NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

BREAKING: Conservative lawmaker calls for HB2 repeal in GOP-funded ad

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 15:39

There is some big and promising HB2 news this afternoon. A conservative Republican state legislator, Wake County’s Chris Malone, has formally endorsed repeal of the law. This is from a statement Malone included in a new campaign flyer (see below): “HB2 is costing Wake County and North Carolina too much. I call for full repeal ...

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Report reveals yawning achievement gap in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 13:29

At Policy Watch, we’ve written extensively on the struggle to close the so-called “achievement gap” between white students and some minority students in North Carolina. Now, in a must-read in The News & Observer this week, a new report in one of North Carolina’s most academically decorated systems reveals just how persistent the gaps remain ...

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Duke University scientist concludes Chromium 6 contamination widespread in NC, but not from Duke Energy

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 12:30

Even more North Carolina households than previously thought could be exposed to Chromium 6 in their drinking water, some of them at unsafe levels. However, the source of the contamination is not Duke Energy’s leaking coal ash ponds, but rather ancient volcanic rock leaching into aquifers. These scientific findings, in addition to being troubling for people on both public and private water systems, could influence ...

The post Duke University scientist concludes Chromium 6 contamination widespread in NC, but not from Duke Energy appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

As election season winds down, a closer look at dark money (Audio)

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 12:15

The Center for Responsive Politics projects that when the 2016 election season wraps up two weeks from now, the spending level by candidates and special interest parties in the federal races could reach a whopping $6.6 billion. The presidential race alone is expected to cost $100 million more than it did in 2012. But it’s ...

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Group visits Triad to promote ending gridlock over popular gun violence regulations

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 11:45

Gun owners can advocate for common sense laws and have their weapons too. Susan Ladd wrote in the Greensboro News and Record that if it were left to the American people, background checks would be required at gun shows, and gun purchases would be off limits for convicted felons, people with mental health problems and people ...

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Great news for the planet: Renewables pass coal as largest source of new energy

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 10:34

Conservative North Carolina elected leaders and their cheerleaders in the market fundamentalist think tanks may be doing their worst to block the transition, but the growing global tide in the direction of renewable energy appears increasingly irresistible. Samantha Page at Think Progress reports: “It’s been a long run, coal, but your reign is over. Renewable energy ...

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Veteran physician skewers McCrory’s Medicaid missteps

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 08:27

In case you missed it this morning (and for some reason Raleigh’s News & Observer doesn’t yet have it posted online) there was a great letter to the editor in the print version of the N&O from veteran Raleigh physician Robert Bilbro entitled “CCNC doesn’t need tweaking.” We offer it here. “In the recent gubernatorial ...

The post Veteran physician skewers McCrory’s Medicaid missteps appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Voters deserve facts on public school funding

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 16:17

North Carolina voters face a number of decisions as they head to the polls this fall.  It is vital that such important decisions are made with good information.  The deluge of political advertising contains a lot of information, yet fails to accurately inform voters.  Nowhere is this more true than when considering education funding in ...

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Early voting: a tale of two counties

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:33

We’re seeing some interesting early voting numbers across the state this week. But as everyone tries to parse absentee ballot figures and read party-breakdowns of early voting figures like tea leaves it’s worth taking a look at how many people are voting early, where they are voting early and why. Overall, the state has so ...

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Lawmakers consider calendar waivers for storm-battered schools, WRAL reports

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 14:42

While North Carolina lawmakers may not be planning to return for a special session this year, state legislators say they will nonetheless push for calendar waivers for schools battered by Hurricane Matthew, WRAL is reporting. The news comes as some flooded eastern North Carolina districts rebuild after Matthew’s soaking rains. State law requires that schools ...

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Business Journal: HB2 just cost North Carolina another 730 jobs

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 12:09

Chalk up another major jobs loss to the anti-LGBT law HB2. The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Charlotte was one of four cities on the final short list for a major expansion by CoStar Group, Inc. The commercial real estate information and analytics company announced on Monday plans to open its new research operations headquarters ...

The post Business Journal: HB2 just cost North Carolina another 730 jobs appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Hog farm workers more likely to harbor swine bacteria; kids at risk, too

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 11:57

There are 480 industrial hog farms within the 819 square miles of Duplin County, so it’s unsurprising that bacteria malingers in that environment. What is surprising is that children whose parents work at these farms are more likely to harbor a type of human staph bacteria, compared with kids whose parents don’t. A study of 400 people who live in hog country in eastern ...

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Latest revenue forecast shows state’s economy only in line with national recovery

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 09:05

Even though North Carolina has collected more money than initially projected this quarter due to a moderate but steady ongoing economic recovery, it’s still far too little to pay for the investments our state needs to thrive. Tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful have reduced the money that would have otherwise been available to ...

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Editorial: No “Carolina Comeback” here

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 08:14

The lead editorial in this morning’s edition of the Fayetteville Observer does a great job of highlighting the failure of the so-called “Carolina Comeback” touted by the state’s conservative political leaders to reach vast swaths of the state. Here’s the the conclusion to the editorial: “The growing revenue and jobs produce great numbers for a ...

The post Editorial: No “Carolina Comeback” here appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

Under new federal education law, more public dollars may be bound for private schools

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 15:45

At Policy Watch, we’ve reported extensively on the new responsibilities entrusted to state education leaders under last year’s Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal update to the long-unpopular No Child Left Behind law. But there’s one major component of the massive and complicated federal education law that hasn’t earned much attention, according to Education Week. The ...

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Agencies mum on investigation into GOP firebombing

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 15:04

It’s been a little over a week since a firebomb was hurled at the Orange County GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, and officials investigating the crime are playing their cards close to the vest. The Hillsborough Police Department and the FBI are the lead investigating agencies, and the State Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of ...

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Public School Forum’s study group XVI releases strong series of policy recommendations for North Carolina schools

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 12:41

Last week, the Public School Forum of North Carolina released the results of its sixteenth biennial study group, focused on educational opportunity in North Carolina.  The study group’s Action Plan and Recommendations reflect a year’s worth of work from over 175 committee members (including Rick Glazier and Matt Ellinwood of the NC Justice Center, and Billy Ball of ...

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Monday map time: When a landfill lacks a liner, it’s just a dump

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 12:31

True story: Back in the late 1950s or early ’60s, my grandad went to Canada for his annual summer fishing trip. On his way back to the U.S., customs officials stopped him for trying to bring in too many fish. However, those same officials overlooked the small jar of yellow cake uranium he was carrying. Now, ...

The post Monday map time: When a landfill lacks a liner, it’s just a dump appeared first on The Progressive Pulse.

The best op-ed of the weekend

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 08:05

If you missed it yesterday, be sure to check out Ned Barnett’s on-the-money essay (“State inaction magnified Hurricane Matthew’s impact”) on North Carolina’s response to (and lack of preparation for) Hurricane Matthew. As Barnett makes clear, no amount of “rainy day funds” or politically motivated camera hogging can make up for the simple fact that ...

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Deadlines approach on some federal assistance programs for those affected by Hurricane Matthew

Sat, 10/22/2016 - 17:22

While we continue to learn about the many ways that Hurricane Matthew has delivered destruction and hardship to our communities, we know that there will be the need for many months and even years of rebuilding.  The North Carolina Justice Center stands at the ready to promote the best policies to support an equitable and inclusive ...

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