NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 2 hours 11 min ago

Editorial blasts “reckless” voucher push

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:04

This morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right in its characterization of the push by state legislative leaders to plow ahead with their school voucher scheme despite the certainty of lengthy litigation over the issue and … Read More...

Educators dismayed by final teacher pay proposal lawmakers asked them to help develop

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 18:32

To the surprise of some of its own members, a legislative task force studying alternative ways to compensate teachers in the state put forth a report today asking the General Assembly to consider a short-term goal of significantly increasing the … Read More...

Lower cost projections for Affordable Care Act mean good news for states too

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 16:22

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the fourth year report on projections of the cost of the Affordable Care Act.  The news is good and consistent with the trend over the previous four years: CBO now projects $104 billion … Read More...

Who pays taxes in North Carolina?

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 13:36

This tax season marks the final year North Carolina taxpayers will file their income taxes under the state’s old tax code. By next year the increased tax load for many North Carolina taxpayers will be apparent as a result of … Read More...

Report documents Great Tax Shift; new NC code produces worst-of-all-worlds results

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:55

It’s depressing as hell, but everyone who cares about North Carolina public policy should make this new report by the N.C. Budget and Tax Center’s Cedric Johnson: “Who Pays in 2014″ a part of their Tax Day reading list.

As …

The case for a swift move away from fossil fuels continues to build

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:08

There’s more compelling evidence today — both around the world and here in North Carolina — of the urgent need to move to world economy off of its addiction to the heroin of fossil fuels. Moreover, as this story from Read More...

Editorial rightfully urges great caution with respect to virtual charter schools

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:02

As regular visitors to N.C. Policy Watch are well-aware, the phenomenon of so-called “virtual charter schools” is an issue of great controversy these days. Proponents say they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread , but as several stories here (especially … Read More...

Medicaid expansion: Life v. Death

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:40

A popular theme on the Right is that having Medicaid health coverage is worse than having no health insurance at all.  After all the years I’ve spent traveling North Carolina and meeting people in poverty desperate for basic health care … Read More...

Taxes Matter

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 14:29

The last weekend before Tax Day is here and in the last minute rush to get your returns in, it can be helpful to reflect on why taxes matter.  Taxes are as some have said “the price we pay for … Read More...

Video offers amazing statistics on Wal-Mart and Food Stamp use

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:08

As Policy Watch Reporter Sarah Ovaska has been reporting regularly of late, obtaining Food Stamps and the failure of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services to process applications in a timely manner remain big problems for lots … Read More...

Food stamps backlog dwindling, while Greensboro woman waits months for help

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 10:11

Michelle Ford hasn’t received food stamp allotments since December, and the Greensboro mother says she’s out of options in trying to feed herself and her three children.

“We don’t have anything to eat,” Ford said. “This the way it’s been … Read More...

Want to vote in May? You’ll need to be registered today

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 10:02

Gone are the days of registering to vote during early voting! If you want to take part in the fast-approaching May 6th primary, take note that today (Friday) is the deadline for getting registered to vote.

North Carolinians can stop …

Licensing All Drivers in North Carolina

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 09:18

Earlier this week the Budget & Tax Center released an analysis of the economic and fiscal impacts of providing all drivers a license regardless of immigration status.  The findings suggest that more than 250,000 undocumented immigrants could be eligible … Read More...

Correcting seven myths about Medicaid (plus the real reason the right opposes expansion)

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 08:32

The wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released an outstanding little report this week about America’s health insurance program for low-income people and some of the biggest myths that have been perpetuated about it.

The overarching message: …

New poll shows NC’s marriage discrimination amendment is already unpopular

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 14:37

It’s been less than two years since North Carolina officially enshrined discrimination in its constitution by passing the execrable Amendment One. Now, less than 24 months later, just as Speaker Thom Tillis famously/infamously predicted, the law seems fast on its … Read More...

Lunch Links

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 13:02

Lots of education news swirling around out there, so here are a few stories to keep you up to date as you enjoy your midday meal.

First, the great reporters over at WUNC have a few really interesting education stories … Read More...

The business case for Medicaid expansion in NC

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 10:21

Andrew Brod, senior research fellow in UNC Greensboro’s Center for Business and Economic Research, has a great column in the Charlotte Business Journal this week making the strong business case for why NC should accept the billions of federal dollars … Read More...

Editorial: NC should reverse course, help the unemployed

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:06

The lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer tells it like it is with respect to the issue of unemployment insurance and North Carolina’s harshest-in-the-nation decision to cut off benefits to folks in need:

“It was


Couples ask federal court to block enforcement of state’s same-sex marriage ban

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 14:48

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation are ramping up the challenge to the state’s same-sex marriage ban, today filing a new complaint in federal court on behalf of three married, same-sex … Read More...

Latest revenue outlook signals challenges with policy directions

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 13:38

Some underling and troubling trends are revealed in the Fiscal Research Division’s newly released third Quarterly General Fund Revenue Report, which provides an assessment of revenue for the state. Not much has changed since the Division’s second quarterly report. … Read More...