NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

Anti-same sex marriage “economist” to bash Medicaid expansion in NC

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:30
Out-of-state activist J. Scott Moody will be making the rounds on Monday in North Carolina to say that expanding Medicaid will hurt our economy. Moody is from a South Carolina outfit called State Budget Solutions and he travels the country speaking out against policies disfavored by conservatives. His schtick is releasing cut-and-paste reports showing the ...

Feds should act quickly to save and improve foreign guest worker program

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 09:15
The H-2B visa program – a program which allows employers to hire foreign workers, mostly from Mexico, to fill seasonal and temporary unskilled jobs in the U.S. — has been in the news lately because a recent federal court decision resulted in a temporary shut-down of the program by the federal Department of Labor (USDOL). ...

Marijuana reform: Ex-military and Republican activists now on board

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 07:22
The movement to end marijuana prohibition is slowly and quietly gathering steam in North Carolina — sometimes with surprising champions. As WRAL.com explains, a large group of activists came to the General Assembly yesterday: “About 150 people turned out Thursday to lobby state lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana, marking the largest turnout in years. Even ...

#ThrowbackThursday: North Carolina can’t compete by spending at 1973 levels

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 17:32
Policymakers have chosen to reduce state spending in recent budgets and appear poised to continue that approach even despite a recovering economy.   Such small thinking ignores the fundamental role of state budgets in supporting the broader economy and delivering opportunities to communities and families. The state’s most recent budgets (and current budget proposal from the ...

N.C. House elects its slate of eight UNC Board of Governors, one Democrat included

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 15:59
The N.C. House of Representatives had its election Thursday for eight members serving four-year terms on the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors. House members voted to keep three current members in place for another four years, while bringing on five new members. Several of the 30 candidates vying for this year’s 16 open ...

Senate JDIG proposal costs too much, yields too few jobs in return

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 13:29
Following sharp questioning of Commerce Secretary Skvarla in a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, it was readily apparent that the Senate would take a different tack on economic development than the House, which passed its own much-criticized package last month. In a surprise press conference yesterday afternoon announcing their own “jobs package” , however, Senate ...

State Senate doesn’t budge: Proposed tax changes reward businesses, punish average taxpayers

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:27
State lawmakers constantly claim that they are looking out for average North Carolinians. However, actions speak louder than words and proposed tax changes that the state Senate aims to enact is a good example. The tax changes would further shift the tax responsibility to low- and middle-income taxpayers and away from the wealthy and profitable corporations. ...

After shooting state’s foot off, NC Senate reloads and prepares to fire again

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 09:51
The warped ideological prism through which the leaders of the North Carolina Senate view reality continues to give rise to new and maddeningly counterproductive policy proposals. The latest came yesterday afternoon when, fresh off of wrecking the state revenue picture for years and handicapping core services like education, the courts and environmental protection with the ...

Editorial blasts Burr, Tillis for “ridiculous” obstruction of AG nominee Lynch

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 06:57
The Charlotte Observer is the latest large media outlet to speak out against the absurd and offensive blockade Attorney General nominee and North Carolina native Loretta Lynch by GOP senators. The Observer rightfully terms the blockade — which is even opposed by notorious left-wingers like Orrin Hatch, Lindsay Graham and Rudolph Giuliani — a “ridiculous” ...

Governor: Senate economic development plan ‘disappoints’ (video)

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 23:40
Governor Pat McCrory says he is in “strong disagreement” with the NC Senate’s new economic development plan. The proposal put forth Wednesday would cut the corporate tax rate and shift how incentives are administered. The governor told members of the N.C. League of Municipalities that the Senate’s plan “breaks the bank” and would serve only ...

Senate chooses 8 for UNC’s governing board, Goolsby and Fennebresque make cut

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:37
The N.C. Senate made their choices Wednesday for appointments to the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors. The House will vote on their slate of candidates tomorrow. Several of the 30 candidates vying for the 16 open slots on the UNC Board of Governors have also been significant contributors to political campaigns, with more ...

New bill would criminalize drug use by pregnant women

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 13:31
On Tuesday, a bill was proposed in the Senate that would make it a criminal offense for a woman in North Carolina to use drugs while pregnant. The bill, sponsored by Senator Brent Jackson and Senator Louis Pate, would permit a woman to be charged with assault if she uses an illegal narcotic while pregnant ...

North Carolina once again toward the bottom in national rankings on teacher pay

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:58
The National Education Association released on Wednesday its annual report on public school rankings and estimates and North Carolina is once again toward the bottom on teacher pay in 2013-14, ranking 47th in the nation – but the rankings pre-date the General Assembly’s move to boost teacher pay last year. North Carolina inched up in the 2014 ...

Right tries to spin state jobs picture, but to no avail

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:12
If you’re an unemployed or underemployed North Carolinian trying to get by in a community that’s never recovered from the Great Recession, take heart: things are actually just ducky according to conservative think tanks — no matter what your eyes and bank account tell you. For “confirmation” check out this morning’s Locke Foundation missive from ...

UNC BOG nominees have a history of BIG political donations

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 10:29
Today’s must read article on Policy Watch’s main site is Sarah Ovaska’s in-depth look at the sizable campaign contributions made by the individuals now being considered for the UNC Board of Governors. Here’s an excerpt from Ovaska’s article: The 30 people currently vying for appointment to the board and their immediate family member have contributed ...

How right-wing nerds are ruining our state

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:03
There are lots of obvious ways in which conservative ideologues are rolling back decades of progress in North Carolina. From taxes to guns, clean water to abortion rights, school privatization to voting rights, Medicaid expansion to predatory loans, the list of high-profile issues is a long one. What’s more, it is not exhaustive. A lot ...

Common core critics: NC needs to completely rewrite standards

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 15:53
Members of a review commission tasked with vetting the Common Core met Monday to hear from nationally known critics of the standards who advocated for their complete rehaul. WUNC’s Reema Khrais has the rundown here: Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram both served on the Common Core Validation Committee from 2009-10 and refused to sign off ...

Advocates: Fracking won’t start in North Carolina without a fight

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 15:37
On the day it has become legal under state law to apply for a fracking permit in North Carolina, advocates at Environment North Carolina joined with a group of state lawmakers at the Legislative Building this afternoon to make clear that the controversial drilling procedure will not commence in the Tar Heel state without a ...

States’ progress on making higher education accessible to all

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 13:25
A new report by the Center for American Progress highlights state actions that have increased access to post-secondary education for all students regardless of immigration status.  The report outlines the importance of state legislation on tuition equity given the lack of federal progress on the issue.  But it also highlights the differences in experiences for ...

Fracking becomes legal in NC today. Now what?

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 09:26
The Fayetteville Observer gets it right this morning with this editorial on the future of fracking in North Carolina — which becomes legal in the state today. After noting how the plummeting price of natural gas has slowed the fracking boom and may keep drillers away from North Carolina, the editorial puts it this way: ...

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