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 30 min ago

Despite the headlines, McCrory signed bill to raise gas tax and punish struggling homeowners

1 hour 48 min ago
There a lot of headlines today about the lower gas tax in North Carolina as a result of legislation passed this week by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory. And it’s technically true. The state gas tax went down today by one and a half cents. One conservative advocate took ...

More newspapers weigh in against so-called “religious freedom” bills

4 hours 54 min ago
It’s looking more and more like the the pro-discrimination bills in the North Carolina General Assembly masquerading as “religious freedom” proposals are — thank goodness — going nowhere. This morning, you can add the Greensboro News & Record and the Winston-Salem Journal to the list of major news outlets issuing condemnations. Here’s the N&R in ...

Raising the Bar: North Carolina needs a budget debate focused on building an economy that works for all

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:15
North Carolina can have quality schools, accessible health care, a sound transportation system, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods—all of the things necessary to strengthen the economy and grow a strong middle class. We just have to make the choice to build this infrastructure of opportunity. In recent years, state policymakers have undercut the effectiveness of ...

Why ‘clarifying’ the Religious Freedom legislation may not be enough

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:55
If you’ve been following the uproar and backlash over Indiana’s religious freedom law, you’ll want to read these two articles: First, civil rights icon Julian Bond thoughtfully explains why these ‘religious discrimination’ bills cropping up across the nation (including North Carolina) have nothing to do with religion. From Dr. Bond’s op-ed: These religious refusal proposals ...

Supreme Court rules GPS tracking of sex offenders may be unconstitutional

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:39
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina’s highest court must re-examine a sex offender’s case to determine whether a law requiring him to wear a GPS tracking bracelet for life is constitutional. Torrey Dale Grady was convicted of a second-degree sex offense in 1997 and then of taking indecent liberties with a ...

Latino advocates praise tuition equality legislation

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:33
A bill that would granted in state tuition status to any student who has attended high school in North Carolina for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation is earning the praise of Latino advocates. Senate Bill 463, introduced by Sen. Fletcher Hartsell (R-Concord) last week, would make higher education  more affordable for ...

Troubled homeowners lose out again in gas tax compromise

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:37
Here’s an issue from the current state policy debate that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention in recent days: the General Assembly’s new plan to tax homeowners who manage to get some of their debt forgiven in order to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. Under the new gas tax compromise brokered by the House ...

Bill would require all UNC professors to teach heavy course load

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:08
Senator Tom McInnis (R-Richmond) filed a bill last week that would require all UNC professors to teach no fewer than four courses a semester. It’s a move that, McInnis says, is an effort to make sure classes are not taught primarily by student assistants — but some are concerned it could hamper research and development at ...

Apple CEO decries “religious freedom” proposal; McCrory appears to do likewise

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 07:18
The growing disconnect between the last gaspers in the far right anti-equality movement and the modern global business community is on full display this week. Today, Raleigh’s News & Observer ran an editorial by Apple CEO Tim Cook that appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post in which Cook blasted the nation’s soon-to-dissipate wave of state discrimination ...

History student examines parallels between General Assembly’s Wake and Guilford power grabs and NC’s dark past

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:12
Micah Khater, a previous contributor to N.C. Policy Watch and a Caldwell Fellow in the University Honors Program at N.C. State University majoring in History and French, recently authored the following interesting essay on the efforts of state lawmakers to impose new electoral maps in Wake and Guilford Counties: Echoes of North Carolina’s dark past ...

Fewer employed workers, lower wage jobs: why NC’s recovery is cause for concern (video)

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:28
Seven years after the Great Recession began, North Carolina’s recovery has been largely been limited to urban areas of the state. A new report by the NC Budget & Tax Center finds that wages and salaries have also been remarkably flat. For a better understanding of North Carolina’s lackluster economy, be sure to read Chris ...

In order to “deform” a more perfect union: NC Senator proposes bill to push nullification amendment to US Constitution

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:30
Just when you thought things might be calming down over on the right-wing fringe, lookie what turned up amongst the flood of bills introduced last week in the North Carolina Senate: a fun little proposal to basically eviscerate the United States government. The proposal by Senator Ralph Hise of western North Carolina would call for ...

Hate and discrimination masquerading as “religious freedom”

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 07:43
The Charlotte Observer was actually quite moderate and restrained in its editorial over the weekend criticizing the latest dying gasp of the nation’s pro-discrimination movement. The editorial — “Indiana shows what not do” — highlighted the so-called “religious freedom” law enacted in Indiana. The law — which was designed by conservatives opposed to LGBT equality ...

Your Sunday “must read” debunks myths about NC’s economic recovery

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 08:07
Be sure to check out the Sunday edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer for an excellent column by NC Budget and Tax Center economist Patrick McHugh: “Hold the applause for NC’s sputtering economic recovery.” As Patrick notes: “The worst of the Great Recession is in the rearview mirror, but the recovery has left far too ...

Going, going gone: quality jobs vanishing from North Carolina

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:03
Six years after the end of the Great Recession, jobs are finally becoming more plentiful in North Carolina, but the overwhelming majority of those jobs don’t pay enough to make ends meet, provide necessary benefits to help families get by, or create sustainable pathways into middle-class prosperity. In short, North Carolina is not creating enough ...

Lawmaker wants to limit public records requests to NC residents

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:31
A group of North Carolina senators wants to keep government information in the hands of Tar Heels, and not those from outside the state. Senate Bill 553, filed Thursday by Republican state Sen. Warren Daniel, aims to limit access to public records to North Carolina residents. Currently, state law allows for anyone to request records ...

Monday deadline looms for public comments on offshore drilling

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:16
Environmental organizations are doubling down on efforts to get concerned citizens to comment on the federal government’s proposed plan to open the coast of North Carolina to offshore oil and gas drilling. The deadline for comments in this phase of the process is this coming Monday March 30. To comment, click here to visit the ...

Bill seeks to limit teachers’ political activities

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 09:49
A bill filed this week by Sens. Wells, Brock, Wade and Soucek would limit school employees’ political activities — and while it only pertains to what teachers can and can’t do during working hours, some are concerned the bill could keep teachers from speaking out altogether on issues they care about. “I think it could ...

Could McCrory’s deal on Dix Park be scrapped? (video)

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 06:52
Governor Pat McCrory was all smiles in January when he announced his administration had reached a $52 million dollar deal to sell the Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh. Now Senate Bill 705 (Ensure Fair Sale of Dorothea Dix Property) threatens to upend the governor’s real estate deal. The bill filed by Republican ...

Pro-choice advocates on SB 604: NC’s General Assembly should not be practicing medicine

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 21:58
On the final day for state Senators to file bills for the session, Senators Shirley Randleman, Joyce Krawiec, and Warren Daniel teamed up to introduce the Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015. Senate Bill 604  would impose new requirements on doctors performing abortions and stipulate that abortion clinics have in place written agreements with ...

Pages