NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

Republican mayor from eastern NC issues emotional call for Medicaid expansion

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 12:04
“You can’t close hospitals and let people die to prove a point.” So spoke the conservative Republican mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina, Adam O’Neal, this morning at a press conference at the state Legislative Building in Raleigh. O’Neal’s appearance (and his linking of hands with Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP) was the ...

Governor touts job creation, environmental safeguards in signing fast-track fracking bill

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 11:21
Governor Pat McCrory, backed by Republican legislators and his Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, signed the controversial Energy Modernization Act Wednesday morning. The legislation speeds up the start of natural gas drilling in North Carolina. The governor said the bill, which zipped through both chambers last week with limited debate, will bring good jobs ...

Commerce reorganization and privatization on legislature’s busy agenda today

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:44
Among the many, many things going on at the state legislature today, lawmakers of both parties will be meeting to discuss overhauling the state Commerce Department and shifting the agency’s economic development duties to a new public-private group. The privatization proposal is a central piece of McCrory’s economic agenda, and the move could shift up ...

This morning’s most outrageous statement by a corporate lobbyist

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 08:49
Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up. Reporter Tyler Dukes of WRAL.com has a story this morning about how developers are pushing hard from “reform” legislation that would further decimate North Carolina’s already rapidly disappearing wetlands. As Dukes reports: “A proposal to roll back environmental rules long loathed by developers would remove protections for ...

Handy list explains why hundreds will rally for Medicaid expansion today at the legislature

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:48
The benefits to North Carolina and its citizenry of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act  have been explained many times, but they definitely bear repeating again today — Medicaid Expansion Lobby Day at the General Assembly (click here for details). Prof. Nancy MacLean of Duke University does the honors with the following helpful and ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget cuts in-home and community-based services funding for older adults

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 16:24
This is the second post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the first post here. State funding that helps older adults who want to stay in their home would be slashed under the ...

Wake County Schools to lose nearly 700 teacher assistants under Senate budget plan

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 15:56
Yes, you read that right — Wake County Public Schools would have to eliminate nearly 700 teacher assistants this fall if the Senate’s budget plan becomes law this summer. The county would have to cut 693 TAs out of 1,250 positions allotted for the upcoming school year, according to WNCN. The Senate’s budget offers teachers who give ...

Death penalty dealt another blow by Innocence Commission

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 15:42
How many times is a North Carolinian previously convicted of murder going to have to be found to be innocent before it’s universally acknowledged that the death penalty is a hopeless relic of a bygone age? Let’s hope today’s unanimous recommendation by the state Innocence Inquiry Commission that Willie Henderson Womble was wrongfully convicted 38 ...

Moving to extremes on voting rights

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 13:31
Check out this new report by Pro Publica on what’s happened to voting rights across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last June struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. It’s the visual that gets you. Two maps, showing the movement of voting laws across the ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget makes huge cuts to school nurses despite historical underfunding and clear research

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 13:17
This is the first post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years.  There would be 70 fewer school nurses in North Carolina’s public education program under the Senate budget, even though the statewide average nurse-to-student ...

Choosing life? Moral Monday speaker calls out double standard

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:00
Yesterday at the Moral Monday rally on Halifax Mall behind the state Legislative Building, one speaker did an especially good job of pointing out the double standard of many “pro-life” politicians. Leslie Boyd, a person familiar to NC Policy Watch readers, explained that when she was advised to have an abortion because her unborn son had ...

Patent trolls in the House

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:07
Patent trolls are on the House calendar today as lawmakers consider a new law designed to protect North Carolina companies from abusive patent litigation. The wrong sought to be righted by the “Abusive Patent Assertions Act” is the perceived shakedown of legitimate business by so-called “patent assertion entities” — “patent trolls,”  in the vernacular. Defense attorneys ...

New special report: McCrory’s “jobs czar” has questionable background

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 09:09
If there’s one news story about North Carolina state government that you don’t want to miss this morning it’s NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska’s new investigative report on the McCrory administration’s “jobs czar,” Richard Lindenmuth. As Ovaska reports, the man charged with overseeing the privatization of the state’s business recruiting efforts (something that former ...

Medicaid expansion: The issue that won’t go away

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 07:41
Medicaid — the absurd failure to expand it at federal expense for a half-million low-income North Carolinians and the state Senate’s latest remarkable proposal to slash the program still further– remains front and center in the state policy debate these days. Moral Monday protesters highlighted the issue last night and the real life stories of ...

Moral Monday protesters denounce Senate budget ‘shell game’

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:24
Moral Monday demonstrators came to Raleigh this week to protest fracking and the state’s failure to expand Medicaid. That didn’t stop them however from weighing in on the Senate’s budget plan, which includes major cuts to health and human service programs and further reductions in education spending to fund teacher pay raises this year.  Click ...

NC Senate backs away from proposal to close Elizabeth City State as thousands rally to support HBCUs

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 16:13
Members of the state Senate, who passed their $21.2 Billion budget over the weekend, apparently had second thoughts about a proposal that could have spelled the end for Elizabeth City State University. The original State Senate Bill 744 included a two-line provision to “study the feasibility of dissolving any constituent institution whose fall full-time equivalent ...

NC leaders praise new carbon pollution standards

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 15:23
From the good people at Environment NC: “Raleigh, NC – Today, a broad cross section of community and elected leaders joined Environment North Carolina to praise the newly announced federal carbon pollution limits for power plants, the leading cause of climate change. Members from the medical, faith, and business communities all the lauded public health ...

Pay at N.C. charter schools often below already-low public school salaries

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 13:53
Charter schools in the Charlotte area tend to pay teachers less than if they worked for traditional public schools, while the administrators of the privately-run schools make similar salaries to what public school principals earn. The Charlotte Observer, in an article published Saturday, analyzed salary information from 22 charter schools in Mecklenburg County, a request ...

5 things you don’t want to miss this week on Jones Street (video)

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 10:06
Moral Monday resumes – The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement return to Raleigh this afternoon standing up for environmental and health justice. The Moral Monday Rally and Action begins at 5:00 p.m. on Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly. Look for plenty of reaction tonight to the Senate’s budget proposal that ...

NC Senate Budget: The devil’s in the details

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 10:01
The North Carolina Senate passed their budget just past mid-night, in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The Senate budget puts into clear perspective the high price ordinary North Carolinians will have to pay for last year’s tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations. Despite progress in some areas, the proposal leaves ...

Pages