth of North Carolina’s immigrant population. As the American Immigration Council reports: “Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and population in the electoral swing state of North Carolina. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 7.6% of the ...

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