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Senate moves forward with confirmation hearing despite court order; Larry Hall’s absence criticized by GOP

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 11:59

The Senate Committee on Nominations proceeded Wednesday with a confirmation hearing despite a court order that states the advice and consent process can’t begin without Gov. Roy Cooper first formally submitting his nominees to the Senate president. Cooper has not formally submitted the names of his cabinet appointees and his office has said he will not ...

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Why strict voting laws like North Carolina’s are discriminatory: An explainer

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:24

Yesterday, Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein took steps to withdraw the state’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state’s controversial 2013 voting law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down last July. For those not following the matter closely, here is a brief layperson’s explanation/reminder of what ...

The post Why strict voting laws like North Carolina’s are discriminatory: An explainer appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Good for Margaret Spellings: Conservative UNC president fights back against Trump on immigration

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 06:40

All over the country for the past month, caring and thinking Americans have been hoping and praying that some conservative Republican, somewhere, would stand up to Emperor-without-clothes Donald Trump with respect to his cruel, destructive and counter-productive immigration policy proposals. Yesterday afternoon, it happened — at least sort of. What’s more, and somewhat surprisingly, the ...

The post Good for Margaret Spellings: Conservative UNC president fights back against Trump on immigration appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

House Republicans pass committee hurdle to make last judicial elections partisan again

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 14:00

District and Superior Court judicial races could soon be partisan again. House Bill 100 passed the Elections and Ethics Law Committee after debate Tuesday about whether judges should be identified by their political affiliation. There were efforts in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s to hide judges’ party labels on the ballot to keep judicial races nonpartisan. “I ...

The post House Republicans pass committee hurdle to make last judicial elections partisan again appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Four states, 10 years and 6,648 spills from fracking

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:19

Fracking’s first wave also brought a wave of drilling-related accidents — 6,648 in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2014. A recent study by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Public Solutions analyzed the spill data; the Science for Nature and People Partnership mapped the incidents, the materials spilled and if it affected the ...

The post Four states, 10 years and 6,648 spills from fracking appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Cooper, Stein take steps to withdraw request for U.S. Supreme Court to hear monster voting law

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:28

Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein have taken steps to withdraw North Carolina’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the monster voting law struck down last summer by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is North Carolina v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and appellate judges found that ...

The post Cooper, Stein take steps to withdraw request for U.S. Supreme Court to hear monster voting law appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

ICYMI: Rep. Meyer: It’s imperative legislators fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:06

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to check out our interview with state Rep. Graig Meyer, who discusses the need to fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late and what legislative leaders might do with this year’s state surplus. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/News-and-Views-for-2-19-2017-SEGMENT-ONE.mp3 A growing number of local elected officials are also appealing to the ...

The post ICYMI: Rep. Meyer: It’s imperative legislators fully repeal HB2 before it’s too late appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Expert: NC voter suppression law will be revived if Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is confirmed

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 07:33

In case you missed it the other day, U.S. Supreme Court expert Ian Millhiser posted another damning and sobering assessment of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. His first finding: if Gorsuch had been on the court last year, North Carolina’s “monster” voter suppression law would be in full force. This is from his ...

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Governor Cooper’s teacher pay plan explained

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 16:49

As WRAL.com reported this afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a new teacher pay plan  today that seeks to get North Carolina to the national average in five years: Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday that his proposed budget will include 5 percent raises for public school teachers in each of the next two years and laid ...

The post Governor Cooper’s teacher pay plan explained appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Reporter’s notebook: People, places and the potential harm of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (with video)

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 16:15

When some asks me how I settled on becoming an environmental reporter, I reply that I had no choice. I grew up in a 19-acre woods in rural Indiana, where my mother, an amateur naturalist, and I raised spring peepers to our ears, handled garter snakes, and without hesitation crawled on our bellies, wielding magnifying glasses ...

The post Reporter’s notebook: People, places and the potential harm of Atlantic Coast Pipeline (with video) appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Charlotte-Meck teacher: Schools must address fear that anti-immigrant policies are provoking in kids

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 14:45

In case you missed it, there was a fine op-ed in the Charlotte Observer last Thursday by a local public school teacher on the disastrous impact that the nation’s recent anti-immigrant turn is having a lot of innocent children.  The essay — “4 things CMS should do right now to help immigrant students” was written ...

