NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Senate’s proposed budget falls short of truly promoting safe and healthy communities

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 15:30

The Senate’s proposed Justice & Public Safety budget for fiscal year 2018 includes is a modest 2.6% percent increase in state funding compared to the current fiscal year budget. Beyond additional funding for pay raises for some state employees, the Senate’s budget falls short in boosting investments that promotes safe and healthy communities. Here are ...

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DPI Superintendent Mark Johnson bemoans lack of “urgency” in State Board of Education

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 15:02

North Carolina’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson is bemoaning a lack of “urgency” in the State Board of Education, according to a Q&A today with WUNC’s Jess Clark. Johnson’s comments to WUNC come with the superintendent and the board embroiled in a pending court case over the powers of Johnson’s office. From WUNC’s transcript: ...

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NC Senate budget fails low-income housing, military and veterans; eliminates public sector jobs

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 13:25

[Note: The following analysis pertains to North Carolina’s general government agencies. Every state across the country has general government agencies that provide core public services and functions for citizens and government. In North Carolina, these agencies consist of: Administration, Auditor, General Assembly, Governor, Housing Finance Agency, Insurance, Lieutenant Governor, Military and Veterans Affairs, Office of ...

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Senate budget misses the mark in post-secondary education

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 12:01

The Senate budget on post-secondary education, the combined investments in community college and the UNC system, is most notable for what it doesn’t include than for what it does.  The University system continues to receive net reductions despite the growing economy, more students attending 4 year colleges and universities and years of steady funding cuts. ...

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Analysis: In Senate budget large farms win, small farms and the environment lose

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 12:01

T he Senate could not be clearer about its policy priorities for the state’s agriculture barons. While lawmakers continue to prop up industrialized farm operations through, for example, the passage of the hog nuisance lawsuit measure, HB 467, the Senate budget eliminates all $237,000 in state funds for the small farm program. This service provides outreach and ...

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The word is in: It is up to NC Policymakers to Lead on Hurricane Matthew’s Recovery

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:02

When Hurricane Matthews hit North Carolina on October 8, severe flooding impacted more than 800,000 homes, more than 300,000 businesses, displaced 3,744 residents, closed 635 roads, and 34 school systems causing an estimated $2.8 billion in damage and another $2 billion in lost economic activity. The North Carolina General Assembly responded by allocating $200.9 million ...

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Rev. William Barber cutting short his leadership of state NAACP

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 11:00

Rev. William Barber, the nationally renowned leader of the North Carolina NAACP responsible for the Moral Monday movement, is stepping down after more than a decade. Barber told the Wilmington Journal he’s joining a new “national poor people’s campaign” to keep fighting poverty and social inequality. From that story: “I’m not going to run for ...

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Triad man ordered to leave U.S. after more than a decade of regular ICE check-ins

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 10:30

Nestor Machi is the latest North Carolinian immigrant ordered to leave the country – this time, after securing a work permit and checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more than a decade. Machi – an aviation worker in Greensboro and father of one of the city’s firefighters – brought his family to the ...

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Absurd “special provision” emblematic of Kafkaesque Senate budget

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 07:23

There are countless objectionable aspects to the new Senate budget proposal at the General Assembly. As Chris Fitzsimon explained yesterday afternoon, the proposal is highlighted by unwise tax breaks, petty partisan attacks, and inadequate investments. Perhaps most outrageous, however, was the utter lack of process. Once again, as they have done with partisan gerrymandering, the ...

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When pigs fly: Hog nuisance bill clears first hurdle toward full override

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 17:41

Today in the House chamber the opening act upstaged the headliner. Before the House got down to its business of overriding Gov. Cooper’s veto of controversial House Bill 467, its members, per tradition, invoked several ceremonial items. Today House members recognized podiatrists and Cheerwine. Then, in a moment of cognitive dissonance, the House also honored the ...

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Senate’s budget continues to underinvest in public education

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 16:52

All North Carolina students deserve a high quality education, no matter where they reside in the state. Ensuring access to a high quality education means not only adequately compensating educators, but also making sure our schools have the resources and support needed to educate the more than 1.5 million students in public classrooms. The Senate’s ...

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Raise the Age legislation passes first House hurdle, will head to appropriations next

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 16:50

House lawmakers on the Judiciary I Committee gave Raise the Age legislation a favorable report in a unanimous voice vote Wednesday. House Bill 280 is now expected to be heard tomorrow morning in the House Appropriations Committee meeting. Community members, advocates and stakeholders flooded the meeting in the Legislative Office Building on Wednesday and a few ...

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In Senate budget committee, disagreement on health and retirement funding

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 15:58

A lot of ground was covered quickly Wednesday in the first committee meeting on the N.C. Senate’s proposed budget. The budget wasn’t seen by most Senators, staffers or reporters before it was released just before midnight last night. That led to plenty of questions in the Appropriations/Base Budget committee Wednesday morning – particularly from the ...

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Report: N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:07

The Budget & Tax Center has released its initial analysis of the N.C. Senate’s budget proposal in a Brief, “N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs.” The Brief follows the money to detail missed opportunities for North Carolina in order to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and profitable corporations, and how ...

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Senate budget snubs Raise the Age funding; eliminates money for emergency, special judges

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45

The Twittersphere praised Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger yesterday when he touted that the budget included a provision for Raise the Age legislation. What he failed to mention is that the budget contains no funding for such provision. Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke, Cleveland) said after the Justice and Public Safety appropriations committee meeting that ...

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Another sobering anniversary in NC’s ongoing war on workers

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:51

From the good people at the NC Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project: Business owners, legislators, and working moms gathered at the General Assembly on Wednesday to mark the 10-year “Unhappy Anniversary” of The Healthy Families & Workplaces/Paid Sick Days Act – legislation that has been introduced every year over the last decade, but has never ...

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Quick hit: Senate’s environmental budget cuts key positions, services at DEQ

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 10:56

F ew people have had time to take a deep dive into the hours-old, 857-page Senate budget and accompanying policy document. But at first glance, the Senate appears to be punishing the NC Department of Environmental Quality with sharp cuts to staff and services. The most breathtaking reductions include the elimination of 45.5 full-time equivalent positions in an ...

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Senate teacher pay proposal fails beginning and experienced teachers

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 09:01

The North Carolina Senate released its proposed FY 2017-18 teacher salary schedule this afternoon. Remarkably, the proposal is bad news for both beginning teachers and experienced teachers. As compared to the plan released earlier this spring by Governor Cooper, all teachers would fare worse under the Senate proposal. The Senate proposal, described as providing current ...

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Senate Intel Chairman Burr ‘troubled’ by Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 06:10

Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an ...

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Details are scarce, but Senate Republicans tout big investments in teacher pay, K-12 funding

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 18:00

State Senate Republicans touted major investments in teacher and administrator pay, as well as overall public school funding, in a $22.9 billion budget proposal presented Tuesday afternoon. While details of the budget plan aren’t expected for release until late Tuesday, Senate GOP leaders announced the broad planks of their two-year spending package, which increases the ...

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