NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 51 min 18 sec ago

Senator Richard Burr: Makes up his own facts about NC Medicaid in order to criticize it

6 hours 29 min ago

North Carolina’s Senator Burr used to be a fan of NC’s Medicaid program.  In fact, he presented NC Medicaid with a national award for delivering great care and containing costs just last year.  Then came the Affordable Care Act and … Read More...

ICYMI: NYT on legal challenges an NC Justice Center attorney faced trying to shut down payday lenders

7 hours 11 min ago

Over the weekend, the New York Times magazine had this article about pay-day lending, and how litigation efforts shaped up to shut down the industry that primarily feeds off of the working poor, in North Carolina.

The article prominetly featured …

Senate candidates deny climate change, discuss federal agencies to eliminate (video)

9 hours 18 min ago

If you missed Tuesday night’s debate at Davidson College with the leading candidates in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, you missed Rev. Mark Harris, Heather Grant, Dr. Greg Brannon and House Speaker Thom Tillis all deny the existence of climate … Read More...

The obvious response to Duke’s new claims about the cost of coal ash clean-up

13 hours 2 min ago

Not that there isn’t good reason to doubt just about anything that Duke Energy spokespeople say when it comes to the recent coal ash disaster, but assuming that the claims advanced yesterday that full clean-up could cost $10 billion have … Read More...

NCAA will no longer accept coursework from 24 virtual schools affiliated with online course provider K12, Inc.

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:01

The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) has announced it will no longer accept coursework in its initial eligibility certification process from 24 virtual schools that are affiliated with K12, Inc., a Wall Street-traded company that runs online schools across … Read More...

US Sen Burr: Bashing Affordable Care Act with mistakes

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:19

US Senator Burr is the star witness at the NC General Assembly’s “bash the Affordable Care Act” here at UNC Greensboro today. Unfortunately Burr, described as “the foremost authority on health care in the Senate” by one of the legislators … Read More...

QEA, Winston-Salem charter school, continues out-of-state basketball recruiting

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:27

A Winston-Salem public charter school is continuing its efforts to bring in elite basketball players from around the nation and world, and recently saw three of its out-of-state players recruited to play next year at Division 1 colleges.

All three …

Changing jobs, not my work

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:55

After 17 years at the North Carolina Justice Center I’m finally going to be leaving.  I am joining  Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) at the McCourt Center for Public Policy in DC.  Luckily I’ll be doing the … Read More...

Editorial: Charters must disclose salaries

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 07:43

The Charlotte Observer hits the nail on the head with this editorial on the latest controversy surrounding North Carolina’s supposedly public charter schools:

“It’s disappointing that officials of some N.C. charter schools are trying to evade full disclosure of who


Another poor jobs report

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:45

Another month, another underwhelming jobs report for North Carolina. The Tar Heel state created fewer jobs and saw a smaller percentage of unemployed workers find employment than the rest of the nation over the last year, according to the February … Read More...

New jobs data shows ‘underwhelming’ growth, declining labor force

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 14:49

Figures released Monday by the Division of Employment Security show North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March falling to 6.3 percent, a slight improvement from February.

But analysts with the N.C. Budget and Tax Center note that while the … Read More...

Lunch links: the Boston Marathon, job numbers and Peep shows (the suitable for work kind)

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:00

Here’s a little bit about what’s captivating my attention after the long holiday weekend.

The Boston Marathon is underway, with the wheelchair racers already finishing up and both the elite men’s and women’s runners coming in during the lunch hour. … Read More...

Coming up this week…

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:49

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

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:03

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

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:31

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...