NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

A budget compromise by July 1st? Some say Labor Day more likely

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 10:59
It appears both House and Senate leaders are in no hurry to to hammer out the differences in their respective budget plans. House Speaker Tim Moore is already talking about a continuing resolution that could last well into the summer. Here’s what Moore told reporters for the Raleigh News & Observer: “The issue will be ...

Education Reform Funding In Massachusetts: Recognizing the Connection between Education and Economic Development

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 09:14
This is a guest blog post from Luc Schuster, Deputy Director with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. This blog post synthesizes and updates information in a longer MassBudget’s factsheet on Education Reform in Massachusetts, available online HERE. Motivated by growing concerns that our schools were not serving all students well, especially those in high-poverty ...

Editorial writers: A call for action on gun access, mental health following Charleston church shooting

Fri, 06/19/2015 - 08:04
Understandably, most editorials this Friday are devoted to helping us come to terms with the senseless shootings at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Eugene Robinson writes for The Washington Post: I wish we could better address issues of mental health, too. Perhaps it should be easier for concerned family ...

North Carolina’s elected officials respond to the Charleston church shooting

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 16:26
From former state Senator Malcolm Graham whose sister Cynthia Hurd was among the victims: “My sister, Ms. Cynthia Marie Graham-Hurd, was a victim of the senseless hate crime at Emanuel AME Church. It is unimaginable that she would walk into church and not return. “But that’s who she was – a woman of faith. This ...

UNC Board of Governors moving ahead with search for new president, releases “leadership statement”

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 16:25
Want to know what the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is looking for in its next leader? Here’s the 46-page leadership statement (scroll down to read) adopted Thursday by a board subcommittee that spells out what qualifications, qualities and values are desired for whoever replaces outgoing UNC President Tom Ross. The statement was ...

Trending today on Jones Street – #NCGA budget talks and the #CharlestonShooting

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 12:50
The two stories trending on Twitter this afternoon are the Senate’s passage of their $21.5 billion state spending plan, and the arrest of Dylann Storm Roof, the suspect in the tragic Charleston church shooting. Here are some of the leading tweets on both stories: #ncga Senate gives final approval to their budget plan 32-15. Heads ...

Orange County school teacher, assistant principal quit following controversy over reading a gay-themed story in class

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:07
A teacher and assistant principal at Orange County’s Efland-Cheeks Elementary School have resigned their positions following an uproar over the teacher’s decision to read a gay-themed fairy tale to his third grade students in an effort to put a stop to bullying in his school. From the News & Observer: Omar Currie and Meg Goodhand ...

Comparison chart: House budget reinvests more than the Senate budget but both plans fail to fully restore previous cuts

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 09:51
The state Senate is set to take a third and final vote on its two-year spending plan today, nearly a month after the House approved its budget. Next, each chamber will select respective leaders to negotiate in “conference” to iron out differences between the two budget proposals. The final budget agreement will head back to ...

Pain and tragedy in Charleston

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 09:19
“This tragedy that we’re addressing right now is undescribable,” Charleston’s police chief said at a news conference. “No one in this community will ever forget this night. And as a result of that, and because of the pain, and because of the hurt that this individual has caused this community, this entire community, the law enforcement ...

National Economy, Stock Market Drive Better than Expected Income Tax Collections Not Tax Cuts

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 07:58
Both House and Senate budget writers did the right thing by putting the $400 million projected surplus this year towards reserves.  This is important because North Carolina’s revenue collection surprise in April was largely the result of national trends that saw strong performance in capital gains income, a likely one time event. The challenge, of ...

Hartsell case a reminder of the shockingly inadequate funding for the State Board of Elections

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 06:39
The unanimous decision by the State Board of Elections to turn over the investigation of Sen. Fletcher Hartsell’s campaign finances to state and federal prosecutors came after a three year probe by board officials. The WRAL story about the case provides the reason why the case took so long and what the investigations are so rare. ...

Controversial gun bill clears the House, heads to the Senate (video)

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 22:50
After hours of heated debate over two days, the NC House gave final approval (78-37) Wednesday to a sweeping bill that amends various firearm laws. Several of the more controversial measures of House Bill 562 did not make it into the final version approved by the House. Specifically, supporters of the bill removed a provision ...

Teacher assistants descend on General Assembly to voice opposition to Senate budget

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:23
About a dozen teacher assistants from all over North Carolina came to the General Assembly Wednesday to tell lawmakers they’re not happy with the prospect of losing a significant chunk of their workforce thanks to a Senate budget proposal that eliminates more than 8,500 TAs from elementary school classrooms. “It’s about the children and the future ...

Students push for tuition equity in higher education

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:37
Students from across North Carolina gathered on Halifax Mall outside the General Assembly today under the banner of “One State, One Rate” to advocate tuition equity in higher education for high school graduates with undocumented status. The Adelante Education Coalition led the “Undocugradation” event as part of their “Let’s Learn NC” statewide campaign. Don in ...

Senate leaders reverse course and bet on more lottery advertising

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:28
What a difference a year makes. Last session the state House passed a budget that relied on increased lottery advertising to raise money for a pay raise for teachers. Senate leaders rightly panned the idea that soon fell apart after news that lottery officials had told House leaders that their revenue projections were unrealistic before ...

As the Senate prepares to vote on its budget, new worries about vouchers, pay for seasoned teachers (video)

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 06:10
The Senate’s $21.5 billion budget will be before the full chamber Wednesday. The proposed spending plan, introduced on Monday, would increase teacher pay by four percent on average, but it would also cut more than 8,500 teacher assistant positions over the biennium. The budget bill is also heavy on policy – including Medicaid reform and ...

Statement on Senate Budget

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 16:08
When the Senate leadership provided an overview of their budget proposal, what you didn’t hear were all of the investments that are missing from their proposal due to the huge price tag of their tax plan – a tax plan that will do nothing to strengthen our economy. If it weren’t for this tax plan, ...

How health policy, DHHS stacks up in the N.C. Senate budget proposal

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 11:46
The Senate’s budget proposal for the next two years had some significant health policy changes packed into it, namely a proposal to peel Medicaid oversight away from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and open the door for managed-care management of the $14 billion program. House and Senate Republicans have spent the last ...

Senate budget for courts: How it compares

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 09:58
Good news for the courts came last month when the House announced a badly-needed $18 million infusion to bring the state’s judicial system into the digital age, as part of its proposed 2015-17 budget. But bad news followed yesterday, when the Senate released a proposed budget that provides virtually no funding for court technology, with just $567,000 ...

The Senate Tax Plan Fails to Fix the Problem

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 08:05
Last week, we raised concerns with the Senate leadership’s new tax plan. Rather than reinvesting and regaining ground lost in recent years, the Senate is pursuing another round of costly income tax cuts. When fully implemented, the $1 billion price tag for the Senate tax plan will mean North Carolina must forgo investments in the ...

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