NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Talking ACA and Medicaid in Marion, NC

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:00

Monday night this week we had a great educational forum in Marion, NC on giving details of the Affordable Care Act in NC and the opportunity for expanding Medicaid to fill the coverage gap for low income people in our … Read More...

President Obama’s 2015 budget strengthens federal Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 12:05

Yesterday, President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal that includes several important improvements to the pro-work Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). When taken together, these improvements will reduce poverty among low-wage workers and … Read More...

Fayetteville Observer on another water pollution crisis

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 12:03

Coal ash isn’t the only pollutant wreaking havoc in North Carolina’s waterways these days; the enormous problems posed by industrial hog production are back in the news. As noted in this space last week, there’s a stomach-turning crisis underway … Read More...

New poll : Majority of NC voters want Duke Energy to clean up all of its coal ash sites

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 11:58

A new poll commissioned by the NC League of Conservation Voters finds the vast majority of North Carolinians want state lawmakers to take swift and forceful action requiring Duke Energy to clean up all of its toxic coal ash lagoons … Read More...

DHHS deal that “smells of cronyism” pummeled in editorial

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 08:46

An editorial in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal pulls few punches in characterizing the latest incident of political cronyism in Gov. Pat McCrory’s embattled Department of Health and Human Services and demanding a full accounting. That incident, of course (as reported … Read More...

NC’s largest public school system rejects law repealing tenure (video)

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 21:53

The Wake County Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that ‘respectfully requests’ the NC General Assembly repeal legislation that would eliminate teacher tenure.

Under the model approved last summer, local school districts would award the top 25 percent … Read More...

Fourth Circuit Judge Andre Davis steps down

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 15:13

Judge Andre Davis of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepped down from active service on the bench on February 28.

Davis, the youngest of three Maryland-based judges on the court, is eligible for senior status upon turning 65 … Read More...

Moyers documentary screened tonight in Raleigh, Thursday in Wilmington

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:32

In case you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet, the good people at Common Cause NC will be screening “the documentary every North Carolinian should see”  twice more this week.  Here are the times and locations for Bill


Lunch Links, the Hollywood version

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 12:09

For Lunch Links today, I’m taking advantage of this rare opportunity to bring a little celebrity news to Policy Watch. Dedicated readers certainly know that just isn’t our thing.

I could go on and on about how charming Jennifer Lawrence … Read More...

North Carolina’s coal ash mess explained (Video)

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:27

Veteran reporter Stuart Watson of WCNC TV in Charlotte has been following North Carolina’s coal ash story for years and it shows in an excellent 30 minute documentary that ran Sunday in an episode of the station’s “FlashPOINT” series. Click … Read More...

Breaking: Court upholds Duke – Progress Energy merger

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 08:28

The state Court of Appeals has upheld the Utilities Commission’s approval of the Duke – Progress Energy merger in 2012, per an opinion released this morning.

Writing for the court, Judge Douglas McCullough said:

Where it is evident that the


Elon Poll: Voters very dissatified by Congress, NC General Assembly

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 08:24

The latest Elon University Poll finds North Carolinians unhappy with many of the incumbents representing them in Washington and in Raleigh.

The February poll found Congress’ approval rating remaining in the single digits (8%). President Barack Obama fared better with … Read More...

AP: High-level DHHS advisor left behind two memos, little else for $310,000 contract

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 13:35

The Associated Press had this report over the weekend about the slim amount of work product taxpayers received in exchange for $310,000 paid to a contractor with personal connections to N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos.

Joe Hauck

Monday lunch links: DENR ‘defanged’, revisiting Read to Achieve, and the most retweeted tweet of all time (video)

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 13:00

Sunday’s spring-like forecast seems like a distant memory as we’re watching temperatures drop this lunch hour and the water cooler talk is more about the next ‘snowpocalypse’ than last night’s Oscars.

So keep one eye on the radar and we’ll … Read More...

NY Times article exposes DENR’s demise under McCrory

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 11:32

In case you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out reporter Trip Gabriel’s excellent story in the New York Times about how the recent Dan River coal ash spill has served to expose the ways in which … Read More...

Our disastrously gerrymandered state

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 08:43

Political gerrymandering has almost always been a problem in North Carolina, but new evidence continues to emerge that when conservative politicians drew the current maps (with right-wing godfather Art Pope literally sitting at the table) they took the … Read More...

Coal ash updates: Letter documents shifting administration story; new DENR-only task force appointed

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 15:15

Two important bits of news on the coal ash front this afternoon:

#1  is this letter from attorney Frank Holleman of the Southern Environmental Law Center, which was sent to Gov. McCrory yesterday. It spells out in great detail … Read More...

Duke/UNC students school NC Governor, DHHS Secretary in Medicaid reform

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 14:43

No, I’m not overstating the case. This year, the NC Department of Health and Human Services has hired a $250/hr Medicaid consultant, paid a $210,000 annual salary to a former Louisiana Medicaid director who stayed in NC less than … Read More...

Environmental injustice in NC extends its unhealthy reach across North Carolina, especially in African American communities

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:50





This blog post is part of a series called Place Matters. The other posts can be accessed here and here

Imagine living in a community that includes the most undesirable and hazardous amenities a place … Read More...

ICYMI: Duke’s Dan River coal ash disaster: What happened? How big is the problem? What’s next? (Full Video)

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 09:15

For those who missed this week’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation with Appalachian Voices’ Amy Adams and State Rep. Pricey Harrison, the full program is now available online.

Please watch and then share – Duke’s Dan River coal ash … Read More...