NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 32 min ago

125 days of not doing their jobs; Senators set new record of inaction on Garland nomination

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 08:08
The U.S. Senate is setting a new record for inaction on a Supreme Court justice nomination this week. Today marks 125 days since President Obama submitted the name of Merrick Garland (pictured at left) to serve on the Court — a man that even conservative Republicans admit is beyond highly qualified. He has yet to ...

Factcheck: Republican National Convention platform claims coal is clean

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 16:25
Photo: Robert S. Donovan/cc/flickr The Republican National Convention starts tonight, and one of the planks of its platform is the unscientific notion that coal is an “abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.” Coincidentally, as Grist.org points out, the GOP’s language is nearly identical to that of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which calls coal an “affordable, abundant, and ...

Don’t miss next week’s luncheon with national consumer rights advocate Tom Feltner

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 13:48
Be sure to RSVP for the next NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon: Predatory payday lenders: Is North Carolina rid of them for good or will they make a comeback? Featuring Tom Feltner of the Consumer Federation of America Register here It’s been 15 years since North Carolina became the first state in the U.S. ...

Governor signs “Duke Energy Protection Act”

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 10:37
In case you missed it late last Friday, Governor McCrory gave final approval to a bill that purports to address the state’s coal ash crisis, but that environmental advocates are deriding as the “Duke Energy Protection Act.” The folks at the League of Conservation Voters have distributed this helpful response/summary this morning: GOV. MCCRORY SIGNS ...

Kasich rejects Cleveland police request to suspend “open carry” laws during GOP convention

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 07:26
Good grief. Has our societal obsession with guns gone so far that law enforcement must make a special request to suspend “open carry” laws around major events? One would have though the insanity of recent situations in which officers couldn’t tell snipers from “open carriers” would have taught us a lesson, but apparently not. Judd ...

This week’s top five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 14:46
1. Governor McCrory needs to realize that putting ideology over evidence won’t help struggling students Legislative leaders say they care about helping struggling schools in North Carolina and the students who attend them—but they don’t act much like they do. Imagine going to the doctor for an ear infection and the doctor tells you that ...

State officials tout record highs in N.C. Education Lottery profits, but there are caveats

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 12:10
State officials are touting record profits from the N.C. Education Lottery, according to an Associated Press report Thursday.  From the AP report: The North Carolina Education Lottery says it’s had another record year for ticket sales and net profits. Lottery officials announced Thursday ticket sales for the year ending June 30 totaled nearly $2.4 billion, ...

After a brief moment of sanity, Newt Gingrich flips out again

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 10:35
Former U.S. House Speaker and perennial presidential/vice presidential candidate Newt Gingrich made some headlines the other day when he uttered some semi-sane words about the reality of being a black American and how white people fail to grasp the challenges that their fellow citizens of color face every day. Unfortunately, Gingrich headed back over to ...

HB2 update: Cleveland passes transgender-friendly ordinance days before GOP convention

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 09:26
There’s more good news today in the slow but sure battle to win equality for all LGBT Americans and it comes, from all place, the site of the upcoming Republican National Convention. Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer reports: “On the eve of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, City Council members there have unanimously ...

National poll ranks education one of the top issues for young voters in 2016

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 15:15
With the Republican National Convention scheduled to kick off next week, a new, national poll finds that education will be one of the top issues for young voters when they head to the polls this year. Education Week reported on the “Genforward” poll this week, released by the Univ. of Chicago’s Black Youth Project and ...

HB2 lawsuit update: Light in the tunnel as court will consider immediate relief for transgender people on August 1

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 14:33
This just in from the good people at the ACLU of North Carolina: U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder will hear arguments on Monday, August 1, on a motion for a preliminary injunction that asks the court to block the provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 2 that target transgender people for discrimination in single-sex ...

McCrory signs flawed budget that includes massive new spending on unaccountable voucher scheme

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 11:21
To no one’s surprise Gov. Pat McCrory today signed the flawed budget passed by the General Assembly a few weeks ago. McCrory signed the bill at a public elementary school in Monroe to highlight the salary increases for teachers in the spending plan. But the budget also includes a massive increase in funding for the ...

Tillis: Confirming judges has “nothing to do with doing our jobs”

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:02
Sometimes it is almost beyond belief that Thom Tillis serves on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. That same thought must’ve been running through the minds of a lot of his fellow senators yesterday afternoon when Tillis took to the Senate floor to block a bundle of federal court nominations who would have filled vacancies that ...

Breakthrough? Local climate change deniers tout shift to natural gas…for lowering greenhouse gas emissions

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 14:41
One should probably mark it down as a sign of progress. After all, it’s not every day that a far right advocacy group that’s spent many years and thousands upon thousands of words denying the reality of human-aided climate change, attacking renewable energy and lauding fossil fuel consumption publishes something that implicitly admits the error ...

NC needs to listen to Fayetteville’s top cop, newspaper re: body cameras and police-community relations

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 10:44
It’s too bad Governor McCrory and state lawmakers aren’t listening to some smart folks in Fayetteville when it comes to the issue of police body cameras and the broader question of how to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color. First there’s Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock (pictured at left), who continues to ...

Editorial: No more special legislative sessions…PLEASE

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 08:33
The lead editorial in today’s Greensboro News & Record has an amusing, if rather depressing and, ultimately, serious assessment of the possibility that the General Assembly could soon be called into special session to redraw unconstitutional election maps it attempted to force upon the people of Wake County. To paraphrase the N&R: “No, anything but ...

New report underscores false promise that North Carolina’s Achievement School District takeover plan is better than Tennessee’s

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 15:12
A new report from researchers at George Washington University provides a qualitative analysis of the reasons why Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD) – that state’s efforts to turn around low-performing schools by handing the schools over to private charter operators – has failed.  The report, based on 140 interviews with leaders of the ASD and ...

New “business-friendly” rankings: NC scored higher under Perdue than McCrory; HB2 holding us back

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 13:05
There are lots of good reasons to take the rankings of “top states for business” or “most business-friendly states” put out each year by various media outlets with huge grains of salt. The rankings are almost always packed full of subjective criteria, often fail to take into account the lives of real people and exist ...

Racial diversity survives and thrives: The Supreme Court rules in United States v. Fisher

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 12:01
Last month, the United States Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions policy as constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause in Fisher v. University of Texas. The decision is a big win for proponents of admissions policies that foster racial and ethnic diversity in the university setting. The majority opinion, written by Justice ...

NC virtual charter operator disputes details of California court settlement

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 10:48
K12 Inc., a controversial for-profit, virtual charter operator running a school in North Carolina, is disputing the terms of a multi-million dollar settlement the company announced late last week with the California Office of the Attorney General. As we reported Monday, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris touted a $168.5 million settlement with the company, which was accused of inflating ...

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