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: 2 hours 35 min ago

The chorus is growing: Where’s Burr’s blue slip?

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 16:36

The New York Times wasn’t the only news outlet today — Day 285 of the Burr “blue slip” watch —  to chastise U.S. Sen. Richard Burr for obstructing the judicial nomination process and refusing to return the traditional “blue slip” … Read More...

The Guv’s embarrassing jobs creation press release

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 15:50

Don’t get us wrong; it’s almost always great whenever a new employer is creating jobs in North Carolina. And the phenomenon of politicians claiming credit for job creation is nothing new; everyone likes good news and wants to be around … Read More...

Guilford County DSS director out, state expecting to meet deadline to clear food stamps backlog

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 14:32

The head of Guilford County’s social services department announced his resignation Monday, days after a previously unknown backlog of 8,000 food stamp recertification cases was discovered Wednesday.

Robert Williams resigned following a meeting Monday, according to the Greensboro News & Read More...

Lunch Links: ACA enrollment swells, WSJ questions NC ‘comeback’, and a Moral Monday focus on coal ash (video)

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 12:25

Hope you ate your Wheaties this morning! This is going to be a busy Monday – so try to keep up!

First, today is the final day for open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.  Chris Fitzsimon’s Monday numbers columnRead More...

McCrory’s teacher pay ideas met with skepticism in Statesville

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:24

Statesville’s Record & Landmark reports that when McCrory presented his ideas for teacher pay last week to those attending the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner, local education officials in attendance weren’t too keen on his handiwork.



NY Times blasts Burr’s judicial blockade, calls for reform

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 09:15

In case you missed it, the New York Times editorialized this morning against Richard Burr’s ongoing and inexplicable one-man filibuster of federal judicial nominee Jennifer May-Parker and called for the U.S. Senate to reform its archaic “blue slip” process that … Read More...

NC General Assembly’s Anti-ACA Hearing: A jibe at Sandra Fluke

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 09:15

Chris Conover — the expert called by the NC General Assembly this month as the main witness for the anti-Affordable Care Act committee (convened for some reason four years after passage of the health law) — had  other digs in … Read More...

With Monday deadline and thousands of pending cases, NC FAST to shut down much of weekend

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:18

The state Department of Health and Human Services is racing to meet a Monday deadline to clear a backlog of thousands of food stamps cases, but the benefits system that distributes the food assistance will be shut down over much … Read More...

Falling labor force continues to drive drop in unemployment rate

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 15:09

North Carolina’s falling labor force continues to drive reductions in the state’s unemployment rate, according to the February jobs report released by Division of Employment Security this morning. Over the last year, just 4 in 10 formerly unemployed workers actually … Read More...

What’s going on in Kansas? Beware North Carolina!

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 14:49

What’s the deal in Kansas these days? That’s a question Governor McCrory and North Carolina’s state leaders should be asking themselves.

After passing huge tax cuts in recent years, the subsequent unimpressive economic performance and continued disinvestment in core public … Read More...

Affordable Care Act: Working in Washington, NC but Medicaid Expansion Critical

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:06

Yesterday our NC Justice Center health group was down in Washington, NC hosting a meeting to discuss the Affordable Care Act, signing up and the need for NC to close the coverage gap by expanding Medicaid.  The Washington Daily News … Read More...

Lunch Links

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:00

Happy Friday, y’all! It actually feels like spring outside, so get outside and enjoy it while it lasts!

If you’re an avid iPad user like me, you may be intrigued to learn that Microsoft finally got its act together and… Read More...

Unemployment rate down to 6.4 percent, but labor force also seeing big drops

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:49

Labor statistics released today show that North Carolina’s unemployment rate was down to 6.4 percent in February, a drop that puts it below the state average for the first time since before the recession.

But the numbers released this morning

United Students Against Sweatshops launches college tour to fight Teach for America

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:41

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), a national student labor organization that fights for workers’ rights, launched this week the “TFA Truth Tour,” which they characterize as a campaign to fight back against the corporate robber barons of education … Read More...

Rejecting and embracing Common Core – all at the same time

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 10:09

Earlier this week Indiana’s governor signed a law opting out of the Common Core State Standards. As NC Policy Watch’s Lindsay Wagner noted, Indiana – one of the very first state’s to adopt the standards – had just become the … Read More...

Breaking: Federal court orders release of some legislator emails and documents relating to voting law changes

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 19:02

The court handling the challenges to the voting law changes enacted by the General Assembly last session ruled today that the doctrine of legislative immunity did not give legislators absolute protection from having to disclose some emails and other documents … Read More...

WRAL: 8,100 pending food stamps cases in Guilford County with Monday deadline looming

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 17:40

The state discovered more than 8,000 pending applications for food stamps in Guilford County, a development that puts the state at risk of losing federal administrative funding if it misses a Monday deadline to clear a backlog.

We reported yesterday

Obamacare enrollment tops six million as March 31st deadline looms (video)

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 15:49

With just a handful of days left in the open enrollment period, health care advocates are urging uninsured North Carolinians to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

On Thursday the White House announced that more than six … Read More...

NC NAACP and Vidant Health reach agreement to keep Belhaven Hospital open

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 14:36

The failure to expand Medicaid appeared to have sealed the fate of Vidant Pungo Hospital in the small town of Belhaven. Now, there appears to be some promising news in the fight to keep services flowing from a hospital that … Read More...

Thursday lunch links: Top political corruption lists and Bob Marley’s advice (Video)

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 12:00

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest on bribery charges yesterday is, of course, just the latest in a long line such events in modern American (and North Carolina) history. Indeed, political corruption arrests and prosecutions are such a part of … Read More...