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: 4 min 42 sec ago

Numerous editorials praise voucher decision

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:51
The Charlotte Observer: In striking down the state’s new school voucher law on Thursday, N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood laid out a cogent, compelling constitutional case against the bad law. “Beyond a reasonable doubt…,” he said from the bench, “the Opportunity Scholarship program funds a system of private schools from taxpayer dollars as an ...

Is help on redistricting coming from the U.S. Supreme Court?

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 14:20
As the case challenging North Carolina’s 2011 redistricting plan languishes in state Supreme Court, two similar cases out of Alabama that may bear directly on the legality of our state maps are set for argument in the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. In Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama, parties are challenging the legality of ...

Tracking the Cuts: Jackson County drains $500,000 out of savings for its public schools; Rowan-Salisbury lays off 46 employees

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:32
The Macon County News reports that Jackson County will have to dip into $500,000 of its general fund balance in order to pay for teacher positions, teacher pay raises and teacher assistants, thanks to a state budget that disinvests in public education for another year in a row. In addition to county support, Jackson County has taken ...

Parties fast-tracking appeal of voting rights decision

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:29
The League of Women Voters and other groups and individuals challenging the state’s new voting law in federal court today appealed a lower court ruling rendering the law effective for the November elections. They’ll ask the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to expedite the matter with a view towards a quick ruling. “We will be seeking expedited review ...

Federal judge: Discrimination suit against DMV can continue

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 11:39
There have been several important court decisions of late so you may have missed an important one that came out this week. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle denied the state’s motion to dismiss an important lawsuit challenging discriminatory practices by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles in the treatment of people ...

With second hearing on drilling rules set for Friday, new worries about fracking fluid

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 09:35
This afternoon, the state Mining and Energy Commission will hold the second of four public hearings on proposed rules for regulating oil and gas development in North Carolina. The hearing at the Wicker Center in Sanford comes amid new worries about the  waste water produced by hydraulic fracturing. Think Progress reports on new research that ...

Another futile waste of time and money in combating rising sea levels

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 08:41
The latest story comes from New York but it might has well be Florida or North Carolina. Once again, politicians (this time led by New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo) are opting for the politically expedient “quick fix” that will make everyone feel good for a few moments but do nothing to address the long-term scientific ...

Editorial: Voucher supporters should revisit N.C.’s Constitution

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 07:34
If Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood’s ruling finding the state’s new school voucher program unconstitutional caught you off guard, it shouldn’t have. The editorial board for the Fayetteville Observer writes Hobgood’s decision was not only correct, it was the only ruling that should have been handed down from the bench. Here’s more from ...

Economic recovery marked by low-wage jobs, paying even less

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:43
A new analysis from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) finds that the vast majority of jobs created since 2009 are now paying even less than before the economic recovery began. Today’s must-read story from Think Progress takes a closer look at this troubling trend: Some of the low-wage jobs that employ the most people ...

A clear and unmistakable ruling on school voucher scheme

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:32
The big story of the day is the decision by Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood this morning that the private school voucher scheme passed by the General Assembly last year violates the state constitution and as Hobgood put it, The General Assembly fails the children of North Carolina when they are sent with public taxpayer ...

Advocates: Coal ash bill makes some strides but ultimately falls short

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 07:22
One of the most knowledgeable environmental advocacy groups working on North Carolina’s coal ash dilemma — the state chapter of the Sierra Club — had mixed reviews for the new legislation approved by lawmakers yesterday: NC Sierra Club Response to Final Passage of S 729, Coal Ash Management Act The legislature today gave final approval ...

Coal Ash compromise heads to the Governor, lawmakers head home (video)

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 21:38
On the final day of the “short session” both the House and Senate gave approval to a compromise plan that sets the wheels in motion to begin cleaning-up North Carolina’s 33 unlined coal ash pits. Approval of the Coal Ash Management Act came 200 days after a major spill at a former Duke Energy power ...

North Carolina teacher launches effort to feed children in Ferguson, Mo.

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 14:16
A North Carolina teacher has started a crowd sourcing effort to raise money for food banks in the St. Louis area, after schools in Ferguson, Missouri closed as a result of the unrest following the shooting death of unarmed teenager Mike Brown by a police officer. Julianna Mendelsohn, who teaches at a school in Bahama ...

Supreme Court approves Duke Energy rate hike

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:43
As the General Assembly debates a coal ash bill that many say lets Duke Energy off the hook, the Supreme Court today approved a rate hike for Duke Energy customers. Justice Barbara Jackson wrote the opinion for the unanimous court, holding this: In this case we consider whether the order of the North Carolina Utilities ...

Governor names Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter to Supreme Court

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:46
Gov. Pat McCrory announced today that he’ll appoint current Court of Appeals Judge R.N. “Bob” Hunter, Jr. to fill Justice Mark Martin’s seat on the Supreme Court. Martin will take Chief Justice Sarah Parker’s spot on Sept. 1,  following her retirement. Hunter, who has served on the Court of Appeals since 2008, will take his seat ...

Changing fortunes of one-time NC Obamacare opponent explains why issue is fading fast for the right

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:29
Bloomberg News published a fascinating story yesterday (“Obamacare Losing Power as Campaign Weapon in Ad Battles”) about the gradual, but steady demise of the Affordable Care Act as a campaign issue for conservatives in the 2014 election. In illustrating the altered political landscape, the story features a North Carolina woman whose views have been changed ...

Advocates, experts: Coal ash compromise legislation falls short

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:25
People who know the score are not displaying a lot of enthusiasm about the coal ash bill that will be run through he House Rules Committee this morning. As the website Coal Ash Chronicles noted yesterday: “[C]losing” a coal ash pond and “cleaning up” a coal ash pond or spill … those are totally different ...

Controversial incentives bill falters; coal ash deal saved for last day (video)

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 06:12
House members rejected on Tuesday a multi-part bill to expand job incentives, while capping Wake County’s ability to raise local sales taxes. While House Speaker Thom Tillis and Governor Pat McCrory favored House Bill 1224, a bipartisan group of House members defeated the contentious measure. State senators had tied the passage of HB 1224 to ...

Still time to RSVP for Thursday’s luncheon on the Supreme Court

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:05
It looks like we’ll have a sizable crowd, but some seats still remain for Thursday’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon: The State of the U.S. Supreme Court with Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress. Millhiser is the Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress and the Justice Editor for ...

Missing workers update: July 2014

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:15
Yesterday’s release of the latest labor market numbers for July 2014 continues to show a slow recovery of jobs in North Carolina. Job growth, while occurring, is insufficient to ensure that the state’s growing working age population has employment opportunities. North Carolina has still not replaced the nearly 300,000 jobs lost during the Great Recession. ...

Pages