NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

McCrory pushes plan to pay beginning teachers more, hopes for raises for all teachers

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:08

Pay beginning teachers more, and pay veteran teachers more too — if available revenue allows.

That was the message from Governor Pat McCrory today, who convened his Education Cabinet at Meredith College to discuss top budget priorities for the upcoming … Read More...

Half Dozen Things You Didn’t Hear at Governor McCrory’s Tax Day Press Event but Should Know

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:50

If you listened to Governor McCrory’s press event on Tuesday, you might be a little confused about the tax plan that pasted last year and what it means for our state.

Tax reform should be about modernizing the tax code … Read More...

The Fourth Circuit hands down a win for public access to court records

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:22

In a decision released today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond held that the public and press right of access to court records trumps a corporation’s desire to keep quiet complaints about one of its products — … Read More...

Gallup: Uninsured rate dropping more in states embracing Affordable Care Act

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:17

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to the latest polling from Gallup, the uninsured rate is dropping about three times faster in states that have expanded Medicaid, set up a state health exchange and generally embraced the … Read More...

Conservative columnist: Women need lower pay so they can find richer men

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:30

In case you haven’t heard, the reason that women get paid less ($0.77 on average to every $1 a man makes) is that women prefer to settle for lower-earning jobs in order to seek out mates that earn more.

At …

New “Executive Paywatch” report highlights soaring wage gap between CEO’s and average NC workers

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:13

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse on the American inequality front, you encounter reports like the new “Executive Paywatch” report from the AFL-CIO.

Click here to check out the website — it includes a section in which … Read More...

Feds say NC cleared food stamps backlog

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:39

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that North Carolina health officials successfully cleared a backlog of food stamps cases that had been in the tens of thousands last year following issues with a statewide technology system.

At stake was …

NC refuses Medicaid expansion and Wilkes County hurts – badly

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:16

You could tell this story in any one of the most rural counties in North Carolina. From the Wilkes Journal-Patriot in a stunning story yesterday:

Over half of the 898 people who contacted a temporary counselor in Wilkes County for


Charter schools must disclose salaries, say state education officials in a reverse decision

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 09:56

As reported today in the Charlotte ObserverState Board of Education chairman William Cobey along with State Superintendent June Atkinson have gone on the record to say that the state’s charter schools, which are public, should disclose the salaries … Read More...

Retired Supreme Court justice explains how to fix the Second Amendment

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:24

As was noted in yesterday’s Weekly Briefing, “A Tax Day sermon,” it can be a fascinating exercise to briefly contemplate just how far to the right American politics have been pushed in the last few decades as a result … Read More...

Do Tax Rates Matter? Not Much

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:25

In North Carolina, a singular focus on comparing the state’s income tax rates to other states was used to justify massive rate reductions in the 2013 tax plan.  But do tax rates determine whether a state is competitive?

It turns …

New Study: Consumer spending by immigrants generates jobs, billions for NC’s economy

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:20

A new study released Tuesday by the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) shows the profound economic impact immigrants have had on North Carolina’s economy.

According to the extensive study by researchers at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School:… Read More...

Tax Day facts and opinion

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:44

Some of the most damning facts about the state of North Carolina’s tax system and what the most recent changes enacted by state leaders really portend for average families — especially the state’s one-of-a-kind repeal of the Earned Income Tax … Read More...

Richard Burr blue slip watch Day #300: GOP rejects revival of its own rule on judicial nominations

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:47

This week’s LOL, through-the-looking-glass moment in conservative politics revolves around the antiquated Senate “blue slip” process whereby home state Senators like North Carolina’s own Richard Burr can unilaterally and without explanation block federal court nominees — even one’s they’ve endorsed … Read More...

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...