NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 47 min ago

New state budget continues to underfund crucial public investments

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 16:06
This week the Budget & Tax Center released a new report on North Carolina’s 2015 fiscal year budget. While other states across the country are beginning to reverse the worst cuts made during the Great Recession, North Carolina continues to underfund crucial public investments in order to pay for tax cuts that took effect this ...

A public success story: North Carolina’s older adults are far less likely to live in poverty

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 14:35
This is the sixth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. Previous posts examined: 1) how North Carolina is faring overall; 2) how poverty varies by race, 3) poverty by County; 4) child poverty; and 5) the impact, or lack thereof, ...

Pittenger now denying he made (recorded) anti-LGBT comments

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 13:32
The story of Congressman Robert Pittenger’s clearly genuine but remarkably disturbing comments in favor of the right of employers to fire people because of their sexual orientation just keeps getting weirder. Now, Pittenger is a denying the substance of the comments that he once “stood by” and that were recorded in full. Think Progress has ...

McCrory: We’ve got too many journalists and lawyers, not enough truck drivers

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:47
N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory might be getting tired of answering reporters’ questions. The governor joked that the state already has enough journalists, in comments he made yesterday at a press conference for an effort to evaluate what skills North Carolina employers need in future workers, according to this account from the Triad Business Journal. McCrory ...

Conservative group misleading voters about registration

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:07
After all the hubbub about the state’s need to snuff out and tamp down voter fraud as a reason for recent extensive changes to voting laws, it appears that fraud of another type is percolating out there, according to reports in today’s News & Observer and Daily Tarheel. As relayed by the N&O, state residents may be being duped into completing inaccurate ...

Increased investment in education, huh? Shortage of school counselors says otherwise

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 09:28
The next time someone tells you how “lavishly” North Carolina is spending on its public schools, tell them to read or listen to this story on WUNC radio entitled: “In NC Schools, There’s One Counselor for Every 400 Students.” As the story reports: [Kim] Hall has been a school counselor for 29 years. She says ...

AP: Mentally ill NC prison inmate died of thirst

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 15:55
The Associated Press published this disturbing report this afternoon about the release of an autopsy of a mentally ill prison inmate who died of thirst. Anthony Michael Kerr, 53, died when he was found unresponsive in March while being transported from a state prison in Taylorsville to Central Prison in Raleigh. The article (by AP’s ...

Survivor of Jim Crow helps lead challenge to voter suppression laws

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:39
If you need something to bolster your resolve to keep battling for justice this afternoon, check out this story on the U.K.-based news site, The Guardian about one of the driving forces in the court challenge to North Carolina’s “monster voting law.” The story profiles 93-year-old Rosanell Eaton — an African-American woman and NAACP activist ...

Recoveries are increasingly slow to bring down poverty rates

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:25
This is the fifth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. The first post looked at how North Carolina is faring overall. The second post looked at how poverty varies by race, and the third post compared poverty by counties in ...

30,000+ petition U.S. Rep. Pittenger to support LGBT workplace protections

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:38
Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) delivered over 30,000 petitions to the Charlotte office of U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger (NC-09) Thursday morning. The petition delivery was in response to Pittenger’s recent town hall remarks in which he told the audience that employers should have the right to fire or refuse to hire gay ...

Wos: Moving Medicaid would be ‘disruptive’ to DHHS (video)

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:49
State lawmakers won’t be making any major decisions on Medicaid reform before next year’s long legislative session, but Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos wants to make it clear she opposes any plans that would move Medicaid outside her agency. Secretary Wos reiterated Wednesday that such a move would sidetrack her agency from the ...

Cherokees join growing list of governments to ban fracking

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:03
North Carolina’s conservative state political leadership may want to usher the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as fracking into the state, but local officials and jurisdictions who would have to contend directly with the mess fracking would create continue to register their opposition. The Smoky Mountain News reports that the latest such body ...

Editorial blasts legislative “shell game” on funding driver’s ed

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 07:33
The Greenville Daily Reflector ran an editorial this week (which the Charlotte Observer re-ran in part of this morning) that rightfully decries the shell game played by the General Assembly this year in shifting the costs of driver’s education off on to the parents of high schoolers. In passing the cost of driver education to ...

State’s new teacher pay structure boosts paychecks for some teachers, not so much for others

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:40
  The final budget for fiscal year 2015 – which runs from July 2014 through June 2015 – includes a pay raise for public school teachers for the first time in several years. What the pay raise translates into regarding additional dollars in teachers’ paychecks is unclear based on differing comments by the governor and ...

Sixth Circuit rules for NAACP in suit challenging Ohio’s restrictions on early voting

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:14
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled today that Ohio’s attempts to limit early voting — a subject that will be argued tomorrow in front of the Fourth Circuit when it considers North Carolina’s recently enacted voting restrictions — are in fact unconstitutional. This is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: A federal appeals ...

Missing Workers Update for August 2014

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:49
The official unemployment rate ticked up in August to 6.8 percent but if you count those missing workers who would be in the labor market if job opportunities were stronger that rate would be 12. 6 percent. Our update to the number of missing workers in North Carolina reflects the ongoing challenge for workers when ...

Newspaper renews its call for Wos to be sacked

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:01
Multiple newspapers have called for North Carolina’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos to resign or be fired during her first 20 months in office. Now, one of the first to speak out has done so again. One year ago this week, the Henderson Daily Dispatch said the following: Aldona Wos must immediately ...

The details on tomorrow’s voting rights hearing at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 11:18
The good folks at the ACLU have the details: The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Thursday, September 25, on North Carolina’s restrictive voting law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) are challenging provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, ...

One giant leap for Duke, one small step for the environment

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:54
The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Duke Energy has decided to change its present course and bury the coal ash at another one of its South Carolina sites in a lined landfill. Hallelujah. As has been noted multiple times by environmental experts, moving toxic coal ash to lined landfills is the only realistic option when ...

N.C. Courts Commission revived, looking to get to work after 15-year hiatus

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 16:48
A nearly-dormant N.C. Courts Commission came back to life at the state legislative building Tuesday, with hopes from commission members that it will be tapped once again to advise the legislature on the statewide judicial systems’ needs and problems. Less than a dozen of the 28-member commission attended Tuesday’s meeting, chaired by state Rep. Sarah ...

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