NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

National expert: Ten easy-to-understand reasons why Medicaid works

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 15:23
Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a fabulous post on the group’s Off the Charts blog today about the amazing successes of Medicaid. The post — “Medicaid Works: 10 Key Facts” — lays out “ten key facts about how Medicaid helps millions of Americans live healthier, more secure lives” and thereby ...

Gov. McCrory signs off on charter takeover of low-performing schools

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 11:29
As expected, Gov. Pat McCrory has signed House Bill 1080, controversial legislation that will allow for-profit charter takeovers of several low-performing schools in North Carolina. McCrory’s office announced the signing Tuesday, although the news was buried in a press release about the governor’s signing of legislation intended to help state officials keep track of veterans. It’s unclear ...

#WageWeek: Raising the minimum wage will help promote equal pay for women

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 09:41
As part of our #WageWeek celebration, we have invited partners to contribute to our blog series on the importance of raising the minimum wage. This piece was written by Bronwen Wade with NC Women United. Previous entries in this series can be seen here and here. Raising the minimum wage will help promote equal pay ...

McCrory’s weak whining about HB2 opponents

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 07:51
It’s hard to know what’s more pathetic at this point, Gov. Pat McCrory’s lame and inaccurate defenses of his LGBT discrimination law (HB2), his ridiculous efforts to blame his political opponents for the fact that the law is still on the books, or his new complaints about recent revelations that some of opponents were happy ...

Budget falls short of being a visionary plan for North Carolina’s economic future, finds a new report from the NC Budget & Tax Center

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 13:48
North Carolina lawmakers approved their state budget this month, a budget constrained by limited aspirations. The pursuit of a rigid spending formula combined with another round of tax breaks prevented lawmakers from proposing an adequate budget, let alone a bold one, as we explain in our new Budget & Tax Center report. The new tax ...

Affirmative action = slavery? Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker shows how far conservative ideologues are willing to go

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 13:11
Good lord! Just when you thought America’s modern right wing was already pushing the envelope, along comes one of the Koch Brothers’ (and Art Pope’s) favorite governors to remind you once more of just how far these guys are willing to go in repealing the 20th Century. This is from a new column by national ...

General Assembly throws good money after bad in propping up Lt. Governor’s Education Endowment Fund

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:37
Of the General Assembly’s many missteps in the 2016 Budget, one of the least noted – but most baffling – has been the $5 million appropriation to the North Carolina Education Endowment Fund. The North Carolina Education Endowment Fund was created in the 2014 budget at the urging of Lt. Governor Dan Forest.  The Lt. ...

#WageWeek: Local communities lead the way in NC

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 11:30
Local governments are leading the way on wages, despite determined opposition from state legislators and state constitutional limits that hamstring such efforts. As in a number of other southern states, the North Carolina Constitution sharply limits the authority of local governments to raise wages for private sector workers in their communities. These limitations were extended ...

HB2 update: Trial schedule for federal court challenge is set

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:33
In case you missed it, the ACLU of North Carolina issued a release yesterday laying out the schedule for the federal court challenge in the case of Carcaño v. McCrory that many observers expect will put the final nail in the coffin of North Carolina’s all-purpose LGBT discrimination law, HB2. This is from the release: ...

Editorial: Decision striking down Texas’ voter ID law is a hopeful sign for NC

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 08:15
Be sure to check out the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record regarding the recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Texas’ voter ID/voter suppression law and the hopeful message it sends about challenges to the very similar law in North Carolina. Here’s the excellent conclusion: “In a ...

Celebrate #WageWeek, Support Raising the Minimum Wage

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:59
Nine years ago yesterday, the United States increased the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. Yet in the decade since, workers have lived through the worst recession since the 1930’s and an economic recovery that saw their wages fail to keep pace with rising costs of living. More than half of the jobs created since ...

Hands off bee-harming pesticides: N.C. board to consider restrictions

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 13:17
When a honeybee gets dosed with a neonic, a common pesticide used on millions of acres of farmland and on home lawns, it may not get sick right away. Instead the bee’s immune system can take a hit, making this important insect vulnerable to mites and diseases. It’s similar to what happens how elderly people can succumb to the smallest infraction: Weakened ...

Editorial: Tax and service cuts aren’t the answer to North Carolina’s economic challenges

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 10:39
The Fayetteville Observer makes some excellent points in this morning’s editorial — “N.C. economy strong, but only in a few key places.” The central message: The conservative strategy of simply slashing taxes and services and then claiming that improving conditions in big metro areas driven by national trends amount to a “Carolina Comeback” is off-base. Here’s ...

How you can tell McCrory has already lost on HB2

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 07:00
Gov. Pat McCrory’s attempt to go all macho and Trump-like the other day by dismissing the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte as “PC BS” was clearly designed appeal to a certain demographic. The Guv has quite obviously decided that his best hope to re-energize support for his governorship is ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 14:22
1. Misleading Medicaid rhetoric instead of expansion One of the most frustrating things about this General Assembly session was once again what lawmakers did not do. They actively chose not to join the 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, not to provide health care coverage for several hundred thousand ...

HUD report: Former Sanford Housing Authority director responsible for financial irregularities totaling $418,000

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 13:42
In early November 2014, Sanford Mayor Chet Mann read a proclamation honoring Ken Armstrong, the outgoing executive director of the Sanford Housing Authority for his “exemplary service.” “There is a general feeling that the Sanford Housing Authority has performed flawlessly,” Mann went on, according to town council minutes. But a federal investigation released this week alleges that ...

Edenton Bay afflicted with hazardous algae — again

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 09:45
The water is as green as a sheet of nori in Edenton Bay, as potentially toxic algae is blooming in the waterway near the Albemarle Sound in Eastern North Carolina, according to state environmental scientists. The state Division of Water Resources received a report of green water on July 19 from a Chowan County environmental group. DWR staff ...

Charlotte Observer sportswriter swings and misses with comments about failed HB2 “compromise”

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 08:39
Scott Fowler is a fine sportswriter for the Charlotte Observer and he’s right on the money this morning when he opines that: “I won’t retrace all the steps this depressing saga has taken, but I would agree with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s recent comment that House Bill 2 is an ’embarrassing’ bill. The way HB2 ...

Fouling out: Social media reaction to the loss of millions as #HB2 costs state NBA All-Star game

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 07:58
A dump truck loaded with $100m was rolling toward Charlotte. Gov. McCrory flagged it down, tossed a match in the back, and let it burn. #HB2 — Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) July 21, 2016 Governor, YOU signed this bill. YOU did. #HB2 The buck stops with YOU. We are not falling for your political pivot. ...

McCrory blasts ‘sports and entertainment elite’ as NBA pulls 2017 All-Star game over HB2

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 20:18
  After months of working behind the scenes, urging for the repeal of House Bill 2, the National Basketball Association made good on its promise Thursday to pull the 2017 All-Star game from host-city Charlotte. Here’s an excerpt from the official NBA statement: “While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every ...

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