NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Coming up this week…

1 hour 42 min ago

Members of the House Committee on Food Desert Zones will meet this afternoon to issue their recommendations on how to promote healthier eating in areas that have limited access to fresh, nutritional fruits and vegetables.  Legislators are focusing on this … Read More...

Advocates blast McCrory/Duke coal ash plan

2 hours 28 min ago

The N.C. League of Conservation Voters has a powerful critique of the Governor’s coal ash “plan” in this morning’s Weekly Conservation Bulletin (see below). As an aside, how can DENR Secretary Skvarla and the Guv be “adamant that one … Read More...

Teacher exodus provokes growing alarm

4 hours 32 sec ago

Last week’s disturbing news about an ongoing teacher exodus in North Carolina’s capital county (Chris Fitzsimon has the details in this morning’s “Monday numbers”) is rightfully provoking frustration and alarm in many places around the state. A couple of … Read More...

The “genius of the market” impacts the teacher pay debate

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 07:12

According to the market fundamentalist think tanks, North Carolina teachers are not really underpaid or overworked. Over the last several years, their websites have been replete with articles informing us that North Carolina has a comparatively low cost of living, … Read More...

Food stamps backlog cost $21 million, state asking for more federal help

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:11

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services staff confirmed Thursday that dealing with the massive backlog of food stamps cases cost  $21 million in unanticipated costs, in overtime and other costs at both the state and county level.

Now, state …

The coal ash mess: Here to stay for the foreseeable future?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:17

Wasn’t it just several weeks ago that Gov. Pat McCrory was stating plainly that North Carolina needed to move its coal ash waste sites away from water as is being done in South Carolina? Now after much hemming and hawing … Read More...

Tax cuts still aren’t telling the story supporters want

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:01

At his Tax Day press conference, Governor McCrory repeated the often-heard claim that the effect of cutting taxes on the state’s economy speaks for itself. Last year’s tax cuts may be speaking, but they’re not telling the story its proponents … Read More...

As drilling safety rules finalized, environmentalists remain wary of rush to frack (video)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:19

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission has finalized the proposed safety regulations that companies will need to follow in order to frack for natural gas in our state. Over the past 18 months the commission has adopted 120 rules they … Read More...

North Carolina’s teachers post their resignation letters at

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 09:42

Some of North Carolina’s teachers who have reached the end of their ropes are making their reasons for quitting their jobs very public.

As reported by The Carolina Mercury, Pam Lilley, a school library media specialist in Cornelius, N.C., created … Read More...

Editorials blast inadequate teacher pay plans

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 07:18

It’s becoming increasingly clear that any hope for meaningful across-the-board pay raises for North Carolina teachers is withering on the political vine like a strawberry patch nipped by a mid-April freeze. Two new editorials spell this out.

As the Charlotte …

McCrory pushes plan to pay beginning teachers more, hopes for raises for all teachers

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:08

Pay beginning teachers more, and pay veteran teachers more too — if available revenue allows.

That was the message from Governor Pat McCrory today, who convened his Education Cabinet at Meredith College to discuss top budget priorities for the upcoming … Read More...

Half Dozen Things You Didn’t Hear at Governor McCrory’s Tax Day Press Event but Should Know

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:50

If you listened to Governor McCrory’s press event on Tuesday, you might be a little confused about the tax plan that pasted last year and what it means for our state.

Tax reform should be about modernizing the tax code … Read More...

The Fourth Circuit hands down a win for public access to court records

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:22

In a decision released today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond held that the public and press right of access to court records trumps a corporation’s desire to keep quiet complaints about one of its products — … Read More...

Gallup: Uninsured rate dropping more in states embracing Affordable Care Act

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:17

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to the latest polling from Gallup, the uninsured rate is dropping about three times faster in states that have expanded Medicaid, set up a state health exchange and generally embraced the … Read More...

Conservative columnist: Women need lower pay so they can find richer men

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:30

In case you haven’t heard, the reason that women get paid less ($0.77 on average to every $1 a man makes) is that women prefer to settle for lower-earning jobs in order to seek out mates that earn more.

At …

New “Executive Paywatch” report highlights soaring wage gap between CEO’s and average NC workers

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:13

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse on the American inequality front, you encounter reports like the new “Executive Paywatch” report from the AFL-CIO.

Click here to check out the website — it includes a section in which … Read More...

Feds say NC cleared food stamps backlog

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:39

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that North Carolina health officials successfully cleared a backlog of food stamps cases that had been in the tens of thousands last year following issues with a statewide technology system.

At stake was …

NC refuses Medicaid expansion and Wilkes County hurts – badly

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:16

You could tell this story in any one of the most rural counties in North Carolina. From the Wilkes Journal-Patriot in a stunning story yesterday:

Over half of the 898 people who contacted a temporary counselor in Wilkes County for


Charter schools must disclose salaries, say state education officials in a reverse decision

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 09:56

As reported today in the Charlotte ObserverState Board of Education chairman William Cobey along with State Superintendent June Atkinson have gone on the record to say that the state’s charter schools, which are public, should disclose the salaries … Read More...

Retired Supreme Court justice explains how to fix the Second Amendment

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 08:24

As was noted in yesterday’s Weekly Briefing, “A Tax Day sermon,” it can be a fascinating exercise to briefly contemplate just how far to the right American politics have been pushed in the last few decades as a result … Read More...