NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Will big day for UNC Board of Governors in Charlotte be a dark one too?

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:23
NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska is on the scene in Charlotte today so be sure to follow her tweets at @SarahOvaska as the UNC Board of Governors takes up multiple major controversies. Meanwhile, if you’d like to get a better handle on what the board ought to be doing today, be sure to read ...

Editorials blast Tillis for misunderstanding his role in Lynch confirmation

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 07:17
Both the Greensboro News & Record and Raleigh’s News & Observer take Senator Thom Tillis to task this morning for his “‘no” vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on the confirmation of Attorney General nominee (and North Carolina native) Loretta Lynch. Lynch’s one-time hometown paper, the News & Record pus it this way: “Thom ...

35 Year Wage Stagnation Continues with One Bright Spot

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 14:56
New analysis from the Economic Policy Institute on the performance of wages across the distribution in 2014 finds that with few exceptions inflation-adjusted wages fell or stagnated for most groups. This isn’t anything new as there has been a long-term trend of wage stagnation that has meant the majority of workers are struggling to make ...

Trending today across North Carolina

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 14:12
Tricky road conditions and thousands without power are the top stories of the day across North Carolina. But what else is trending?  Stories about the confirmation of  NC native Loretta Lynch, Senator Thom Tillis, funding for  the UNC system, net neutrality, and a pretty interesting poll about which political parties trust which media outlets by ...

NC native Loretta Lynch approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 12:27
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to serve as the country’s next Attorney General by a 12-8 vote. The vote fell largely along party lines, with three Republican senators — Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake — joining all nine Democratic senators on the committee ...

Asheville judge and former magistrate explains folly of Berger’s separate-but-equal marriage bill

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:28
If you didn’t get your paper this morning because of the snow, be sure to click here to check out Asheville judge Perry Dror’s op-ed on the state Senate’s latest marriage discrimination proposal in Raleigh’s News & Observer.  As Dror explains: I understand that some magistrates have felt deep concern about whether they should marry ...

UNC Board of Governors meeting still on, discussion of poverty center closure expected

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 07:45
Despite the snow storm that socked the state overnight, the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is still scheduled to hold their meetings today and tomorrow in Charlotte. One of the items slated for discussion at a sub-committee this morning is a recommendation to close three centers in the university system, including the Center ...

Tillis mum on support for NC native and Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 07:15
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote this morning on the nomination of North Carolina native Loretta Lynch to serve as the nation’s next Attorney General. If approved by the Committee, her nomination will move to the full Senate for a final vote, and if confirmed there Lynch will become the first African-American ...

Magistrates and same-sex marriage: Who defines “sincere religious belief”?

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:31
Raleigh’s News & Observer has a fine editorial this morning in which it fricassees the state Senate over the absurd bill it approved today to establish a “separate but equal” marriage system for the state. As the editorial noted: “Sworn public officials have to do their duty, and this not-so-clever bit of legislating is certain ...

The tax shift continues

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 13:01
State lawmakers are targeting cash-strapped homeowners as they continue to pursue tax changes that would shift even more of the tax load to low- and middle-income taxpayers, while preserving tax benefits that have largely flowed to the wealthy and profitable corporations. Legislation approved by the state Senate (Senate Bill 20) would require homeowners to pay ...

The U.S. Supreme Court reins in state Dental Board

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:37
In a 6-3 decision released today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state Board of Dental Examiners lacked immunity from antitrust laws and could not enforce regulations that effectively limit competition. The case, NC Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, arose from the Board’s repeated efforts to stop non-dentists from rendering teeth-whitening services, saying that ...

Trending on Jones Street – #Wednesday

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:19
It’s no surprise today’s top trending story on Jones Street is the debate over Senate Bill 2, Magistrates Recusal for Civil Ceremonies. The bill passed 32-16 and now moves to the House. Here are a few of the top tweets: Sen. Jackson: #sb2 would allow magistrates to refuse to perform interracial marriages & interfaith marriages ...

New jobs bill takes wrong turn on incentives

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:49
North Carolina needs serious policy solutions that create real jobs, but if the new economic development legislation unveiled yesterday is the route the state is going, it looks like jobless workers are going to be kept waiting awhile. After weeks of closed-door negotiations, the House unveiled the NC Competes Act (HB 117), legislation which included ...

Bidding farewell to the highly praised NC Teaching Fellows program

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:37
In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly eliminated the much-lauded NC Teaching Fellows program, which prepares and provides for students eager to enter into a teaching career in their home state. As the last of the Teaching Fellows are set to graduate this spring, the program’s sponsor has released a retrospective report on the program’s impact ...

School voucher challenge neatly summarized in one paragraph and one five-minute video

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 09:07
Be sure to check out Sharon McCloskey’s excellent story over on the main Policy Watch site this morning summarizing yesterday’s state Supreme Court argument in the school voucher case. You’ll get the history, the basics of the arguments and a blow by blow of yesterday’s proceedings. If you want to grasp what is perhaps the ...

National professors’ group calls on UNC leaders to keep Poverty Center open

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:57
The American Association of University Professors released a statement today calling on the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors to keep an academic poverty center run by an outspoken professor. The Chapel Hill law school’s UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which receives no direct state funding and subsists largely off a $120,000 ...

DOT Secretary Tata jets off to Chicago to plug his novel as snowstorm paralyzes parts of NC

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 14:38
It is increasingly clear that a) North Carolina Transportation Secretary Tony Tata is a part-time Secretary who receives full-time pay ($136,000 per year) and b) Gov. Pat McCrory doesn’t give a darn. How else to explain the Secretary’s ongoing second and third jobs as a novelist and Fox News Commentator on military issues and the ...

Guilford County Register of Deeds explains his concerns with bill allowing magistrates to opt out of marriages

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 13:34
Senate Bill 2, the controversial proposal to allow North Carolina magistrates to avoid their duty to perform marriages for same-sex couples was whisked through the state Senate’s Judiciary II Committee today as thousands of North Carolinians remained stranded by an unexpected snowstorm. By my watch, the meeting featured all of eight minutes in public comment ...

Senate education committee chair: “I’ve never been for school vouchers.”

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 11:03
As the debate over school vouchers rages on before the state Supreme Court today, Senate education committee chair Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) told N.C. Policy Watch he’s not for sending taxpayer dollars to private schools. “They [private schools] are not regulated and we don’t know what they teach there, do we? Do you know?” said Tillman ...

Who me? Yes you, Governor: How McCrory could still close the Medicaid gap

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:39
In case you missed it this morning, be sure to check out Adam Linker’s op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer. As Linker writes: “Health insurance for more than a million North Carolinians is at stake, and Gov. Pat McCrory has two options: He can take the initiative to protect the people ...

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