NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

New study: NC should follow Boston/Silicon Valley model not South Carolina/Mississippi

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 15:23
There’s a new “must read” today from economist Patrick McHugh at the Budget and Tax Center. Here’s the summary: North Carolina currently faces an important choice between two different paths for creating jobs and strengthening the economy, according to a new report from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. ...

Advocates to press Governor: “Where’s the Plan?” (w/video)

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 14:28
Coming up on Thursday, child advocates, doctors, and health care activists will gather at the state capital to urge Governor Pat McCrory to present his proposal for expanding  health insurance coverage in North Carolina. Readers of the Progressive Pulse may recall that the governor said he would wait until after the Supreme Court ruled on ...

The Right’s latest desperate attempt to smear Rev. Barber and the Moral Mondays movement

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:37
You can always tell when North Carolina NAACP President and Moral Mondays movement leader Rev. William Barber is having an impact with his fearless and tireless advocacy. It’s always the moment at which paid political hacks on the far right start manufacturing scurrilous personal attacks full of unflattering photos, baseless claims about money and thinly-veiled overtures ...

Yet another redistricting lawsuit, this time by the city of Greensboro

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 10:38
The city of Greensboro and six residents filed a lawsuit in federal court in Greensboro yesterday to block the controversial redistricting plan recently enacted by the General Assembly, which they say denies residents the right to change their form of government in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution. “If permitted to take ...

We’ll find out today if lawmakers are serious about workplace cheaters

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 08:21
There’s been a great deal of justifiable  attention given over the last several months to the issue of “misclassification” — the wrongful treatment of employees by employers as “independent contractors.” As Raleigh’s News & Observer demonstrated in a damning series last year entitled “Contract to Cheat”: “It’s a tactic that costs taxpayers billions of dollars ...

Day one in the court fight over voting rights in North Carolina

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 06:00
The battle over sweeping election law changes adopted in North Carolina in 2013 opened on two fronts yesterday. In a packed courtroom inside the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem, attorneys for both the challengers and the state laid out the case they planned to present to U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder over the next several weeks. ...

Trending in Winston-Salem: #VotingRights

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 21:15
Social media captured the flavor outside the federal courtroom in Winston-Salem Monday, as hundreds of protesters demonstrated against North Carolina’s Monster Voting Bill. Here are just a few of the signs shared on Twitter: I may be short, but I carry a big sign! #moralmonday #wsnc #naacp pic.twitter.com/HsPQYllxPY — SpringSerenityDuvall (@SpringSerenity) July 13, 2015 PHOTOS: ...

State Senate Committee to hear from…the University of Phoenix?

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 16:39
The North Carolina Senate Workforce and Economic Development Committee has scheduled a meeting for this Wednesday at noon and here is the official description of the agenda: “Presentation from the NC Chamber and the University of Phoenix about the workforce needs of manufacturing companies around the state.” You got that? In a state that is ...

Local school districts grapple with losing valuable teacher assistants as school year approaches

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:10
The Fayetteville Observer took a closer look this weekend at how things will play out at local elementary schools if Cumberland County and surrounding areas are forced to cut hundreds of teacher assistants from classrooms in exchange for reducing class sizes. Many say sacrificing TAs for smaller classes isn’t a good tradeoff. “The perceived benefit ...

Don’t miss next week’s Crucial Conversation: Caring for Caregivers

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:49
Caring for Caregivers: The importance of quality wages for ensuring quality care Click here to register Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina is quickly aging. Within 35 years, the population over age 65 is projected to more than double. There is a rapidly growing need for direct care to allow community members to ...

Charlotte Observer’s perfect one-line summary of McCrory Administration

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 07:22
A Charlotte Observer editorial over the weekend calling for Gov. Pat McCrory to demand a line banning policy changes from future state budgets before he will sign this year’s spending plan includes what may the best one line summary of the McCrory Administration that has been written since McCrory took office in 2013. From the start of ...

All eyes on Winston-Salem as federal trial begins over ‘monster’ voting rights law

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 06:20
The much-anticipated federal trial over North Carolina’s ‘monster’ voting rights law gets underway today in Winston-Salem. As Policy Watch’s courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey explains, opponents are seeking relief from what they say is the most restrictive law of its kind in the nation: The gist of the case against the state is that ...

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore gets job as Cleveland County attorney, tasks include advising on legislation (with update)

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:55
Note: This post has been updated to include comment from Moore’s legislative office. N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore has a new job, after he was hired this week to serve as the attorney for Cleveland County, where he lives. One of his tasks in the county position will be to “[a]dvise the Board and Manager ...

North Carolina Walking Back Economic Progress According to New Report

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:41
A report released yesterday by ThinkNC First argues that decision makers in Raleigh have walked away from many of the programs that helped to build a middle-class in North Carolina. Authors William Lester and Nichola Lowe of the University of North Carolina review data showing that middle-income jobs have become much harder to find over ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:00
1. The disturbing “little-noticed provisions” snuck into the Senate budget One of the most often used phrases these days by the media outlets that cover the General Assembly is “a little-noticed provision in the Senate 500-page budget bill…” Tuesday the News & Observer reported that a little-noticed provision in the budget document threatens special downtown ...

NC’s business climate depends on which ranking you look at

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 09:13
It is becoming ever clearer that recent tax cuts have not endeared North Carolina to the entire business community. Proponents of the 2013 tax cuts argued that they would create a more competitive and business-friendly climate. Looking at recent business climate rankings, however, undermines this argument in two key ways. First, multinational corporations already liked ...

Workers, like state lawmakers, need paid time off

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 08:24
A coalition of workers’ rights groups this week called on vacationing state lawmakers to pass legislation when they return to Raleigh that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave and family leave for their employees. Here is the way Alan Freyer, with the workers’ rights project of the N.C. Justice Center put it. “It ...

North Carolinians took to Twitter to tell lawmakers their vision for pending final budget deal

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 14:37
As state lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors on a final budget deal, North Carolinians came together on Twitter to have their say on the smart investments that will best move the state forward. North Carolinians know that if we want to build a more inclusive and prosperous state for everyone, the state budget is key ...

What transparency in redistricting looks like

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:56
The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that congressional districts redrawn by the Republican-controlled legislature violated a voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring nonpartisan map-drawing, and sent the voting maps back for a do-over. It’s an important decision for Florida voters, who’d made clear their distaste of politicized redistricting by approving the amendment. North Carolina, of course, has ...

DPI budget chief: school districts in a bind on whether to keep or let go of teacher assistants

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 11:40
The Department of Public Instruction’s budget chief told members of the State Board of Education Thursday that the number one issue local superintendents are wrestling with as they figure out how to fund their schools for the upcoming year is how to handle their teacher assistants. “It is a very big problem for school districts to ...

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