NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
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Thursday lunch links: Food labels, the minimum wage, gun violence, Medicaid and more details of Arizona’s discrimination law

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:00

If you’re getting ready to pop open a cup of yogurt or a can of soup for lunch today, be sure to take note of the nutrition label as it’s about to get a smidge more relevant and informative in Read More...

Privatization off table for N.C. Medicaid program

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:25

The state’s health agency revealed its proposal yesterday of how to it wants to overhaul the state’s Medicaid system, giving a broad outline that appeased doctor and hospital groups and backed away from earlier promises of a privatized system.

In …

Hard work isn’t enough for North Carolinians to climb out of poverty, new report finds

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:52

Allan Freyer contributed to this blog post

The American Dream is continuing to slip out of reach for many North Carolinians. Far too often, working hard just isn’t enough to lift many of North Carolina’s low-income workers out of poverty, … Read More...

Watauga teachers threatened for supporting Allende’s book ‘The House of the Spirits’

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 09:45

Local law enforcement officers in Watauga County are investigating threatening letters that were sent to some Watauga high school teachers who have supported keeping Isabel Allende’s book, ‘The House of the Spirits,’ in the 10th grade honors English … Read More...

Putinism suffers a setback in Ariziona

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 07:27

One of the most amazing developments in recent public policy debates has been the emergence of so much common ground between so-called Christian conservatives and the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Who would have guessed that just a few … Read More...

Prosperity Watch: Income inequality continues to soar in North Carolina

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 15:49

Income inequality continues to be a hot issues in our state and national policy debate, as the highest earners continue to pull away from everyone else in terms of overall income growth. As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch lays out, the … Read More...

And again, a federal judge strikes down a state’s same-sex marriage ban

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:58

Make that seven now — federal judges who have struck down a state’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional since the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act last summer.

And this time, the judge was in Texas of all … Read More...

NC NAACP: School voucher plan is “old wine wrapped in a new wineskin”

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:35

Yesterday state NAACP President Rev. William Barber compared North Carolina’s school voucher program, which would funnel taxpayer dollars out of the state’s public schools and into private ones, with the state’s past efforts to avoid court-mandated desegregation of its public … Read More...

State Supreme Court race heating up

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 13:37

With just two days remaining to file a notice of candidacy for a seat on the state’s highest court, primaries look likely in at least two races with new candidates throwing their hats in the ring in recent weeks.

Justice …

Any job is not the same thing as a good job

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:46

Among one of the more misguided notions in the debate over unemployment insurance is that any job is a good job and unemployed workers should take what they can get.  Not surprisingly, this isn’t only bad for workers but the … Read More...

Lunch Links: Shifting tides, diversity, going to space in an elevator

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:28

The quick and dirty lunch links for the day.

LGBTQ issues — The shifting tide:

Keeping score in the fight for marriage equality

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 11:38

The National Journal has this quick summary of where the fight for marriage equality stands across the country, along with an interactive map that highlights how the push to expand rights is predominating the landscape.

In a sign of changing


“Rude, hot-headed and terrifed”: What happens when everyone stands their ground

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 09:38

In this must-read, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick discusses the growing use of “stand your ground” laws across the country and poses this question:  Whatever happened to the duty to retreat, and what does that say about us as a nation?… Read More...

Last call for tomorrow’s luncheon on Duke’s coal ash disaster

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 09:29

Some seats still remain for tomorrow’s NC Policy watch Crucial Conversation luncheon: Duke’s Dan River coal ash disaster: What happened? How big is the problem? What’s next?

Featuring Amy Adams of the group Appalachian Voices and State Rep. Pricey Harrison


NC Gov. McCrory v. UT Gov. Herbert: Federal Govt and Medicaid expansion

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 15:52

This week state executives from around the country trooped to the White House to discuss a variety of topics with the President including expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Two GOP Governors – our own Pat McCrory and Utah’s … Read More...

Legislative task force considers teacher pay for performance models for statewide adoption

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 15:07

Members of the NC Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force convened today to consider alternative teacher pay models that could be linked to student performance in the classroom.

Weeks after Gov. Pat McCrory announced his own teacher pay proposal that … Read More...

Lunch links, with an environmental and coal ash focus

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 13:08

This week is continuing to be a busy one. For lunch links today, I’m going to hit you with some good reads on North Carolina-related news, to catch you up on what’s going on in the state.

First, the Dan …

DENR wants back in on the coal ash settlement

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:39

Remember the $99,000 settlement the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources tried to push in the coal ash spill lawsuits, but then pulled from court consideration after the media exposed it as a sweetheart deal with Duke Energy?

That settlement — …

Moyers documentary on NC to be screened in Durham, Raleigh and Wilmington

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 09:54

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” three times next week. Here are the times and locations for Bill … Read More...

Head slap time: Senator Hagan swings and misses at coal ash soft ball

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 08:51

As part of announcing her candidacy for reelection yesterday, Senator Kay Hagan weighed in on the ongoing Duke Energy coal ash disaster that continues to unfold just a few miles down the road from her Greensboro home. You would have … Read More...