NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

False compassion ensues from conservatives over humanitarian crisis

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 13:22
In a recent interview with Fox News, Senator Ted Cruz showed a display of false compassion for the refugee children at our border, stating that the more compassionate response is to send them back. He even accused Democrats of actually wanting them to be “maimed and brutalized.” Check out the video below: At least Wallace ...

Veteran physician: Improve public Medicaid system; don’t sell it to private HMO’s

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:54
As Governor McCrory and his HHS Secretary Aldona Wos convene a rather strange closed door “listening  session” on Medicaid in Greensboro today (it’s scheduled to last all of 45 minutes), let’s hope they both took the time over the weekend to read an excellent, “from-the-trenches” essay by Goldsboro physician Dr. David Tayloe in Raleigh’s News ...

Houston is on the hunt for NC teachers once again

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:02
On the heels of its Raleigh job fair in May, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) is once again looking to poach North Carolina’s school teachers to come work in Texas for much higher pay. The Texas school district will be holding job fairs this week in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. The available jobs in ...

Civility in Supreme Court races?

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 10:22
Kudos to Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter, Jr., who in recent remarks to the state bar association set some ground rules for his Supreme Court campaign. Hunter is running against his colleague on the appeals court, Sam Ervin IV, for the seat being vacated by Justice Mark Martin, who’s running for Chief Justice. In aftermath ...

Editorial blasts last minute local sales tax bill as, “mixed up,” “weird,” “half-baked”

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:53
ICYMI, the editorial page of the Greensboro News & Record pulled no punches this weekend in an editorial excoriating state senators for their last minute proposal to hamstring local governments when it comes to use of the sales tax for public services and structures at the local level. Here’s an excerpt from “Oddest idea yet”: ...

If only we’d allow Obamacare to “not work” in NC like it’s “not working” in Washington state

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:05
As Adam Linker explained last week when he debunked the latest conservative mythology surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the law continues to succeed despite its imperfections and the endless, hysterical attacks of the President’s political opponents. Today, there’s still more confirmation of this undeniable reality from Washington state. As The Olympian reported this morning, the ...

The message to lawmakers: teachers are everywhere

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:19
Teacher pay is at the heart of the 2015 budget negotiations right now—and if you’re wondering why, consider this: in 64 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, a school system is that county’s largest employer. WUNC reporters Dave DeWitt and Keith Weston put together a fascinating infographic that highlights this reality, noting that in 24 more ...

N.C. unemployment stays at 6.4 percent in June, while number of jobs in state goes down

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:49
June’s jobs numbers are out for North Carolina, showing that the state has held on to its unemployment rate of 6.4 percent for the second straight month. The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent for June. The North Carolina numbers for June released by N.C. Commerce Department show a much lower unemployment rate than a ...

California court confirms futility of the death penalty

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:12
(Cross-posted from the blog of the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty). By Kristin Collins Yesterday, a California court confirmed what we have known in North Carolina for years: The death penalty is so dysfunctional as to be not just unconstitutional, but futile. The ruling said of a system in which inmates sit ...

Senate bill would further limit local governments’ tax authority and force a choice between public education and transit

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:18
Plans to finance both public education and transit at the local level would be stopped in their tracks under HB 1224 that passed the state Senate Finance Committee yesterday. The bill not only places a hard cap on the local sales tax rate at 2.5 percent but also only allows counties to levy a sales ...

Editorial: Common Core “repeal” likely symbolic

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 08:30
An editorial in this morning’s Greensboro News & Record offers some important insights on the legislation — soon to be law — that “repeals” North Carolina’s adherence to Common Core education standards (i.e. the standards we’ve already spent tens of millions of dollars on to implement). The movement led by some Republicans to withdraw North ...

North Carolina’s Poet Laureate resigns post

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 22:17
Less than a week after being appointed North Carolina’s newest Poet Laureate, Valerie Macon resigned from the post on Thursday. The self-published poet from Fuquay-Varina said in a letter to Governor Pat McCrory she appreciated his confidence in her, but she did not want to distract from the Office of Poet Laureate. Macon’s appointment drew ...

Mission accomplished?

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 14:29
Steve Harrison over at Blue NC has a good catch today in a post entitled “90% of coal ash remains in Dan River after Duke ‘completes’ cleanup.” As Steve notes: If this is what they call “success,” one would hate to see them fail: “Since the operation began on May 6, approximately 2,500 tons of ...

Tonight’s take-home reading assignment

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:11
As state lawmakers continue to go about the business of overhauling important aspects of state government “on the fly” with complex, last-minute proposals that receive only superficial review in kangaroo committee meetings — see, for example, the Senate’s latest mad effort to privatize the state’s Medicaid system in the waning days of the 2014 session ...

Governor: Laureate honor not reserved for ‘elite’

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:08
Governor Pat McCrory is now answering questions about how he came to choose Valerie Macon as North Carolina’s newest poet laureate. The governor defended his decision Wednesday saying the little known self-published poet from Fuquay-Varina would bring a new voice to the position: “One of my objectives is to open up the availability of all ...

Responding to anti-gay pastors

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:34
There are two articles worth reading in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning about Tuesday’s anti-gay speak-out by some conservative pastors. Chris Sgro of Equality NC is on the editorial page with this excellent post in which he responds to a list of absurd claims. For example: ‘(Marriage equality) is not a trend of the ...

New data: Medicaid expansion providing big benefits to states that have opted for it

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:56
In a new post this afternoon, Jesse Cross-Call at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports the latest confirmation that North Carolina is shooting itself in the foot with its stubborn and shortsighted refusal to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people under the Affordable Care Act. As a growing number of ...

Time to Call a Spade a Spade: Public education and health programs face the chopping block because we can’t afford last year’s tax plan

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:46
North Carolinians are being dealt a bad hand. The deep revenue losses resulting from the 2013 tax plan is creating a reality in which there are too few dollars available to meet the needs of children, families, and communities. Budget writers are facing a self-imposed budget crisis and finding it difficult to agree on just ...

Senate offers newest Medicaid proposal, could open $13 billion system up to privatization

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:52
The state Senate pushed its most recent proposal in committee today to move North Carolina’s complicated and massive Medicaid program to a new structure outside of the state’s health agency. The Senate’s Medicaid plan  would also open up the state’s $13 billion health care program for poor children, the disabled and elderly to privatization by ...

Lawyers are game changers for immigrant children

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:01
As we reported last week, many of the children crossing the border into the United States wind up in court defending themselves — a situation that presumably does not end well for them. The American Civil Liberties Union describes the plight of such children in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle against Attorney General ...

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