NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Prosperity Watch: An Eroding Minimum Wage

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:02
Last week voters in four states–Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota–approved minimum wage increases that will address in part the eroding value of their state’s minimum wage for workers earning at the lowest end of the wage distribution.  As of January 1st, at least 25 states will have minimum wages higher than the federal level ...

Why Obamacare repeal could be a death sentence for this North Carolina man

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 15:10
ICYMI, the Washington Post ran a powerful column over the weekend by man from Durham by the name of David Tedrow. In it, he explains how: a) the Affordable Care Act literally saved his life and b) the current threats of repeal by congressional Republicans leave him living in fear for his own survival. As ...

States struggle in managing charter school closures

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 13:51
There are currently 148 public charter schools open in North Carolina with 11 additional schools hoping to open their doors in August of 2015. As the Charter School Advisory Board prepares to discuss charter school renewals for 2015 at its Thursday meeting, Education Week examines what happens when things don’t go well and a state ...

Tillis still playing loose with the facts about the ACA

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 11:07
The election may be over but the misleading claims are still coming from the politicians. Senator-elect Thom Tillis apparently couldn’t help himself in an interview recently, parroting a false talking point about the Affordable Care Act.  And the Washington Post called him out on it. Thom Tillis is a newly-minted senator from North Carolina, having ...

Amazing Veterans Day/marriage equality story of love and hope (with Raleigh connections and video)

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:47
When my family first started attending Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh several years ago, there was a little boy who was about the same age as our youngest daughter. His name was Max and he had a younger sister named Erin. The kids stood out a little because both Max and Erin were African-American ...

Editorial: Strict fracking rules needed from the start

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 07:11
As the Mining and Energy Commission prepares to meet this Friday to finalize suggested changes to proposed fracking rules, the Fayetteville Obsever writes the state must put forth the most stringent rules from the start. Here’s more from Wednesday’s editorial: Fracking in North Carolina would be speculative, constituting a risky roll of the dice. That’s ...

Defending the American Dream

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:38
As we honor the service and sacrifices made by veterans today to protect our freedom and the American Dream, we should not forget that for too many veterans the American Dream remains out of reach. Some veterans and their families face the same economic struggles of the many families working to make ends meet and ...

McCrory pondering special session after rejecting it two months ago

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:10
Governor Pat McCrory is reportedly considering calling the General Assembly into special session to put more money into one of the state’s primary business incentive schemes, the Job Development Incentive Grant program, or JDIG. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says the state is pursuing several big economic development projects and is bumping up against the $22.5 ...

Two upcoming events you won’t want to miss

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 09:23
Tickets are going fast for two upcoming NC Policy Watch events that you won’t want to miss. First is next week’s election post mortem Crucial Conversation: “What happened? Why? What now?” featuring Chris Fitzsimon, Dan Blue III, Tom Jensen and Carol Teal. Here are the details: When: Wednesday, November 19, at noon — Box lunches ...

Pausing to honor those who served

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:11
The editorial board of Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right on the mark with Tuesday’s editorial recognizing the importance of this Veterans Day: Here is a day that all Americans can and must embrace. Today, many thousands of Americans in uniform face the same threats, the same imminent dangers, that those in the World ...

Tax cuts not a major driver of job creation, economic growth

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 15:21
North Carolina officials will soon have spent all available financial incentives the state offers to businesses that are considering locating or expanding in the state. Each year the state awards millions of dollars in subsidies to businesses through its Jobs Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. The state is now one project announcement away from spending ...

Sneak peek: Healthcare.gov previews 2015 rates, plans ahead of sign-up

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 14:34
Open enrollment doesn’t begin until Saturday, but starting today consumers can check out the rates and the various plans available for 2015 on the federal health insurance exchange. Consumers who purchased a health insurance plan through the exchange last year can either renew their current plan or enroll in a new plan for 2015. Blue ...

One important election left this year—for House Speaker

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:35
Election season is not over yet. There’s another big contest left, the race inside the Republican House Caucus to be the next Speaker of the House. The campaign is not public of course. It is all happening behind the scenes and has been going on for months. Here’s what we know so far from sources ...

John Oliver takes aim at state lotteries, NC’s lottery gets its own put-down from comedian

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:18
Comedian John Oliver took on (and sunk) the idea that state lotteries responsibly and effectively fund public education, when he focused on state lotteries this weekend on his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight.” North Carolina’s education lottery got a substantial mention (at the 11:30 minute mark) when Oliver pointed out North Carolina spends less per ...

Shocking post-election result: GOP support for “over-the-counter” contraceptives evaporates

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:17
As was explained at some length in this post earlier this year, there are several reasons that the support voiced during the 2014 campaign by Senator-elect Thom Tillis and other conservative candidates for access to “over-the-counter” contraceptives was a disingenuous batch of baloney cooked up by GOP campaign consultants. …the trick lies in the conservative ...

Editorial blasts McCrory team’s latest special favor for energy industry

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:14
In case you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out this this editorial in the Wilmington Star News: “Special interests invited to drilling meeting but not public.” As the paper rightfully explains, the McCrory administration’s latest gaffe when it comes to protecting our environment was as offensive as it was familiar. The ...

The never-ending war on health care for struggling families

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 15:42
As we report below the US Supreme Court has decided to hear another legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. You can read the details of the lawsuit in our earlier post, but some context is important. This new fight focuses on subsidies extended to individuals and families earning less than 400 percent of the ...

TBJ: State’s tax incentive fund to recruit businesses almost dry

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:43
N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says the $22.5 million fund to recruit business to the state is nearly empty, with enough money left to cover one additional jobs project, according to the Triangle Business Journal. Decker was speaking to a group of commercial real estate developers at the Umstead Hotel in Cary when she made ...

Supreme Court takes the ACA subsidies case

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:11
The U.S. Supreme Court stepped back into the ring in the ongoing challenge to the viability of the Affordable Care Act today, agreeing to review the availability of tax credits under its provisions. The justices will review a decision out of the Fourth Circuit, King v. Burwell,  holding that such subsidies are available to health insurance purchasers on ...

Why GOP’s proposed ACA amendment would take things in precisely the wrong direction

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 14:00
The conservatives in Congress are already queuing up to offer proposals that would gut amend Obamacare. For instance, leaders McConnell and Boehner are already proposing to raise the threshold number of hours that employees must work per week from 30 to 40 in order to trigger the mandate that their employer provide coverage. As Paul ...

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