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Updated: 58 min 33 sec ago

In DeVos nomination, Sen. Richard Burr to cast confirmation vote on one of his key contributers

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 11:35

Despite significant push-back from progressives and public school backers, members of a key U.S. Senate committee are expected to confirm President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, on Tuesday. As critics point out, DeVos, a controversial school choice Republican in Michigan, has no professional experience in public schools. Nevertheless, conservatives tout ...

The post In DeVos nomination, Sen. Richard Burr to cast confirmation vote on one of his key contributers appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Trump to make Supreme Court nomination announcement Tuesday night

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 11:00

President Donald Trump announced this morning that he would make his Supreme Court nominee public at 8 p.m. Tuesday. He released a list of 20 nominees he was considering during his campaign, but media reports suggest the front runners are Neil Gorsuch, of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and Thomas Hardiman, of the ...

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North Carolina’s Attorney General blasts Trump’s “crude ban” on refugees

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 10:06

Add North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to the list of public officials speaking out against President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. Stein took to Facebook over the weekend to explain why Trump’s ban has the potential to make our country less safe. Here’s the Attorney General’s full statement: “America is a ...

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Editorials, GOP politicians, and even most popular NASCAR driver slam Trump on immigration

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 07:44

Donald Trump’s reckless, discriminatory, illegal and unconstitutional immigration orders need to be resisted by all patriotic Americans. Happily folks of all stripes began to step up to the plate over the weekend as scores of protests broke out across the country. Even NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — the most popular figure in a sport ...

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Trump’s Muslim travel ban draws 1,000 protesters to RDU airport

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 18:19

An estimated 1,000 demonstrators spent Sunday afternoon at Raleigh Durham International airport protesting Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries. Similar protests opposing the ban erupted this weekend at dozens of other airports including: Charlotte-Douglas, JFK, Philadelphia International, Indianapolis, and Denver International. Below are just a few images from the peaceful turnout at ...

The post Trump’s Muslim travel ban draws 1,000 protesters to RDU airport appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Governor Cooper, advocates: Trump’s immigration order endangers troops, embraces fear and bigotry

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 16:07

Governor Roy Cooper added his name to the growing list of leaders and organizations across the nation who are standing in solidarity against the Trump administration’s cruel, reckless, illegal, and unconstitutional immigration orders. Here’s Cooper: “The executive order issued by the President will make our homeland and our troops serving overseas less safe. Our vetting ...

The post Governor Cooper, advocates: Trump’s immigration order endangers troops, embraces fear and bigotry appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Solidarity protest and rally for immigrants, refugees at RDU scheduled for Sunday

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 10:55

Update from RDU at 11 a.m.: Statement on Planned Protests: The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority has issued a permit for today’s planned protest and has established an area for today’s demonstration. Our goal is to ensure a peaceful demonstration. Our priority is to keep everyone safe and to ensure uninterrupted airport operations. The designated area for ...

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Federal judge agrees to delay Medicaid expansion litigation

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 18:40

A federal judge on Friday agreed to temporarily halt litigation related to Gov. Roy Cooper’s attempts to expand Medicaid. The stay will expire March 31, at which time the state and federal Department of Health and Human Services will be required to respond to the original complaint, and Republican legislators who filed that complaint will ...

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Public education advocates cry foul over legislators’ private meeting with controversial school reformer Michelle Rhee

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 16:28

Some North Carolina public education activists are crying foul over a private legislative meet state lawmakers are scheduled to attend with controversial school reformer Michelle Rhee next month. Rhee—the former chief of public schools in Washington, D.C., and, at one time, a rumored pick for U.S. education secretary under President Trump—is a “special guest” for ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 15:05

1. Educators weigh-in on how Trump’s pro-charter, pro-voucher Education Secretary could influence North Carolina’s schools There’s a moment, partway through school choice champion Betsy DeVos’ oft-strange confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate, in which President Trump’s nominee for the top education post in the country suggests a federal civil rights law protecting students with disabilities ...

