NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
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Analysis: “Significant positive impacts” under ‘The People’s Budget’ proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 18:00

The White House plans to unveil President Trump’s detailed 2018 budget tomorrow. While the people wait for its release it is worth noting that earlier this month the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released ‘The People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance’, which contains their plan for what the U.S. budget should be. Their budget was ...

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Trump budget, as expected, to roll out massive school choice expansion

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:00

In the midst of last week’s near-constant stream of Russia-Trump news, you could be forgiven if you’ve forgotten President Trump has plans to announce the details of his federal budget plan Tuesday. Already dubbed a “caricature of conservative cruelty” by The Daily Beast, Trump’s plan is expected to include major cuts to programs for the ...

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What to expect in Trump’s 2018 budget tomorrow (and what it means to North Carolina)

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 16:30

The White House plans to unveil President Trump’s detailed 2018 budget tomorrow. Ever since the administration released their 2018 budget blueprint (skinny budget) back in March, we have conducted analysis that shows various ways in which North Carolinians would be harmed under Trump’s proposed budget. In case you missed this analysis, below are links to ...

The post What to expect in Trump’s 2018 budget tomorrow (and what it means to North Carolina) appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Sad! Leaked Trump budget shows huge cuts to coastal protection, farm programs and renewable energy

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:45

Republican Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest, in a speech to Duplin County farmers last fall, proclaimed that “Donald Trump knows agriculture.” That statement seemed to puzzle even the conservative crowd, considering Trump is from New York City and likely wouldn’t know a hay baler from a manure spreader. The president’s proposed budget, due out tomorrow but leaked in ...

The post Sad! Leaked Trump budget shows huge cuts to coastal protection, farm programs and renewable energy appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Eliminating food assistance will hurt North Carolinians across the state

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:58

A provision of the NC Senate bill will take away critical food assistance for 133,000 North Carolinians. By prohibiting the state from utilizing categorical eligibility, low-income North Carolinians with high expenses such as child care will no longer be eligible to receive SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). In addition to families losing food assistance, ...

The post Eliminating food assistance will hurt North Carolinians across the state appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

A look at the affordable housing crisis in NC

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:06

If you’ve been paying attention in the last few years, you already know there’s a crisis in affordable rental housing. For a good look at the problem in North Carolina, take a look at this recent report from the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies. From the report: Decent, secure, and affordable housing is a ...

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BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court upholds decision striking down NC congressional map

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:34

Here’s the interesting headline from Supreme Court watcher Professor Rick Hasen, who edits Election Law Blog: Breaking and Analysis: Supreme Court on 5-3 Vote Affirms NC Racial Gerrymandering Case, with Thomas in Majority and Roberts in Dissent The Supreme Court has issued this 5-3 opinion in Cooper v. Harris. Justice Kagan wrote the opinion for ...

The post BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court upholds decision striking down NC congressional map appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

The best editorial of the weekend

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 09:29

The Asheville Citizen-Times had a fine editorial over the weekend entitled “Dear NCGA: Step away from the ballot box and move on.” As the editorial rightfully explains: “Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has put the issue to rest, more or less, the North Carolina General Assembly should stop trying to undermine the integrity of ...

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Report: NC employers stealing $316 million per year from employees; Labor Commissioner faulted

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 06:30

A bedrock principle of private property is that stealing is wrong. Yet the problem of employers refusing to pay their workers the wages they’ve earned—or wage theft—is pervasive and growing in North Carolina. That’s the message of Employers steal billions from workers’ paychecks each year, a report recently released by The Economic Policy Institute. This ...

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Last week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 05:09

1. An offensive, belligerent and vindictive display in the halls of government The last week has featured some of the most offensive, belligerent, and vindictive behavior by elected officials in generations—and that is not a reference to President Trump and his associates in Washington, though the characterization fits there too. No, this startling episode came ...

The post Last week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Court of Appeals 50th anniversary celebrates current, former judges

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 13:30

The people’s working court turned 50 this year and current and former judges and staff gathered Thursday to celebrate their accomplishments. Walking through the halls of the Court of Appeals before and after the ceremony was just like being at a family reunion. Judges who gathered for the event were smiling and laughing, hugging old friends ...

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NC’s largest managed care organization misspent federal, state dollars

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:30

Huge salaries for CEOs. Lavish corporate retreats at luxury hotels. Booze, first class airline tickets and car detailing. Those are just some of the ways North Carolina’s largest managed care organization misused federal and state funds, according to a state audit release Thursday. Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions provides services for mental health, developmental disabilities and ...

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Despite this week’s Supreme Court action, U.S. and N.C. voting rights hang by a thread

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:06

There’s a powerful, if extremely sobering, post on Think Progress this morning by Supreme Court expert Ian Millhiser that’s worth a few minutes of your time. In “The GOP is running its anti-abortion playbook against voting rights–and it’s working: Want to know what the future of voting rights looks like? Look at how the GOP went ...

The post Despite this week’s Supreme Court action, U.S. and N.C. voting rights hang by a thread appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Senate’s bill to strip food assistance is based on faulty reasoning and misinformation

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 08:00

A provision in the Senate bill, passed last week, will eliminate food assistance for 133,000 low-income North Carolinians, over 51,000 of whom are children. Specifically, the bill would prevent North Carolina from using a process known as broad-based categorical eligibility. Categorical eligibility allows low-income families with high expenses for things such as child care to ...

The post Senate’s bill to strip food assistance is based on faulty reasoning and misinformation appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Analysis: 5 reasons a Medicaid work requirement would hurt North Carolina’s struggling families

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 15:45

Lawmakers in Congress and in North Carolina’s General Assembly are considering “work requirements” in Medicaid as part of an overall health care reform package. However, evidence shows that denying medical care to sick, poor people because they lack a job is not a good idea. Here in North Carolina too many families across the state ...

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State House budget, which is likely to be kinder to public schools, expected early next week

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 15:00

North Carolina House legislators expect to announce their much-anticipated budget plan either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, a top Republican budget writer tells Policy Watch. That plan is expected to phase in across-the-board teacher pay raises, limit the Senate’s extensive cuts to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and restore some of the ...

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The $1 million mystery: The Senate budget gives a low-risk hazardous waste site a major windfall — at the expense of hundreds of critical projects

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:05

O ff a stub of Pine Grove Road behind the West End fire station in Havelock, an old sand mine turned wayward recycling facility has become an environmental and civic albatross. The 34-acre former Phoenix Recycling site contains an assortment of wood, metal, plastic and cardboard — plus construction and demolition detritus that has been illegally dumped ...

The post The $1 million mystery: The Senate budget gives a low-risk hazardous waste site a major windfall — at the expense of hundreds of critical projects appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Immigrant students in N.C. lobby for tuition equity

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:04

Dozens of students from across the state visited the Capitol building on Wednesday for the fifth year in a row to rally together and speak with state legislators about tuition equity. The “Undocugraduation” event was organized by the Adelante Education Coalition, a statewide network of organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities for Latinx/Hispanic and immigrant ...

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Multiple state officials make announcements in advancements for battle against opioid abuse

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:56

It’s been a big day for North Carolina’s battle in an opioid crisis that is plaguing the nation. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin announced that he accepted an invitation to join the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI), which is a working group of regional state court officials that was created to develop multi-state solutions and ...

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NC Senate proposal would expand the sales tax

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:06

The devil is in the details. This old saying has become increasingly true for North Carolina, particularly with tax policies passed in recent years. Yesterday’s Senate Finance committee meeting was no different. Yesterday, members of the Senate Finance committee discussed a lengthy proposed bill (Senate Bill 628) that makes numerous substantive  and technical changes to ...

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