NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

Now is the time to rebalance the state’s unemployment insurance system

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:24

New research from The Century Foundation released today finds that the recovery of Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds nationwide presents an opportunity to rebalance the approach taken during the Great Recession and its aftermath. The approach taken in several states, including North Carolina, included significant changes that reduce the weekly unemployment insurance amount, the duration of ...

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Burr and Tillis wage class warfare on behalf of the 1%

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:34

If you’re looking for the most accurate summation of the GOP tax legislation working its way through Congress and the scandalous actions of North Carolina’s two U.S. senators in aiding and abetting the massive rip-off that’s being perpetrated on average Americans, be sure to read Professor Gene Nichol’s scathing op-ed in this morning’s edition of ...

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Property rights crusaders nowhere to be found in Atlantic Coast Pipeline controversy

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 14:41

That faint echo you hear of of crickets chirping is the sound emanating from the offices of North Carolina’s conservative think tanks on the subject of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ACP is one of the most important environmental and economic development stories in North Carolina right now and has been for some time. Energy ...

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Tensions brewing as State Board of Education, Superintendent Mark Johnson clash again over DPI budget cuts

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:59

Tensions between the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson boiled over again Thursday, moments after Johnson explained plans to follow through on a 2018 audit of the state’s top public school agency. “I think what the General Assembly is looking for is accountability, accountability for the money that is sent ...

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Growing the deficit will lead to immediate cuts to core programs in our communities

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:06

Congress follows several deficit-control mechanisms that govern tax and spending decisions in any given year to ensure that the deficit does not increase and spending is arbitrarily constrained. PAYGO, funding caps and are all in play now that the House and Senate have both voted to grow the deficit by at least $1.4 trillion over ...

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U.S. House passes first major gun bill since Las Vegas…and it makes things worse

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 07:08

You’ve got to hand it to the Trumpists running the U.S. government; just about every time you think they’ve hit rock bottom, they pull out their shovels and start digging the national hole a little deeper. As Rebekah Entralgo of Think Progress reports, the latest outrage involves guns. In the first major legislation to move ...

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NC DEQ delays decision on Atlantic Coast Pipeline air permit, requests more info on toxic pollutants

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 18:49

Benzene, a known carcinogen, would be emitted from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s compressor station, prompting state environmental officials to delay its decision on its air permit. NC Department of Environmental Quality is asking the ACP, LLC, owned primarily by Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, for more information about the station’s projected benzene emissions, as well ...

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State Board of Education weighs charter’s contract with former state legislator, charter advisor

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 15:15

Members of North Carolina’s State Board of Education are expected to discuss in open session Thursday one Charlotte charter’s ethically knotty contract with a new charter management organization led by a former state charter advisor, a former state lawmaker and a longtime school choice advocate. As noted in a Charlotte Observer report in August, the ...

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Charges dropped against UNC professor who protested Silent Sam

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 14:38

Dr. Altha Cravey, a tenured professor of Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill, has never been afraid to take a stand. A regular at campus protests, Cravey has been thrown out of  University events for holding up protest signs and criticized for helping to disrupt meetings of the UNC Board of Governors to oppose their policies. Cravey doesn’t ...

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Next up in Congress, cuts to programs that deliver opportunity, strengthen economy

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 13:04

Congressional Republicans are rushing to get their tax bill to President Trump’s desk before the end of the year. At the same time most Americans have clearly shown that they are not in favor of this tax bill, and for good reason. The proposed tax plans in Congress are simply the first of two steps ...

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Mark Johnson’s budget advisor played part in funding issue he’s now criticizing while part of the McCrory administration

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:26

In case you missed it this morning, be sure to check out Education Reporter Billy Ball’s fascinating story over on the main Policy Watch site (“Mark Johnson accused of misleading the public regarding literacy program spending”). The story highlights the latest bit of maddening behavior from the state’s perpetually befuddled Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark ...

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Yet another dire warning about the GOP’s effort to rig the state courts

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:33

A Greensboro News & Record editorial tells it like it is with respect to the ongoing effort of legislative Republicans to remake and rig the state courts. The editorial comes in response to a public event that took place in the Gate City last week with the help of N.C. Voters for Clean Elections. After ...

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Report: State superintendent Mark Johnson hires McCrory staffer for communications

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:03

North Carolina’s top public schools administrator has hired another former staffer of ex-Gov. Pat McCrory, according to a WRAL report Tuesday. Superintendent Mark Johnson has tapped Graham Wilson, a former press secretary for McCrory, to serve as his outreach coordinator. Wilson’s job is one of multiple positions expected to come from a $700,000 budget allocation ...

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New HPU poll: Sexual harassment a serious problem in N.C.

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:11

As Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) steps down from Congress amid accusations of sexual harassment and President Donald Trump backs Roy Moore for Senate despite them and worse, a new poll shows that a majority of North Carolinians believe sexual harassment is a problem in the state. The High Point University Poll, released last week, asked ...

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Comment deadline is midnight tonight (Dec. 5) on Trump administration birth control rule

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 14:07

Tonight (at midnight) ends the public comment period for the Trump administration’s October 2017 rule that would give employers, health insurance providers and universities an opportunity to deny birth control insurance coverage for their employees and students. This new rule is in response to the Obama-era Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that required health insurance ...

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It’s even been found in honey: Mysteries deepen about extent, risks of GenX contamination

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:00

Earlier this summer, it appeared that GenX contamination, while a crisis, could at least be contained. And once the pollutant was contained, state environmental officials believed, they could then begin the arduous process of removing it. But as the NC Department of Environmental Quality has continued its investigation, now in its sixth month, officials have ...

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Time’s ticking, the ACA’s Open Enrollment deadline is fast approaching (video)

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:52

North Carolinians only have ten days left to enroll or re-enroll in quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The fifth open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) draws to a close December 15th. Jennifer Simmons, director of the NC Navigator Consortium, joins us this weekend on News & Views with ...

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Condemnations of mental health execs, board continue to pour in

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:35

As today’s Weekly Briefing highlights, public officials are frequently playing with fire when they attempt to use “market forces” (mots notably, greed) as a tool in the delivery of core public structures and services. The recent flame out of the state’s largest mental health provider (Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions) offers more convincing proof of this ...

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The nation (unfortunately) follows North Carolina’s lead in slashing taxes and services

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:53

If you haven’t seen it already, an article in the business section of yesterday’s Washington Post (“What happened when North Carolina cut taxes like the GOP plans to for the country”) is worth your time if you get a few minutes. The article includes comments from various conservative voices endorsing the tax cuts, but the ...

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3 Reasons Why the U.S. Senate’s Tax Plan is Bad for North Carolina (Infographic)

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:00

If you are trying to get your head wrapped around what the U.S. Senate’s Tax Plan will mean for North Carolina families, take a look at this newly released infographic from our colleagues the NC Budget & Tax Center. (For a full-size pdf copy you can download or share on social media, please click on ...

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