NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 32 min ago

Revenue continues to underperform projections, shortfall likely to grow larger

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 16:19
State revenues are coming in $62 million under projection for the first three months of the fiscal year, according to the Fiscal Research Division’s (FRD) new General Fund Revenue Report. This report provides an assessment of revenue collection performance for the state on a quarterly basis and is particularly important considering the state’s inadequate and ...

New environmental scorecard highlights “partisan polarization”

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 15:26
From the coal ash clean-up to the future of fracking, this summer’s short legislative session provided state legislators with numerous opportunities to weigh in on key environmental policies. Now the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters is out with its 2014 Legislative Scorecard, allowing citizens to see how each House and Senate member ranked in ...

Marriage equality advocates expose misleading mailer from pro-discrimination group

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:35
So, if the “religious beliefs” of a public official (like, for instance, a register of deeds) cause him or her one to oppose interracial marriage or, say, marriage between heterosexuals who are incapable of procreation, should that public official have the right to decline to issue marriage licenses to such couples? According to the ironically-named ...

Full circle on the right to vote

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:54
In case you missed it, Dahlia Lithwick had this wonderful post last week in which she noted the irony underlying a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision rejecting that state’s voter ID law. The court there based its ruling upon an 1865 decision protecting a confederate soldier’s right to vote under the state’s constitution — which required ...

Deaths from the lack of Medicaid expansion

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:55
As the North Carolina NAACP holds a “Denial of Medicaid Funeral Procession” today, it’s worth considering some of the facts and data surrounding the impact of North Carolina’s ongoing refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act: The North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Access to Care study begins with this statement: “The lack ...

Six things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:43
1. The push for Medicaid continues – The North Carolina NAACP and medical professionals will hold a news conference today pressing for the expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would extend insurance coverage to more than 500,000 North Carolinians, and create roughly 25,000 jobs by 2016. More on that here. 2. Spotlight on Reproductive Freedom – ...

NAACP to lead “Denial of Medicaid Funeral Procession” today at 1:00

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 08:18
Lest anyone have any doubt about what the real life impact is of the the McCrory-Berger-Tillis decision to refuse to expand Medicaid over the last two years, the NAACP will lead an event today at the Old State Capitol Building in Raleigh to remind folks: “To dramatize the loss of life, healthcare, jobs, and hospitals ...

Yet another exoneration demonstrates desperate need for reform

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 13:43
You know something’s dreadfully wrong with your system of criminal justice when the full exoneration of innocent men convicted of heinous crimes keeps happening over and over. Another one occurred in North Carolina today when Willie Womble — a man who has spent 39 of his 60 years on the planet incarcerated for a crime ...

NC solar businesses endorse EPA Clean Power Plan

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:53
In case you missed it and could use bit of good news, the folks at Environment North Carolina have some. The group held a press event yesterday touting the support of 49 businesses from North Carolina’s booming solar industry for the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan. This is from the statement released yesterday: North ...

State tells Baker Mitchell’s charter to provide legally required info or face sanctions

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:04
As the Wilmington Star News reports this morning, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has told Baker Mitchell’s Charter Day School, Inc. to turn over required salary information of face the possibility of sanctions. This is from a letter from DPI chief financial officer Phillip Price: We have reviewed your submission in response to ...

North Carolina’s new economic development group will release donors’ names, but may not say how much they gave

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:15
North Carolina’s new economic development partnership– a quasi-public group funded largely with public money – started up in earnest last week,  a significant move that privatized how employers are recruited to the state. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has received $500,000 so far in private donations and $17.5 million in public dollars. Partnership ...

Richard Burr helps expose the lunacy of Dan Forest’s hateful marriage rant

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:07
In case you missed it, it’s worth noting that Senator Richard Burr uttered some eminently reasonable words yesterday when pressed for a comment on the judge who struck down North Carolina’s  unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn of the state Western District. Burr, of course, voted for Cogburn’s confirmation which ...

The troubling experience with school vouchers in other states

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:35
ICYMI, be sure to check out education reporter Lindsay Wagner’s story this morning over on the main Policy Watch site: “School vouchers: A second look at fraud and abuse.” As Wagner reports, the disturbing stories from Arizona, Wisconsin and Louisiana — where standards for vouchers are actually tougher in many instances than North Carolina’s — ...

Catawba County school cancels play because two male characters “fall” in love

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:41
While same-sex couples finally won the right to marry last week in North Carolina, a Catawba County school decided to cancel a student theater club’s production of the romantic comedy Almost, Maine, which has a scene in which two male characters fall in love. Principal Rob Bliss of Maiden High School issued a statement on ...

North Carolina’s waning commitment to public education nothing to write home about

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:10
North Carolina is among 14 states that have cut per-student state funding by more than 10 percent for the current school year compared to before the Great Recession, a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) highlights. This waning commitment to public education by state lawmakers in recent years has heightened ...

Seats still available for next week’s breakfast on women’s rights – RSVP today

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 15:14
Please join us for a very special Crucial Conversation — Breakfast with Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center Click here to register Why are Americans still fighting for basic freedoms like access to birth control? What is the latest on the effort to secure full implementation ...

Hendersonville teacher recalls long list of recent attacks on public education in North Carolina

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:58
In an opinion piece published this morning by the News and Observer, Hendersonville high school English teacher Chris Gilbert acknowledges the recent pay raise bestowed upon teachers by state lawmakers (significant for some and minuscule for others), but says he believes it is not demonstrative of politicians’ renewed commitment to public education. Now, certain politicians can ...

Charter profiteer Baker Mitchell caught in an apparent lie about lobbying for tax break

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:44
One of the most interesting parts of the Pro Publica report  in the News & Observer today about the huge profits from taxpayer money made by charter school operator Baker Mitchell is the story of how Mitchell lobbied the General Assembly for a tax break for himself and then denied it. Mitchell was intimately involved ...

Understanding the second marriage equality ruling: Old ban now “defunct”

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 09:30
Court decisions have been coming in a fast and furious fashion in recent days — so fast that many may be left scratching their heads by Judge Osteen’s ruling yesterday on marriage equality. If you’re one of the thousands who’s saying to him or herself this morning something like “What the heck? I though Judge ...

National story: Conservative NC politico profits at the public education trough

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 07:51
The national nonprofit news site Pro Publica has a lead story out of North Carolina this morning about Baker Mitchell — the arch-conservative political operative who runs a chain of charter schools. This is the lead from the story, which is also front-paged this morning on Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Baker Mitchell is a politically ...

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