NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

A small bit of progress on Jones Street: House advances A-F school performance grade change

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 08:20

In case you missed it, the state House  took a positive step in education policy last week when it voted in favor of HB 322, which would change the way A-F school performance grades are calculated. The current school grading calculation is based 80% on test score proficiency and just 20% on student growth. This ...

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Groups protest Gorsuch as confirmation begins

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 15:06

A number of progressive groups and advocates gathered in front of the Federal Building in downtown Raleigh Monday morning to protest Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court confirmation hearings began in Washington. Rob Schofield, director of policy and research at N.C. Policy Watch, led off the protest with a statement about Gorsuch’s fitness for the ...

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Wake County leaders push “Raise the Age” legislation

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 13:45

As Policy Watch has noted in recent weeks, support for “raise the age” legislation seems to be growing in North Carolina among both political parties and law enforcement. This week, it’s getting another thumbs up from leaders in Wake County, which operates the state’s largest public school system. The News & Observer reports today that county ...

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This report explains why Neil Gorsuch shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 11:52

With the Senate Judiciary Committee commencing hearings into Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee this morning, be sure to take at least a few minutes to review The Gorsuch Record, a damning in-depth report prepared by the nonpartisan legal advocacy group, the Alliance for Justice. The report puts it this way: “Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly shown ...

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The best editorial of the weekend

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:00

If you get a chance, be sure to check out the Saturday editorial in the Greensboro News & Record entitled “A judicious veto.” In it, the N&R rightfully praises Roy Cooper’s first veto as Governor (this one of legislation seeking to make District and Superior Court elections partisan). “Gov. Roy Cooper delivered a well-aimed veto ...

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In power struggle with legislature, Cooper prevails in two of three legal challenges

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 22:09

A three-judge panel issued its rulings Friday on two laws passed last December in special session that limited  the powers of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The panel found that the General Assembly does have the authority to establish a confirmation process for the governor’s cabinet picks. But the judges ruled that it was unconstitutional for ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 14:39

1.Trump’s most dangerous action thus far For Americans serious about resistance, this is a fight to join Thirty years ago, filmmaker James Brooks wrote and directed a biting, prophetic and painfully funny takedown of American television journalism called Broadcast News. In one of the better moments in the movie, a frustrated news producer played by ...

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Trump’s budget will not make America great again

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 13:21

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America. Within government, a budget in its most basic form equals policy priority. Yesterday, the White House released its first budget blueprint, also referred to as its skinny budget, and the consensus all around is that the proposed budget will not make America great again. ...

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Amid push for school calendar flexibility, N.C. lawmakers look to study effects on student achievement

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 12:38

A pair of bills filed in the state House of Representatives this week would grant local school districts more flexibility in developing their own calendar and launch a pilot project aimed at studying the effects of an amended school calendar on student achievement. A bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers filed House bills 389 ...

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With a $9 million bid, Avangrid wins offshore wind farm lease near Kitty Hawk

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 09:15

This is what $9 million will buy: The historic Powerhouse Square on West Street in Raleigh. More than 11,000 iPhones. Seven heart transplants. Three weekend trips to Mar-a- Lago for President Trump. And 122,405 acres of ocean and its floor off the North Carolina coast. The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management today held a ...

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Editorial: Berger, Moore have things backwards with latest tax cut proposals

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 07:01

As NC Budget and Tax Center Director Alexandra Sirota explained yesterday, the new tax cut proposal from the state Senate is precisely what North Carolina does not need right now. Senate leader Phil Berger has proposed slashing another billion dollars from state revenue. House Speaker Tim Moore has a more modest proposal, but it’s sure ...

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In first veto, Cooper says no to partisan judicial elections

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 16:29

Gov. Roy Cooper signed his first veto Thursday of House Bill 100, which would restore partisan judicial elections for Superior and District Court judges. He wrote a letter explaining why he vetoed the bill: “North Carolina wants its judges to be fair and impartial, and partisan politics has no place on the judges’ bench. We need ...

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Bidding reaches $7.5 million for state’s first offshore wind farm — and it could go higher

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 16:00

[Update 2: In Round 17, one company bid $9 million. No other company has matched or exceeded it. Stay tuned for the BOEM’s announcement of the winning bid.]   [Update 1: There have now been 15 bidding rounds, for $7.5 million. The number of companies bidding just dropped to two.] Twelve rounds of bidding, four companies and ...

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DPI Superintendent Mark Johnson taps another former McCrory staffer

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 15:45

North Carolina’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction is again turning to some old faces to implement his vision for school administration. Johnson’s office announced Wednesday that the new Republican superintendent hired Chloe Gossage, a former policy director for ex-Gov. Pat McCrory, to act as his top legislative liaison and chief budget advisor. Before working in ...

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State Board of Education names head of controversial Achievement School District

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 15:15

A controversial program that may turn over control of low-performing schools in North Carolina to for-profit charter operators has its new chief. Members of the State Board of Education named Eric Hall, president and CEO of Communities in Schools, a Raleigh nonprofit that specializes in dropout prevention, as superintendent of the district Thursday morning. Hall’s ...

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Five Questions with Matt Comer

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 14:26

This week LGBT advocate Matt Comer took on State Sen. Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) over his record on LGBT issues and habit of answering criticism with bizarre, dismissive Twitter GIFs. The backlash to Ford’s posting a defecating dog GIF in answer to criticism from his constituents ultimately led Ford to apologize – while still justifying himself ...

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Senate proposal is another tax cut for the wealthy and profitable corporations

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:39

Senate leaders announced they will continue on the path to fiscal ruin for North Carolina by pushing forward another series of income tax rate cuts this year that will primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations. The proposal unveiled this morning will do nothing to boost the wages of working people nor will it help ...

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Voters falsely accused of fraud share stories, ask State Board of Elections for change

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:20

North Carolinians in 16 counties who were falsely accused of voter fraud last year by former Gov. Pat McCrory’s Campaign have asked the State Board of Elections to change its protest process. When McCrory was losing the election last year, GOP lawyers recruited residents to file election protests against individuals accused of voting with a felony, ...

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Crucial Conversation luncheon: HB2 on its one-year anniversary

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 10:56

NC Policy Watch presents a special Crucial Conversation luncheon: An expert panel discusses the state of North Carolina’s infamous discrimination law on its one-year anniversary Click here to register Amazingly, Thursday, March 23 marks the one-year anniversary of HB2 – the LGBTQ discrimination law that will forever be known by the name it received during ...

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N.C. Sen. Joel Ford: Tweets, apologies and LGBT criticism

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 08:19

On Tuesday N.C. Sen Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) had a strange, tense exchange with LGBT activists who criticized his record on LGBT issues. He responded to the activists with a GIF of a dog defecating in the snow. This led Matt Comer, a Charlotte-based LGBT activist, to ask if that was appropriate behavior for a state ...

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