The post The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

NC Democratic Party: ‘Real damage’ possible for state if Trump imposes 20 percent tax on imported goods from Mexico

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:16

Mexico is North Carolina’s second largest international trading partner, and if President Donald Trump imposes a 20 percent tax on all imported goods from the country, residents can expect to pay more money for goods, including clothing, electronics and produce. Trump embraced the tax plan floated by House Republicans as a possible way to pay for the wall ...

The post NC Democratic Party: ‘Real damage’ possible for state if Trump imposes 20 percent tax on imported goods from Mexico appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

While more money needed for chemical research, Trump sets out to slash EPA budget, workforce

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 11:32

As a planet, we are awash in 10s of millions of synthetic chemicals: They are infused in hormones and perfumes, weed killers and wood turpentine, flame retardants and freon. These synthetics are damaging ecosystems, including waterways, where chemicals are changing the sex of fish. Unfortunately, while industry has been churning more than 100 million synthetic chemicals in ...

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Enrollment in Obamacare continues, even as Trump administration “sabotages” final sign-up efforts

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 10:45

It’s no secret that the President Donald Trump intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But his administration took steps this week to accelerate its demise by halting all media ads marketing the program. The timing is especially unfortunate as open enrollment in the health care exchange for this year will close out next week ...

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Don’t let tax refund delays cost you: Three things you need to know

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 10:26

Many North Carolina taxpayers will have to wait a little longer this year to receive their federal tax refund than in previous years. A federal law passed in late 2015, the PATH ACT, aims to prevent tax identity fraud, one of the fastest growing types of fraud. Because of this law, the IRS will delay ...

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Berger back on “men win women’s restrooms” rant; tells reporter “window closed” on HB2 compromise from special session

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 08:18

Hopes for repeal of HB2 were dealt another powerful blow yesterday when Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger sat down for an interview with Tim Boyum of Time Warner Cable News. Among other things, Berger told Boyum that he “doesn’t see a pathway in the short term for there to be addressing of that issue ...

The post Berger back on “men win women’s restrooms” rant; tells reporter “window closed” on HB2 compromise from special session appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Federal judge to decide fate of Medicaid expansion litigation without court hearing

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 15:52

A federal judge said Thursday that she has all the documents she needs to decide a Medicaid expansion dispute between top GOP lawmakers and the state, and there will no longer be a court hearing Friday in New Bern. U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan will either decide to halt litigation for 60 days so ...

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State lawmakers poised to study inequities in North Carolina school funding

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 14:42

North Carolina lawmakers appear poised to convene a task force to prepare reforms to the state’s formula for funding schools, after a nonpartisan report skewered the complicated system for multiple inequities and inefficiencies last year. As Policy Watch reported in November, the school funding formula—broken into 37 separate categories allocating resources for textbooks, teachers, administration ...

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Private company wants to build two new coal ash landfills, six ponds in Northampton County

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:00

This is the approximate location for two proposed coal ash landfills. They could be built on 804 acres between High Bridge and Tower roads in Northampton County. The millions of tons of coal ash in North Carolina has to be stored somewhere, and that place could be on 804 acres near Highway 186 in Northamption County, according to an article ...

The post Private company wants to build two new coal ash landfills, six ponds in Northampton County appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

President Trump’s proposal to “improve” border security and enforcement attacks the immigrant community

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 11:30

President Donald Trump took immediate and counterproductive steps on Day 6 of his administration to appease the hateful, anti-immigrant faction among his supporters by announcing immediate and rapid changes to U.S. border security and immigration enforcement. Expanding the use of local law enforcement as a tool for mass deportations of immigrants runs counter to our ...

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Following outcry, legislators move to address statewide headache over school classroom sizes

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 11:00

Months after Policy Watch reported a new K-3 class size funding formula could have devastating impacts on local school districts, North Carolina lawmakers have filed legislation to offer the flexibility demanded by public school advocates. House Bill 13, co-sponsored by three state House Republicans, would grant local districts some limited flexibility when it comes to required ...

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