NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

In order to “deform” a more perfect union: NC Senator proposes bill to push nullification amendment to US Constitution

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:30
Just when you thought things might be calming down over on the right-wing fringe, lookie what turned up amongst the flood of bills introduced last week in the North Carolina Senate: a fun little proposal to basically eviscerate the United States government. The proposal by Senator Ralph Hise of western North Carolina would call for ...

Hate and discrimination masquerading as “religious freedom”

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 07:43
The Charlotte Observer was actually quite moderate and restrained in its editorial over the weekend criticizing the latest dying gasp of the nation’s pro-discrimination movement. The editorial — “Indiana shows what not do” — highlighted the so-called “religious freedom” law enacted in Indiana. The law — which was designed by conservatives opposed to LGBT equality ...

Your Sunday “must read” debunks myths about NC’s economic recovery

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 08:07
Be sure to check out the Sunday edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer for an excellent column by NC Budget and Tax Center economist Patrick McHugh: “Hold the applause for NC’s sputtering economic recovery.” As Patrick notes: “The worst of the Great Recession is in the rearview mirror, but the recovery has left far too ...

Going, going gone: quality jobs vanishing from North Carolina

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:03
Six years after the end of the Great Recession, jobs are finally becoming more plentiful in North Carolina, but the overwhelming majority of those jobs don’t pay enough to make ends meet, provide necessary benefits to help families get by, or create sustainable pathways into middle-class prosperity. In short, North Carolina is not creating enough ...

Lawmaker wants to limit public records requests to NC residents

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:31
A group of North Carolina senators wants to keep government information in the hands of Tar Heels, and not those from outside the state. Senate Bill 553, filed Thursday by Republican state Sen. Warren Daniel, aims to limit access to public records to North Carolina residents. Currently, state law allows for anyone to request records ...

Monday deadline looms for public comments on offshore drilling

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:16
Environmental organizations are doubling down on efforts to get concerned citizens to comment on the federal government’s proposed plan to open the coast of North Carolina to offshore oil and gas drilling. The deadline for comments in this phase of the process is this coming Monday March 30. To comment, click here to visit the ...

Bill seeks to limit teachers’ political activities

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 09:49
A bill filed this week by Sens. Wells, Brock, Wade and Soucek would limit school employees’ political activities — and while it only pertains to what teachers can and can’t do during working hours, some are concerned the bill could keep teachers from speaking out altogether on issues they care about. “I think it could ...

Could McCrory’s deal on Dix Park be scrapped? (video)

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 06:52
Governor Pat McCrory was all smiles in January when he announced his administration had reached a $52 million dollar deal to sell the Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh. Now Senate Bill 705 (Ensure Fair Sale of Dorothea Dix Property) threatens to upend the governor’s real estate deal. The bill filed by Republican ...

Pro-choice advocates on SB 604: NC’s General Assembly should not be practicing medicine

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 21:58
On the final day for state Senators to file bills for the session, Senators Shirley Randleman, Joyce Krawiec, and Warren Daniel teamed up to introduce the Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015. Senate Bill 604  would impose new requirements on doctors performing abortions and stipulate that abortion clinics have in place written agreements with ...

RSVP today for luncheon on offshore drilling

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:56
Please join us for a very special Crucial Conversation luncheon in Raleigh on Tuesday, April 7: Can this coastline be saved? Offshore drilling and what it will likely mean for North Carolina’s beaches and wetlands Click here to register Recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a draft five-year plan that would make the ...

It’s Throwback Thursday with More Tax Cut Proposals

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:55
For Throwback Thursday, the Senate is relishing in old school ideas. Case in point, a bill was filed today to further cut income taxes for the wealthiest taxpayers and profitable corporations – an eerily similar approach as the legislation passed in 2013, which is now hurting our state and economy. Income tax cuts like the ...

New proposed federal rules on payday loan predators: Promising but flawed

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 13:14
The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unveiling some long-awaited proposed rules targeting the predatory payday lending industry at a big hearing in Richmond, Virginia today and you can follow along on Twitter at the hashtag #StoptheDebtTrap. Generally, the proposed rules amount to a promising start. There are, however a few worrisome potential loopholes. The ...

State budget cuts force Guilford schools to look to county for support

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:24
Guilford County Schools chief Maurice “Mo” Green is asking the county for an additional $26 million in local funds to help fill the gaps that schools are facing thanks to years of disinvestment in public education by state lawmakers. The News & Record reports that school leaders say they’re persistently seeing increased needs and mandates but dwindling funds. “We’re ...

NC Senate floats yet another silly and simplistic education proposal

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:43
It is becoming increasingly clear that the single, best thing that North Carolina lawmakers could do to aid public education in our state is this: nothing. Seriously, lawmakers would do our young people, educators, public education officials, employers, and the state at-large an enormous service if they would simply pass one bill each year providing ...

From teacher pay to Voter ID, dozens of bills fly in the Senate’s final day to file

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:16
A flurry of bills are being filed in the state Senate this week in advance of today’s deadline* for introducing public bills and resolutions. Here are five bills you may have missed that merit watching: Senate Bill 384 – Increase Pay/Experienced Teachers – Senator Joyce Waddell may be a freshman in the NC Senate, but ...

Could Supreme Court Alabama gerrymandering decision put GOP’s NC maps in jeopardy?

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 07:30
In case you missed it, the U.S. Supreme Court took actually issued a promising 5-4 ruling yesterday in the challenge to Alabama’s racially gerrymandered redistricting plan. Moreover, as the good folks at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice explain in the statement below, the decision could have a significant and positive impact in the challenge ...

Medical cannabis bill killed in the House Judiciary Committee

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:57
A bill to legalize medical marijuana, introduced by Representative Kelly Alexander, was considered by the House Judiciary I Committee today. Despite heart-wrenching testimony from veterans and others with serious medical conditions, the committee took less than thirty seconds to vote to give the bill an unfavorable report. If passed, the bill would have allowed North ...

US House and Senate propose deep cuts to food assistance for families with children, older adults, and people with disabilities

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:09
Food assistance for vulnerable communities would be slashed deeply under budget resolutions that the US House and Senate budget committees approved last week. The cuts would likely increase hunger, thrust more people into poverty, and push families that are poor even deeper into poverty. Considering that North Carolina has the 5th highest level of food insecurity ...

Trending today on Jones Street – Medical marijuana, a major redistricting ruling, and McCrory pans Senate tax plan

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:44
Looking for a quick round-up of the day’s news on Jones Street? Folks packed today’s first committee hearing on medical marijuana, there’s a major Supreme Court ruling on redistricting that could impact North Carolina, and the governor has a few choice words for the Senate’s tax plan. Some of the most retweeted stories are listed ...

Farmworker Awareness Week Events Show Scope of Challenges Farmworkers Face

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:22
Our friends at Student Action with Farmworkers are very busy this week, sponsoring and promoting events for Farmworker Awareness Week. The schedule of events, posted here, shows the range of issues important to the people who harvest our food. Films highlighting farmworkers’ stories and dreams for the future show the rich heritage and cultural contributions ...

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