NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

Recoveries are increasingly slow to bring down poverty rates

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:25
This is the fifth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. The first post looked at how North Carolina is faring overall. The second post looked at how poverty varies by race, and the third post compared poverty by counties in ...

30,000+ petition U.S. Rep. Pittenger to support LGBT workplace protections

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:38
Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) delivered over 30,000 petitions to the Charlotte office of U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger (NC-09) Thursday morning. The petition delivery was in response to Pittenger’s recent town hall remarks in which he told the audience that employers should have the right to fire or refuse to hire gay ...

Wos: Moving Medicaid would be ‘disruptive’ to DHHS (video)

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:49
State lawmakers won’t be making any major decisions on Medicaid reform before next year’s long legislative session, but Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos wants to make it clear she opposes any plans that would move Medicaid outside her agency. Secretary Wos reiterated Wednesday that such a move would sidetrack her agency from the ...

Cherokees join growing list of governments to ban fracking

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:03
North Carolina’s conservative state political leadership may want to usher the controversial oil and gas drilling process known as fracking into the state, but local officials and jurisdictions who would have to contend directly with the mess fracking would create continue to register their opposition. The Smoky Mountain News reports that the latest such body ...

Editorial blasts legislative “shell game” on funding driver’s ed

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 07:33
The Greenville Daily Reflector ran an editorial this week (which the Charlotte Observer re-ran in part of this morning) that rightfully decries the shell game played by the General Assembly this year in shifting the costs of driver’s education off on to the parents of high schoolers. In passing the cost of driver education to ...

State’s new teacher pay structure boosts paychecks for some teachers, not so much for others

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:40
  The final budget for fiscal year 2015 – which runs from July 2014 through June 2015 – includes a pay raise for public school teachers for the first time in several years. What the pay raise translates into regarding additional dollars in teachers’ paychecks is unclear based on differing comments by the governor and ...

Sixth Circuit rules for NAACP in suit challenging Ohio’s restrictions on early voting

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 16:14
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled today that Ohio’s attempts to limit early voting — a subject that will be argued tomorrow in front of the Fourth Circuit when it considers North Carolina’s recently enacted voting restrictions — are in fact unconstitutional. This is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: A federal appeals ...

Missing Workers Update for August 2014

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:49
The official unemployment rate ticked up in August to 6.8 percent but if you count those missing workers who would be in the labor market if job opportunities were stronger that rate would be 12. 6 percent. Our update to the number of missing workers in North Carolina reflects the ongoing challenge for workers when ...

Newspaper renews its call for Wos to be sacked

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 14:01
Multiple newspapers have called for North Carolina’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos to resign or be fired during her first 20 months in office. Now, one of the first to speak out has done so again. One year ago this week, the Henderson Daily Dispatch said the following: Aldona Wos must immediately ...

The details on tomorrow’s voting rights hearing at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 11:18
The good folks at the ACLU have the details: The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Thursday, September 25, on North Carolina’s restrictive voting law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) are challenging provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, ...

One giant leap for Duke, one small step for the environment

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 07:54
The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Duke Energy has decided to change its present course and bury the coal ash at another one of its South Carolina sites in a lined landfill. Hallelujah. As has been noted multiple times by environmental experts, moving toxic coal ash to lined landfills is the only realistic option when ...

N.C. Courts Commission revived, looking to get to work after 15-year hiatus

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 16:48
A nearly-dormant N.C. Courts Commission came back to life at the state legislative building Tuesday, with hopes from commission members that it will be tapped once again to advise the legislature on the statewide judicial systems’ needs and problems. Less than a dozen of the 28-member commission attended Tuesday’s meeting, chaired by state Rep. Sarah ...

One in four: North Carolina’s child poverty rate remains the highest among all age groups

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 15:34
This is the fourth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18th. The first post looked at how North Carolina is faring overall. The second post looked at how poverty varies by race, and the third post compared poverty by counties in ...

RSVP today for next week’s luncheon on judicial campaign financing

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 14:06
Seats are going fast for a special Crucial Conversation luncheon next Tuesday, September 30– Dirty money, dirty water: The end of judicial campaign public financing in North Carolina with Billy Corriher of the Center for American Progress and Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies When: Tuesday, September 30, at noon — Box lunches ...

Three must-read education stories for today (video)

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 13:18
There have been plenty of polls in the news lately, and here’s one that really caught our attention: A High Point University/News & Record Poll released Monday found that 58 percent of likely North Carolina voters believe the raises that teachers received from state lawmakers this year are too small. Fewer than one-third (29%) said ...

North Carolina’s counties remain in poverty’s tight grip

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 12:41
This is the third post in a series that takes a detailed look at the 2013 US Census Bureau poverty data released on September 18. The first post looked at how North Carolina is faring overall, and the second post looked at how poverty varies by race.   North Carolina is enduring a painfully slow ...

NC Academic Standards Review Commission co-chair Jeannie Metcalf opposes Common Core

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:58
At yesterday’s first meeting of the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission, which is tasked with reviewing the Common Core State Standards and suggesting modifications or replacements to those guidelines in English language arts and math, newly-elected co-chair Jeannie Metcalf didn’t make known her position on whether the standards should stay or go — but ...

Editorial: Sympathy for voucher families, none for lawmakers who “ignore the law”

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 08:08
This morning’s editorial in the Fayetteville Observer takes a rather charitable view toward parents who signed their children up for North Carolina’s new school voucher plan and then found themselves without the subsidy once Judge Robert Hobgood rightfully struck down the program as blatantly unconstitutional. The paper is okay with last week’s Court of Appeals ...

IBM exec and co-chair of NC Common Core review commission says he is a supporter of the standards

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 16:34
At the first meeting of the Academic Standards Review Commission, which is tasked with reviewing and potentially replacing the Common Core State Standards, co-chair and Gov. Pat McCrory appointee Andre Peek told N.C. Policy Watch upon the meeting’s conclusion Monday afternoon that he is a supporter of Common Core and has been “since its inception.” Peek, ...

Speaking of climate change, a lot of people are doing just that (even as NC leaders deny the obvious)

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 15:15
In case you were out basking in the summer-like weather yesterday and missed it (and as a follow-up to the post immediately below), more than 300,000 of your fellow world citizens converged on the streets of New York City and several other major cities around the globe yesterday to speak out and speak up on ...

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