NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 12 min 16 sec ago

Yet another story shines an unflattering light on the NC lottery

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:52
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the North Carolina State Lottery meets this morning in Raleigh. Let’s hope this new article by reporter Jessi Stone of the Smoky Mountain News (“Little help from the lottery: N.C.’s education games falling short of promises”) is on everyone’s desk. As Stone reports: Over the last nine years, the ...

Our nation’s “stupid, stupid, stupid” immigration policy

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 07:05
In case you missed it, there was a remarkable exchange in a U.S. Senate hearing yesterday between Senator Patrick Leahy and Attorney General Loretta Lynch about the unbelievably absurd statement of federal immigration judge Jack Weil that three and four year-old children can be made to understand immigration law and represent themselves competently in deportation ...

With session’s approach, NC task force readies recommendations to address mental health, addiction problems

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 17:02
The Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use holds its latest meeting in Raleigh on Thursday. Last summer, Gov. McCcrory announced the creation of this special task force to come-up with ways the state could expand and improve on services for people with mental illnesses and their families, many of whom are still ...

Fees, fees and more fees

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 13:26
Voting rights, redistricting, coal ash, same-sex marriage, “Choose Life” license plates, Charlotte airport, Asheville Water system, school vouchers, pre-K funding — the list of lawsuits filed against the state challenging recently-enacted laws continues to grow, as does the amount of taxpayer dollars being spent for outside counsel. Add to that a reported $850,000 racked up for attorneys ...

New report: NC is finally almost rid of corporal punishment in the schools

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 12:25
Tom Vitaglione, Senior Fellow for Health and Safety at NC Child is out with a new report on corporal punishment in North Carolina’s public schools. The good news: the decades-long campaign to rid our schools of this barbaric practice is almost to the “mission accomplished” point. The bad news: three counties (Graham, Macon and Robeson) ...

Editorial: Stop putting tax cuts and conservative ideology ahead of decent teacher pay

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 09:22
It’s a theme that’s been invoked and echoed repeatedly across North Carolina in recent years, but it deserves to be raised up once more today in anticipation of the 2016 legislative session that convenes next month. This morning, the Greensboro News & Record does the honors in a lead editorial entitled simply “Pay teachers better”: “Educators ...

Eastern N.C. county road-tests program to keep students reading during the summer

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 15:33
The “summer slide” is well documented. Students tend to lose some of their educational gains over the summer months. It is, of course, one of the reasons why some will fervently argue for restructuring the school calendar. Today, EdNC posted a fascinating report on rural Perquimans County, a relatively low-wealth county in northeastern North Carolina, that ...

The drug war wins again

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 14:23
Mayor McFarlane made some good points in her State of the City address yesterday. Raleigh has come together after Officer Twiddy shot Akiel Denkins last week, but the city is not better yet. A mother has lost her son. Two children have lost their father. A cop has taken a life, which is certainly traumatic ...

Senate leader: I want to use the bathroom with Caitlyn Jenner too

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 13:03
Apparently worried that he would be left out of news stories covering the new right-wing crusade to target transgender North Carolinians for discrimination, abuse and humiliation, North Carolina state Senate leader Phil Berger (a once fairly reasonable fellow) has come up with his own “me too” plan for making already vulnerable humans feel worse. The ...

Yet another report indicates that “solar bees” are a flop

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 09:01
More bad news for conservative politicians and bureaucrats doing everything in their power to avoid/delay the costly but essential clean-up of the Triangle’s Jordan Lake: yet another study has found the much-heralded plan to improve water quality with big eggbeaters known as “solar bees” to have been a big, fat failure. This is from the ...

Another victory for equality: U.S. Supreme Court slaps down Alabama anti-gay adoption ruling

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 07:37
Another day, another encouraging decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of same sex marriage equality. Zack Ford at Think Progress reports on the latest development: The U.S. Supreme Court has once again weighed in on the legality of same-sex relationships. On Monday, the Court issued a summary decision reversing the Alabama Supreme ...

Cartoonist John Cole neatly sums up North Carolina’s bathroom debate

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 15:08
It turns out that the ridiculous idea of bring the entire North Carolina General Assembly to Raleigh to overrule Charlotte’s new nondiscrimination ordinance (and thereby try to deny transgender people the right to use public restrooms) is not dead yet. According to various news reports, state leaders (including House Speaker Tim Moore — see below) ...

Disturbing but unsurprising: Women in anti-choice states increasingly looking to DIY abortions

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 12:01
There was a terrifically disturbing but completely unsurprising story in the New York Times over the weekend about the apparent rise of self-induced abortions in states that have moved to restrict reproductive freedom in recent years. This is from Tara Culp-Ressler’s summary  at Think Progress: The demand for information about how to self-induce an abortion ...

Editorial: McCrory out of excuses on Medicaid expansion

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 07:39
There is plenty of room for argument as to whether the state Medicaid system was ever “broken” as claimed by some and why expenditures are now down, but there is one thing this development says for certain: Gov. Pat McCrory is out of excuses for not expanding the program to cover hundreds of thousands of ...

This week’s Top 5 on N.C. Policy Watch

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 15:00
1. U.S. Supreme Court steps into the abortion TRAP For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Supreme Court steps back into the battle over abortion rights today, hearing argument in a Texas case that threatens the core principles underlying a woman’s right to choose as first set down in Roe v. Wade. ...

Pro-choice supporters energized despite divided court on abortion case

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 13:59
On the blistery cold morning of March 2, hundreds gathered at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in advance of oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most significant reproductive rights case in recent history. The crowd sprawled out across the sidewalk and into the street. A man held a baby in ...

Will legislative leaders call a special session to overturn the Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance?

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:03
It’s beginning to look like state leaders may actually be headed down the road toward calling a special session of the General Assembly in coming weeks to deal with that most vital of state issues: the “need” to make sure transgender people can’t use the bathroom that matches their actual human identity. AP’s Gary Robertson ...

Another victim of NC’s Kafkaesque criminal justice system is rescued

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 06:51
Yet another innocent man got out of a North Carolina prison this week after serving decades of a sentence he didn’t deserve. How anyone could still believe we should be putting people to death in light of such a development is unimaginable. The following story appeared originally on the blog of the NC Coalition for ...

The “elephant in the room”: North Carolina still suspending black students at a higher rate

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 13:00
Calling it the “elephant in the room,” at least one advisor to the N.C. State Board of Education demanded answers Thursday morning about the state’s continually high rate of suspensions for black students in the 2014-2015 academic year. The call came amidst a report from state staff on suspensions and expulsions that showed black students were ...

Opening a can of whoop ass at the Supreme Court

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 12:16
Readers can find plenty of media recaps of yesterday’s Supreme Court argument over Texas abortion restrictions, but this one from Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is one to catch, lauding as it does the performance of the women on the court who refused to be silenced. (Included in this group is Justice Stephen Breyer, whom Lithwick calls “one ...

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