NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 52 min 38 sec ago

This week in pollution: Fields of filth after Hurricane Matthew

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 13:56

Before and after aerial photos of animal waste lagoons released today show the enormity of the flooding that inundated hog and chicken farms in eastern North Carolina. The force and amount of the water potentially released millions of gallons of liquid manure into the Neuse, Black and Cape Fear rivers, and onto the land. The ...

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Department of Justice to send monitors to four North Carolina counties on Election Day

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 12:23

The feds are sending an extra set of eyes to the polls in Cumberland, Forsyth, Robeson and Wake counties next week. Each Board of Elections director was notified Thursday that the Department of Justice would be sending election monitors to various polling sites on Election Day, according to Pat Gannon, spokesman for the State Board of ...

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Amid controversy over HB2, NC’s first openly transgender homecoming queen

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 11:10

North Carolina is in the teeth of a pretty fierce argument about LGBT rights right now – particularly over how we see transgender people and HB2. This week the N.C. GOP is arguing that even having a public discussion about it that includes both conservative voices and transgender voices is a violation of election law. ...

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Opportunity to take part in early voting ends on Saturday

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:46

About two weeks ago, our colleague Suijin Li Snyder blogged about participating in her first presidential election as a U.S. citizen. Just outside Snyder’s office hangs a fun Election Day advent calendar, counting down the days until November 8th filled with quotes reminding us how important it is to take part in the political process. ...

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Surprise: drug use among those getting public benefits in NC startlingly low

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:36

Remember the flap over drug testing poor people getting government benefits in NC? The conservative majority in the North Carolina General Assembly overturning Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto to put testing in place? Well, the results are in: After more than a year of delays, the state began in August to screen applicants to the ...

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The most shocking result in Elon University’s most recent poll

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 10:20

The new Elon University Poll has a lot of good info – particularly if you’re not nervous enough about the upcoming election and need to see evidence that all the biggest races are going to be nail-biters in North Carolina. But there is a genuinely shocking stat in the survey – or at least one ...

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Editorial: “Insane,” right-wing inspired voter purges in NC raise big concerns

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 08:08

As an A.P story on WRAL.com reported this week, a federal judge in Greensboro has referred to North Carolina’s method for purging voters from the rolls “insane” during a hearing in a lawsuit brought by the NAACP: “North Carolina’s process for challenging voters’ registration seems to harken to a bygone era when fewer safeguards were ...

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NC GOP’s Dallas Woodhouse staying classy

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 15:34

NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse is keeping things classy as Election Day approaches, appearing on national television with a pair of handcuffs as a prop. Sure does make you proud of North Carolina, doesn’t it?

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NC Court of Appeals: Whistleblower’s firing not constitutional issue; he has right to hearing

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 14:38

Joseph Vincoli fought the law and thought he had won, but the North Carolina Court of Appeals determined this week that the law won. The opinion, published Tuesday, states that a Wake County Superior judge erred when he ruled a law giving Gov. Pat McCrory more power to hire and fire state employees at will ...

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Given limitations by governor’s office, N.C. school leaders scale back budget wishlist

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 13:00

One day after North Carolina public school leaders recognized a massive gap between schools’ identified needs and the amount state budget leaders for Gov. Pat McCrory would entertain, members of the State Board of Education approved a much more modest wishlist Thursday morning. The budget expansion plan, part of the preliminary stages of the state’s development ...

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East Carolina faculty back university band members’ right to protest, N&O reports

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 10:46

East Carolina University faculty are publicly backing students’ right to protest after 19 band members touched off an uproar when they kneeled during the national anthem of a football game last month, The News & Observer is reporting. The band members were protesting police shootings when they dropped to a knee, and the resulting controversy ...

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Editorial: “Stalled Court should be unthinkable”

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 05:21

Be sure to check out this morning’s editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer, “Stalled Court should be unthinkable.” Here’s an excerpt: “They speak of their intentions, these Republicans do, as if a president’s duty to nominate members of the U.S. Supreme Court was nothing more than a checkoff of Oval Office duties. So if the ...

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Political elections, political courts

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 15:41

In a column today Doug Clark of the News & Record in Greensboro takes a look at political elections producing political courts. The piece is worth your time. From Clark’s column: Studies show that elected judges are more likely to rule against criminal defendants the closer it gets to an election. Why risk being called ...

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Preliminary teacher pay data show NC teacher salaries fall short of $50,000

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 15:34

Despite the claims of Governor McCrory and North Carolina General Assembly leaders, initial salary data from the Department of Public Instruction indicate that average North Carolina teacher salaries remain below $50,000, even when accounting for local supplements.  Preliminary data from the third pay period indicates that average teacher salaries – including local supplements – are ...

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State Board of Education members bemoan “startling” low pay for N.C. school administrators

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 15:20

Faced with stark numbers on the relatively low pay for school administrators in North Carolina, members of the State Board of Education on Wednesday urged swift action from state lawmakers. As Policy Watch reported last week, legislators in a joint study committee are mulling a face-lift for the state’s much-criticized system of administrator pay. Administration ...

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N.C. GOP file complaint over Charlotte Observer HB2 forum

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 14:30

The N.C. GOP has filed an elections board complaint over a forum on HB2 being put on by the Charlotte Observer and Charlotte-area marketing firm Red Ventures. The forum, being held tonight, will include LGBT gay advocates as well as former Republican Charlotte mayor Richard Vinroot. Mitch Kokai of the conservative John Locke Foundation will ...

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New policy brief: The tax cut that North Carolina should enact

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 14:24

In case you missed, it there’s a compelling new policy brief out from the NC Budget and Tax Center (“Bring back the state EITC”) that explains a simple and straightforward way that North Carolina can cut taxes and build a better and fairer economy: reinstating the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is from the brief: ...

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With bipartisan support, firebombed Orange County GOP HQ re-opens

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 14:13

The GOP headquarters in Orange County, which was firebombed last month, has re-opened with financial support from both Republicans and Democrats. Despite political differences, Democrats rallied to raise money to re-open the offices last month. N.C. GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse told the News & Observer that he doesn’t believe the act of political terrorism ...

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Special session planned for December to address Hurricane Matthew recovery

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 10:19

North Carolina legislators are expected to return to Raleigh in early December to begin addressing the long-term financial needs of those affected by Hurricane Matthew. More than $61 million has already been approved for individuals who suffered losses from the October storm. That number could rise substantially when preliminary damage assessments are shared with the ...

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Will conservatives provoke a constitutional crisis over the Supreme Court?

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 07:31

As several news media outlets are reporting this morning, a constitutional crisis is looming in Washington. It revolves around the comments of at least three conservative U.S. Senators — most recently including North Carolina’s Richard Burr — about the U.S. Supreme Court and the possibility that conservatives will attempt to block any nominees submitted by ...

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