NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Breaking: Cell phone privacy upheld by high court

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 10:33
In what SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein called “a sweeping endorsement of digital privacy,” the U.S. Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cellphone seized from an individual who has been arrested. The direct issue in two cases before the court was whether police could search the ...

Governor orders budget cuts in case budget standoff lingers beyond end of fiscal year

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 09:15
In an unexpected move on Monday, Governor McCrory directed state agencies to prepare for budget cuts in case lawmakers fail to iron out a budget deal before the fiscal year ends in six days. Art Pope, the Budget Director at the Office of State Budget and Management, laid out the budget guidelines in a two-page memo ...

N.C. Rep. Stam calls pedophilia, masochism sexual orientations (with video)

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 08:47
State Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex Republican, rankled his fellow lawmakers and others with comments Tuesday he made on the House floor likening pedophilia and sadism to sexual orientations, as opposed to sexual perversions. Stam is one of the most socially conservative lawmaker in the legislature, and was a leading proponent of 2012’s Amendment ...

N.C. Supreme Court candiate apologizes for campaign running N.C. Policy Watch article without attribution

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:25
A campaign website for a judge running for the state’s highest judicial seat posted an N.C. Policy Watch reporter’s article without attribution, leaving the false impression the article had been written by the judge. Judge Ola Lewis, a Brunswick County Superior Court judge running to be the next chief justice at the N.C. Supreme Court, ...

Is paid family leave really bad for business?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:11
Not  according to a new and detailed report from the wonks at the Center for Economic and Policy Research that examined the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (or FLI)  program. The program allows workers to take up to six weeks of paid leave (capped at $595 a week in 2014) to care for new babies, ...

Supreme Court refuses to hear Wisconsin case on law requiring admitting privileges by abortion providers

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:08
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday blocked efforts by Wisconsin’s Attorney General to reinstate a state law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That provision was one of several restrictive measures hastily passed by the Wisconsin legislature in 2013. In the lawsuit that followed in federal court there, U.S. District Judge William Conley enjoined enforcement ...

ACLU report decries police militarization, targeting of minority citizens

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:36
Another sobering report from the good folks at the ACLU: ACLU Report on police militarization finds weapons and tactics of war used disproportionately against people of color – Report shows injustice, suffering caused by SWAT teams deployed for low-level police work, not crises; Investigation looked at many N.C. law enforcement agencies RALEIGH – After obtaining ...

Carolina Journal: One of N.C. House’s top Dems owed more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:22
One of the top Democrats in the state House or Representatives owed more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes, according to court filings and tax records reviewed by the Carolina Journal for this report. State Rep. Michael H. Wray, a Gaston Democrat serving as the deputy minority leader, owed more than $100,000 for federal, state and ...

GOP official quickly backtracks (sort of) on “communist” crack about Rev. Barber

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:17
Another week and another foot-in-mouth incident for a conservative North Carolina politician. Last week it was House Speaker Thom Tillis and his crack about “traditional voters.” Now this week it’s former State Representative and current state GOP Vice-Chairperson Carolyn Justice in an awkward attempt to defend Tillis. This is from a story on yesterday’s Washington ...

Moral Monday demonstrators: “This is what Democracy looks like!” (audio postcard)

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 21:46
More than 1,000 demonstrators converged on North Carolina’s General Assembly Monday as lawmakers work to finalize the state budget by the end of the month. For some of the sights and sounds from the 60th Moral Monday protest, click below:

The President’s failure on the humanitarian crisis at the border

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 15:00
As more and more “illegal” children are held in detention at the border, mistreated, mocked, and abused, our President continues to “solve” the crisis by deporting them. These children end up in detention for various reasons. Sometimes, as they are attempting with their families to cross over, they lose them in the desert and end ...

Another last-minute blitz at the General Assembly?

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 14:24
If there’s been one area in which the current leadership of the General Assembly has been at its most cynical when it comes to directly contradicting past promises and rhetoric, it’s almost certainly in the area of legislative process. It’s gotten to the point at which it seems that scarcely an important piece of legislation ...

Five things to watch this week on Jones Street

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 11:22
  The Budget – Legislators have just a week left in the fiscal year to reach a compromise on their 2014-15 budget. Click here for a House and Senate Comparison Report on the competing plans. And we should learn shortly whether the budget talks will be open to the public, as Sen. Tom Apodaca suggested ...

NC House action on marijuana extract for epilepsy a start, but not enough

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 10:06
In case you missed it, Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina posted the following insightful essay last Friday about action by the state House to allow physicians to recommend an oil derived from marijuana for treating certain epilepsy symptoms: NC House Overwhelmingly Approves Marijuana Extract for Epilepsy, but Ignores Countless Others Who Could ...

North Carolina represents at White House Summit on Working Families

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 08:21
Today, in Washington DC, hundreds of business leaders, workers, moms and advocates from around the country will be discussing what needs to change to make work something that works for our 21st century families at the White House Summit on Working Families (you can live-stream it from the link.) It’s the first time a conversation ...

The single, most disastrous decision of the 2014 legislative session…

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 08:10
…is highlighted in this fine editorial in the Charlotte Observer entitled: “Expand Medicaid – It has value in NC.” To quote: “N.C. lawmakers don’t seem inclined to reconsider their unwise decision not to expand Medicaid. But that doesn’t mean we should stop shouting loudly why they should. A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report last ...

Diverse organizations support Common Core as N.C. and other states back away

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 16:58
An array of organizations have voiced support for the embattled Common Core Standards following recent efforts to drop or water down the standards in states like Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Aside from original supporters and developers of the standards like the National Governor’s Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Gates ...

Missing Workers Update: May 2014

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 15:28
Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the NC Division of Employment Security released data on the state of North Carolina’s labor market. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.4 percent over the month but is still below where it was a year ago.  Despite this annual improvement in the unemployment rate, the reality is ...

Legislator: Last year’s tax cuts impacting ‘essential services’ (video)

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 15:23
State budget negotiations will spill over into next week as lawmakers remain at odds over Medicaid and the best approach for funding raises for teachers and state workers. Rep. Verla Insko believes legislative leaders may have a difficult time reaching a consensus after last year’s budget cut taxes “too much, too fast.”: “One of the ...

Breaking: Federal labor officials want same-sex couples in all states (and N.C.) covered by Federal Medical Leave Act

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 10:25
The federal Department of Labor announced today that it will move to include same-sex marriages under the Federal Medical Leave Act, a decision that will mean more legal protections for families in states like North Carolina that don’t currently recognize gay marriages. The rule change being sought by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez would ...

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