NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Inital review of Governor’s K-12 education budget: Falls short of ensuring public schools have adequate resources

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 14:57
Gov. McCrory’s proposed revised budget for K-12 education for the upcoming fiscal year maintains the status quo for public investments in public schools. Under the Governor’s budget, state funding per student remains well below pre-recession spending when adjusted for inflation and schools will continue to be hurting for resources.* Teacher pay is just one thing ...

Follow the money: The Governor’s budget keeps phased-in income tax cuts on the books, proposes no further rate changes, and leaves nearly $5 million on the table

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 14:43
Today, Governor Pat McCrory unveiled a budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year that provides modest funding increases to support early learning, education, mental health, and inconsistent pay bumps for teachers and state employees. His $22.3 billion budget proposal represents a 2.8 percent—or $600 million—increase over the current 2016 fiscal year budget. The Governor’s budget ...

Delivering efficient, effective, equitable public services

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 13:54
The operations of government and the targeted deployment of public services for public goals is the purpose of the General Government budget area. In year’s past, the General Government area of the budget has supported important investments in affordable housing development and the supports to managing efficient and effective core functions of government. Here are ...

ICYMI: Stephen Colbert offers his take on NC’s #HB2 (video)

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 13:51
From CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

Preliminary Review of Governor’s Health and Human Services Budget: Supporting the Health, Safety and Well-being of North Carolina Families

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 12:04
Public investments in health and human services of the state budget provide protections for the health and well-being of North Carolina families, children and seniors.  By strengthening healthy outcomes and ensuring access to high quality health services, North Carolina policymakers can improve the quality of life of all North Carolinians and build healthy communities that ...

Statement on Governor’s Released Budget Proposal from Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget and Tax Center

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 11:13
Now with the Governor’s budget proposal released, it is clear that unanticipated revenues available due to a recovering national economy and the lower than anticipated costs in Medicaid are allowing the  Governor to pursue small, targeted investments to promote child well-being and support improved educational outcomes. These additional investments represent a small fraction of what ...

State leaders need to know: Cash-strapped N.C. homeowners do exist

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 08:30
Simply saying something doesn’t exist doesn’t create a new reality. The Senate Finance Committee voted in favor of a bill yesterday that includes a provision that will continue to require cash-strapped homeowners to pay state income tax on mortgage debt forgiven by lenders, even though no cash is provided to the homeowner. State leaders pushed ...

Editorial blasts state senator over “keep our state straight” remark

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:19
This morning’s Fayetteville Observer features another scathing editorial on HB2 and, in particular, the comment uttered Monday at a rally supporting the law by State Senator Eldon “Buck” Newton of Wilson. According the editorial, Newton “let the bigot out of the bag” when he urged rally attendees to “fight to keep our state straight.” Here’s ...

Was the intent of HB2 to ‘keep our state straight’ ? (video)

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 21:01
A day after opponents and supporters of House Bill 2 held their respective rallies at the legislature, the focus is on a single comment made by Senator Buck Newton. The Wilson County Senator, who is a Republican candidate vying to become the state’s next  Attorney General, told the audience in his closing remarks: “Tell your ...

National political columnist lambastes NC voting rights decision

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 15:58
One of America’s funniest and most insightful political columnists has authored a succinct and excellent take-down of Judge Thomas Schroeder’s lame but predictable approval of North Carolina’s monster voter suppression law. Here’s Esquire’s Charles Pierce in “North Carolina’s Voting Laws Are Conspicuously Suppressing the Vote: And yet they were just upheld by a Bush-appointed judge”: ...

Attorney General Roy Cooper files suit against eastern North Carolina charter

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 14:16
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed suit against an eastern North Carolina charter school, contending that leaders of the now-closed Kinston school mismanaged public funds. Cooper’s office released the details of their complaint against Kinston Charter Academy Tuesday, which named the school, CEO Ozie L. Hall and the school’s board chairwoman, Demyra McDonald-Hall, as defendants. “Charter ...

Two powerful news stories explain why NC’s disinvestment in public ed is a big problem

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 11:58
WRAL TV will debut a new documentary tonight about North Carolina’s dwindling commitment to funding public education entitled “Grading Teacher Pay.” This is from a lengthy article summarizing the program: “At the start of his fourth term in 1997, North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt asked a Republican-controlled House and a Democratic-controlled Senate to raise the ...

What we know—and don’t know—about how the Governor’s budget proposal would address pressing needs facing North Carolinians

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:49
It’s been a month of Sundays since North Carolinians have seen a decent state budget that makes smart, targeted investments in the programs that reduce poverty and build a more inclusive economy. Since 2008, the norm has been budget cuts and underinvestment due to the recession, very slow economic recovery, and lawmakers’ choice to enact ...

Decision upholding NC’s restrictive voting law is far from the end of the story

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 07:00
The lengthy ruling yesterday by Judge Thomas Schroeder (a George W. Bush appointee to the federal courts) upholding North Carolina’s restrictive voter ID law is far from the end of the story on the matter. The following statement issued after the decision by advocates from the ACLU of North Carolina and Southern Coalition for Social ...

A disconnect between Governor’s guiding principles and policy decisions

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 17:04
Helping those who can’t help themselves and preparing North Carolina for continued growth: These are two of the guiding principles that Gov. McCrory said were behind his proposed budget for the fiscal year that will be released this week. However, these two stated principles in particular, on a list of many, highlight a disconnect between ...

Revealing claim from HB2 supporter: Law is about stopping “unbridled sexual license”

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 15:16
There have been a lot of amusing moments over the last four weeks in North Carolina since the passage of HB2 (“amusing” in the sense that they want to make you laugh so you won’t start crying). There’s been the spectacle of Senate leader Phil “I’ve never met a corporate tax cut that I didn’t ...

Corporations opposing #HB2 grows to 180

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 11:54
A little more than a month after House Bill 2 was signed into law, 180 major corporations have gone on record opposed to the LGBT legislation hurriedly passed in a special session. The latest to oppose the law include many well-known names in the corporate world: Alcoa Inc. BASF Corporation KPMG LLP Vanguard Xerox Corporation ...

Editorial puts it as plainly as possible: “Rescind this travesty called HB2”

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 11:15
One of the best editorials of this past weekend comes from Saturday’s Winston-Salem Journal. Here it is in its entirety: As the legislature arrives in Raleigh Monday for its short session, we have one important message: Rescind House Bill 2. Rescind it for financial, legal and moral reasons. Throw it away and forget about it. ...

Five things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 10:39
# 1 Legislators return for short session with plenty of protests – The start of the legislative session marks the return of the Moral Monday movement.  Starting this morning participants will focus their energy on repealing House Bill 2. TurnOUT! NC  — a joint project of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the ACLU of North ...

Governor should not celebrate economic mediocrity

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 16:16
In touting the number of jobs created since he took office, the governor said “that’s something we need to celebrate, and that’s a goal we continue to have.” These comments prefaced the release of McCrory’s key budget proposals, which themselves reflect a Governor who is largely satisfied with the status quo. Thing is, North Carolina’s ...

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