NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 2 hours 33 min ago

Senate education committee chair: “I’ve never been for school vouchers.”

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 11:03
As the debate over school vouchers rages on before the state Supreme Court today, Senate education committee chair Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) told N.C. Policy Watch he’s not for sending taxpayer dollars to private schools. “They [private schools] are not regulated and we don’t know what they teach there, do we? Do you know?” said Tillman ...

Who me? Yes you, Governor: How McCrory could still close the Medicaid gap

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:39
In case you missed it this morning, be sure to check out Adam Linker’s op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer. As Linker writes: “Health insurance for more than a million North Carolinians is at stake, and Gov. Pat McCrory has two options: He can take the initiative to protect the people ...

Raising wages not cutting taxes

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 08:45
Yesterday, Lawrence Mishel from the Economic Policy Institute made the compelling case that policymakers have missed the mark by focusing on tax levels rather than wage stagnation in their pursuit of improving growth rates and the economic well-being of the majority of Americans.  As Mishel points out: Wage stagnation is a decades-long phenomenon. Between 1979 ...

Four stories you can’t afford to miss Tuesday

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 05:57
#1 – School Vouchers: The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments beginning at 9:30 a.m. this morning  in the lawsuit that challenges the legality of the state’s school voucher program.  Want to hear both sides of the argument? WRAL.com will be live streaming the court proceedings. #2 – Religious Refusal Bill: Over on ...

Two must-read pieces on vouchers

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 16:29
Curious about the real cost of vouchers? Check out these two great op-eds from Rev. Dr. Arnetta Beverly and Margaret Arbuckle in the Greensboro News-Record. Rev. Beverly focuses on why risky vouchers schemes violate the North Carolina constitution: Article IX, Section 6 of the North Carolina constitution declares that public funds for education “shall be ...

McCrory’s prison system boss confirms flaws of government on the cheap, need for new resources

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 15:58
It’s not the most riveting 20 minutes of TV you’ll ever watch, but if you’d like to see a plainspoken, common sense explanation of why North Carolinians desperately need to invest more in public structures and services and reject the notion that the problems of government can be solved via an unceasing regimen of tax ...

Trending today on Jones Street – #Monday

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:44
The state House convenes at 1:00pm today, with the Senate returning for a 4:00pm session. Until then, here are some of the stories trending on Jones Street this Monday: #ncga budget season starts today with a mostly blank bill filed in the House. They'll add details later. http://t.co/UjWwbDNs5m #ncpol — Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) February 23, ...

UNC law professors speak out against proposal to close poverty center

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:19
Nearly four dozen faculty members of the University of North Carolina’s School of Law signed a statement late Friday denouncing recommendations from a special committee of the university system’s governing board to cut a poverty-focused academic center. The Chapel Hill law school’s UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which receives no direct state funding ...

The best op-ed of the weekend

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 07:34
For my money, the most thoughtful essay to appear in a North Carolina newspaper over the past weekend was authored by Ned Barnett of Raleigh’s News & Observer regarding the senseless triple murder tragedy that rocked Chapel Hill and Carrboro this month. As Barnett highlights in “The hard toll of easy guns,” the saddest part ...

Breaking: Criminal charges filed against Duke Energy in federal courts across the state

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 17:02
U.S. Attorney’s offices across the state filed a series of criminal cases today accusing Duke Energy of negligent discharge of coal ash and coal ash wastewater into rivers adjacent to company coal ash plants. In Raleigh, the misdemeanor charges were filed in connection to spills at the H.F. Lee Steam Plant. In Charlotte, similar charges ...

The good and bad in Wal-Mart’s underwhelming pay raises

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 15:50
In the giant banana republic of haves and have nots that the U.S. economy has increasingly come to resemble, any bump in the pay dosed out to front line workers by a company as huge and generally predatory as Wal-Mart — however modest — is a good thing. When a half-million people are able to ...

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 15:02
1. UNC Poverty Center facing closure, as university system leaders finish review of centers Three centers in the university system – including a poverty research center run by an outspoken law professor —   should be shut down, according to recommendations approved Wednesday by a special committee of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. ...

Justice Department to seek stay of order blocking President’s immigration policies

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 14:36
The Justice Department will seek an emergency order from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowing the federal government to move forward with the President’s immigration programs while it appeals a Texas federal judge’s ruling halting those programs, according to the New York Times. The move follows on the heels of Monday’s late night ruling by U.S. District Judge ...

Expansion of grants or renewed tax credits? Wilmington region looks for the right recipe to spur economic development (audio)

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 13:50
Wilmington’s mayor along with representatives of EUE/Screen Gems Studios and the regional film commission announced Thursday they will push for an expansion of North Carolina’s $10 million film grant fund this session. Mayor Bill Saffo is hopeful that the Republican-controlled General Assembly might be more willing to expand the new grant program, rather than reinstate ...

HHS gives people who owe tax penalty a second chance to get insurance

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 11:53
Consumer organizations have asked the Obama Administration for months to give people who find out during tax filing season that they owe a penalty for not buying health insurance another chance to enroll. Today Health & Human Services announced that they will do just that. In meetings and public forums we have found that many people ...

Obama gives fourth graders a year’s worth of free admission to National Parks

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:34
It’s been a very cold week in North Carolina, and many families are likely going a bit stir crazy now that school has been out for nearly a week in most locales thanks to an ice storm and record-breaking cold weather. So, you might be thinking: when can we get the kids to the park?! ...

As budget shortfall grows, legislative leaders try to spin their way out of it

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 09:23
Faced with the hard reality of a growing state budget shortfall resulting from their ill-advised tax giveaways to wealthy individuals and profitable corporations, state legislative leaders have apparently opted to try to spin their way out of the mess. House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam was the latest to try out a little song and ...

Boger, Nichol remind us of why they are heroes (and why the Right is so fearful of their criticism)

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 15:22
In case you haven’t yet read them yet, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to read the statements issued yesterday by UNC Law School Dean Jack Boger and Professor Gene Nichol in response to the the recommendation of a special committee of the UNC Board of Governors to close the UNC Center ...

Watch UNC BOG member Steven Long criticize Chapel Hill-based Center for Civil Rights

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 13:35
Yesterday’s meeting of a special committee of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors included passage of a much-awaited report about centers and institutes, with recommendations that a poverty-focused center run by an outspoken law professor be shut down. You can read my full report about the recommendations here, Though the closure of the ...

For criminal justice reform, the left and right try working together

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 10:45
Add reforming the country’s criminal justice system to the list of things that make strange bedfellows. In an announcement expected today, the Center for American Progress and Koch Industries — arch enemies in the political arena — will disclose their backing of the newly-formed Coalition for Public Safety, an organization designed to launch “a multimillion-dollar campaign on ...

Pages