NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 7 min ago

NC Senator: Failure to expand Medicaid would be “incomprehensible” (video)

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 14:12
Governor Pat McCrory said this week he’d be open to the idea of Medicaid expansion, if the Obama administration will allow North Carolina to craft its own state-specific plan under the Affordable Care Act. Legislative leaders in House and Senate have been far more skeptical. Sen. Ralph Hise, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee ...

Lack of diversity continues to plague the North Carolina General Assembly

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 11:33
The Daily Beast reported yesterday on the fact that, despite America’s rapidly growing racial and ethnic diversity, the United States Congress remains an overwhelming white, male and Christian-dominated institution. “The breakdown of the 114th Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male, and 92 percent Christian….It’s impossible to make the claim that our Congress accurately ...

With fracking permits on the horizon, NCDOT signals new road worries

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 09:55
North Carolina is poised to begin issuing permits to allow hydraulic fracturing later this year. Supporters of shale gas exploration say it will bring much needed jobs to North Carolina. But it could also bring some real headaches for  local municipalities and the state Department of Transportation. A new report by the DOT projects that ...

Court order once again highlights North Carolina’s invisible Labor Commissioner

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 08:13
It simply shouldn’t take a four-year herculean effort by an extraordinarily dedicated lawyer in order for a handful of average workers to get paid an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. Unfortunately, as this story by reporter Many Locke in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer makes clear, it does take ...

No report this month on review of UNC centers and institutes

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 15:06
The UNC Board of Governors is delaying the release of a much-anticipated report about a review of the university system’s centers and institutes. The report, which could recommend cuts or consolidations of various academic centers, was supposed to be presented to the full UNC Board of Governors at next week’s meeting. It will now be ...

NC-based grocery chain reaches forward-looking agreement with farmworkers

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 13:10
There was a rare, but encouraging bit of good news for American farmworkers yesterday with the announcement of an important agreement between Greensboro-based grocer The Fresh Market and Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee workers. This is from the joint press release: “The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market are proud to ...

Jeb Bush’s “Florida formula” of education privatization in North Carolina

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 12:13
In case you missed it, the News & Observer first reported this week that GOP leaders will gather privately in Kannapolis on Thursday to discuss their 2015 education agenda. One of the key presenters at today’s closed door meeting? A representative from the education privatization group Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), which was founded ...

Memo to Lt. Gov. Forest: Poor people are suffering even when the weather isn’t frigid

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 10:25
Today’s nominee for most maddening, hypocritical and self-serving tradition in the world of politics is the spectacle of politicians who dedicate the their professional lives to de-funding public services — especially those that serve people  in need — solemnly preaching to us on holidays and/or when the weather is bad about the importance of helping ...

New Chief Justice takes digs at state GOP leadership…we hope

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 07:16
The Charlotte Observer has reprinted the remarks that new state Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin made at his swearing-in ceremony on Monday. Lots of it was fairly standard stuff about improving efficiency and civics education, but at least two sections amount to direct repudiations of the state’s conservative political leaders on critically important topics ...

Commerce data tell surprising story of McCrory and Perdue economic development numbers

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 14:56
Veteran Raleigh journalist Seth Effron included the following fascinating chart in his daily “Quick Clips” this morning about the comparative success of Governors McCrory and Perdue in the field of job recruitment.   In addition to in your email box, you can read Effron’s daily clips at Blue NC.

Work requirements a non-starter for Medicaid waiver

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 12:47
As noted below, Gov. McCrory met with President Obama to discuss flexibility in using Medicaid expansion money to implement a North Carolina specific program that will extend health insurance to more low-income residents. As we have also said, the federal government has shown a tremendous willingness to accommodate governors who request authority to design new ...

Brunswick County Republican to press legislature to reinstate NC Teaching Fellows, improve teacher pay

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 12:09
Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) told members of his local school board this week that his top goals for the upcoming legislation session will be to give all teachers a $2,000 raise, and convince his colleagues to restore funding for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program. Here’s more from the Wilmington Star-News: While the General Assembly ...

McCrory’s firm grasp of the obvious on Medicaid

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:51
Governor Pat McCrory emerged from his much-publicized meeting with a handful of other governors and President Obama at the White House  Tuesday breathlessly declaring that Obama is open to considering waivers to allow North Carolina to crafts its own version of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. But that shouldn’t be news to McCrory or ...

Highlights from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Economic Forecast Forum

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:14
The 13th Annual Economic Forecast Forum, sponsored by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and North Carolina Bankers Association was held on Monday, January 5th. The event raised a range of issues, but a few are particularly relevant to the upcoming legislative session and the economic prospects of North Carolinians. More cash for incentives is ...

Dallas Cowboys owner’s gift to Chris Christie would likely be illegal under NC law

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 08:00
Looking for something about North Carolina of which to be at least semi-proud this morning? Well, here’s something in addition to the recent performance of the Carolina Panthers: at least our ethics laws for elected officials aren’t quite as absurdly toothless as New Jersey’s. If you’re wondering why this fact as come to light in ...

Rep. Butterfield: ‘America is not working for many African Americans’ (with video)

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 05:00
While much has been made this week of Republicans taking the reins on Capitol Hill, there was perhaps no speech more heartfelt Tuesday than that of Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who was sworn in as the 24th Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Butterfield (NC-01) told his colleagues it was imperative that during the 114th ...

A new year and more tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 16:07
Despite the growing revenue challenge North Carolina faces, a new round of tax cuts went into effect with the start of the new year. While the growing revenue shortfall warrants immediate attention during the upcoming General Assembly legislative session that begins next week, inaction up to this point has already  dug a deeper hole as ...

New data: In good times and bad, people are moving to NC

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:57
Politicians love to take credit for good things that happen while they are in office — whether they bear any real responsibility or not. As reported in this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, of all people, is even taking credit for the state’s falling unemployment rate and high rating ...

Reports: Mercedes Benz bypasses the Triangle, bound for Atlanta

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 12:02
Multiple published reports indicate that Mercedes-Benz will select Georgia over North Carolina this afternoon for the relocation of its corporate headquarters. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports: Mercedez-Benz will announce plans today to relocate its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta — a move that would create 1,000 jobs. The relocation of the German luxury automaker would be ...

Online commenters skewer Sue Myrick over her new lobbying gig

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 10:27
The phenomenon of former politicians cashing in as lobbyists is a time-honored (if almost always odoriferous) tradition in the U.S. Sometimes, however, one has to admit that the pairing of the pol and the special interest is a made-in-heaven match. And so it is with former Congresswoman Sue Myrick (who is also the mother of ...