NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

More revenue presents an opportunity to invest, not a sign to cut taxes for the wealthy

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 14:20

Senate leaders and their supporters at the conservative, D.C.-based Tax Foundation argue that the state’s revenue collections are a sign that North Carolina can cut income taxes again for the wealthy and profitable corporations. We can’t expect to continue to compete and deliver a better quality of life to North Carolinians if we continue the ...

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Report: Some charter school leaders slam “company” charter bill

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 13:15

Some North Carolina charter leaders are fired up over a legislative proposal to set aside half of a charter school’s enrollment as a corporate “perk,” a new report from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation’s Lindsay Wagner finds. The news comes with the state Senate expected to consider House Bill 800 in the coming weeks. House lawmakers ...

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How much does NC invest in you? Three things to know before the NC Senate releases its proposed budget

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:19

How much does NC invest in you? The short answer: not enough. 1) The State of North Carolina ranks 43rd in the country in total state expenditures per capita.  In other words, there are 42 other states in the country that invest more on each individual living in their state. This is not good news ...

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Cooper, legislative leaders agree to extend order halting Election, Ethics merge until next hearing

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 11:30

Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative leaders agreed Monday to extend a temporary restraining order blocking the merging of the State Elections Board and the State Ethics Commission. The parties were set to appear Wednesday at a hearing for a preliminary injunction, which would halt the merge until the conclusion of the case. Cooper is suing ...

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Trump, Russia, Money – with a N.C. connection

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 10:58

More news about the Trump family’s financial ties to Russia this week – and this time, there’s a North Carolina connection. On Friday golf writer James Dodson, a Greensboro native, gave an interview in which he said Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, told him the family was able to continue acquiring and building ...

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BREAKING – Report says “Senate Elections Committee chair violates disclosure law, is suspected of excess payments to himself”

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:32

The nonpartisan government watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina just released the following: A voting rights group today is calling on State Sen. Ralph Hise, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Elections, to recuse himself from any further involvement with restructuring the State Board of Elections because he faces charges of violating campaign disclosure laws ...

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Editorial: NC Chamber’s criticism of Cooper veto is “HOGWASH”

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 07:40

Governor Cooper continues to fight the good fight. Last Friday he vetoed the General Assembly’s latest destructive proposal to advance the interests of polluters at the expense of the health (and even the property rights) of average citizens. Not surprisingly, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce — a once-moderate group that has, tragically, become the mouthpiece ...

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As N.C. Senate preps budget, teachers make the case for more K-12 funding

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:45

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. And with news out of Raleigh suggesting North Carolina’s state Senate leaders intend to follow through on their pledge to release their budget plans in the early part of this week, some of the state’s top K-12 leaders are making their case again for a far greater investment in public schools ...

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DEQ appeals Judge Fox’s ruling on Brickhaven mine, coal ash

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 14:58

The state appellate court will determine the difference between a mine and a landfill, now that the NC Department of Environmental Quality has appealed a previous decision restricting where coal ash can be buried. NC DEQ filed a notice of appeal last Friday, seeking a second opinion to  Chatham County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox’s ruling in late March that ...

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This week: What you need to know, where you need to be to follow environmental issues

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 12:03

  The Magic 8 Ball’s messages are hard to read this week in that we know a) there will be an attempt to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of the hog nuisance lawsuit bill. But when that will happen, well stay tuned. Likewise, we policy wonks are eagerly awaiting the unwrapping of the Senate budget as if it ...

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As Senate rolls out budget, state employees make the case for better pay, benefits

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:12

Work on the state budget kicks into high gear this week as the NC Senate unveils its version of the budget. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger announced last week the budget would be unveiled by Tuesday with floor votes occurring Thursday and Friday. Ahead of the release, state employees are hoping a $580.5 million ...

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Two paragraphs that sum up Trump’s attitude toward protecting the environment

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 10:47

The first two paragraphs of a New York Times story today sum up perfectly the approach the Trump Administration is taking towards protecting—or rather not protecting—the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump ...

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The best editorial of the weekend

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 08:28

As the Senate unveils its take on the state budget this week, the good folks at the Fayetteville Observer got it right yesterday with an editorial calling on legislative leaders to back off of their destructive obsession with tax cuts. As the authors noted: “It shouldn’t be at all painful for the members of the ...

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Last week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:00

1. How NC’s Congressional delegation voted on repealing the Affordable Care Act Members of the U.S. House narrowly (217-213) pushed through the Republican plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. While critics of Obamacare praised the bill’s quick passage, the latest version came without any analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget ...

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Despite concessions, no end in sight to dispute between DPI Superintendent, State Board of Education

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 15:00

Despite a State Board of Education vote Thursday that turned over control of a key leadership position in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to Superintendent Mark Johnson, there’s no sign this week that the board’s chilly relationship with the new superintendent has turned a corner. “It’s part of considering the overall relationship with the ...

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Analysis: GOP health care bill will exacerbate budgetary challenges to all states and local governments

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 14:23

As reported yesterday, members of the U.S. House narrowly (217-213) pushed through the Republican plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The latest version came without any analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. One of the major implications of this bill is the fact that it shifts financial burdens of uncompensated care ...

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Gov. Cooper vetoes hog nuisance bill; new court documents show fecal bacteria from hogs on homes

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 10:31

Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 467, which would sharply curb the rights of private property owners to sue hog farmers in so-called nuisance lawsuits.The bill had passed the House 68-47, and the Senate 74-42. The measure would restrict the amount of compensatory damages people could recover if they win nuisance lawsuits. The amount is ...

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North Carolina’s “Magistrate Recusal” Law to be heard in federal court next week

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 10:08

Next Thursday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia will hear arguments in Ansley v. Warren, the federal lawsuit challenging Senate Bill 2. SB2, passed two years ago, allows North Carolina magistrates who do not believe in marriage equality to opt out of their judicial oath to uphold the United States Constitution. Ansley ...

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General Assembly must still provide $293 million in teacher money to settle class-size debate

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 07:55

On April 27th, the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, House Bill 13, bringing a temporary reprieve to North Carolina’s great class-size debate. The bill delayed the unfunded class-size requirements by one year, preserving elementary school students’ access to “enhancement courses” such as art, music, technology, and physical education for the 2017-18 school year. ...

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How NC’s Congressional delegation voted on repealing the Affordable Care Act

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 22:32

Members of the U.S. House narrowly (217-213) pushed through the Republican plan for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. While critics of Obamacare praised the bill’s quick passage, the latest version came without any analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The North Carolina delegation split along party lines, with the exception ...

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