NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

Report exposes politics behind abortion clinic inspection, temporary closure

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:03

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out this excellent new story by Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston: “Documents disclose political, PR pressures surrounding Asheville abortion clinic’s suspension.” Elliston, who combed through reams … Read More...

Close to one million North Carolinians will claim state Earned Income Tax Credit for last time this tax season

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:00

Unless lawmakers reverse course, nearly one million North Carolina families will claim the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the last time this tax season—one year after Gov. McCrory signed a bill ending the tax credit, according to a … Read More...

Fracking company with interest in NC under scrutiny

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:19

There’s been some news of interest recently about Chesapeake Energy, one of the natural-gas companies behind the push for North Carolina to lift its ban on fracking, the controversial drilling method for natural gas.

The company is facing charges …

Coal Ash clean up, mixed messages cloud governor’s approval rating (audio)

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:00

The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling indicate only 30% of voters approve of the way Governor Pat McCrory has handled North Carolina’s coal ash problems, compared to 44% who disapprove.

Frank Holleman, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Read More...

John Skvarla’s Happy Teeth

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 09:08

DENR Secretary John Skvarla grimaced his way through a February 19th press briefing on the Dan River coal ash spill. Only as he walked smartly away from a clamoring press corps, which was chagrined at the briefing’s premature cessation, … Read More...

Food stamps backlog fixed? Not yet, Wos tells lawmakers

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 16:56

N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers today that her agency may face problems clearing the last 2,000 cases of a massive backlog in emergency food assistance cases in time for a federal deadline.

“It will be …

Faith-driven polling?

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 15:22

Regular NC Policy Watch readers will no doubt recall some of our previous stories on the rather curious  Raleigh-based group co-founded by Lt. Gov Dan Forest shortly before his run for state office — a group called the Faith Driven Read More...

Poll: North Carolinians want checks on drone surveillance

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:44

North Carolina lawmakers moving quickly ahead with troubling proposals to rapidly expand law enforcement surveillance via unmanned “drone” aircraft should take a look at the newest poll numbers on the subject.

This is new from the good folks at the … Read More...

Ravitch on the effort to undermine and privatize public education

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:01

The nation’s most visible defender of public education has a worth-your-time column at The Huffington Post this morning entitled: “Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education.”

According to Diane Ravitch, privatization advocates are fomenting fear, uncertainty and doubt … Read More...

Wackiness at DENR continues: Climate change work disappears

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 08:58

Students of history will remember that back in the bad old days of the Soviet Union, once prominent leaders would sometimes “disappear” from official government photos and records when they fell from favor with the powers that be. One year … Read More...

“Free market” models for government: Report shines light on explosive growth in temp workers

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 16:50

When politicians talk about “running government like a business,” for many of us (even skeptics) it conjures up vague images  of hard-nosed accountants demanding results and issuing edicts to do away with no bid contracts and wasteful outlays for  travel … Read More...

Charter School Advisory Board recommends a waiver for Douglass Academy, Wilmington charter with low enrollment

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 13:30

Members of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board made a recommendation to the State Board of Education yesterday to give fellow advisory board member Baker Mitchell’s Wilmington charter school, Douglass Academy, a temporary waiver that would allow the K-2 … Read More...

Lunch links: North Carolina man interviews Obama

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 12:00

What makes this worth watching is that North Carolina man happens to be  Zach Galifianakis, the comedian who grew up in Wilkesboro and owns a farm in Alleghany County. (His uncle Nick Galifianakis of Durham also served in Congress … Read More...

Marijuana oil bill is a good start

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:17

State Rep. Pat McElraft deserves credit for expressing her intent to introduce legislation that would legalize the use of a specific kind of marijuana oil that has shown promise in treating an especially horrific illness that afflicts children.  The Republican … Read More...

Why the loss of Voting Rights Act protections is so destructive

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:22

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

The Voting Rights Act subjected 40 percent of North Carolina’s counties to the mandatory “pre-clearance” regulations … Read More...

North Carolinians gather to honor Sen. Martin Nesbitt

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 09:32

Funeral services are slated for this afternoon for Senator Martin Nesbitt. The Democratic Senate leader, who died last week of stomach cancer, was remembered as a mountain populist in era of hyperpartisanship and a defender of working people in his hometown … Read More...

Editorial: End gerrymandering now

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:10

This morning’s Wilmington Star-News makes the case yet again for doing away with North Carolina’s absurdly gerrymandered political maps and the embarrassingly partisan process that gave rise to them.

“When they rode into office in the 2010 elections, Republicans pledged


While politicians continue to complain about the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans continues to decline

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 16:57

The latest Gallup poll shows a continuing decline in the number of uninsured Americans while the federal government reports 4 million people have already enrolled in new health options under the Affordable Care Act.  This reality collides harshly with the … Read More...

NC Policy Watch to host one of America’s leading economists at March 26 luncheon

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 13:57

Here’s an event you won’t want to miss: On Wednesday March 26, N.C. Policy Watch will host one of America’s leading economists, Dr. Dean Baker,  for a special Crucial Conversation.

Click here to register

Dean Baker is co-director of …

Lunch Links: DENR downsizing, discontent parents, diverse millennials, and No More Mr. Nice Guy (w/video)

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 12:25

Hopefully all Policy Watch readers are taking a bit of their lunch break outside – as we break into the 70s and finally get to enjoy more daylight.

If you’re still getting caught up on news from the weekend, Governor … Read More...