NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

NC ranked one of the worst states for Latinas in the gender pay gap

2 hours 40 min ago
In North Carolina, Latina women earn 46.3 cents to every dollar earned by a white male, according to analysis released by the National Women’s Law Center. The analysis, based on newly released Census data, ranked North Carolina in the top ten states with the smallest wage gap between men and women but found that NC ...

Lincoln County voters fight for hours at early voting sites

5 hours 2 min ago
By all accounts, the battle to keep an early voting site open at Appalachian State University has been a success.   Early voting there continues to be strong, with 2155 votes cast as of yesterday. But other small victories in the war against voting rights have occurred elsewhere throughout the state. Take Lincoln County, for example. ...

5 Takeaways from Census’ new poverty and inequality data for North Carolina

6 hours 21 min ago
Below are the five key findings from the Budget and Tax Center’s analysis of the new 2013 poverty and income data from the US Bureau of the Census. The state is making no progress towards eliminating poverty. North Carolina’s high poverty rate (17.9 percent) remained statistically unchanged in 2013. This means that there has been ...

NC teacher accused of making racist comments, telling students that killing black people on bucket list

6 hours 24 min ago
A Camden County teacher was briefly suspended  following accusations she told several of her high school students she’d like to kill black residents. Cynthia Ramsey, a math teacher at Camden County High School, is accused of telling a group of students that “if she only had 10 days to live that she would kill all ...

Early voting outpaces 2010 levels

7 hours 1 min ago
With early voting drawing to a close on Saturday, the number of people voting in person and taking advantage of the convenience of early voting is approaching 700,000. Associated Press’ Gary Robertson reports: State Board of Elections data show nearly 690,000 people had cast ballots from the start of early voting Oct. 23 through Wednesday ...

Medicaid expansion? Real conservative bosses still offer little hope

8 hours 18 min ago
The talk about Medicaid expansion for North Carolina in 2015 from political leaders without much power to do anything about it continues. Gov. McCrory and his HHS Secretary keep talking about expansion as does, rather amusingly, lame duck Speaker/U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis. Obviously, expansion would be a terrific thing and is horrifically overdue as ...

Sticker shock – 42,000 Blue Cross customers sent incorrect insurance renewal rates

9 hours 27 min ago
If you received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield this week quoting individual insurance rates for 2015, it might be worth checking those numbers twice. About 42,000 BCBSNC individuals received letters this week containing incorrect amounts. In some cases, customers saw their costs increase more than 100 percent. Blue Cross is inviting customers to ...

Workers facing tougher times at the N.C. Industrial Commission?

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:06
The Independent, the alternative weekly newspaper in the Triangle, had an interesting piece this week about changes the N.C. Industrial Commission has faced under Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration. The Industrial Commission serves as the decision-makers in workers compensation disputes and has become more hostile to injured workers and more friendly to business interests with matters ...

Today’s top stories on NC Policy Watch

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 13:14
Be sure to check out the newest lead stories on the main NCPW site today: This morning, N.C. Justice Center Communication Director Jeff Shaw authored a personal and exceedingly rational commentary on the latest outbreak of gun madness in our gun-obsessed culture (which even discusses his own personal experience growing up with firearms). Meanwhile, in ...

High-profile politicos make the case for Tillis, Hagan in the final days of the campaign (video)

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:00
North Carolina’s tight Senate race earned a new distinction this week – topping $100 million spent in total advertising, according to the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. The contest also brought former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Raleigh Wednesday stumping for Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis: “There’s no question but that the president’s ...

Newby banjo ad recycled for Supreme Court challenger Mike Robinson

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:30
As we reported yesterday, the Justice for All NC PAC is poised for a last-minute ad blitz supporting Republican-endorsed candidates for the state Supreme Court, after receiving a fresh infusion of $400,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee this past week. Now it appears that at least of some of that money is going toward ...

NC General Assembly: Visiting more indignities on teachers, wasting money on privatization

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 07:02
The follies of the North Carolina General Assembly and its shortsighted attitudes toward public education (and public service in general) are neatly illustrated by two stories in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal. In “Who’s a teacher? The legislature wrongly decides,” reporter Scott Sexton tells the story of  veteran teacher named Patti Morrison who, because of the ...

Wilmington charter school company: school salary info are “trade secrets” and should be kept from public

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:06
A group of Wilmington-area charter schools missed a Monday deadline to provide information to the state about salaries earned by employees of a private contractor that work at the public schools. But the private company contracted to run the four charter schools said it will give up the salary information under one condition – that ...

Apple CEO reminds us about importance of protecting workers from discrimination

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:46
There is lots of talk on right-wing avenue this week about North Carolina’s big jump in the business climate rankings published by the right-leaning Tax Foundation. Imagine that, a conservative think tank that evaluates states solely on their tax rates giving North Carolina a higher ranking for cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy. More ...

North Carolina cited in new national study of problems with provisional ballots

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 11:00
A new, lengthy and in-depth report from the Center for American Progress raises real and important questions about racial discrimination in the use of provisional ballots. The report, “Uncounted Votes: The Racially Discriminatory Effect of Provisional Ballots,”  looked at the use of the ballots throughout the country during the 2012 election and found that: “Of ...

Medicaid expansion for North Carolina coming ‘truly very soon’

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 09:30
House Speaker Thom Tillis is not the only one warming to the idea of Medicaid expansion these days. State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said in an interview with public radio station WUNC that with the state’s Medicaid program more stable, she’s preparing to present an expansion plan to Governor Pat McCrory: “We’re ...

Are more attack ads coming in the state Supreme Court race?

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 06:51
Three candidates for the state Supreme Court — current Justices Robin Hudson and Cheri Beasley and Court of Appeals Judge Sam J. Ervin, IV will be holding news conferences today in three cities to discuss the latest influx of “dark money” from outside independent groups hoping to steer the race toward conservative-backed candidates. As happened during the May ...

Hopeful news: SAT scores de-emphasized at three UNC system HBCU’s

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:12
Three UNC system schools will now be able to admit students with lower SAT scores if their grade point average (GPA) is higher than required. The three year pilot program, approved by the UNC Board of Governors on Friday, will allow North Carolina Central, Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State Universities to admit students on ...

Against Ebola? Support Medicaid expansion

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 11:53
People fear the unfamiliar. It’s human nature. When a new threat emerges, our minds often race about it — even when the same old threats are far more worrisome. This is one reason a healthy (heh) number of my friends are anxious about the Ebola virus. Maybe yours are, too. Heck, maybe you are. Well, ...

The Lieutenant Governor hangs on to states’ rights

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:55
Same-sex marriages may be happening in North Carolina — thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Fourth Circuit’s Bostic decision, allowing such marriages — but one day soon that might change, Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest suggests in a recent blog post on his website. In the article (written under his signature but posted ...

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