NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 30 min ago

NY Times spurs progress on race-based policing; Come to next week’s luncheon and learn more

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 12:41
In case you missed it, the recent featured article in the New York Times on discriminatory, race-based policing in North Carolina and, in particular, the city of Greensboro, has spurred a positive response. As the Times reported Wednesday: “The police chief in Greensboro, N.C., has ordered his officers to stop pulling over motorists for minor ...

Make voting easier

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 11:01
State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) offers up five ways North Carolina could make voting easier in this post on Medium this morning, all of which are simple and common sense moves that have been time-tested and proven successful in other states. They include automatic registration through the DMV, vote by mail, permanent absentee voting, pre-registration ...

This morning’s must read: N&O editor on why we need universal health insurance

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 07:44
Sometimes, journalists do their best and most important writing when they share trials and travails from their own lives. Such is the case this morning in the “Focus” section of Raleigh’s News & Observer in an  important story by Burgetta Eplin Wheeler entitled “The many agonies of our health care nonsystem.” In the article, Wheeler ...

Student achievement, test scores front and center as commission weighs Common Core’s fate (video)

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 04:42
When the Academic Standards Review Commission meets Friday afternoon members will review how North Carolina students fared on the 2015 NAEP tests. The so-called Nation’s Report Card measures the proficiency of 4th and 8th graders in reading and math. The discussion about students’ ability to perform at or above a proficient level comes as commission ...

North Carolina cares about what the economy needs, a better balance to our unemployment insurance system

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 16:06
The Governor has announced that another $600 million tax cut for businesses will be implemented after the state has reached an arbitrary balance of $1 billion in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund through drastic cuts that have harmed jobless workers by reducing the accessibility of the program, eliminating support for skills training and shrinking the critical ...

Heirs of eugenics victims denied compensation take their case to the Court of Appeals

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 14:37
Heirs of some state residents sterilized against their will under North Carolina’s state-sanctioned eugenics program will make their case for compensation before a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals on Monday afternoon, arguing that the legislature’s distinction between living and deceased victims for purposes of restitution violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection. They’ve been ...

UNC Board of Governors hold unplanned meeting Friday, while legislature demands information on chancellor pay

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 13:18
Lawmakers want to know more about the closed-door session held last month by the governing board of the state’s public university system, in which most chancellors received significant raises during a secret portion of the meeting. “On behalf of the Speaker and the President Pro Tem, pursuant to G.S. 120-19, I am writing to request ...

Say what? Lawmakers urged not to talk to reporter about campaign finance reports

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 13:02
A Charlotte TV reporter appears to have gotten under the skin of some powerful state legislators (including House Speaker Tim Moore) with his energetic reporting about their incomplete campaign finance reports — enough so that one has to wonder why the lawmakers would be so concerned. This is from WBTV.com: “Republican members of the North ...

Another editorial blasts McCrory’s behavior in prison contract controversy

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 07:26
The editorial page of Moore County’s The Pilot newspaper featured an excellent editorial this week on the brewing controversy/scandal surrounding Gov. Pat McCrory’s intervention to help a campaign donor and friend secure a prison contract. The editorial compares McCrory to the comic character Barney Fife from the old Andy Griffith show. This is from “A ...

Can we end gerrymandering? Panel will discuss tonight at N.C. State

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 08:32
If you are in Raleigh and have a chance tonight, check out this fine event hosted by the good people at Common Cause North Carolina: Lawmakers, political scientists to talk gerrymandering during Holtzman forum Gerrymandering — the practice of drawing electoral districts to advantage one political party over another — will be the topic of ...

Honor our veterans with health care

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 14:00
    North Carolina ranks 8th for veteran population as there are nearly 800,000 veterans living in the Tar Heel state. The VA reports that in 2014 there were four VA Hospitals, six Vet Centers, and sixteen community-based outpatient clinics throughout the state. Given the veteran population, it is easy to see why the VA ...

“Ban the box” momentum grows; time for NC to take action

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 10:45
As noted in the post below, there has been some very encouraging news at the federal level in recent days surrounding the issue of criminal justice reform. As attorney Daniel Bowes reported, President Obama recently announced some important bipartisan progress in addressing America’s over-incarceration problem — including a move to “ban the box” in federal ...

A reminder of why the Wake D.A. is investigating gambling industry ties to state leaders

Tue, 11/10/2015 - 07:37
Raleigh’s News & Observer reports this morning that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is investigating the ties between gambling industry executives and some important state political leaders and has asked the FBI for assistance. The news comes months after the State Board of Elections chose not to pursue the matter further following a lengthy ...

President Obama announces bipartisan progress in addressing America’s prison problem

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 15:12
Last week, President Obama announced several executive actions aimed at promoting the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into communities across the nation. The announcement came in response to consistent pressure from advocates, including the North Carolina Second Chance Alliance, and follows a growing trend among states of reducing barriers to reentry and otherwise restoring opportunities ...

How civil liberties fared in this year’s legislative session (video)

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 14:16
If you missed it over the weekend, check out NC Policy Watch’s interview with Sarah Preston, Acting Executive Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. Preston discusses how the 2015 legislative session resulted in a major setback for civil liberties and shares the ACLU-NC’s latest legislative scorecard. Click below to hear Preston ...

The McCrory administration and environmental protection: To seem rather than to be

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 10:02
The New Bern Sun Journal featured a powerful op-ed over the weekend by Carrie Clark and Dan Crawford of the League of Conservation Voters that skewered the Governor’s penchant for talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to North Carolina’s natural environment. As Clark and Crawford explained, McCrory has repeatedly sought ...

Editorial: Pro-Tillis group the embodiment of what’s wrong with U.S. campaign finance

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 08:03
One of the this morning’s “must read” editorials comes from the Fayetteville Observer. As the authors note, the recent news about Carolina Rising — the supposed charitable nonprofit that was in fact a thinly disguised front group for the Senate candidacy of Thom Tillis  — tells us much of what we need to know about ...

Tax Foundation gets it wrong with its assessment of recent tax changes in NC

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 16:51
A report by the Tax Foundation, funded by the NC Chamber Foundation, gets it wrong in its assessment of the impact of tax changes made by state lawmakers in recent years. The plethora of charts and figures created by the Tax Foundation fails to detail the important loss of revenue that has hindered the state’s ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:00
1. A pay-to-play story about the McCrory Administration from inside the McCrory Administration One of the most striking things about the latest scandal involving Governor Pat McCrory and his administration uncovered by the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer is that it has no partisan overtones at all. Not one Democrat played a ...

Once again Affordable Care Act is back before the U.S. Supreme Court

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 14:07
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed for a fourth time to wade through an Obamacare dispute, this time in several consolidated cases involving the contraceptive mandate. This from the Associated Press: The newest “Obamacare” case involves objections by faith-based hospitals, colleges and charities to the process the administration devised to spare them from paying for ...

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