NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

Blue Cross previews 2015 rates

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:42
North Carolinians who will be re-enrolling or signing up for individual health insurance plans next month are getting a preview of 2015 rates today. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced Wednesday that consumers could expect to see a 13 percent increase on individual Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans. On the plus side, ...

Lt. Gov. Forest purports to give a constitutional law lecture

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:28
Though his background is in architecture, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest certainly does seem to fancy himself quite the constitutional law expert. Lately, he’s been tooling around the state with a far right activist who wants to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to return the country to the 18th Century by, essentially, giving the state’s ...

ICYMI: Judy Waxman on the legal landscape ahead for policies affecting women’s health (Full video)

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 07:40
If you weren’t able to attend NC Policy Watch’s Tuesday breakfast with Judy Waxman,  Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center, that full program is now available online. Please watch and then share Ms. Waxman’s October 21st presentation:  

State Board of Elections calls emergency meeting for voting site at Appalachian State

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 05:55
The state Board of Elections has called an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. today to adopt an early voting site at Appalachian State University, after the Court of Appeals late yesterday denied the state’s request for a review of Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens’ ruling requiring a polling place there. Here’s an excerpt ...

A challenge to North Carolina’s tobacco-loving governor

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 16:10
Gov. Pat McCrory took a rather startling and troubling position the other day when he spoke at the behest of a tobacco lobbyist against efforts in France and Ireland to further restrict cigarette packaging to promote public health. Apparently, kowtowing to the hometown industry is more important than protecting the lives and well-being of a ...

Today’s amazing inequality graphic

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:46
The good folks at continue to do a great job of documenting America’s obscene and metastasizing wealth and income gaps. This week, in their online newsletter Too Much, they highlight as fascinating comparison between French and U.S. households when it comes to wealth. As you can see, Americans top the French when it comes ...

Experts: Repeal of ACA “not gonna happen”

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 12:01
The ideologues on the far right may continue to scream for “repeal” of Obamacare, but the evidence continues to pile up that this is simply not something that’s going to happen. That was the analysis delivered by Judy Waxman of the National Women’s Law Center at this morning’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation breakfast in ...

Editorial: Military and non-military alike deserve protection from predatory loans

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 07:12
In case you missed it over the weekend, the New York Times ran a thoroughly logical editorial that rightfully called for federal regulation to crack down on the scam artists who sell payday loans and other similar debt traps in numerous states across the country. As the editorial rightfully notes, it’s all well and good ...

Revenue continues to underperform projections, shortfall likely to grow larger

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 16:19
State revenues are coming in $62 million under projection for the first three months of the fiscal year, according to the Fiscal Research Division’s (FRD) new General Fund Revenue Report. This report provides an assessment of revenue collection performance for the state on a quarterly basis and is particularly important considering the state’s inadequate and ...

New environmental scorecard highlights “partisan polarization”

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 15:26
From the coal ash clean-up to the future of fracking, this summer’s short legislative session provided state legislators with numerous opportunities to weigh in on key environmental policies. Now the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters is out with its 2014 Legislative Scorecard, allowing citizens to see how each House and Senate member ranked in ...

Marriage equality advocates expose misleading mailer from pro-discrimination group

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:35
So, if the “religious beliefs” of a public official (like, for instance, a register of deeds) cause him or her one to oppose interracial marriage or, say, marriage between heterosexuals who are incapable of procreation, should that public official have the right to decline to issue marriage licenses to such couples? According to the ironically-named ...

Full circle on the right to vote

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:54
In case you missed it, Dahlia Lithwick had this wonderful post last week in which she noted the irony underlying a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision rejecting that state’s voter ID law. The court there based its ruling upon an 1865 decision protecting a confederate soldier’s right to vote under the state’s constitution — which required ...

Deaths from the lack of Medicaid expansion

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:55
As the North Carolina NAACP holds a “Denial of Medicaid Funeral Procession” today, it’s worth considering some of the facts and data surrounding the impact of North Carolina’s ongoing refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act: The North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Access to Care study begins with this statement: “The lack ...

Six things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:43
1. The push for Medicaid continues – The North Carolina NAACP and medical professionals will hold a news conference today pressing for the expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would extend insurance coverage to more than 500,000 North Carolinians, and create roughly 25,000 jobs by 2016. More on that here. 2. Spotlight on Reproductive Freedom – ...

NAACP to lead “Denial of Medicaid Funeral Procession” today at 1:00

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 08:18
Lest anyone have any doubt about what the real life impact is of the the McCrory-Berger-Tillis decision to refuse to expand Medicaid over the last two years, the NAACP will lead an event today at the Old State Capitol Building in Raleigh to remind folks: “To dramatize the loss of life, healthcare, jobs, and hospitals ...

Yet another exoneration demonstrates desperate need for reform

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 13:43
You know something’s dreadfully wrong with your system of criminal justice when the full exoneration of innocent men convicted of heinous crimes keeps happening over and over. Another one occurred in North Carolina today when Willie Womble — a man who has spent 39 of his 60 years on the planet incarcerated for a crime ...

NC solar businesses endorse EPA Clean Power Plan

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:53
In case you missed it and could use bit of good news, the folks at Environment North Carolina have some. The group held a press event yesterday touting the support of 49 businesses from North Carolina’s booming solar industry for the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan. This is from the statement released yesterday: North ...

State tells Baker Mitchell’s charter to provide legally required info or face sanctions

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:04
As the Wilmington Star News reports this morning, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has told Baker Mitchell’s Charter Day School, Inc. to turn over required salary information of face the possibility of sanctions. This is from a letter from DPI chief financial officer Phillip Price: We have reviewed your submission in response to ...

North Carolina’s new economic development group will release donors’ names, but may not say how much they gave

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:15
North Carolina’s new economic development partnership– a quasi-public group funded largely with public money – started up in earnest last week,  a significant move that privatized how employers are recruited to the state. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has received $500,000 so far in private donations and $17.5 million in public dollars. Partnership ...

Richard Burr helps expose the lunacy of Dan Forest’s hateful marriage rant

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:07
In case you missed it, it’s worth noting that Senator Richard Burr uttered some eminently reasonable words yesterday when pressed for a comment on the judge who struck down North Carolina’s  unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn of the state Western District. Burr, of course, voted for Cogburn’s confirmation which ...