NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 2 min ago

Tax Foundation’s newest ranking leaves much to be told

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 16:27
We are once again hearing about North Carolina’s business climate moving toward top-ten status among states according to a new ranking by the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization that favors tax cuts. North Carolinians should be weary of jumping on the celebration band wagon, however. As I’ve highlighted before (see here and here), ...

Demographics around North Carolina’s coal-fired power plants

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 15:21
Environmental justice concerns are particularly acute near coal-fired power plants and coal ash sites. Of the 22 power plants in North Carolina, more than half are located in ZIP codes where the percentage of people living below the poverty level is greater than the state average. *Read the full story here.

Five Questions: Jonathan Jones on police video, open records

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:11
Jonathan Jones is director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and an instructor of media law, ethics and media writing at Elon University. In the wake of last week’s fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police and the controversy over release of the video, we talked with Jones about the state of ...

Statement from the NC Justice Center on the shootings and protests in Charlotte

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:44
Our hearts remain heavy in the wake of the shootings and protests in our state one week ago. There are still many things we don’t know about the tragic events in Charlotte. What we do know is that — regardless of specifics — the deaths of Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, Tyre King, and countless ...

Editorials: NC must repair or repeal police body cam law

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 08:00
Two more editorials from major media outlets are blasting the new state law regulating access to video derived from police body cameras that’s set to go into effect on Saturday. This is from an editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal entitled “Legislature needs to repeal police cam law”: “After last week’s shooting in Charlotte, we again ...

As Charlotte works to heal, a young girl sums up a community’s anguish (video)

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 21:10
Zianna Oliphant brushed back tears as she told the Charlotte City Council Monday evening that fear and violence should not be a part of childhood in the Queen City. Oliphant was one of more than 50 speakers to pour out their raw emotions in the aftermath of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. “We ...

New poll: NC seniors want state government to help with retirement security (infographic)

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:20
I had the opportunity to speak at an AARP North Carolina breakfast this morning that explored some of the issues that concern seniors and that are, sadly, receiving fairly minimal attention from the gubernatorial candidates. Topping the list for a lot of senior voters is the issue of financial security. According to a recent AARP ...

National Common Cause president to headline Raleigh luncheon next Wednesday, October 5

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:59
Join us October 5th as N.C. Policy Watch presents a special Crucial Conversation luncheon: Karen Hobert Flynn, President of the national nonprofit watchdog, Common Cause: How do we repair our broken democracy? Click here to register Has American democracy reached a crisis point? If the 2016 election campaign is any indication, this seems a fair ...

Pollster: HB2 issue is “just killing McCrory” in gubernatorial race (video)

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:01
Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen believes the one issue that may decide the state’s hotly-contested gubernatorial race is House Bill 2. Jensen, who sat down with Chris Fitzsimon last week, notes that 59% of voters now think HB2 has had a negative impact on North Carolina’s economy, while only 10% who think the impact has ...

Public defender group weighs in on Charlotte police shooting

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 06:51
After taking some time to sift through the publicly available facts and measuring them against their decades upon decades of combined experience in North Carolina’s criminal justice system, the good people at the North Carolina Public Defender Committee on Racial Equity or NC PDCORE weighed in yesterday on the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last ...

Monday map time: Find a contaminated dry cleaning site near you

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 14:00
There is nothing “dry” about dry cleaning, and little that’s clean about it, either. Statewide, an estimated 1,500 dry cleaners – both operating and defunct  –  have potentially contaminated the water, dirt and/or air with toxic solvents. PERC, or perchloroethylene, is the solvent most widely used at dry cleaners. Your clothes are essentially bathed in ...

ACLU: Still more transparency necessary in Charlotte

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 13:25
The constitutional rights watchdogs at the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina issued a new statement this morning regarding the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Here it is: ACLU: Charlotte Police Must Release All Footage of Keith Lamont Scott Shooting; Disclosed Videos Raise Many Questions CHARLOTTE – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of ...

NC gun group is way over the line with latest menacing gesture toward Hillary Clinton

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 09:06
There’s another new and frighteningly horrific development in the world of North Carolina right-wing policy and politics this morning. The following has been posted to the website of the pro-gun group known as Grass Roots North Carolina: The ‘Hillary Clinton Special’ Grant Gardner, GRNC-PVF Treasurer Get an AR-15 and elect pro-gun candidates! We all know ...

On Charlotte: Most pols responsible, but NC GOP needs to pipe down

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 07:04
Most North Carolina political leaders of both major parties in North Carolina have been responsibly muted and cautious in their response to the recent events in Charlotte. With the notable exception of the very troubled Congressman Robert Pittenger, who seized the opportunity to make an utterly absurd, racist comment last week, others — including Gov. ...

NC DEQ shaves Duke Energy’s $6.8 million fine; utility will pay less — again

Sat, 09/24/2016 - 12:42
The Friday surprise out of the NC Department of Environmental Quality is that it has again reduced the fine against Duke Energy related to the February 2014 coal ash spill in Eden. The state originally fined the utility $25 million. That amount decreased to $7 million after a hearing presided over Administrative Law Judge Phil ...

EPA names 173 companies in $5.5 million settlement over PCB contamination in Wake County

Sat, 09/24/2016 - 10:52
For more than 10 years, it has been forbidden to eat a single fish from Brier Creek Reservoir in Wake County. Areas downstream, such as Brier Creek and Little Brier Creek, were also off-limits. That prohibition extended for nearly 30 miles southwest, to Crabtree Creek, Lake Crabtree, on down into parts of the Neuse River ...

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 15:37
1. The cuts keep coming: More damning data on the state of NC public school funding A recent lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer editorial “NC GOP leaders ignore recession cuts when touting funding increases” makes several good points concerning the state’s declining commitment to funding public schools. As the editorial mentions, legislative leaders’ ...

Chance TV studio encounter may lead to formal Barber-McCrory meeting

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 13:00
There was an interesting (and perhaps promising) twist this morning in the ongoing stories of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith — two African-American men whom their families and supporters say have been wrongfully incarcerated by the state of North Carolina for more than 20 years each. At a rally/press conference in support of the ...

After 24 years, Rougemont residents get permanent source of clean drinking water

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:47
The taps in Rougemont ran with clean water today — water from a new community well that replaces the bottles and carbon filters that residents had relied on for nearly 25 years. The NC Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA announced today that 40 homes will now be connected to the new source, after those residents’ private ...

Confused about police video and the law? Read this

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 11:08
In the wake of the deadly shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte and arguments over the release of the police video, it’s easy to get confused about the law – what it is, what it isn’t, how it’s changing. Jonathan Jones, director of the non-partisan North Carolina Open Government Coalition cuts through some of ...