NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

Attorney General on defending Amendment One: It’s time to stop making arguments we will lose (video)

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 18:15
Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke out Monday following the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Cooper said while his office has “vigorously defended” North Carolina’s ban, today’s appellate ruling makes it clear that Amendment One will eventually be overturned. “It’s time to stop making arguments we ...

Members of British Parliament join U.S. farmworker leader in call for justice

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:24
On Monday at Pullen Church in Raleigh at an event sponsored by the National Farm Worker Ministry, two members of the British Parliament–Ian Lavery and James Sheridan–joined American farmworker leader Baldemar Velasquez to speak to over 200 supporters about their current tour and mission in the U.S. to fight for justice among farmworkers. Velasquez is ...

Fourth Circuit finds Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 13:52
In a 2-1 ruling today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — which decides appeals from federal courts in  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland — found Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Affirming a lower court ruling and writing for the Court in Bostic v. Schaefer, Judge Henry F. Floyd said: We ...

Legislators pressed to strengthen coal ash bill before adjournment (video)

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:02
State lawmakers may come together with a final budget bill this week, but environmentalists say there is plenty of work to do on a final coal ash management bill before legislators wrap-up the session. Grady McCallie, policy director for the NC Conservation Network, says both the House and Senate versions of the coal ash bill ...

Eastern North Carolina could see lower electricity bills, with deal announced Monday

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 12:02
A deal between two North Carolina electricity providers could finally give some Eastern North Carolina residents relief from monthly electricity bills that rank among highest in the state. The N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy announced Monday a plan for Duke to buy $1.2 billion worth of assets held by the municipal power ...

Rep. Cotham to McCrory: Keep your word and veto bill that thwarts charter school transparency

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:59
Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenberg) sent a letter on Monday to Gov. Pat McCrory, asking him to veto legislation sent to him last week by the General Assembly that allows private, for-profit charter school operators to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds.  “While this bill requires that charter schools disclose the ...

Unemployment insurance debt paid down by jobless workers

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 10:08
Last week as the Budget & Tax Center released its analysis of the impact of unemployment insurance changes on jobless workers one year later, the Department of Commerce Employment Security Division announced that the unemployment insurance debt will be paid down early. The resolution of the debt in August 2015 rather than November 2015 will ...

“White smoke” on Jones Street really a sign of leaking oil

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 08:34
In an allusion to the signal that’s seen in the Vatican when the leaders of the Catholic Church elect a new Pope, at least one news media report this morning is talking about “white smoke” being visible on Jones Street. The story accompanying the headline, of course, is that leaders of the North Carolina General ...

Income tax cuts cost more than originally projected according to Fiscal Research Division

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:24
Income tax cut costs will rise to more than $1 billion by 2016, raising serious concerns about whether the current budget negotiations are putting forward a fiscally responsible path to meet the priorities of our state. Before the budget is finalized, legislative leadership must consider this newly available information that the tax cuts will cost ...

House OKs bill that allows private charter school education management companies to keep their employees’ salaries secret

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:36
House lawmakers approved legislation Friday that allows private, for-profit management companies that run charter schools to keep their employees’ salaries secret, even though they are paid with public funds. The bill also fails to provide protections for LGBT students, even though an earlier version did. While the bill, SB 793, or Charter School Modifications, clarifies ...

Technical corrections bill allows for-profit companies spots on North Carolina charter school boards

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:50
Buried deep in a House technical corrections bill unveiled yesterday is a provision to would allow staff of for-profit charter school management groups to serve on the boards of the public charters schools that contract with them. The 55-page technical corrections bill that the N.C. House of Representatives is expected to vote on today. The legislation would also ...

Editorial: Apply common sense on ACA subsidies

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:21
This morning’s Greensboro News & Record makes some sound points in assessing the split in the federal courts over the Affordable Care Act and the availability of subsidies in states without state-based exchanges. While the editorial (which is entitled “Save the subsidies”) acknowledges the ambiguity of some of the language in the statute, it also rightfully calls ...

Medical Society issues scathing takedown of NC Senate Medicaid proposal

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 17:05
North Carolina doctors pulled no punches in their review of the Medicaid “reform” (i.e. privatization) plan adopted by the state Senate today. This is the official statement from the NC Medical Society: “Today the Senate had a clear choice between the health of our state’s most vulnerable citizens and the health of Wall Street corporations, ...

Most North Carolinians in the Medicaid gap are working

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 15:50
This morning consumer advocacy group Families USA released a report along with the NC Community Health Center Association and the NC Justice Center showing that most people who stand to benefit from closing our state’s health insurance gap are working. Many of these folks are in low-wage service jobs. The report also examines the top occupations in ...

Charter school bill now excludes LGBT protections, makes some charter school salaries public

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 14:03
A bill that would address some sticky points in governance of the state’s 127 public charter schools is calendared for a Senate vote today. The discussion had begun on the Senate floor at 2 p.m. Click here to listen. (The bill passed out of the Senate) The charter school modification bill, Senate Bill 793, coming ...

10 million reasons that Obamacare is a success

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:42
Winston Churchill famously stated that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” One is increasingly tempted to offer the same assessment of Obamacare. Is it flawed and messy? Absolutely. Could we call envision a scenario in which each of us — acting as philosopher kings — could craft a better ...

Broken cookie delivery to mark anniversary of Guv’s broken promise on reproductive freedom

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 09:55
From the good people at NARAL-Pro Choice NC: NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina member activists will deliver broken cookies to the Governor’s Mansion this morning at 11:00 am to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor McCrory’s broken promise not to support restrictions on access to abortion care. Last July, Governor McCrory signed into law Senate Bill ...

Editorials: Expand Medicaid now and stop bullying immigrant kids

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
Here are two morning editorials that ought to be a “must reads” for North Carolina’s conservative political leaders: The first comes from the Fayetteville Observer and it’s entitled “Yes, Republicans can expand Medicaid too.” As it notes: Last month, hundreds of representatives from North Carolina hospitals and other health-care institutions brought a united message to ...

This is a what a second grade classroom looks like without a dedicated teacher assistant

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:07
Do you remember Barbara Dell Carter? She’s the second grade classroom teacher at John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School in “little” Washington, who I visited late last summer while she dutifully prepared her classroom for the first day of school. As she straightened up her books (many of which she procured through her own means), Carter told me of ...

Former state Rep. LaRoque gets new trial date

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:18
Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque will wait until February for a jury trial on charges of stealing $300,000 from two federally-funded economic development groups he ran. LaRoque, a Kinston Republican, was scheduled for an October trial in a federal criminal courtroom in Greenville. The trial was pushed back to Feb. 2 because of delays in ...

Pages