NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Widespread poverty persists, work and income supports help offset economic pain

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 14:04
This is the eighth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. Previous posts examined: 1) how North Carolina is faring overall; 2) how poverty varies by race, 3) poverty by County; 4) child poverty; 5) the impact, or lack thereof, of ...

Still time to catch the “Nuns on the Bus”

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:58
They’ve been in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Greenville, but there’s still time to catch the “Nuns on the Bus” get-out-the-vote tour today or tomorrow if you’re in Asheville or Charlotte. To learn more about the tour, read here, or listen to NOTB Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell in her radio interview with Policy Watch’s Chris Fitzsimon ...

And same-sex marriage is now officially legal in Virginia

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 13:14
The Fourth Circuit has issued its mandate:  

What the Supreme Court’s inaction on marriage equality means

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:11
As reported, the ACLU will immediately file papers asking the federal judge handling same-sex marriage cases here to invalidate the state’s ban and allow marriages to go forward. For quick context on the the Supreme Court’s inaction today and what it means in North Carolina and elsewhere, see this VOX explainer. And for more detail, read ...

ACLU of NC responds to Supreme Court action on marriage cases

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 11:43
Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina issued the following statement in response to the announcement this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court that would not take up the appeals of various circuit court decisions upholding marriage equality: U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would not review appeals court rulings in seven states, including ...

More you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up coal ash news

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 08:55
In case you missed it on Friday, Michael Biesecker at AP had another troubling story on Duke Energy’s seemingly metastasizing coal ash mess. This is the lead: Federal environmental officials spurred North Carolina regulators to reverse a policy allowing Duke Energy to drain massive amounts of polluted wastewater from its coal ash dumps directly into ...

Editorials blast cuts by legislature and McCrory to driver’s ed as shortsighted, threat to public safety

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 06:29
The practical, everyday examples of the the General Assembly’s and Governor McCrory’s penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to education funding keep emerging. As Chris Fitzsimon explained last week, one of those areas is driver education — an area in which the very lives of North Carolinians have been placed at greater risk because the tax-cuts-over-common-sense-spending approach. This ...

McCrory less popular than Obama in Republican district

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 14:41
Buried in one the latest “flash polls” from the Civitas Institute is what appears to be bad news for Governor Pat McCrory. The poll was taken to get a read on the race for the state House between Republican incumbent Michele Presnell and her Democratic challenger Dean Hicks in District 118—Madison, Haywood, and Yancey counties. ...

More drama as the voting rights case escalates

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 11:39
Nearly 48 hours had passed since the Fourth Circuit ruled that certain provisions of the state’s new voting law — namely the elimination of  same-day registration and the prohibition on counting out-of-precinct ballots — likely violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and shouldn’t be implemented for the coming election. And U.S. District Judge Thomas ...

How to end child labor in state’s tobacco fields

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:17
As has been reported on this site on multiple occasions (and as amazing and discouraging as the truth is), the scandal of child labor in one of the country’s most dangerous professions remains a reality in modern America. Children as young as seven are still trooping into America’s (and North Carolina’s) tobacco fields to harvest ...

This week’s most under-reported story: McCrory’s DHHS to propose Medicaid expansion

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 08:58
If there’s one story that’s been notably and inexplicably under-reported in the mainstream news media this week it’s been this one. As  our former colleague Adam Searing, to his credit, reported Monday: In two interviews over the last few days, North Carolina’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Aldona Wos and ...

Lawmakers retreat from investing in early childhood in final state budget

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 17:13
This is the second post in a series that takes a detailed look at the final budget passed by North Carolina lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. The first post provided an overview and examined how North Carolina’s investments post-recession have not bounced back nearly as much when compared to previous recessions. Despite the fact ...

North Carolina moves to the U.S. Supreme Court after Fourth Circuit refuses to stay ruling on voting law

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:53
The same three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals which yesterday blocked state provisions eliminating same-day registration and prohibiting the counting of out-of-precinct ballots refused today, by a 2-1 vote, to stay its ruling pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court’s order is here. And as expected, the state shortly after asked the ...

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence sponsoring “thank you” note to Ag commish

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:02
If the recent actions of State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in upholding the ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the North Carolina State Fair has been enough to convince you that there may still be a little bit of hope for the Old North State, check out the “thank you” campaign that’s been organized by ...

Editorial pages praise Fourth Circuit voting rights decision

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 11:46
Greensboro News & Record editorial writer Doug Clark is on the money with this column praising this week’s Fourth Circuit decision to enjoin two key voter suppression laws enacted by North Carolina’s current political leaders: The court noted the propriety of applying “the totality of circumstances” to its analysis. In this case, the circumstances included ...

New cases granted in the U.S. Supreme Court

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 10:49
The Supreme Court issued its first order list of the term this morning, with no decision yet on the seven pending same-sex marriage petitions. The Court did take 11 new cases though, including a housing discrimination case out of Texas, a redistricting case out of Arizona and a campaign finance case out of Florida. The ...

A fairly pathetic start to eugenics compensation

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 10:13
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the state has mailed out about 200 checks to commence the inadequate and uninspired compensation plan for victims of the state’s 45-year-long eugenics program. Elaine Riddick got a call this week that had been more than 40 years in the making. Riddick, a victim of North Carolina’s eugenics program, said ...

Rand Paul disagrees with NC GOP leaders on voter suppression; calls it a “dumb idea”

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 16:52
North Carolina’s Governor and state legislative leaders have indicated that they will appeal today’s Fourth Circuit ruling that enjoined two key voter suppression provisions that they helped enact in the 2013 “monster voting law.” Interestingly, however, this position runs directly contrary to several strong statements by one of the nation’s most prominent GOP presidential contenders, ...

Breaking: Fourth Circuit orders stay of key voting changes

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 13:33
Saying that the right to vote is fundamental, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ordered the federal district court in Greensboro to stay provisions of the state’s recently enacted voting changes which eliminated same-day registration and prohibited the counting of out-of-precinct provisional ballots. In a  2-1 decision joined by U.S. Judge Henry Floyd, U.S. District Judge ...

California enacts two common sense anti-gun violence laws

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:39
The website Governing has the basics: Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Tuesday written in response to gun tragedies that shook up Northern California: the Isla Vista shooting rampage by a UC Santa Barbara student and the Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy shooting of a boy with a toy gun. One new law will allow family ...