NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 19 min 8 sec ago

The Senate Tax Plan Fails to Fix the Problem

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 08:05
Last week, we raised concerns with the Senate leadership’s new tax plan. Rather than reinvesting and regaining ground lost in recent years, the Senate is pursuing another round of costly income tax cuts. When fully implemented, the $1 billion price tag for the Senate tax plan will mean North Carolina must forgo investments in the ...

House set to vote on dangerous gun bill

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 07:44
The Senate budget is dominating the headlines today but the House is set to vote this afternoon on a sweeping gun bill opposed by law enforcement and the McCrory Administration that would allow many buyers of handguns to avoid background checks. The bill passed the House Rules Committee two weeks ago by one vote thanks ...

Senate seeks to shift Medicaid to new agency (video)

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 07:11
Senate leaders included a surprise in Monday’s budget roll-out – their vision for Medicaid reform. Sen. Ralph Hise detailed plans that would move Medicaid away from the state Department of Health and Human Services and to a newly created Health Benefits Authority. The HBA, according to Hise, would contract with three healthcare providers to administer ...

McCrory’s rough summer continues with Senate budget

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 05:52
It has been a rough couple of weeks for Governor Pat McCrory. First, the House and Senate overrode his vetoes of the so-called ag-gag bill and the legislation that allows magistrates to refuse to marry gay couples if they have a religious objection to marriage equality. Then Monday Senate leaders rolled out a budget that ...

Trending on Jones Street – #NCsen budget

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 14:24
The top story on Jones Street this afternoon is what is (and what isn’t) in the Senate’s proposed spending plan. Here’s a quick rundown from those attending this afternoon’s budget-preview press conference: Senate budget plan proposes 4 percent avg pay raises for teachers. #ncga #ncpol — Jane Stancill (@janestancill) June 15, 2015 Senate plan requires ...

NCDOT reaches agreement with environmental groups over fate of the Bonner Bridge

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 13:39
The state Department of Transportation announced this afternoon that it had reached an agreement with environmental groups allowing the agency to replace the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks with a new parallel bridge. Under the agreement, NCDOT will also consider options that would move vulnerable portions of N.C. ...

Why NC cyclists are insisting the Senate backpedal on House Bill 44

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:11
The word bicycle does not appear in the title of House Bill 44, but the bill stands to have a major impact on those who like to bike for pleasure or as an alternative form of transportation. Buried in the Local Government Regulatory Reform Act is a provision that stands to restrict the advancement of ...

Belhaven mayor reaches D.C., calls for more help for rural hospitals

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:01
Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal completed a walk from his small Eastern North Carolina town to the nation’s capital today, calling on national leaders to help rural communities with sparse healthcare options. The 283-mile walk – the second year the Republican mayor has done it –– was to bring attention to the pressures faced by the ...

NCGA may tap school privatization advocates to hand out taxpayer funds to charter schools

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:48
State lawmakers could soon decide to anoint pro-school privatization nonprofit Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) to distribute taxpayer dollars to new charter schools in the state, according to the Associated Press. From the AP: The budget proposal being considered by the General Assembly may break new ground in state spending by letting ...

NC abortion ultrasound law rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 09:55
In an order released this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court refused, over a dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia,  to review a ruling striking down North Carolina’s 2011 law requiring doctors to give women a narrated ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. The Court’s decision means the law, which had been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, ...

Charlotte Observer editor wants in on Senate Bill 2 law; What about you?

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 09:19
Now that North Carolina has made it state law that magistrates and registers of deeds can get out of doing parts of their sworn duties due to “sincere religious beliefs,” Charlotte Observer editorial page editor Taylor Batten has a long list of duties he would like to be excused from in his job. For instance, ...

Report bolsters call to close election reporting loophole; Advocates hopeful that lawmakers may act

Sat, 06/13/2015 - 09:00
There hasn’t been much to cheer about in the General Assembly this session, but some of the good folks working to reform our broken and plutocrat-owned election system are finding some inklings of hope. Word on Jones Street is that there may be a chance that lawmakers will insert a provision into this year’s omnibus ...

Is Elmo really all preschoolers need to succeed?

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 15:39
This week, researchers from the University of Maryland and Wellesley College released a report that finds that the learning gains young children experience from watching Sesame Street are on par with what students learn in preschool. From The Washington Post: The researchers also say those effects probably come from Sesame Street’s focus on presenting viewers ...

North Carolina Communities Benefiting from Immigration

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 15:04
Immigrants are increasingly important to North Carolina’s long-term economic vitality. The smokescreen of rhetoric surrounding immigration can obscure facts on the ground, but that makes it all the more important to take a sober look at the actual evidence. As documented in a recent Budget & Tax Center report, immigrants bring needed skills and expertise, ...

Senate tax plan would double down on further tax cuts, hold back reinvestment

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 13:39
The state Senate unveiled a proposal yesterday that would take the modest revenue gains that our state is experiencing and give them away in the form of tax cuts rather than reinvest them in the building blocks of community well-being. That would be a mistake. Lawmakers already deeply cut revenue collections in 2013 and this ...

Common core review commission seeking feedback from public

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 12:56
The Academic Standards Review Commission, which is tasked with recommending changes to the state’s Common Core standards for English and math, wants to hear from the public this coming Monday, June 15. Those who want to weigh in on the standards and their impact on students are invited to send an email to Jo Herrera ...

One Register of Deeds’ perfect response to the new marriage discrimination law (SB2)

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 10:17
The New Hanover County Register of Deeds didn’t ask for a law allowing her employees to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages if they invoke “any sincerely held religious objection.” So when the state House voted Thursday to join the NC Senate in overriding the bill vetoed by Governor Pat McCrory, Register of Deeds Tammy Beasley ...

Condemnations of new marriage discrimination law continue to pour in

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 08:57
Today, on the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down state laws banning interracial marriage in the case of Loving v. Virginia, condemnations continue to pour in from across the country for North Carolina’s absurd and offensive new marriage discrimination law. Here are just a few: From Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Senate ...

Senate tax plan would continue down a path to nowhere

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 18:53
A tax plan state Senate leaders presented this week would promote neither shared economic opportunity nor prosperity across North Carolina. Far from it. The proposal would cost more than $1 billion in annual revenue loss as the tax plan continues down the path of handing out more costly tax cuts to large, profitable corporations at ...

Today’s marriage discrimination vote: Four cowardly minutes

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 16:29
Today’s vote in the North Carolina House of Representatives to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of Senate Bill 2 — lawmakers’ latest effort to preserve some precious shreds of hate and discrimination in state marriage law — was absurd and offensive for a number of reasons. There was the substance of the new law that ...

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