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 9 min ago

Why does the President tweet about stock market levels but not our poverty rate?

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 14:16

Since July 1, President Trump has tweeted to celebrate the results of the U.S. stock market nine times and has tweeted about strong jobs numbers thirteen times. His frequent tweeting about these two metrics appears to indicate that they are his key indicators for assessing how we are doing as a country. It is worth ...

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Score in Manteo: OBX 34, offshore drilling 0

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:54

Sun-kissed and sandal-clad, the people who assembled at the Dare County Government Center in Manteo Thursday night wore the calm demeanor of those who fall asleep to the murmur of the sea and wake up to resplendent sunrises. They arrived to try to protect that way of life on the Outer Banks. This life is not ...

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School voucher pork: Editorial calls on Cooper to review, crack down on waste

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 08:14

This morning’s Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com has a new and creative idea for getting some kind of rein on the legislature’s currently unfettered spending on private school vouchers. This is from “More questions, more answers needed on worth of private school vouchers”: “Anyone who might be looking for an assessment of or justification ...

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Republicans and Democrats disagree on a lot at redistricting criteria meeting

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 17:43

Less than a month after publicly stating that he “sincerely” hoped Democrats would engage in the redistricting process, Rep. David Lewis kiboshed all of the minority party’s suggestions for map-making criteria Thursday. Democratic Senators and Representatives offered several amendments throughout Thursday’s meeting to adopt criteria submitted by Republican committee chairs. None of their amendments were ...

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N.C. Alt-Weekly on Tillis as “voice of the reasonable right”

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:57

Alt-Weekly Triad City Beat says it’s giving credit where it’s due, praising Republican Sen. Thom Tillis for standing up to the Trump administration whether more liberal readers like it or not. From an editorial published Thursday: “Up until last week, Tillis voted in near lockstep with President Trump — FiveThirtyEight, which tracks such things, clocks ...

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The Gospel according to Sen. Andy Wells: DEQ is like an ungrateful servant, deserves no money for GenX

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:51

Andy Wells: state senator, real estate broker and now, Sunday school teacher. Today Sen. Wells posted on his personal blog a story based on the “parable of talents” from the Book of Matthew and, using pretzel logic, ties the story to GenX and the NC Department of Environmental Quality. (Matthew, by the way, had a ...

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And so NC is reduced to this: Gov. Cooper forced to beg for donations to help teachers

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 11:54

The conservative war on public structures and services in North Carolina is a longstanding tragedy for our state, but it is now also well on its way to becoming utter farce. For confirmation of this sad state of affairs, one need look no further than the unfortunate but “what else are you gonna’ do?” spectacle ...

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NC Senate caucus insinuates Cooper’s $2.5 million request to address GenX is “simply public relations”

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 08:29

State Senate Republicans, in part responsible for enacting deep budget cuts for environmental programs, seem reluctant to grant Gov. Roy Cooper’s emergency funding request to deal with the chemical GenX in drinking water. Instead, in a letter sent yesterday to the governor, the Republican caucus questioned whether “any additional appropriations could make a meaningful difference in ...

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Why is NC sicker than almost all other states?

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 06:52

The Fayetteville Observer gets right to the heart of the matter this morning in an editorial entitled “Living in NC is bad for our health.” As the essay points out, North Carolinians are near the bottom in national health rankings because, simply put, we don’t do enough or invest enough to address the issue. The ...

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Redistricting committees set to meet jointly tomorrow; expected to adopt map-making criteria

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 14:51

The joint House and Senate Redistricting Committees will return tomorrow to adopt criteria for redrawing legislative maps to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. The public meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building. There will be a live audio stream available here. The committees have already met jointly twice ...

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New report: Suicide the leading cause of death in NC jails; NC worse than most states

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:44

As noted in this space yesterday, the good people at Disability Rights North Carolina are out with a new, informative, easy-to-read and sobering report on what amounts to a crisis in North Carolina’s jails. The report, which complements this week’s series in Raleigh’s News & Observer is entitled “Suicide in North Carolina Jails.” This is ...

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Sobering numbers document NC’s plummeting investment in higher education

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 09:39

In case you missed it, the latest Prosperity Watch update from the numbers experts at the N.C. Budget and Tax Center has some troubling, if unsurprising data, on the declining commitment to higher education over which North Carolina’s conservative leaders have been presiding in recent years: Ensuring access to an affordable college education is critical ...

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Two new editorials provide history lessons to GOP chief Woodhouse

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:38

As noted in this space on Monday, North Carolina GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse was way off base in an absurd weekend Twitter rant in which he attempted to link the Democratic Party of 2017 with the conservative racists who ran it in 1898 during the infamous Wilmington coup d’état. Now two major state newspapers ...

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Governor challenging parts of budget in expanded, ongoing lawsuit against legislative leaders

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 16:00

Gov. Roy Cooper is challenging several more actions taken by the legislature in ongoing litigation. He amended his complaint in Cooper v. Berger today to include three challenges to the budget that was passed by lawmakers in June. The challenges, according to the lawsuit, are examples of unconstitutional overreach to limit Cooper’s constitutional authority. Below ...

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DEQ, DHHS reveal their $2.5 million emergency budget request to address GenX, contaminants in drinking water

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 15:26

  Two top state officials have asked lawmakers to appropriate $2.5 million in emergency funds to help their respective agencies address unregulated, emerging contaminants, such as GenX, in drinking water. Secretaries Mandy Cohen of the Department of Health and Human Services and Michael Regan of the Department of Environmental Quality sent a letter to Rep. ...

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Who died, when and where in NC county jails

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:14

If you haven’t yet read the first of the News & Observer’s five part series Jailed to Death, you should. But don’t stop there. You should also check out the database of 151 inmates who died in custody in 65 N.C. county jails between 2012 and 2016. The database is a good platform for further ...

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DEQ hosts more public listening sessions on Atlantic Coast Pipeline; new FERC members bode ill for opponents

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 13:13

If you missed the recent public hearings on the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, you have three more chances to speak your mind before state environmental officials. The NC Department of Environmental Quality is holding additional public listening sessions about the project, which will cross parts of eight eastern North Carolina counties, including low-income neighborhoods and ...

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NC paramedic recounts stories from front line of heroin epidemic

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 12:17

A weekend piece at Salon takes a look at North Carolina’s opioid epidemic through the eyes of a Guilford County paramedic. The piece, by Salon’s Young American journalist Lauryn Higgins, is worth your time – particularly if you’ve been following our recent coverage of the issue at NC Policy Watch. From the piece: In 2015, ...

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Policy issues impacting NC seniors the subject of August 15 luncheon

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:06

Please join us August 15 for a very special Crucial Conversation – The silver tsunami: What’s on the policy horizon for North Carolina’s seniors? Click here to register In one of the brighter and underreported developments of the 2017 legislative session, North Carolina lawmakers took some important steps to secure consistent, quality care for seniors. ...

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This week’s “must read” about North Carolina government

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 06:44

There are a lot of ways in which the conservative obsession with doing government “on the cheap” is limited in its effect on the citizenry. Potholes and crumbling roads, closed parks and rest stops, court delays and rising college tuition: these problems are real and often hugely problematic, but often manageable for those affected — ...

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