NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

DHHS to close three offices for at-risk babies and toddlers, eliminating 173 jobs

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 15:51

The state health agency plans to close three Eastern North Carolina offices that provide services for developmentally disabled infants and toddlers, a move that will eliminate an estimated 170 state jobs by July.

Documents obtained by N.C. Policy Watch show …

Safe and healthy communities help create attractive quality of life in North Carolina

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 13:10

North Carolina is known for having an appealing quality of life, with communities across the state offering a great place to raise a family and operate a business. Safe and healthy communities play an important role in contributing to this … Read More...

Monday lunch links

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 12:28

North Carolina’s recent wintry weather has helped give rise to a lot of pent up activity this week. Tonight at 7:00 pm for instance, is an excellent event at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies entitled “Organizing the South: Read More...

No Evidence for a Carolina Comeback

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 11:25

In case your News & Observer didn’t arrive at your doorstep or got buried in the snow last Thursday, be sure to check out John Quinterno and Dean Baker’s take on the false claims about a Carolina Comeback.  In … Read More...

Married schoolteacher couple sends powerful letter to Gov. McCrory

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:48

After Gov. Pat McCrory and state legislative leaders announced their pay raise plan for new and less-experienced teachers last week, a pair of veteran teachers from Davie County (who also happen to be married) felt compelled to respond. Here is … Read More...

Editorial: The buying of the N.C. Supreme Court

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 09:10

In case you missed it over the weekend, the Charlotte Observer featured an excellent (if sobering) editorial about how the end of public financing and the massive of influx of dark money is transforming the North Carolina Supreme Court into … Read More...

NC Medicaid Expansion: Interstate 540 and the hypocrisy of the “federal money might not be there” argument

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 08:30

It’s a popular argument against NC taking federal money to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and it goes like this:  ”Well, it’s a good thing to expand Medicaid to 500,000 working, low-income NC citizens, but we just can’t Read More...

Watchdog group calls for disclosure, investigation of McCrory-Duke ties

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 15:46

This just in from the nonpartisan advocates at Democracy NC who, several years ago, helped bring down former House Democratic Speaker Jim Black:

“As Coal Ash Controversy Intensified, Duke Gave Another $437,000 to Help GOP Causes in 2013;
Group Calls


Consumer Reports: New report on consumer advocates and health care costs

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 15:16

Recently Adam Linker and I (yes, that’s us on the cover to the left) were part of a great meeting put together by Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on health care … Read More...

RSVP today for Febuary 27 luncheon on the Duke coal ash disaster

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 13:37

The event details were only finalized the day of the “snowpocalypse,” so you may have missed the announcement, but seats are already going fast for the next NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon: “Duke’s Dan River coal ash disaster: What Read More...

Lunch Links: Hearts, sun, and best of the snowpocalypse!

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:36

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, and people stuck inside these past few days are scrambling. Stores have been closed, and many flower deliveries might be delayed.

Not to worry — today you can dig out and make up for the delay. … Read More...

DHHS Medicaid consultant could get up to $800,000 in annual pay

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:58

There’s more details today on the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ recent hire of two top-dollar consulting firms to examine the $13 billion Medicaid program.

Rose Hoban of N.C. Health News has this story today with more about … Read More...

Federal judge in Virginia strikes down state’s same-sex marriage ban

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:51

Continuing a trend in federal district courts across the country, U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen ruled yesterday that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. In a well-written and thoughtful opinion that recognizes choice as an American value and ends … Read More...

New report: Repealed public finance system for judicial races was working well

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 07:59

A new report from the National Institute on Money in State Politics finds that North Carolina’s recently repealed system of providing public financing for judicial campaigns had been doing what it was designed to do — namely, to  reduce the … Read More...

Overlap between Pope groups and state government continues to grow

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:08

It remains one of the great (and perplexing) hoodwink jobs of modern North Carolina politics: Despite story after story (many at the national level) documenting the ever-tightening web of connections between the policy and political groups funded by … Read More...

The shocking homophobia of Ellmers’ spokesperson

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:53

Many media outlets covered the ridiculous comments from Jessica Wood, the spokesperson for Rep. Renee Ellmers, about the announcement that Clay Aiken was running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Ellmers in the November election.

Wood referred to Aiken as …

Tax cuts over teacher pay raise

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:11

Rob Christensen had a great piece yesterday on just why the Governor and policymakers didn’t raise teacher pay and claim to not have the funds to do more than their modest proposal that impacts just a third of teachers. The … Read More...

Updated: US launches criminal investigation of Dan River coal ash spill

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 11:34

The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh has subpoenaed records from North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources  in connection with a criminal investigation into the massive coal ash spill on the Dan River, the subject of our recent posts yesterday and todayRead More...

Businesswoman explains giant flaw in proposed teacher pay plan

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:32

Occasional NC Policy Watch contributor and Asheville communications consultant Betsey Russell sent us the following essay about her experience with business plans (like the one advanced by Gov. McCrory this week) that target pay raises for junior employees at … Read More...

Must reads! Must watch! Must attend!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:00

North Carolina’s wintery blast may be dominating local news coverage, but it’s far from the only environmental story that needs to be on your radar this week.

Make time today to read Policy Watch reporter Sharon McCloskey’s latest piece -  … Read More...