NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 4 min 19 sec ago

The week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 14:46

1. Hopeful signs for the path forward Trump lights a fire under the American progressive movement; you can keep up and help Well, this is it. The week that a sizable majority of Americans have been dreading is here and, come Friday at high noon, a morally bankrupt and utterly unqualified snake oil salesman will ...

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NC Policy Collaboratory: Solid science, but legislature’s timeline rushes process

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 13:26

The NC Policy Collaboratory has an enviable challenge, but a challenge nonetheless: How to spend more than $200,000 in a hurry. Only six months old, the environmental think tank at UNC is charged with funding and sponsoring research related to natural resources and the economy, then delivering those findings to the General Assembly. In turn, the legislature will, well, we ...

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GOP committee kills Virginia bathroom bill similar to House Bill 2

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 11:30

A GOP-led committee in Virginia killed a bathroom bill yesterday that was comparable to House Bill 2, according to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News, Va. The bill was apparently dispatched without debate and with only one vote for saving it. Similar to HB2, the legislation would have prohibited transgender individuals from using restrooms ...

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Attempted giveaway puts exclamation point on Pat McCrory’s pathetic departure

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:24

Has anyone checked to see if there are any missing towels or dishes from the Governor’s Mansion? Given the latest revelation about the last minute efforts of former Governor Pat McCrory to bestow $166,000 in publicly-funded parting gifts on some of his cronies during his final hours in office, it seems as if it might ...

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NC Court of Appeals: Charter school operator can’t sue former superintendent for libel

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 09:30

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week that charter school operator Baker Mitchell Jr. cannot sue former Brunswick County superintendent Edward Pruden for libel. Mitchell is a founder of Charter Day School in Leland and his company Roger Bacon Academies receives millions in public dollars to run four charter schools in the Wilmington area. ...

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Not headed to DC? Women’s Marches abound across North Carolina this weekend

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 07:00

No doubt the largest demonstration surrounding the Trump inauguration this weekend will be in our nation’s capital, but thousands of women will be gathering across our state to lead what organizers are describing as “a loving, beautiful and creative resistance to the backwards policies proposed by the incoming administration.” Here’s a listing of some of ...

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Gov. Cooper names Susi Hamilton, Reid Wilson to lead Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 15:34

State Rep. Susi Hamilton, a four-term House member from Wilmington, is Gov. Roy Cooper’s pick for Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources. Reid Wilson, executive director of Conservation Trust for North Carolina, is the department’s chief deputy, a new position. In a prepared statement, Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations with the NC League of Conservation ...

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No action from U.S. Supreme Court today on whether it will take redistricting case requiring special elections

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 15:13

The U.S. Supreme Court took no action today on the North Carolina redistricting case for which it recently agreed to put the special elections a lower court ordered on hold. Justices met for a conference to review cases it could take up, including the state’s appeal in North Carolina v. Covington, in which the U.S. 4th Circuit Court ...

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Greensboro arrests highlight ongoing struggle over police transparency

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 14:32

The arrest of seven protesters at Greensboro’s city hall Wednesday is the latest incident in an ongoing struggle police transparency in North Carolina. From the story in Greensboro’s News & Record: GSO Operation Transparency has been demanding since mid-December all written and electronic correspondence connected to the violent arrest of Dejuan Yourse on June 17, ...

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Medicaid lawsuit dates set; GOP health care proposal postponed

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 13:00

If there is a court hearing in the Medicaid expansion lawsuit, it will be next Friday, Jan. 27, in New Bern, according to an order entered by U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan. All parties involved in the lawsuit were set to have a teleconference tomorrow, but it was canceled after an agreed upon schedule ...

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A play-by-play on Betsy DeVos’ remarkable, combative confirmation as education secretary

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 12:22

The Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees have been, for lack of a better word, wild. No doubt the same applies to Trump’s nominee to lead the nation’s public schools—controversial Michigan school choice champion Betsy DeVos. Those listening in on this week’s often combative back-and-forth between Democrats and DeVos heard more than a ...

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Just when conservatives thought the fallout from HB2 couldn’t get any worse…

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 08:55

At some point, you’ve got to think that Phil Berger, Tim Moore and their fellow conservative authors of HB2 will be saying to themselves, “What in the heck have we done and why? No matter how much the religious right fawns over us, this simply has not been worth it.” Let’s hope both men moved ...

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Court of appeals sets date in Rowan County prayer case

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:56

Attorneys will argue the Rowan County Board of Commissioners’ current prayer policy before all 15 judges of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on March 22. The court is located in Richmond, Va. The en banc review was granted in response to the ACLU of North Carolina asking the federal court to reconsider after a 2-1 ...

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Amount of toxics released into air declines, but NC’s water is in trouble

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:26

Breathe deeply — well, not too deeply. But swim cautiously because the water is worse than the air. The amount of toxic pollutants that industry emitted into North Carolina’s air decreased substantially from 2005 to 2015. Unfortunately, the load of toxic contaminants increased in the state’s waterways by 200,000 pounds over that same decade. The figures come ...

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Charlotte real estate execs on HB2: “It needs to go away.”

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:16

This week a group of Charlotte real estate executives held a 2017 market forecast – and continued to see HB2 as a problem on the horizon. From the Charlotte Observer: “It’s idiotic, and it needs to go away,” said Wyatt Dixon, managing principal at apartment developer Proffitt Dixon. He said an investor on an undisclosed ...

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Real people are in the Medicaid coverage gap

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:26

The numbers are out there. For over three years the numbers have been reported on everything from how many people with diabetes could receive the medications they need to control this chronic condition to the number of jobs that could be created in each county. The numbers even show how some of the most vulnerable like children or ...

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AG Josh Stein on North Carolina’s opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform and legislative lawsuits (audio)

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:45

North Carolina’s new Attorney General Josh Stein was gracious enough to join Policy Watch in studio over the weekend to discuss criminal justice reform, the repeal of HB2, and how to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.  If you missed Stein’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon on Sunday, make time to listen to the podcast below: ...

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Raleigh full-time employees to see raise by end of summer

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 10:42

Raleigh City Council approved a living wage policy that will increase the pay of more than 200 full-time city employees beginning in July. The News and Observer reports that the city currently pays its lowest-level employees a minimum of $12.01 an hour, which comes out to about $24,981 a year. Under the new policy, Raleigh will ...

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Sen. Thom Tillis: Voters didn’t give GOP an ideological mandate

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 09:31

In case you missed it: Republican Sen. Thom Tillis penned a column for the Charlotte Observer yesterday in which he warns the GOP that voters didn’t deliver them a mandate to ram through a right wing ideological agenda. From the piece: During the election, Donald Trump seized on the nation’s discontent, convincing voters in swing ...

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The drumbeat against ACA repeal grows as new and disastrous numbers highlight the risk

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 07:00

At some point, you’ve got to think that Donald Trump and the members of Congress driving the ACA repeal bus are going to stop and ask themselves “what in the heck are we doing?” The latest numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (remember, CBO serves a Congress that has been Republican-controlled for some time) ...

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