NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Unintended irony alert: Obamacare opponent derides anti-school vouchers suit as “tactic of the left”

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 15:23

There have been a lot of interesting — even amusing — reactions over on Right-Wing Avenue to last Friday’s judicial order halting the state’s unconstitutional school voucher program. House Majority Leader Paul Stam, for instance, wishfully and inaccurately dismissed … Read More...

Lunch Links: NC Food deserts, picturing hunger, and three great infographics

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 13:17

North Carolina’s “food deserts” take center stage this afternoon as legislators hold their second meeting to discuss how to make healthy, fresh food more available in rural areas and in communities where transportation is a barrier.

Among those testifying is …

Gov. McCroy’s broken record of blame: Medicaid v. teachers

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 11:05

You would think the Governor would be smarter than to keep blaming Medicaid for his budget problems every time he gets asked about why he isn’t giving all teachers a much-needed raise.  After all, this is the Governor whose Department … Read More...

Data shows clear disparities between majority minority communities and the surroundings

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:59

This blog post is part of a series called Place Matters and was written by Peter Gilbert, Equal Justice Fellow at UNC Center for Civil Rights

The previous post in this series, Place Matters, laid out the importance of … Read More...

Ask the jobless if cutting unemployment insurance has helped their job prospects

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 09:26

Jim Lind is a decorated US Air Force vet and a software development professional who’s done it all over a 39-year career: managing and developing for commercial industries, for the military, for education systems, for space systems, you name it.… Read More...

Duke professor: Vouchers would go to unaccountable religious schools

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 07:56

In case you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out Professor Jane Wettach’s excellent essay in Saturday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer in which she exposes the enormous practical and constitutional problems with the school voucher … Read More...

Group founded by Lt. Gov. Forest wants “Noah” the movie to follow Biblical script

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 16:29

North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Dan Forest is no longer on the board of the group he helped found a few years back known as Faith Driven Consumer, but the group remains enmeshed in controversial issues with important political implications.… Read More...

A big picture view of the CBO’s minimum wage report

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 14:28

This week’s release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the minimum wage has generated a good amount of discussion about the potential impacts of a minimum-wage hike. Not immediately apparent from these discussions – as this CEPR post Read More...

Breaking: Court halts North Carolina school voucher plan

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 12:41

Saying that challengers to North Carolina’s recently-enacted school voucher program had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits, Superior Court Judge Robert H. Hobgood today stopped the program from moving ahead, pending a final resolution of two lawsuits currently … Read More...

Burr’s health plan taxes employers – Where’s the outrage?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 11:05

Senator Richard Burr recently took to WRAL to tout his new supposed “replacement” for the Affordable Care Act.  Others have detailed the many flaws in Burr’s plan – like throwing the three million people already enrolled in private health plans … Read More...

The notorious Senator Burr

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:42

The saga of judicial obstructionism continues in Washington, thanks in large part to the stalling tactics of our own U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

As we’ve reported often (see Rob Schofield’s most recent post here), the senator is inexplicably refusing … Read More...

Editorials call on McCrory to answer questions, move coal ash dumps

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:39

Northeast North Carolina’s paper of record, the Virginian-Pilot, is calling on federal investigators to ask Gov. McCrory directly what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about the Duke coal ash disaster:

“DENR Secretary John Skvarla


James Taylor’s anti-fracking ad

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 07:58

North Carolina’s natural environment has been inundated with a lot of poison in recent days — so much, in fact, that a lot of folks may have forgotten the fact that state leaders are pushing hard to inject a lot … Read More...

Virtual schools boss makes list as America’s highest paid “teacher”

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 15:49

Fat cat corporate execs getting rich by sucking up taxpayer dollars: It’s one of the dirtiest little secrets of the mad rush to privatize essential public services and turn them over to giant Wall Street-backed corporations. Fortunately, the good folks … Read More...

A new low in Senator Burr’s filibuster of judicial nominee?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 14:05

It’s hard to know what’s worse when it comes to Senator Richard Burr’s ongoing, one-man filibuster of the woman who would be the first African-American federal judge in the history of North Carolina’s Eastern District: the very fact of the … Read More...

Place Matters

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 10:43

In research released last year, the UNC Center for Civil Rights builds a compelling case for how our built environment truly reflects (or doesn’t) equality of opportunity in North Carolina, particularly for communities of color.

North Carolinians have …

Will state lawmakers turn over their documents in the voting rights cases?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 10:42

Attorneys in the voting rights cases will be back in federal court in Winston-Salem tomorrow morning, asking U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder to order that state lawmakers must release e-mail and other communications related to the passage of North Carolina’s … Read More...

New and damning report: NC’s unemployment insurance cuts have harmed families and the state’s economy

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:33

The fiscal policy wonks at the Budget and Tax Center are out with a new and detailed analysis of the impact of last year’s harshest-in-the-nation cuts to unemployment insurance that were imposed by Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly. The … Read More...

Head of troubled DHHS technology system for food stamps leaving

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 07:45

The director of the N.C. Health and Human Services’ troubled public benefits technology and food stamp system is leaving his state position for a job in private industry.

Anthony Vellucci, the program director for N.C. FAST (Families Accessing Services Through … Read More...

Partners, huh?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 07:36

In recent days in the aftermath of the Duke Energy coal ash disaster, North Carolina DENR Secretary John Skvarla has taken to referring to environmental groups as “partners” of his agency in dealing with the coal ash problem. As we’ve … Read More...