NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Mom Kimberly Tonyan: My family got great Blue Cross coverage with the Affordable Care Act

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 12:05

This week Charlotte mom Kimberly Tonyan came to the NC General Assembly to tell her success story of getting affordable health coverage for herself and her two daughters.  Using the Affordable Care Act’s website she was able to purchase … Read More...

Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court: What you need to know

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 11:00

When you hear the name Hobby Lobby, fabrics and knitting needles may come to mind, but soon the for-profit, 13,000 employee, big box craft company will likely be known for something of greater import.

That’s because on Tuesday the company will …

Editorial highlights absurdity of DENR’s climate change switcheroo

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 08:38

With the expanding coal ash crisis and the bumbling response of North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources,  the environment is much on people’s minds these days. This morning’s lead editorial in the Greensboro News & Record (entitled “Now Read More...

Just in: Judge denies Duke’s request for stay on clean-up of coal ash

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:48

Here’s the latest in the civil court case involving Duke Energy and the clean-up of coal-ash ponds. Click here for background on the case.

Wake Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway denied a request Thursday from the utility company to delay … Read More...

Profitable corporations avoid paying fair share of taxes, state leaders pursue more corporate tax cuts

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:41

As our state leaders continue to look for ways to give more and more tax cuts to profitable corporations, these corporations continue to find ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It is a win-win proposition: Heads they … Read More...

How would you answer the #brandncproject survey on core values?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:08

Yesterday I read about the new #BrandNCProject that the Department of Commerce had launched with UNC’s business school. News of the effort immediately drew mockery from some those who don’t like the direction the state is going in in … Read More...

Sunshine week update: UNC makes good on public records request, 121 days later

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:05

Five months after she first asked, a Maryland college student got documents she requested pertaining to the University of North Carolina’s policies on social media for student athletes.

Melissa Katz, who requested the information as part of a national survey … Read More...

The Importance of Place in Education

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 14:59

This blog post is part of a series called Place Matters. The other posts can be accessed here, here, here and here.

North Carolina’s education system is entering a new environment. The Common Core State Standards are … Read More...

New Fact Sheet: NC’s Medicaid Choice – Options and Implications of Expansion under the Affordable Care Act

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 14:10

Today the NC Justice Center released a new fact sheet titled “North Carolina’s Medicaid Choice: Options and Implications.”  The fact sheet gives a brief overview of the current national picture on state Medicaid expansion decisions to use federal money available … Read More...

The ugly truth about the “Read to Achieve” law

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 13:58

Reporter Lindsay Wagner has a fascinating story this afternoon over on the main Policy Watch website entitled: “Students, teachers grapple with Read to Achieve law.” It’s a behind-the-classroom-door look at the unnecessary pain being inflicted on North Carolina … Read More...

DHHS workers meet with Sec. Wos, release report blasting safety concerns and low wages

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:55

From the good people at UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union:

A new report released by UE local 150, N.C. Public Service Workers Union highlights the need for ‘Safety, Rights and Raises’ for state DHHS employees.  The … Read More...

Richard Burr blue slip watch: Day 274

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:30

The insanity continues. It’s now been 274 days since President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker  to become the first African-American judge in the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (74 Read More...

Sunshine Week: UNC-Chapel Hill fails public records test by student journalists

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:31

The University of North Carolina didn’t win any points for transparency in a report issued this week that found the Chapel Hill campus failed to respond to a student journalist’s request for copies of athletic department documents.

Several University of …

Seats going fast for March 26 luncheon with Dean Baker

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:57

Don’t get shut out of next Wednesday’s N.C. Policy Watch- N.C. Budget and Tax Center Crucial Conversation luncheon with one of America’s most important and insightful economists, Dean Baker.

Click here to register

Baker is co-director of the Center for


School improvement team pens open letter to Gov. McCrory

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:45

One of the many “make-do-with-less,” “up-by-their-bootstraps” creations of the modern public education system in North Carolina is something known as the “school improvement team” or “S.I.T.” These are simple, common sense groups created by state law that include “the principal … Read More...

North Carolina still 46th in the nation in teacher pay

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:36

Steve Ford, former editorial page editor for the News & Observer, breaks down the latest statistics from the National Education Association on state level public education financing in today’s NC Policy Watch column, “Crossroads for Teacher Pay.” North Carolina … Read More...

Duke University ACA “expert” denounces Obama as “fascist” then stars at NC General Assembly

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:34

Today’s News and Observer story by John Murawski says it all about the NC General Assembly’s anti-Affordable Care Act hearing yesterday and the bias of Chris Conover, the hearing’s star “ACA expert” whose recent writings include accusing  President Obama of … Read More...

Two things that have long seemed inevitable

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 08:01

There are two items in the news this morning that have long been on the horizon and are now, predictably, coming into sharper focus.

#1 is Tim White’s essay (reprinted in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer after … Read More...

NC General Assembly: Partisan attacks on the Affordable Care Act meet reality of coverage

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 17:59

Today the NC General Assembly convened a “Study Committee on the Affordable Care Act” which really was simply a thinly-veiled attempt to bash the President’s health care law.  The chair opened the meeting by saying this was simply a way … Read More...

Happy Sunshine Week: Why did Sen. Tillman try to remove documentary filmmakers from a public meeting?

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 16:07

Yesterday, during a meeting of the NC Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force, Sen. Jerry Tillman and
sergeant-at-arms Mr. Philip King approached the press section of room 544 of the Legislative Office Building to speak with two documentary filmmakers … Read More...