NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 35 min 31 sec ago

Victory for Obama, defeat from McCrory: Appeals court refuses to halt Clean Power Plan during court challenge

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:18
There was some great news from Washington late yesterday: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed down a major victory for the Obama administration’s anti-climate change efforts (and a defeat for North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and other conservative governors trying to derail those efforts). As AP’s Michael Biesecker reports: “In what ...

Prominent economist connects the dots between underemployment and stagnate wages in NC

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:59
While the first storm of winter was heading our way yesterday, prominent economist Jared Bernstein discussed a low pressure system of a different type, how the persistent failure to achieve full employment is pushing wages down and contributing to growing wealth inequality. Drawing on his work on the importance of full employment, Dr. Bernstein discussed ...

Seven weeks ahead of NC’s primary, Trump, Clinton solidify gains (video)

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 09:17
Political observers who predicted Donald Trump’s popularity would have faded months ago may now be wondering if there’s anything left the other Republicans in the field can do to top the television personality/New York businessman. The latest numbers by Public Policy Polling show Trump’s support is up 5 points from a month ago at 38 ...

Editorial: Make community college in NC more affordable, not more expensive

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 07:37
For years, the denizens of the think tanks funded by right-wing power broker Art Pope have been making two rather remarkable arguments with respect to higher education: 1) that too many North Carolinians go to college and 2) that tuition and fees should be much higher in order to place more of the cost of ...

N.C. Association of Educators pans virtual charters

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 14:56
In light of today’s Policy Watch report on the shaky membership numbers reported for N.C.’s virtual charters in the first three months—particularly given the news that public funding diverted to these schools will not be returned despite the dropouts—the N.C. Association of Educators offered a statement this afternoon chiding the state’s virtual charter pilot program. ...

NCSU student paper speaks the truth about Wal-Mart

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 11:20
One of the best newspaper editorials of the week in North Carolina can be found in The Technician — the student paper at N.C. State. It’s a take down of the Walton family of Wal-Mart infamy (and its many predations) entitled “Save money, exploit the poor.” After highlighting the fact that the company is closing ...

RSVP today for lunch next Wednesday with pollster Tom Jensen

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 10:29
N.C. Policy Watch presents the first Crucial Conversation luncheon of 2016: A conversation with Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling Click here to register With the 2016 election campaign already well underway and early voting for the March 15 North Carolina primary scheduled to commence March 3, this is an excellent time to get fully ...

Powerful new data from UNC prof: No “Carolina Comeback” for unemployed state workers

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 07:01
This morning’s “must read” is Professor Patrick Conway’s op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Not exactly a Carolina Comeback.” As Conway, who is Chairman of the Department of Economics At UNC Chapel Hill, explains, the the supposed economic revival for the state’s unemployed workers touted by Gov. McCrory, legislative leaders and ...

Lawmaker announces effort to secure the privacy of student records

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 16:15
This was announced this afternoon by the good people at the ACLU of North Carolina: Rep. Duane Hall to Advance Student Data Protections as Part of National Focus on Privacy Issues North Carolina Joins Nationwide, Bipartisan Effort to Empower Americans to #TakeCTRL of Their Privacy RALEIGH — Today, Representative Duane Hall (Wake County) asked his ...

SCOTUS gives class-action plaintiffs a win

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 10:49
What happens when a company in a class action lawsuit offers the named plaintiff complete relief before a class is certified? If the plaintiff’s claim is mooted by such an offer – regardless of whether the offer is accepted — can the class action proceed? In a 6-3 ruling today by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ...

Tomorrow is National Youth Enrollment Day for the ACA

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 09:45
Despite policymakers’ attempts to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nearly 60 times, the ACA works. Further, both times all or certain provisions of the ACA have been to the Supreme Court, the health care law has remained mostly intact. In 2014, the ACA enhanced the well-being of nearly 460,000 North ...

Inadequate public ed dollars produce pay cuts in Winston-Salem/Forsyth schools

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 08:30
The latest, maddening real world example of how North Carolina’s chronic under-investment in public education is harming our schools and causing destructive penny-pinching can be found right now in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District. As the lead editorial in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal explains, the school system is actually imposing a pay cut on certain bus ...

Kure Beach becomes 100th municipality to oppose offshore drilling

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 04:00
The Kure Beach Town Council was unanimous in its support Monday night of a resolution opposing offshore drilling and seismic testing off the Carolina coast. The adopted resolution read in part: …exploratory and commercial drilling, extraction, and transportation of offshore oil and gas resources pose a significant risk of a spill, therefore, posing threats to ...

Western N.C. school system—reeling from budget cuts, charters—may have to close a school

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 12:00
Troubling news out of Haywood County, a mountainous district west of Asheville that may be facing a school closure and the loss of almost two dozen teaching positions. The culprit? According to an Associated Press report late last week, local funding cuts and competing charter schools. School officials told the A.P. last week that they ...

MLK Day of Service showcases the need to help the working-poor (video)

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 11:15
Across the state on Monday many people commemorated the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a day of service, volunteering their time with various community service projects. Dr. Peter Morris, executive director of Urban Ministries of Wake County, joined us over the weekend to discuss the importance of engaging the community to advocate for those ...

SCOTUS to decide merits of Obama immigration plan

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 10:34
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, putting to rest a challenge to its constitutionality launched more than a year ago by 26 states. As described by Adam Liptak of the New York Times, the president’s plan would “allow millions of immigrants who are the parents ...

Editorials decry the Right’s trickle-down tax shift in NC

Tue, 01/19/2016 - 07:02
In case you missed them over the weekend, at least two lead editorials in major state newspapers once again condemned North Carolina’s mad rush to shift taxes from the rich to the poor and middle class. After quoting the Budget & Tax Center’s Cedric Johnson, Raleigh’s News & Observer put it this way: “Growing tax ...

Last Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 05:00
1. Discrimination agreement required at voucher-eligible school Burrow into Lee Christian School’s “lifestyle statements and covenant” –a wordy, contractual document requiring the signature of parents, school employees and students grades 6-12—and you’ll find this nugget: “Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological, psychological social and spiritual consequences of the human race’s fallen condition. This ...

Mumma case response: If we’re going to punish lawyers for misconduct, let’s really do so

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 14:30
Kristin Collins of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation authored the following post for the NC Center for Alternatives to the Death Penalty blog today: Let’s punish lawyers who put innocent people in prison, instead of those who free them Joseph Sledge spent 37 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. At his ...

Looking beyond the surface regarding news that revenue is up in NC

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 12:43
Revenue is up in North Carolina—which is no surprise because the national and state economies are growing. But before jumping to the conclusion that tax cuts are the reason why, take a look at the numbers. Revenue collections for the first half of this 2016 fiscal year are higher than the same period last fiscal ...

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