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 48 min ago

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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Another bitter HB2 reminder today as NCAA hoops tourney starts in South Carolina

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 07:33

South Carolina is a fine place with many fine people, but let’s be honest: North Carolina losing out to the Palmetto state on a regular basis in the economic development and major events worlds makes about as much sense as the Tar Heels losing on an annual basis to Clemson or the University of South ...

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Don’t spray this at home: Bee-friendly bill would limit public sales of certain pesticides

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 16:48

T oday was Ag Day at the legislature, and the commons was packed with people promoting North Carolina livestock, fruits and vegetables, including watermelons, strawberries, sweet potatoes and even wine. All of these crops need bees to pollinate them; in the case of wine, mead, like that produced at Starrlight in Pittsboro or Honeygirl in Durham, ...

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Amidst charter boom, Durham schools official talks promoting traditional public schools

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 15:47

Here’s a fascinating report from The Herald-Sun‘s Greg Childress on how at least one Durham schools leader is responding to charter schools’ rapid growth in his district. Amidst reports that the county’s charter student population could approach 7,000 next year—close to 20 percent of Durham Public Schools’ total enrollment—school board Chair Mike Lee is calling for ...

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Greensboro Columnist Susan Ladd on personalizing HB2

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 14:09

Like the rest of us, Susan Ladd – columnist for the News & Record in Greensboro – read former N.C. Governor Pat McCrory’s recent complaint that people don’t want to hire him because, after he signed and defended HB2, people seem to think he’s some kind of bigot. But Ladd saw something deeper. As she ...

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Senate lawmakers introduce bill clarifying who can discipline sitting judges after N.C. Supreme Court ruling

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 14:00

Senate lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday clarifying that the Judicial Standards Commission has the sole power to discipline judges and justices of the court — not the North Carolina State Bar. Senate Bill 250 states that sitting judges cannot be disciplined by the State Bar for conduct occurring while in office. “The Council shall have the jurisdiction, ...

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Editorial: Time for Congress to kill Virginia Foxx’s ‘wrongheaded’ genetics bill

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 12:40

As Congress continues its debate over the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, one bill sponsored by North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC5) is being resoundingly rejected by her hometown newspaper. Here’s how the editorial board of the Winston-Salem Journal explains the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (HR 1313) that was introduced by ...

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Debunking the GOP’s big lie about a vital state program

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 07:00

In addition to generating a steady stream of “alternative facts” about the world around us, the modern Right has also become extremely adept in recent years at manufacturing what one might charitably characterize as “alternative history.” See, for example, the repeated efforts of North Carolina Republicans to criticize Democrats and former Governor, Beverly Perdue, for ...

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Statement from Budget & Tax Center on Income Tax Amendment

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 16:26

Statement from Alexandra F. Sirota, Director, Budget & Tax Center  Senate Bill 75 passed off the Senate floor today in a move by state lawmakers that once again limits the possibilities for North Carolina. The bill seeks to make an unnecessary amendment to the state Constitution that will harm North Carolina’s future prosperity and the ...

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Still waiting: Eastern NC needs a greater commitment to rebuild after Matthew

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 15:56

When it comes to helping North Carolinians recovery from the devastating flooding and damage following Hurricane Matthew, North Carolina leaders must commit to a significant investment that ensures communities are made whole and more resilient in the face of future natural disasters and economic downturns too. After the December legislation that made the first investment ...

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Renewable energy popular among voters, regardless of party. Duke Energy, not so much.

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 14:53

  W hile Republican state lawmakers are crafting bills to stall or roll back renewable energy, that could cost them votes in the next election — even among hard-core conservatives. A new poll sponsored by Conservatives for Clean Energy reveals that more than 83 percent of North Carolina voters polled said they would be more likely ...

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Another day, another bill introduced to change governor’s judicial appointment powers

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 13:01

Sen. Justin Burr (R-Montgomery, Stanly) has introduced another bill taking aim at Gov. Roy Cooper’s judicial appointment powers. Cooper currently has the power to appoint anyone he sees fit to fill district attorney vacancies and vacancies on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Superior Court. House Bill 335 would change his power to require that he ...

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New report: Trump budget will put federal grants to NC and its local governments at risk

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 10:20

The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities (CBPP) has released a timely report titled “At Risk: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments”. The two major conclusions of the report are blunt: Federal grants matter to state and local budgets (accounting for approximately 30 percent of North Carolina’s state budget), and programs for low and ...

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Veteran economist sums up Trumpcare bill in six scathing sentences

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 09:30

There are a lot of words and numbers flying across the Internet this morning in the aftermath of yesterday’s finding by the Congressional Budget Office that the GOP Trumpcare proposal will cost 24 million Americans their health insurance coverage over the next decade. Among the best summaries thus far, however, comes from veteran economist Jared ...

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As Gov. Cooper presses for HB2 repeal, McCrory acknowledges the law is making it difficult to find work (video)

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 06:53

Governor Roy Cooper opened his State of the State address Monday night by appealing again to the Republican-controlled General Assembly to fully repeal HB2. Click below to watch a segment of Cooper’s remarks: At the same time, former Governor Pat McCrory acknowledged in an interview that his signature on the anti-LGBT law (known to many ...

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