NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 32 min ago

Economist: Conservatives dreaming if they think unemployment insurance cuts helped NC

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:28
In case you missed it, be sure to check out the latest from one of the nation’s sharpest economists, Dr. Dean Baker on the one-year anniversary of North Carolina’s harshest-in-the-nation cuts to unemployment insurance. In a post that originally appeared on the website of Baker’s Center for Economic and Policy Research, Baker specifically takes one of ...

UNC system gets a cash infusion for capital projects as across-the-board cuts loom

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:52
Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill on Monday that will pump $376 million into the UNC system for capital improvements, as the state’s public universities await a 2015 budget proposal that could heap on more budget cuts to other critical areas of service for students. The funds, which the Governor says will come from various fees, receipts, ...

Four-letter words at the Supreme Court

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:41
Perhaps you’ve recently heard of Richard Kopf, the federal judge from Nebraska who blogged the other day about the damage the U.S. Supreme Court rendered with its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Kopf had some terse words for the five justices who decided that corporations had religious rights under the Constitution,  speculating that they’d ...

The Earned Income Tax Credit matters to NC families

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:18
If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a chance to get ahead. This is why the Earned Income Tax Credit was invented: to help families with low-paying jobs make ends meet. Unfortunately, North Carolina is the first state in 30 years to eliminate its Earned Income Tax Credit. This move abandoned a ...

A couple of simple truths about Medicaid

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 08:36
As state lawmakers and Gov. McCrory argue about ways to cut public outlays for Medicaid — the public health insurance system for people of low income — the lead editorials in North Carolina’s two largest newspapers offer some straightforward and compelling truths this morning that ought to guide their discussions: 1) Service cuts harm real ...

New report has the real story on African-American voter turnout

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 15:48
New findings today from the good government experts at Democracy North Carolina: “Black Turnout Up in May Primary, But Drops in 32 Counties 82% of State’s Increase Centers in 12 Counties with Hot Races Republican attorneys and the State of North Carolina are telling a federal judge today that about 44,500 more blacks voted in ...

North Carolina is home to fastest growth in share of people living in high-poverty areas

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 14:46
Among the nation’s 50 states, North Carolina experienced the biggest increase in the proportion of people living in high-poverty areas between 2000 and 2010, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau  report.The growing number of North Carolinians living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is problematic because they face restricted access to the jobs, education, and networks that ...

Editorial: It’s time to rethink NC tax cuts

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:35
State budget writers are currently grappling with the task of ironing out a final budget in the face of last year’s huge tax cuts that are hampering our ability to invest in the building blocks of a strong economy. As we entered into the new fiscal year without a revised budget, the News and Observer Editorial Board ...

Voting rights open the week’s legal news

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:26
Here’s a look at a few of the stories headlining courts and law news this Monday. The challenges to the election law changes enacted last summer get their first real test this week, as hearings begin in federal court in Winston-Salem. Following what is expected to be a week-long presentation of witnesses and evidence, U.S. ...

Lack of Education Investment Blocks Students’ Path to Success (Infographic)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:25
The good folks at the N.C. Budget & Tax Center are out with a new information graphic this week detailing the roadblocks facing students on their way to a high-quality education. The graphic (below) follows students as they travel through the K-12 system toward a two- or four-year college degree, showing how budget choices by ...

More advocates pan coal ash legislation

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:23
As this morning’s “Monday Numbers” make clear, the coal ash clean-up legislation making its way through the General Assembly falls short in numerous ways. This statement from the League of Conservation Voters expands on this conclusion: Legislative Watch: Not Good Enough on Coal Ash “We could and should have done better for the citizens of ...

Editorial: The time to reinstate teen voter preregistration is now

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 07:29
As the U.S. Department of Justice and several civil rights groups head to court in Winston-Salem to challenge North Carolina’s monster voting-law, the Charlotte Observer writes that it’s time to reinstate preregistering of teenage voters. Here’s more from the paper’s editorial board: This is what happens when politics and ideology overrule common sense. In their zeal ...

More casinos in NC? RSVP today for Charlotte luncheon with national expert

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:09
With North Carolina leaders looking more and more to the expansion of gambling in the state — perhaps even with the development of a new casino west of Charlotte — NC Policy Watch will be bringing one of the nation’s experts on the subject to North Carolina on Wednesday, July 16 for a special Crucial ...

Riverkeepers sound off over weakened coal ash bill

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:08
The Riverkeepers for the Cape Fear and the French Broad are among the latest environmentalists to speak out against the coal ash management bill that won final approval in the NC House on Thursday. The Cape Fear’s Kemp Burdette and the French Broad’s Hartwell Carson say the revised version of the Senate’s coal ash bill ...

Your holiday read: Detroit Free Press’ investigation of Michigan’s unaccountable charter schools

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:00
Reporters at the Detroit Free Press have dug deep for the past year to uncover the facts surrounding how Michigan has spent $1 billion on charter schools, yet failed to hold them accountable for their results. Among the investigation’s findings:  Michigan’s charter schools spend $1 billion per year in state taxpayer money, often with little transparency.  Some charter schools ...

House coal ash bill falls well short of what’s necessary

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 13:39
The North Carolina House passed a weakened version of the already inadequate Senate coal ash plan today and environmental experts quickly labeled the legislation as wholly inadequate. Here’s the rather measured statement from the folks at the NC Sierra Club: “After weeks of expectation and speculation, the House missed the opportunity to build on the ...

Itchy days ahead for North Carolina

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 12:10
It might be time to stock up on bug spray. North Carolina is poised to do away with what remains of its state-run mosquito control program, if proposals to eliminate $185,992 in funding are adopted in the final budget. The likely elimination of the vector control program in the N.C. Department of Health and Human ...

Vigil held in Raleigh for 60,000 endangered immigrant children (Photos)

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 11:53
Yesterday in Raleigh, El Pueblo, Inc. joined forces with several volunteers to hold a vigil for the approximately 60,000 children currently attempting to escape the poverty, violence, and fear of their hometowns in Central America to find relief, security, and freedom in the U.S. As Mike Figueras of El Pueblo informed me, for each child’s body ...

National economic news good; NC situation not so encouraging

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 10:53
As Dean Baker notes this morning, the national economic news is encouraging. In addition to the record high Dow Jones average, Baker points out: “The economy added 288,000 jobs in June, making it the fifth consecutive month in which the economy added over 200,000 jobs. This is the longest stretch of 200,000 plus job growth ...

This morning’s “must read”: Get up to date on state of voting law and court challenges

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 07:29
If you’ve found yourself having trouble keeping up with the details of North Carolina’ new Monster Voting Law, its implementation and the court challenges that have ensued, you owe it to yourself to read Sharon McCloskey’s latest article that was published this morning: “Voting gets its day in court” over on the main Policy Watch ...

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