NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 38 min ago

A quick visual – comparing the budgets for economic development and education

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:00

The North Carolina House and Senate leaders are now negotiating a final state budget. It’s likely that the end result will be significantly different from Governor Cooper’s recommended budget for 2017-2019, which was released in March. Some of the largest gaps between the budgets of Cooper, the House, and the Senate are in economic development and education. Below, we highlight ...

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Wake County to consider changes aimed at reducing school suspensions

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 15:30

North Carolina’s largest public school system is set to consider policy changes aimed at reducing school suspensions, The News & Observer reported Tuesday. The policy revisions come as school leaders across the state consider ways to drop their school suspensions. Wake, in recent years, has been a target of advocates who say the school district’s policies ...

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Lawmakers need to commit to long-term plan to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:45

State policymakers in the General Assembly should be taking the lead in planning for the long-term rebuilding effort in Eastern NC that will be needed after $2.8 billion in immediate damage and a calculated unmet need of $930 million. The federal administration pledged just $6.1 million in additional support to address specific housing needs at ...

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Quick hit: Renewables bill a “fundamental shift” in the state’s energy policy”

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 14:15

This is a developing story and will be updated this week. I t’s a strange day indeed when the  Americans for Prosperity, Duke Energy and the NC Solar Energy Association support the same bill. But that’s what happened in the House Energy and Public Utilities Committee today, which introduced a new version of HB 589 ...

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NCGA welcomes 2017 hurricane season with abysmal disaster relief funding budget

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:22

Last week, the NC General Assembly welcomed in 2017’s hurricane season with a woefully inadequate budget proposal for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief funding. At only $150 million slated for hurricane recovery with $930 million of unmet need, the NCGA misses an opportunity to address long-term environmental and community resiliency. Last October, in the wake of ...

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Court of Appeals panel rules heirs of eugenics victims won’t be compensated

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 12:00

In a unanimous decision today, the Court of Appeals ruled that heirs of eugenics victims are not eligible for relief under the state’s Eugenics Asexualization and Sterilization Compensation Program. The heirs in three separate cases had all been denied compensation by the Industrial Commission based on a provision of the eugenics compensation law that requires ...

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More than 80 percent of NC voters do not want gun laws weakened

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 11:00

The overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters do not support legislation making its way through the General Assembly that would abolish the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The News & Observer reports that two separate polls find that over 80 percent of voters oppose the proposal that would also allow ...

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GOPers bizarrely celebrate Supreme Court decision confirming they violated the Constitution

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 06:22

Raleigh is still buzzing about the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a lower court’s ruling and affirm that the racially gerrymandered General Assembly districts drawn by Republican legislative leaders violated the Constitution. The court did not agree with the lower court ruling that the state should hold special legislative elections in 2017 under ...

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Trade secrets and a no-bid contract add to concerns about pouring toxic chemicals in Jordan Lake:

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 16:15

T omorrow SePro, an Indiana-based chemical company, is scheduled to meet with state environmental regulators and the US Army Corps of Engineers to present a very expensive proposal: Pay us as much as $1.3 million, and we’ll pour toxic herbicides in Jordan Lake in hopes of killing the algae. But the details of that chemical treatment, which have ...

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Five Questions with Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes on concealed carry

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 15:33

Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes is one of the most popular and longest serving Republican sheriffs in North Carolina. When first elected in 1994, Barnes was the first Republican to hold his office in the left-leaning county in nearly three decades. He’s had a lock on it ever since, winning re-election comfortably whether challengers come ...

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Former segregated school in Durham reopens for pre-K, senior living

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:41

In case you missed it, perhaps one of the most fascinating public school reports this weekend came from The Herald-Sun in Durham. According to the paper’s Greg Childress, Durham seniors are now relocating into the renovated Whitted School, a historic facility that once served as a segregated school for black children. The project is also ...

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U.S. Supreme Court affirms racially gerrymandered legislative districts, vacates remedial special elections

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:14

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Monday that 28 state House and Senate districts in North Carolina were racially gerrymandered but vacated the special 2017 elections that a lower court ordered as a remedy. The court’s three-page order (beginning on Page 10) on North Carolina v. Covington states that the District Court that ordered the remedial special ...

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Bitter Pat McCrory still struggling with the facts

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 06:30

Former Gov. Pat McCrory is apparently still struggling to accept his defeat last fall to Roy Cooper. And he is still struggling with the facts too, something that often plagued him during his term as governor. McCrory addressed the NCGOP convention Saturday. The News & Observer has the rundown of his irresponsible accusations and absurd ...

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NC House budget stays the course on the wrong path for North Carolina

Sat, 06/03/2017 - 09:17

The House debate over their budget proposal was another evening to early morning affair at the General Assembly.  Despite being limited by various rules for considerations on the floor, the debate still made clear the stark contrasts in policymakers’ approaches to the state’s current economic position and the well-being of North Carolinians. Whereas House leaders ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 15:30

1. Education leaders say House budget falls short Based on the state House budget plan, North Carolina teachers may be virtually assured of at least some raises in the upcoming school year, but the state’s top teacher advocacy organization says state lawmakers have still “fallen short” of their promises to educators. “This isn’t treating us ...

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Undeterred by Trump, five NC mayors, Attorney General Stein, say they will uphold Paris Agreement goals

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 14:49

P resident Donald Trump might think the Paris Climate Agreement is a “bad deal” for America, but five North Carolina mayors say they will continue to work toward achieving the climate goals of that non-binding accord. Despite President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, 86 US mayors — all members of joining the Mayors National Climate ...

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New briefs at U.S. Supreme Court filed in pending gerrymandering case over remedial special election

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 14:24

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that two congressional districts in North Carolina were racially gerrymandered prompted the state to file a brief instructing the court on how to proceed with another pending redistricting case. North Carolina v. Covington has been distributed for conference at the highest court three times. It is on appeal from a ...

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Good news: Sen. Burr not optimistic about ACA replacement this year

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 10:22

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is making national news today with comments he made to WXII 12 News about the chances that the Senate will approve health care legislation this year to replace the Affordable Care Act. Burr said he “doesn’t see a comprehensive health care plan this year”  and said the House bill that ...

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Columnist Susan Ladd on breaking the law to do what’s right

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 08:48

If you’ve been following the story of Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, the High Point grandmother who is seeking sanctuary from deportation in a Greensboro church, you need to read Susan Ladd’s column today. Ladd, the columnist for the News & Record in Greensboro, puts Ortega’s story – and the story of those now protecting her – ...

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Some actual facts to know about Trump’s climate policy debacle

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 07:44

The good people at Think Progress have a healthy dose of truth and facts for us this morning that are worth absorbing in light of the prevaricator-in-chief’s announcement yesterday that he will be doing his best to hasten the demise of life on Earth as we know it. From Samantha Page’s story, “Trump’s argument for ...

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