NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 10 min ago

Advocates call on Gov. McCrory to “Stop the Hate” and support immigrant families

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:15
Just days after Governor Pat McCrory announced he would join 14 states in a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order on immigration, North Carolina advocates are speaking out. Familias Unidas, Action NC and community allies are holding a Friday press conference in Charlotte to address their concerns. Here’s more from the group’s press advisory: According ...

One reason fast-food workers want $15 wages? Ability to see a doctor

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 09:27
There’s an interesting article today from North Carolina Health News about fast-food workers who make too much to qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina but make too little to afford health care on their own. North Carolina is one of several states that declined to expand coverage of Medicaid in the state, after the state ...

What a 21st century voting system looks like

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 08:12
Here’s something North Carolina voters can put on their wish lists for 2015:  voting reforms like those enacted by the Illinois legislature earlier this week that make registration simpler and more reliable, cut election costs in the long run, reduce voter fraud and, most importantly, expand the right and ability to vote. In just about every way, ...

Fayetteville Observer calls for federal investigation of Lennon Lacy’s death

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 07:41
In case you missed it, the Fayetteville Observer has added its voice to the growing chorus demanding a fully-fledged federal investigation of the hanging death of Bladenboro teen Lennon Lacy. This is from an editorial published in the paper this week: An independent pathologist hired by the state branch of the National Association for the ...

Federal Court of Appeals strikes down Florida’s law mandating drug testing for public benefit recipients

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 17:15
When North Carolina lawmakers passed a law last year mandating drug testing of public benefit recipients modeled (at least in part) on a law in Florida, civil liberties and anti-poverty advocates told them it was a bad and unconstitutional idea. Today those advocates are feeling some vindication as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ...

Huge growth in North Carolina’s imprisonment rate and corrections spending

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:42
An insightful interactive map created by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the extraordinary growth in imprisonment rates nationwide. For North Carolina, the number of individuals under state or federal correctional authority nearly tripled from 1978 to 2013, increasing to 356 from 214 individuals per 100,000 residents over this time period. This growth ...

Data tools for policymaking: The National Equity Atlas

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:14
PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity have put together a new data platform, the National Equity Atlas, which provides community leaders with information to measure, monitor and make the case for inclusive growth across the country. The creators note that before the creation of this Atlas it was difficult to secure ...

Hanging death of Bladenboro teen attracting more national attention

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:07
The August death of a Bladenboro teenager found hanging from a swingset in a rural part of southeastern North Carolina is continuing to attract national attention. Journalist Katie Couric recently profiled Lacy’s death, as part of her new reporting project with Yahoo and as the nation reacts to recent decisions not to pursue criminal charges ...

Amid a mass layoff, a hard look at North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 09:36
As media outlets focus on the news that GlaxoSmithKline will lay off about 900 research and development workers in the Research Triangle Park, be sure to make time to read Rob Schofield’s latest column on NC Policy Watch’s main website. Schofield takes a critical look at North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system, and more changes on ...

More reason to distrust for-profit charter schools

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 09:32
NC Policy Watch contributor Betsey Russell recently forwarded a story from the Akron Beacon Journal that raises further doubts about for-profit charter schools. It turns out that the Beacon-Journal has been conducting a months-long study of charters in Ohio and discovered that for-profit charters were consistently among the worst performers. As the article notes: “Ohio’s charter ...

Editorial: AP history flap shows that lawmakers would do well to go back to school

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 07:37
Today’s editorial in the Wilmington Star News speaks the truth about the controversy manufactured by some on the Right about the AP history course taught in our high schools. Here’s the excellent conclusion: “Students learn from the time they are in grade school that America is special, that it is a force for good in ...

Gov. McCrory joins states suing President over immigration executive order

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 15:58
Gov. Pat McCrory today joined 14 states and the governors of three others in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration, which among other things halted the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants.” “The president has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution and his unilateral expansion ...

Fast food workers will strike tomorrow all across North Carolina

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:23
Fast food workers and their allies will be gathering in several locations tomorrow to demand higher wage and union rights. This is from the good people at Raise Up for 15: Fast Food workers across North Carolina are joining a nationwide strike with fast food workers all over the country. Let’s build the Fight for ...

Today’s must read: A 36 year wait for justice (audio)

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:45
NC Policy Watch’s courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey has our  must read story of the day. She previews the case of Joseph Sledge, who has spent half of his life behind bars for a double murder in Bladen County that he maintains he never committed. DNA testing ruled out Sledge as the murderer in ...

Editorial: NC must continue to fight off circling “payday” sharks

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 08:01
The Charlotte Observer hits a home run this morning with this editorial entitled “An industry that hasn’t been missed.” As the authors make clear, North Carolina elected leaders should continue to use all tools at their disposal to resist the efforts of “payday loan” sharks to reintroduce their predatory (and long banned) 400% loans into ...

Reaction to Skvarla switch speaks volumes

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 15:30
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced a major change in his cabinet today. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is out and Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources John Skvarla will take her place. No word yet on who will head DENR after Skvarla. Though it’s hardly unprecedented for a Governor to, in effect, transfer secretaries from ...

Middle District Judge nominee still awaiting confirmation

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 14:38
Loretta Copeland Biggs, President Obama’s nominee for U.S. District Judge in North Carolina’s Middle District, has not yet been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Biggs appeared before the Committee on November 13 for her scheduled hearing and is now waiting on approval by the Committee. If she is approved by the Committee, Biggs’s nomination ...

Crucial conversation: Gun politics after Sandy Hook

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 11:20
December marks the two-year anniversary of the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since that time, there have been 91 additional school shootings in the United States but only very limited progress in passing new laws to help curb gun violence. Recent elections results may, however, herald an encouraging shift. Is ...

Excuses fading for inaction on climate change

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 10:00
Among the most prominent reasons for US inaction on climate change has been China. The story goes like this – we are unwilling to engage at international climate talks until the Chinese take a serious step. You can see several clips here of members of Congress making these claims for over the years. In November, ...

Editorial: Sometimes police just need to walk away

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 09:28
It seems counter-intuitive to many of us that, when confronted with an angry person breaking rules or engaging in questionable behavior, the best course for a person of authority is to simply walk away. But as countless teachers and mental health professionals have learned down through the years, deescalation is, in fact, regularly the best ...

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