NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 29 min 45 sec ago

When will North Carolina jettison the Common Core?

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 11:05
Senator Jerry Tillman’s bill that would aim to replace the Common Core academic standards with alternatives developed by a North Carolina review commission would allow Common Core to remain in place this fall, as students return to their classrooms and commission members consider different solutions. But remarks made by Sen. Tillman yesterday at the Senate ...

Family physicians: Senate Medicaid proposal is arbitrary, incorrect

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 09:39
The following essay comes from Dr. William Dennis, President of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians: Senate spending plan: The wrong treatment plan for an incorrect diagnosis As a family physician, I am trained to process and understand the symptoms my patients present for the sole purpose of making a correct diagnosis. Once the ...

A day after fracking law approved, coal ash disaster comes before state Senate

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 06:36
A day after yesterday’s disappointing but expected approval by Gov. McCrory of a new law to fast-track fracking in North Carolina, the General Assembly moves on to another critical environmental issue today — coal ash. The good folks at the Sierra Club issued the following statement about today’s 9:30 a.m. meeting: “On Thursday, June 5, ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget fails to restore funding for textbooks and classroom instructional material

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 16:28
This is the 4th post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the other posts here and here and here. Chances are schools across North Carolina will continue to rely on outdated textbooks and ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget brings greater hardship to struggling working families with proposed changes to child care subsidy system

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 16:04
This is the third post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the other posts here and here. The Senate Budget proposal makes significant changes to North Carolina’s child care subsidy program, and not ...

Share your experiences with Medicaid and other health and human services

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 14:18
Funding for Medicaid and other health services in North Carolina have been tremendously beneficial to the elderly and those with disabilities. Folks like Randolph Reid, thanks to care services programs like PACE of the Triad, are able to improve physical, mental and spiritual health leading to a better life. And for Margaret Toman, whose mother ...

Republican mayor from eastern NC issues emotional call for Medicaid expansion

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 12:04
“You can’t close hospitals and let people die to prove a point.” So spoke the conservative Republican mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina, Adam O’Neal, this morning at a press conference at the state Legislative Building in Raleigh. O’Neal’s appearance (and his linking of hands with Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP) was the ...

Governor touts job creation, environmental safeguards in signing fast-track fracking bill

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 11:21
Governor Pat McCrory, backed by Republican legislators and his Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, signed the controversial Energy Modernization Act Wednesday morning. The legislation speeds up the start of natural gas drilling in North Carolina. The governor said the bill, which zipped through both chambers last week with limited debate, will bring good jobs ...

Commerce reorganization and privatization on legislature’s busy agenda today

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:44
Among the many, many things going on at the state legislature today, lawmakers of both parties will be meeting to discuss overhauling the state Commerce Department and shifting the agency’s economic development duties to a new public-private group. The privatization proposal is a central piece of McCrory’s economic agenda, and the move could shift up ...

This morning’s most outrageous statement by a corporate lobbyist

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 08:49
Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up. Reporter Tyler Dukes of WRAL.com has a story this morning about how developers are pushing hard from “reform” legislation that would further decimate North Carolina’s already rapidly disappearing wetlands. As Dukes reports: “A proposal to roll back environmental rules long loathed by developers would remove protections for ...

Handy list explains why hundreds will rally for Medicaid expansion today at the legislature

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 07:48
The benefits to North Carolina and its citizenry of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act  have been explained many times, but they definitely bear repeating again today — Medicaid Expansion Lobby Day at the General Assembly (click here for details). Prof. Nancy MacLean of Duke University does the honors with the following helpful and ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget cuts in-home and community-based services funding for older adults

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 16:24
This is the second post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years. See the first post here. State funding that helps older adults who want to stay in their home would be slashed under the ...

Wake County Schools to lose nearly 700 teacher assistants under Senate budget plan

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 15:56
Yes, you read that right — Wake County Public Schools would have to eliminate nearly 700 teacher assistants this fall if the Senate’s budget plan becomes law this summer. The county would have to cut 693 TAs out of 1,250 positions allotted for the upcoming school year, according to WNCN. The Senate’s budget offers teachers who give ...

Death penalty dealt another blow by Innocence Commission

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 15:42
How many times is a North Carolinian previously convicted of murder going to have to be found to be innocent before it’s universally acknowledged that the death penalty is a hopeless relic of a bygone age? Let’s hope today’s unanimous recommendation by the state Innocence Inquiry Commission that Willie Henderson Womble was wrongfully convicted 38 ...

Moving to extremes on voting rights

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 13:31
Check out this new report by Pro Publica on what’s happened to voting rights across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last June struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. It’s the visual that gets you. Two maps, showing the movement of voting laws across the ...

NC Budget Magnifying Glass: Senate budget makes huge cuts to school nurses despite historical underfunding and clear research

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 13:17
This is the first post of a Budget and Tax Center blog series on public services and programs that face cuts in the budget process or have been underfunded in past years.  There would be 70 fewer school nurses in North Carolina’s public education program under the Senate budget, even though the statewide average nurse-to-student ...

Choosing life? Moral Monday speaker calls out double standard

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:00
Yesterday at the Moral Monday rally on Halifax Mall behind the state Legislative Building, one speaker did an especially good job of pointing out the double standard of many “pro-life” politicians. Leslie Boyd, a person familiar to NC Policy Watch readers, explained that when she was advised to have an abortion because her unborn son had ...

Patent trolls in the House

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:07
Patent trolls are on the House calendar today as lawmakers consider a new law designed to protect North Carolina companies from abusive patent litigation. The wrong sought to be righted by the “Abusive Patent Assertions Act” is the perceived shakedown of legitimate business by so-called “patent assertion entities” — “patent trolls,”  in the vernacular. Defense attorneys ...

New special report: McCrory’s “jobs czar” has questionable background

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 09:09
If there’s one news story about North Carolina state government that you don’t want to miss this morning it’s NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska’s new investigative report on the McCrory administration’s “jobs czar,” Richard Lindenmuth. As Ovaska reports, the man charged with overseeing the privatization of the state’s business recruiting efforts (something that former ...

Medicaid expansion: The issue that won’t go away

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 07:41
Medicaid — the absurd failure to expand it at federal expense for a half-million low-income North Carolinians and the state Senate’s latest remarkable proposal to slash the program still further– remains front and center in the state policy debate these days. Moral Monday protesters highlighted the issue last night and the real life stories of ...

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