NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

What today’s competing Obamacare rulings mean for North Carolina

6 hours 25 min ago
The good folks over at Get Covered America, who have been working tirelessly and with great success to get hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians into affordable health insurance over the last several months despite the mean-spirited obstructionism of the state’s conservative political leadership, issued the following common sense response to today’s competing U.S. Court ...

New Report: 26% of North Carolina’s children live in poverty

9 hours 6 min ago
A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation provides a sobering look at how children are faring in North Carolina. The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which looks at 16 separate factors, ranks our state 38th in overall economic well-being, 28th in education, and 32nd in health. The annual report concludes: ‘Although unemployment is ...

Breaking: Fourth Circuit panel unanimously upholds Obamacare subsidies for all eligible purchasers

9 hours 17 min ago
A unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit in Richmond has upheld the availability of Affordable Care Act tax credits to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange. The decision in King v. Burwell comes just hours after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a contrary ruling in Halbig v. Burwell. Writing ...

Breaking: Healthcare subsidies on the ropes?

11 hours 1 min ago
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that tax credits under the Affordable Care Act can only be available to people who enrolled in new exchanges set up in states — not those who enrolled in the default federal program. Think Progress explains the 2-1 decision in Halbig v. Burwell: The ...

Three Stooges government?

13 hours 4 min ago
No, this post is not an attempt to personally disparage the folks running North Carolina government. Rather it is an attempt to conjure up an image that captures the impact of the decisions that state leaders have been inflicting of late on their brethren and sistren at the local level. As some readers will recall, ...

Five reasons why adjournment (and a state budget) appear unlikely this week

15 hours 17 min ago
Last week Cleveland County Rep. Tim Moore filed a July 25th sine die resolution setting the stage for lawmakers to wrap up the short session by Friday. Now it appears the chairman of the House Rules Committee may have been overly optimistic. Here are five reasons why adjournment this week is looking unlikely: Budget deadlock ...

Charlotte-based group and its supporters seek release of detained NC immigrant advocate

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 15:13
The good people at the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte posted the following story on the organization’s blog today: Rausel is a great guy and he needs your help Rausel Arista– father to 2 young boys, a community leader, and an organizer here at the Latin American Coalition since 2012– was detained and put into ...

Court budget cuts still hanging in the balance

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 14:08
With the budget focus still on education cuts and new Medicaid proposals, it’s easy to forget that plenty of other issues remain unresolved in the General Assembly. Here’s a quick recap of proposed budget provisions affecting the courts and justice system. Funding for the Administrative Office of the Court  Both the Senate and the House ...

False compassion ensues from conservatives over humanitarian crisis

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 13:22
In a recent interview with Fox News, Senator Ted Cruz showed a display of false compassion for the refugee children at our border, stating that the more compassionate response is to send them back. He even accused Democrats of actually wanting them to be “maimed and brutalized.” Check out the video below: At least Wallace ...

Veteran physician: Improve public Medicaid system; don’t sell it to private HMO’s

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:54
As Governor McCrory and his HHS Secretary Aldona Wos convene a rather strange closed door “listening  session” on Medicaid in Greensboro today (it’s scheduled to last all of 45 minutes), let’s hope they both took the time over the weekend to read an excellent, “from-the-trenches” essay by Goldsboro physician Dr. David Tayloe in Raleigh’s News ...

Houston is on the hunt for NC teachers once again

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:02
On the heels of its Raleigh job fair in May, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) is once again looking to poach North Carolina’s school teachers to come work in Texas for much higher pay. The Texas school district will be holding job fairs this week in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. The available jobs in ...

Civility in Supreme Court races?

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 10:22
Kudos to Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter, Jr., who in recent remarks to the state bar association set some ground rules for his Supreme Court campaign. Hunter is running against his colleague on the appeals court, Sam Ervin IV, for the seat being vacated by Justice Mark Martin, who’s running for Chief Justice. In aftermath ...

Editorial blasts last minute local sales tax bill as, “mixed up,” “weird,” “half-baked”

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 07:53
ICYMI, the editorial page of the Greensboro News & Record pulled no punches this weekend in an editorial excoriating state senators for their last minute proposal to hamstring local governments when it comes to use of the sales tax for public services and structures at the local level. Here’s an excerpt from “Oddest idea yet”: ...

If only we’d allow Obamacare to “not work” in NC like it’s “not working” in Washington state

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 14:05
As Adam Linker explained last week when he debunked the latest conservative mythology surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the law continues to succeed despite its imperfections and the endless, hysterical attacks of the President’s political opponents. Today, there’s still more confirmation of this undeniable reality from Washington state. As The Olympian reported this morning, the ...

The message to lawmakers: teachers are everywhere

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:19
Teacher pay is at the heart of the 2015 budget negotiations right now—and if you’re wondering why, consider this: in 64 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, a school system is that county’s largest employer. WUNC reporters Dave DeWitt and Keith Weston put together a fascinating infographic that highlights this reality, noting that in 24 more ...

N.C. unemployment stays at 6.4 percent in June, while number of jobs in state goes down

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:49
June’s jobs numbers are out for North Carolina, showing that the state has held on to its unemployment rate of 6.4 percent for the second straight month. The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent for June. The North Carolina numbers for June released by N.C. Commerce Department show a much lower unemployment rate than a ...

California court confirms futility of the death penalty

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:12
(Cross-posted from the blog of the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty). By Kristin Collins Yesterday, a California court confirmed what we have known in North Carolina for years: The death penalty is so dysfunctional as to be not just unconstitutional, but futile. The ruling said of a system in which inmates sit ...

Senate bill would further limit local governments’ tax authority and force a choice between public education and transit

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:18
Plans to finance both public education and transit at the local level would be stopped in their tracks under HB 1224 that passed the state Senate Finance Committee yesterday. The bill not only places a hard cap on the local sales tax rate at 2.5 percent but also only allows counties to levy a sales ...

Editorial: Common Core “repeal” likely symbolic

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 08:30
An editorial in this morning’s Greensboro News & Record offers some important insights on the legislation — soon to be law — that “repeals” North Carolina’s adherence to Common Core education standards (i.e. the standards we’ve already spent tens of millions of dollars on to implement). The movement led by some Republicans to withdraw North ...

North Carolina’s Poet Laureate resigns post

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 22:17
Less than a week after being appointed North Carolina’s newest Poet Laureate, Valerie Macon resigned from the post on Thursday. The self-published poet from Fuquay-Varina said in a letter to Governor Pat McCrory she appreciated his confidence in her, but she did not want to distract from the Office of Poet Laureate. Macon’s appointment drew ...

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