NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 33 min 40 sec ago

Another bad actor discharging into the Cape Fear River: Cargill fined $75K

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 14:30

The Cape Fear River is again a casualty of industrial pollution and urban runoff, this time because of illegal and unknown discharges from Cargill, which processes and distributes soybeans and their byproducts in Fayetteville. The Environmental Protection Agency has fined the $100 billion company $75,500 in civil penalties as part of a proposed consent agreement that ...

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See all the areas in which conservatives have slashed public education in NC

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:30

Be sure to check out the latest Progressive Voices essay over on the main NC Policy Watch site. As education policy analyst Kris Nordstrom demonstrates in “As new school year commences, shortage of basic supplies demonstrates legislature’s failure to invest,” North Carolina’s chronic underinvestment in a simple and basic aspect of public education — school ...

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Legislature advancing a snake oil bill bought and paid for by a snake oil industry

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 11:10

In case you missed it this morning, today’s Weekly Briefing looks at a remarkably cynical and misrepresented bill that appears to be on its way to final passage at the General Assembly today despite the veto issued by Governor Roy Cooper. The bill will allow the frequently predatory small loan industry to pack the high ...

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Climate scientists: Get ready for more Harveys

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 08:06

Climate science is obviously a very imprecise discipline when it comes to making very time-specific forecasts. No one can predict at this point what the impacts of climate change will be in a particular place at a particular time. But when it comes to charting probabilities over time, it’s clear that rising global temperatures will ...

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House votes almost along party lines to advance proposed legislative map to Senate

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 16:45

The House voted 65-47 Monday to pass a proposed legislative map that GOP members drew to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. Democrats have been arguing against the map since it was introduced a little over a week ago. Rep. William Brisson (D-Bladen, Johnston, Sampson) was the only Democrat who voted for the map during Monday’s session. ...

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Neighbors of coal ash ponds sue Duke Energy, allege $5,000 offer is “deceptive”

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 15:45

D eborah Graham was gulping a cup of coffee when her family, sitting at the kitchen table, opened a letter sent from state environmental officials. “Whose water is contaminated?” she asked on that morning in 2015. “Our water?” “I have a mouth full of coffee, made with that water” said Graham, who has lived in ...

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NC Supreme Court takes up redistricting, power struggle between Cooper, legislature

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 15:33

The North Carolina Supreme Court heard two major cases this morning — one about redistricting and voting rights and the other about the legislature’s efforts to diminish the Governor’s powers. In Dickson v. Rucho, a challenge to state legislative and congressional maps, the plaintiffs asked for the case to be remanded back to the trial ...

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Confederacy in the capitol

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 13:30

If you missed last weekend’s great piece on the state capitol’s Confederate monuments by WRAL’s Tyler Dukes, make the time to check it out today. From the piece: Although statues in Durham and on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have become flashpoints for protesters in recent weeks, the old State ...

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Equality advocates sue Trump over military transgender ban: What you need to know

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 11:30

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the groups Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed federal lawsuits this morning against the Trump administration over its recent and outrageous attempt to ban transgender Americans from serving their country in the armed forces. This is from a post by ACLU staff attorney Chris Strangio: “Today, we and ...

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As new school year begins, many teachers feel ‘shortchanged’ by legislature (audio)

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 08:00

Today’s the first day of classes for most schools on a traditional calendar year. And while teachers are excited to see their students again, the year starts with many funding challenges. Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, notes that the state ranks 43rd in the nation in per-pupil expenditures and remains ...

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The two best editorials of the weekend

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 07:00

Number One comes from Raleigh’s News & Observer and it rightfully blasts the fact that state lawmakers are poised to override Governor Cooper’s veto of a bill (bought and paid for by the small loan industry) that will allow the sale of junk credit insurance to borrowers: “Unlike deer or other animals fancied for hunting, ...

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The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 16:00

1. North Carolina voters give lawmakers tongue-lashing over new proposed legislative maps North Carolina voters’ message to lawmakers Tuesday evening was clear: they’re unhappy with their representatives and they’re unhappy with the new proposed legislative maps. Hundreds of speakers across the state attended public hearings to speak about the maps, which were released over the ...

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House committee approves proposed legislative map with one GOP ‘no;’ Senate OKs its map in floor vote

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:48

Debate in the House redistricting committee Friday over a new proposed legislative map got a little more tedious than prior debate in the Senate committee. House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson was grilled by Republicans for over an hour after introducing an amendment to adopt an alternative map created by the plaintiffs in North Carolina v. ...

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In N.C., 42% of Trump’s proposed tax cuts would go to the few making more than $1 million

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 09:47

On July 27, the White House released a statement on Tax Reform that stated tax-writing committees in Congress would work this fall to “develop and draft legislation that would result in the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation.” The White House statement was blunt in stating “the American people have elected a President and ...

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Editorial issues scathing take on GOP maps; calls on courts to “flush this stink”

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 07:33

In case you missed it yesterday morning, an editorial in the Wilmington StarNews pulled no punches in describing the latest partisan gerrymander concocted by Republicans at the General Assembly. This is from “New districts; same old political manipulation”: “Voting analysts watching the results say that most of these districts will lean Republican, even though North ...

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Proposed Senate legislative map advances along party lines with changes to Wake, no public input

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 19:14

The changes to a proposed Senate legislative map Thursday night were minimal, despite efforts from Democratic lawmakers to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. The Senate redistricting committee met for about three hours to go over the proposed remedial map that was released over the weekend. Despite hours Tuesday of listening to North Carolina voters express dissatisfaction ...

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Who’s cribbing from whom? Sen. Mike Lee and Civitas share talking points on GenX, DEQ funding

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 14:14

Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from New Hanover County, gave an impassioned presentation about GenX to his fellow lawmakers on the Environmental Review Commission yesterday, saying, “We don’t know who to trust. We seem to be getting contradictory information.” He then proposed that lawmakers not approve the governor’s request for $2.58 million in recurring funds ...

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Local Jones County election process to change after federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit settlement

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 13:23

Today is a new day in Jones County, according to a plaintiff in the first federal Voting Rights Act case filed this year. A settlement was reached Wednesday in a lawsuit filed on behalf of four Jones County residents against the Jones County Board of Commissioners, its members and the Jones County Board of Elections. ...

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Facts, fictions and unknowns: What we learned at the legislature’s GenX hearing

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 11:19

NCPW covered the epic investigative hearing on GenX, held by the Environmental Review Commission yesterday, which mixed fact — “All citizens deserve clean drinking water free of contaminants,” said Rep. Holly Grange — with fiction: “We’ve got fat kids” because of GenX and related compounds are endocrine disruptors, said one Wilmington citizen. (Yes, scientific studies have ...

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North Carolina and others ask the US Supreme Court to protect employees’ fundamental rights

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 10:26

North Carolina state government joined several other states last week in throwing its weight behind an important effort to defend basic protections for working people. The right of workers to join together to enforce workplace laws is the cornerstone of national labor policy. Federal law gives employees the right to engage in “concerted” – or ...

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