NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

Happy Equal Pay Day

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:42
If you work, you deserve to get paid. Sadly, in these times, even that statement is controversial (just see all our wage theft work). So if it’s hard to even get workers paid, period, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are still opponents to the idea that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Maddening, ...

Op-ed tells it like it is on school vouchers

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:02
In case you missed it the other day, Asheville writer Martin Dyckman published an excellent essay in the Asheville Citizen-Times that explained the real deal with North Carolina’s toxic and troubling school vouchers program. As Dyckman explained, after describing a push poll/robocall he received from the voucher champions at the Pope-Civitas Institute: “Two days later, ...

Improving the formula behind A-F school grades: not gonna happen?

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 07:25
Lawmakers have filed several measures this spring that are intended to fix what they say is the design flaw in the way North Carolina’s new A-F school grades are calculated, including a bill filed last week by Rep. Graig Meyer and Rep. Paul Luebke that would change the formula for school grades so that they better reflect a ...

Close your eyes and maybe nothing bad will happen

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 16:21
It’s a brave new world in North Carolina, where worker fatalities don’t count unless the NC Department of Labor actually investigates them. The News and Observer’s piece yesterday documented another instance of NCDOL’s practice of distancing itself from addressing critical issues facing workers in our state. Last fall, Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry refused comment on ...

North Carolina takes the prize for longest unfilled federal judicial vacancy

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 13:59
The nearly ten-year vacant federal district court slot in eastern North Carolina tops the list of “most ridiculously long judicial vacancies that the Senate hasn’t filled,” as highlighted by the Huffington Post this past weekend. Here’s a look at the worst Senate offenders when it comes to not filling long-vacant judgeships in their home states. ...

Like saving money and protecting your health? Expand Medicaid

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 12:22
There are few situations in life that are clearly win-win. When you see one, you have to take advantage of it. That’s why North Carolina should reverse course and expand Medicaid. When you have the chance to improve health care for hundreds of thousands of people and actually save money, you should jump on it. ...

Watchdog report highlights huge Duke Energy contributions to GOP guvs

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 08:54
The good people at Democracy NC released the following this morning: Duke Energy Gives $3 Million to Committee Tied to Gov. Pat McCrory as He Guides Coal Ash Response A new analysis of government records reveals that Duke Energy – the world’s largest private electric utility – began writing unusually large checks to the national ...

ICYMI: SELC Attorney Sierra Weaver on offshore drilling and what it will likely mean for North Carolina’s beaches (full video)

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 08:50
If you weren’t able to attend NC Policy Watch’s Crucial Conversation with Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Sierra Weaver, that full program is now available online. Weaver discusses who is behind the plans for drilling for oil and gas off the  Mid- and South Atlantic coasts, and what the public can do to have their ...

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 15:00
1. New NC teacher of the year says dismantling the Teaching Fellows program one of biggest mistakes made in public education Ashe County High School English teacher and newly minted North Carolina Teacher of the Year Keana Triplett is also a graduate of the highly praised yet now abolished NC Teaching Fellows program – and ...

So you want to make North Carolina stronger? Make sure our commitment is adequate

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 14:17
Editor’s note: This is an installment in “Raising the Bar” — a new series of essays and blog posts authored by North Carolina nonprofit leaders highlighting ways in which North Carolina public investments are falling short and where and how they can be improved. We have been highlighting the views of experts about where North ...

Walking to promote rural health

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 11:56
Walking not only has individual health benefits, but this exercise can impact the health of an entire community. For the second straight year, Mayor Adam O’Neal of Belhaven is walking to save lives. While Belhaven is home to approximately 1600 people, Vidant Pungo Hospital provided critical care to people throughout Beaufort County and other rural ...

Advocates launch petition to keep guns out of the State Fair, other safe places

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 11:46
It’s a sad commentary that such action would even be necessary, but the folks at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence have launched a petition in which they call on caring and thinking people to join them in opposing legislation that would force deadly weapons into even more hands and safe places than they’re already allowed ...

Raising the minimum wage will create jobs and help businesses succeed

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 09:00
Many North Carolina workers are locked in low-wage jobs that don’t pay enough to make ends meet, even though they’re working full-time. Over the long-term, state lawmakers need to implement a comprehensive strategy that creates pathways out of this low-wage economy. But right now, they can provide an immediate boost to working families by increasing ...

Thom Tillis changes his tune on budget cuts, gridlock

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 07:40
The Fayetteville Observer has an interesting story today that seems to indicate that Senator Thom Tillis has brought a bit of his special brand of “that was then, this is now” governance to Washington. According to the Observer, Tillis is speaking out vigorously against proposals to close the Air Force’s 440th Airlift Wing. While this ...

New ALEC Business Climate Rankings are mostly Chaff

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 15:29
There are lies, damn lies, and state business climate rankings. Okay, that’s not exactly what Mark Twain said, but he might have been tempted to swap out statistics as the target of wit had he witnessed the recent proliferation of state business climate rankings. Many of these rankings merely cloak ideology with the veil of ...

New NC teacher of the year says dismantling the Teaching Fellows program one of biggest mistakes made in public education

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 13:20
Ashe County High School English teacher and newly minted North Carolina Teacher of the Year Keana Triplett is also a graduate of the highly praised yet now abolished NC Teaching Fellows program – and she says the program’s dismantling is one of the single biggest mistakes ever made in public education. “The Teaching Fellows program ...

In North Carolina’s Eastern District, population grows while number of judges stalls

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 11:35
In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal weighed in on Tuesday on the growing backlog of civil cases in federal courts across the country, due mostly to more criminal cases and fewer judges. That’s a topic Policy Watch has written about frequently — especially as it relates to North Carolina’s Eastern District, where a judgeship ...

Recovery incomplete or absent in many North Carolina counties, February jobs numbers show

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 10:06
For all of the positive growth numbers touted at the statewide level in the last year, the recovery ranges from partial to virtually nonexistent in many parts of the state. The headline unemployment rate dropped for most counties between February 2014 and this year, but unfortunately that is not a sign that all in well. ...

Duke presses to have $25 million coal ash fine dismissed

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 10:03
Duke Energy has filed an appeal to the $25 million fine issued by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), calling the penalty both ‘unnecessary’ and ‘excessive.’ The McCrory administration touted the fine issued last month for groundwater contamination at the Sutton Plant near Wilmington as the state’s “largest-ever penalty for ...

The sharks are circling again at the General Assembly

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 06:29
State lawmakers have been taking a spring break this week and given the flood of disturbing bills introduced of late, it’s enough to make you wish they’d just stay away. Two new anti-consumer bills pushed by predatory industries make for classic cases in point. As is detailed on the main NC Policy Watch site this ...

Pages