NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Kinston doctor’s letter is an absolute must read for NC legislators refusing to expand Medicaid

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 10:18
The headline of Kinston cardiologist Pradeep Arumugham’s letter in The Charlotte Observer says it all: “My patient is dead, but at least N.C. taxpayers saved money.”  Dr. Arumugham leaves no doubt that the failure of North Carolina’s legislature to expand Medicaid to cover thousands of uninsured North Carolinians is costing lives.  He explains: I had ...

Editorials, op-eds, cartoons blast Burr/Tillis for blockade of Supreme Court nominee

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 07:39
Editorial boards across North Carolina have blasted the U.S. Senate refusal to consider Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in recent days. Here’s the Greensboro News & Record: “There is no precedent for the Republican position and no logic behind it. The next president will fill court vacancies that occur during his or her term; the ...

This week’s top five stories on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 17:27
1. Obama nominates Merrick Garland as next Supreme Court Justice President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the open slot on the U.S. Supreme Court is 63-year-old Merrick Garland, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The President made his announcement Wednesday morning from the Rose Garden, setting off a ...

Justice Edmunds recuses himself from challenge to retention election law

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 12:47
As noted on the order sheet released today by the state Supreme Court, Justice Bob Edmunds has recused himself from taking part in the appeal concerning the new Supreme Court judicial retention election law. Under that law, enacted in October and effective immediately, sitting Supreme Court justices running for re-election would be subjected to an up-or-down vote ...

State Supreme Court denies early review of magistrates’ recusal law challenge

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 12:06
In an order today, the state Supreme Court denied a request by two state magistrates, who resigned from their jobs rather than perform same-sex marriages, to bypass the Court of Appeals and directly review a trial court order dismissing their lawsuit against the Administrative Office of the Courts for reappointment and damages. The magistrates, Thomas Holland of ...

Editorial: Tillis’ excuse on Supreme Court nominee is “hollow,” “phony”

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 07:41
In case you missed it, the Charlotte Observer joined a long and growing list of major newspapers around the country to editorialize in favor of a hearing and vote for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Here’s the Observer in a recent editorial: “In Merrick Garland, President Obama has nominated an eminently qualified jurist for the ...

The case for Medicaid expansion just keeps getting stronger

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 16:03
State Medicaid reform could be an opportunity for expansion By Liz Millar, Medicaid Expansion Project Coordinator at the N.C. Council of Churches (Cross-posted from the N.C. Council of Churches blog.) Several public hearings have been planned around the state over the next few months to receive public input on the new plan for Medicaid reform. The plan ...

Common Cause to Senator Tillis on Supreme Court nomination: “Do your job!”

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 14:30
The following statement was issued by Dennis Burns, chairman of Common Cause North Carolina this morning outside the Raleigh office of Senator Thom Tillis: “Today we delivered a petition to Sen. Thom Tillis signed by over 17,000 North Carolinians calling on the U.S. Senate to perform its constitutional duty and work with President Obama on ...

Equality advocates to lawmakers: Please don’t legislate in favor of hate and discrimination

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 12:35
A group of human and civil rights advocates gathered in front of the state Legislative Building this morning to plead with state lawmakers and Governor McCrory not to try and override the nondiscrimination ordinance adopted by the city of Charlotte. As we have reported previously, conservative legislators are threatening to call a special session of ...

Waffling on judicial nominees

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 11:37
The President had barely stepped away from the podium yesterday after nominating D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court when Senate Republicans began falling in line with party leaders, saying there would be no hearing or vote on Garland nor any other Obama nominee during the remainder of ...

Former colleague pays tribute to Darryl Hunt

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 08:30
Remembering our friend Darryl Hunt By Tarrah Callahan Darryl Hunt, who died March 13, was a long-time employee of the N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and a tireless warrior in the fight to end North Carolina’s death penalty. Tarrah Callahan was Darryl’s co-worker and, more importantly, his friend. This post appeared originally ...

Burr, Tillis take to social media to dismiss Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 06:24
North Carolina’s two U.S. Senators made it clear Wednesday that they would not be swayed by Merrick Garland’s qualifications into holding confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nomination to the highest court. Both Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis believe that the next president and not Obama should make the pick to replace the late Antonin ...

SELC: McCrory critique of offshore drilling decision a “red herring”, lacks merit (Audio)

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 15:11
Reaction continues to pour in regarding the Obama administration’s decision not to purse a controversial drilling plan for the Atlantic Ocean. Governor Pat McCrory, who Chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, said the President’s reversal will cost the state thousands of new jobs and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil supplies. But ...

Ed NC launches expansive new “data dashboard”

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 14:49
If, like me, you believe in the unimpeachable power of numbers, this should come as a treat. Ed N.C. launched an outstanding tool this week, dubbed its “Data Dashboard,” for crunching North Carolina numbers, offering interactive charts and graphs on population, student enrollment, poverty, teacher certification, education spending and, of course, charters. From Ed N.C.: Often, ...

The case for considering Supreme Court nominee Garland is overwhelming

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 13:47
It’s official now; the United States Senate is run by men and women (mostly men) with the temperament, credibility and honesty of spoiled children trying to manufacture reasons why they won’t play with a new kid in the neighborhood. Let’s hope the facts and quotes regarding new Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland (see just a ...

Obama nominates Merrick Garland as next Supreme Court Justice

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 11:05
President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the open slot on the U.S. Supreme Court is 63-year-old Merrick Garland, currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The President made his announcement this morning from the Rose Garden, setting off a battle with Republicans in the U.S. Senate, most of whom ...

Yet another sign that Obamacare is helping the people who really need it

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 10:21
The Washington Post has still more encouraging news about the beneficial impact of the Affordable Care Act: People enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges are ramping up their use of prescription medications more rapidly than those in employer or government-sponsored plans, according to a new report from Express Scripts, the largest prescription drug benefits company. In ...

Three takeaways from election night

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 07:13
Well, Super Tuesday #2 is in the books and here are a few things stand out on the morning after: #1 – Deborah Ross soars – Perhaps the biggest surprise here in North Carolina was the U.S. Senate race. If someone would have claimed a couple of months ago that Deborah Ross — an almost ...

McCrory issues laughable response to offshore drilling decision

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 16:50
As reported here and many other places this morning, the Obama administration has, after lots of careful consideration, decided to listen to public opinion, science, economics and common sense and say “no” to offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast of North Carolina and other Atlantic states. This is a great victory for our ...

Rep. Pricey Harrison: Coal ash is poisoning our democracy as well as our people

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 14:42
In case you missed it, North Carolina State Rep. Pricey Harrison of Guilford County has a great new essay up on the Huffington Post about the connections between North Carolina’s frightening coal ash mess and the state’s polluted, pay-to-play political culture. This from “The Coal Ash Money Train — North Carolina’s Poisoned Democracy”: “Normally, citizens ...

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