NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Day 222 of Gov. McCrory denying justice to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 15:46
It has now been 222 days since  since Governor Pat McCrory received a formal request for a pardon from Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, two Robeson County men who both spent 31 years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. Brown and McCollum, both struggling to make ends meet, need the pardon so ...

State economy plods through March

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 12:08
The March employment numbers out today show another month of positive, but relatively lackluster economic performance in North Carolina. The unemployment rate in North Carolina has now been essentially flat for the last five months and the number of unemployed North Carolinians has actually increased in the first three months of 2015. According to analysis ...

The Kansas experience visits North Carolina this week

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 09:40
Members of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth are visiting North Carolina this week to share what has happened in Kansas following massive tax cuts signed into law by Governor Brownback back in 2012. Kansas has become a case study of the grave consequences resulting from a dogged pursuit of tax cuts as an economic ...

The solution to the GOP gerrymandering mess

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 07:17
Editorial pages and good government advocates are weighing in this morning in praise of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to send North Carolina’s gerrymandered legislative maps back to the state Supreme Court for further review. This morning’s Fayetteville Observer calls the decision a “setback” for gerrymandering and concludes this way: “We don’t know how this ...

House bill would earmark $1 million to place George Washington’s image in each public school

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 05:00
I cannot tell a lie…Representatives Justin Burr, John Torbett, Chris Whitmire, and Gary Pendleton have introduced legislation to place a picture of the nation’s first president in every public school in North Carolina. House Bill  858 – titled the George Washington Back-to-School Grants act – would earmark $500,000 from the state’s Education Lottery for the ...

UNC Board of Governors may have new president chosen by this fall

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 17:51
The UNC Board of Governors hopes to have a new president announced this September. Joan MacNeill, the chairwoman of the presidential search committee acknowledged in a meeting Monday that keeping to the timeline would be tough. The board needs to select a head-hunting firm to conduct the search, hold public forums around the state for ...

Why won’t McCrory promise to veto discrimination bill?

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 15:13
Governor Pat McCrory again questioned the need for the misnamed Religious Freedom Restoration Act Monday, but as the Charlotte Observer’s Jim Morrill reports, he once again refused to promise to veto the bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. “I’m not even sure it will get to my desk, ...

Day 221 of Gov. McCrory denying justice to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 14:34
It has now been 221 days since Governor Pat McCrory received a formal request for a pardon from Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, two Robeson County men who both spent 31 years in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit. McCollum and Brown, both mentally disabled, were freed September 4 of last year ...

Redistricting plaintiffs ask NC Supreme Court for expedited hearing

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:26
Individuals and groups challenging North Carolina’s 2011 redistricting plan wasted little time today getting their case back before the state Supreme Court, filing papers a short while ago asking for an expedited hearing and decision in time for elections in 2016. That request followed on the heels of this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court order vacating ...

The Missing, Harmed Wealthy

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:54
The ongoing, raging debate at the federal level regarding tax changes highlights the contrast between the proposals being put forward by President Obama and Congress for developing a budget and supporting the economy. The President would like to provide tax cuts to middle-income taxpayers – by enhancing the Child Care Tax Credit and the Earned ...

Shuttered Columbus Co. charter school highlights need for accountability legislation

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:23
Members of the House Judiciary Committee, who will be discussing legislation today to increase the financial accountability of North Carolina’s charter schools, might want to revisit what happened to the students of a recently shuttered school in Columbus County. As WECT-TV reported last week, SEGS Academy in Delco, NC gave parents just two days notice ...

SCOTUS sends NC redistricting case back to state Supreme Court for a do-over

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 09:55
The U.S. Supreme Court sent the North Carolina redistricting case back to the state Supreme Court this morning for further review in light of the high court’s recent decision in a similar Alabama case. The North Carolina groups and individuals who initially sued lawmakers in state court — contending that the state’s 2011 plan constituted an unlawful ...

Medicaid expansion will be on the front burner at Women’s Advocacy Day tomorrow

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 09:00
Tomorrow is Women’s Advocacy Day at the North Carolina General Assembly and there are a lot of good reasons for caring women (and men) to attend. The one at the top of my list will be Medicaid expansion – the long-neglected plan to extend decent, affordable health coverage to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. ...

Editorial, op-ed weigh in against GOP proposal for partisan judges

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 07:18
The list of counter-productive proposals on Jones Street has been expanding rapidly in recent days and both the Charlotte Observer and Greensboro News & Record have new essays blasting one that’s already been approved by the state House: the idea of partisan elections for judges (and even school board members!). Here’s the N&R in an ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 16:00
1. Lawmakers move bill that would make it a felony offense for a student to assault a teacher Students who assault teachers could soon face felony charges in North Carolina, according to a bill that was green-lighted by a Senate committee on Wednesday—despite concerns raised that under the proposed law, even minor infractions could result ...

Follow the money: a primer on how outside $$$ have paved the way for vouchers & charters in NC

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 14:42
Millions of private dollars have made their way to North Carolina in an effort to encourage lawmakers to push a school privatization agenda. Those funds have resulted in the removal of the cap on charter schools and a new voucher program that takes money away from the public school system in order to fund unregulated and unaccountable ...

Partisan judicial elections likely to return in 2016 (video)

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:37
The state House is expected to give final approval Monday to legislation that would make North Carolina’s judicial races partisan in 2016. Rockingham County Rep. Bert Jones says clearly labeling candidates for the N.C. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court with their party affiliation will increase transparency. Wake County Rep. Grier Martin told his ...

NC lawmakers vote to protect guns used by murderers

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:06
In case you missed it, North Carolina legislators produced another one of their inimitable, you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up moments yesterday. On the very same day that a disturbed and self-described Neo-Nazi confessed to shooting and murdering an innocent Wayne County Community College employee in cold blood earlier this week, House members defeated a bipartisan proposal that would have ...

Mental health parity and Medicaid expansion – why not?

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 09:57
Thanks to a report from the American Mental Health Counselors Association, North Carolina along with other states that have not expanded Medicaid have yet another feather to place in their caps – denying access to mental health care for nearly 600,000 uninsured adults that would have sought care last year. Approximately 21,000 of those uninsured ...

Another major tech company speaks out against N.C.’s religious freedom bill

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 09:22
IBM, which employs thousands in the Triangle area, doesn’t want North Carolina to adopt a controversial religious freedom bill that opponents say would allow discrimination against the LGBT community. The company’s senior executive in North Carolina, Robert Greenberg, wrote a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory noting the company’s opposition, as reported by WRAL earlier this ...

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