The post Charlotte-Meck teacher: Schools must address fear that anti-immigrant policies are provoking in kids appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Story on anti-Muslim meeting highlights Dan Forest’s controversial connections as he prepares to challenge Cooper in 2020

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 13:41

As Joe Killian’s blog post from earlier this morning highlights, Greensboro journalist Jordan Green had a disturbing story over the weekend about a group of troubled Triad-area conservatives who recently gathered to discuss their passionate — even violent — opposition to Islam. At the public meeting, attendees discussed, among other things, a supposed surreptitious plot ...

The post Story on anti-Muslim meeting highlights Dan Forest’s controversial connections as he prepares to challenge Cooper in 2020 appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Is this the most illogical/dishonest defense of HB2 yet?

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 07:00

Confronting the passion with which some on the religious right cling to HB2 — a law that is taking on the status of a virtual holy icon in some circles — is always something of a through-the-looking glass experience. The notion that an utterly illogical and unenforceable law designed to respond to a non-existent problem ...

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N.C. conservatives calling for violent opposition to Islam

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 06:42

If you missed it this weekend, you need to read this story from Triad City Beat about a group of “tea partiers, patriot groups and other conservative activists” whose recent meeting included discussions of “killing the hell out of” Muslims and “taking people out.” Jordan Green attended the meeting Thursday night in Kernersville. From his ...

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Kansas’ Republican-Controlled Legislature Votes to Raise Revenue, Responsibly Address Brownback’s Failed Tax Cut Experiment

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 09:08

Here is a little hope on Saturday morning for North Carolina as we enter a budget debate that should have learned the lessons of failed tax cut experiments by now. Yesterday, the Kansas legislature voted to raise revenue to address another year of budget shortfalls.  Since the failed tax experiment began in 2012, Kansas has seen ...

The post Kansas’ Republican-Controlled Legislature Votes to Raise Revenue, Responsibly Address Brownback’s Failed Tax Cut Experiment appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 15:02

1. Hopeful lessons from Saturday’s Moral March (and one important way in which progressives are screwing up) This past Saturday’s 11th annual HKonJ-Moral March on Raleigh was by any estimation, a rousing success. At a point in time in which caring and thinking people are being inundated with multiple calls to action on a daily ...

The post This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Conservative group urges Betsy DeVos to dismantle federal education department

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 15:00

We’re still awaiting details on new U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plans for the nation’s public schools, but a report from The Washington Post this week is sure to fire up public education advocates already anxious about the new secretary. According to the Post‘s Emma Brown, a conservative policy organization with deep ties to DeVos and ...

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Over objections from EPA employees, environmental advocates, scientists, U.S. Senate confirms Scott Pruitt as agency chief

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 14:15

No amount of concern that Scott Pruitt is too friendly with the fossil fuel industry, that he has improperly withheld 3,000 emails about his business dealings with coal, oil and natural gas companies; that he has said climate change is a hoax; that hundreds of rank-and-file EPA employees oppose him; that he is blithely unaware of pollution’s harm to the ...

The post Over objections from EPA employees, environmental advocates, scientists, U.S. Senate confirms Scott Pruitt as agency chief appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Is North Carolina going to break its promise to retired state employees?

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 09:54

Unless you’re a fiscal policy wonk (don’t be ashamed if you are), you may not know that North Carolina needs to figure out how to keep a more than $25 billion promise. House Bill 24 and Senate Bill 22 would create a committee to study options for covering the future cost of paying for the ...

The post Is North Carolina going to break its promise to retired state employees? appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Editorials: Legislature should ditch proposal to cap state income tax

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 07:46

Things over at the  General Assembly are just starting to warm up, but editorials in two of the state’s leading newspapers are already pouring cold water on one major conservative policy proposal: a constitutional amendment to cap the state income tax rate at 5.5%. This is from the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of ...

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