NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 45 min ago

Five things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 12:53
1. Medicaid Reform – State Health and Human Services Secretary Rick Brajer is expected to detail the state’s Medicaid reform plan at Tuesday’s legislative oversight committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice. The reform process will take years to implement. But one of the big questions is whether the Obama Administration will try to tie ...

“Nonpartisan” Pope-Civitas Institute hosts select candidates at conference in the midst of primary election

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 10:50
There’s a lot of wackiness coming to Raleigh this weekend at the Pope-Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference. You can check out the whole motley crew of presenters and “can’t miss” sessions by clicking here. Among the obvious “highlights”: Christian Action League boss Mark Harris holding forth on threats to “religious freedom,” Convicted campaign finance law ...

The best editorial of the weekend

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 07:29
The best editorial of the weekend came from the Greensboro News & Record. The subject: the state’s new bathroom wars manufactured by opportunistic politicians looking to gin up their right-wing bases in the aftermath of Charlotte’s recent adoption of a nondiscrimination ordinance. Here’s an excerpt: “The ordinance, approved Monday by a 7-4 vote of the ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 15:01
1. Yet another absurd Burr blockade North Carolina’s senior senator doubles down on his commitment to fouling up the federal courts It probably shouldn’t come as any great surprise that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr has thrown in with the obstructionist hard right when it comes to the consideration of any nominee that president Obama ...

Editorial: Senate’s Supreme Court obstructionism is “historic mistake”

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 12:20
Another good one this morning from the editorial page at the Greensboro News & Record slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Richard “I lost my blue slip” Burr and Thom “I flip-flopped so fast you probably didn’t even notice” Tillis on their outrageous refusal to consider any Obama Supreme Court nominee: “This stand defies the ...

N.C.’s high school dropout rate rises for the first time in eight years

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 11:25
Here is some very, very overlooked news from this week. The News & Observer reported this week that North Carolina’s dropout rate rose for the first time in eight years. From the N&O: The 2014-15 dropout rate was 2.39 percent, up from 2.28 percent the previous year. The dropout rate increased across all racial and ...

American gun killers: Doing a far better job than ISIS or Al Qaeda could ever dream of

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 08:25
American gun violence — that is to say, domestic murders carried about by Americans using killing machines manufactured. sold and delivered by rapacious corporations abetted by lackey apologists at the NRA and other extremist groups — are occurring with such frequency that we, literally, can’t keep up. A visit this morning to the website of ...

NC Policy Watch comes to Charlotte next week

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 14:14
If you live in or near the Queen City, we hope you can join us for a special N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation next Thursday. Here are the details: Immigrants in North Carolina: Where do things stand? Where do we go from here? Featuring Patrick McHugh of the N.C. Budget & Tax Center and Raul ...

Educators tout the benefits of pre-k programs

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 10:50
A North Carolina legislative panel heard a mostly positive assessment Wednesday on the impacts of a quality pre-k education, with most education experts touting pre-k services as a major boon for students. “We have a long way to go,” said John Pruett, director of the Office of Early Learning in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. ...

Today’s redistricting “must reads”

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 10:05
If you’re like most people, you could probably spend your whole day trying to get a handle on the morass that is North Carolina’s six-year-old redistricting mess, but in the interest of time, here is one news story and one brief commentary that tells you most of what you need to know: Number One is ...

Successful woman who once received food aid decries NC’s cuts to SNAP program

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 07:16
There’s a great op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer highlighting North Carolina’s shameful recent decision to slash food assistance benefits (aka “SNAP”). Jessica Murrell, who once relied on SNAP/Food Stamps during a rough patch in her life, explains: “I never thought that I would find myself in need of SNAP, formerly ...

Pat McCrory, Tim Moore and Franklin Graham want to use the same restroom as Caitlyn Jenner

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 14:11
As long as shameless politicians and bullying preachers are set on taking the matter of Charlotte’s new human rights ordinance (a simple and common sense law that has worked just fine in scores of cities across America) into the gutter with ridiculous claims about sexual predators, we might as well get down to the business ...

Former Gov. Bev Perdue says North Carolina schools need to refocus on tech

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 13:08
One might wonder: What has former Gov. Bev Perdue been up to since she ceded office to Pat McCrory in 2013? In addition to founding DigiLearn, a nonprofit institute that works to expand digital education, Perdue is also speaking out on the state’s myriad education issues. Today, she penned an interesting column for WRAL’s TechWire, taking ...

At least somebody’s working in Washington

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:21
“A sterling record.  A deep respect for the judiciary’s role.  An understanding of the way the world really works.” That’s what President Barack Obama is looking for in the Supreme Court nominee he intends to name soon, per his post on SCOTUSblog this morning. Despite protestations by Senate Republicans who announced yesterday that they would ...

As Tillis flip-flops, nearly 200 newspapers across the nation editorialize against Supreme Court blockade

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 08:46
Veteran attorrney Glenn Sugameli of the group Defenders of Wildlife has been keeping track of the newspapers across the country that have editorialized against the blockade of any Obama Supreme Court nominee. His findings are remarkable. As of yesterday, 191 papers had weighed in against the absurd roadblock (i.e. the one that North Carolina Senator ...

Senate refuses to hold any hearings on Scalia replacement until after Obama leaves office

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 06:41
Senator Thom Tillis and his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee dug in their heels Tuesday – delivering a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlining their determination not to hold hearings on anyone President Barack Obama might nominate to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Committee notes the Senate ...

North Carolina needs to invest in infrastructure, according to national study

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 14:50
With North Carolinians set to vote on a $2 billion Connect NC Bond Act on the March 15th primary, a new national report shows how badly the funds are needed. The author, Senior Fellow Elizabeth C. McNichol warns that neglecting infrastructure has serious consequences for a state’s growth and quality of life. “States must turn their ...

House Speaker Tim Moore joins in the demagoguery over Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 14:20
Quick: What’s a sure sign that a conservative politician is feeling sensitive/vulnerable about his or her performance in office and may even be grappling with hints of potential ethical problems? If you guessed “he or she is picking on vulnerable and unpopular people and ginning up controversy on what ought to be a non-issue in ...

Shooting by Uber driver: Another reminder of why free market fundamentalists are wrong

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:02
Raleigh’s News & Observer featured a fine editorial this morning that was spurred by the nation’s latest horrific mass firearm murder. As the N&O pointed out, it is essential that companies like Uber — the taxi-like service for whom the alleged murderer worked — do a better job of vetting drivers. The only shortcoming in the ...

Pro-choice advocates heading to D.C. next week — spaces available

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 08:30
From the good folks at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina: NARAL PRO-CHOICE NC IS HEADING TO THE SUPREME COURT! Join NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina as we travel to the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C., for the Rally to Protect Abortion Access on March 2nd! March 2nd marks the beginning of the oral ...

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