NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

On Roe anniversary, Renee Ellmers appears to help make anti-choice legislation less terrible

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 07:30
As Suzanne Buckley of NARAL Pro Choice NC wrote on the main Policy Watch page yesterday, today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision — a great time for people committed to freedom and women’s health to recommit themselves to the cause. And, happily, such efforts can begin with at least a modest ...

Mid-year revenue shortfall grows, official revenue outlook filled with caution and uncertainty

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:34
State revenue collections are coming in $199.2 million below projections half way through the fiscal year, according to the legislature’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division’s new revenue outlook report. This report provides an assessment of revenue collection performance for the state on a quarterly basis. The main culprit behind the mid-year shortfall is the 2013 tax ...

Virginia moves toward repeal of A-F school grading system

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:29
Lawmakers in Virginia’s General Assembly are advancing a bipartisan effort to abolish their A-F school grading system, according to WBDJ7 in Roanoke. The A-F scale for schools was adopted in 2013 at the urging of then-Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, as a public measure of school quality based on student test scores. But the law ...

Could NC’s revenue shortfall impact teacher raises, legislators’ wish list? (w/video)

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:18
A week from today state lawmakers return to Raleigh and begin work in earnest on the 2015 “long” legislative session. House and Senate leaders have indicated teacher pay, job creation, and possibly tax reform will be back on the agenda this year. But some members are concerned that recent tax reforms may leave North Carolina ...

Top education issues to dominate 2015: standards, teacher pay and school vouchers

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:38
Standards and assessment, teacher pay and school vouchers were some of the hottest  education issues that key stakeholders predicted would dominate this year’s legislative session at a breakfast hosted Wednesday by the Public School Forum in Raleigh. Tom Campbell, host of the weekly talk show NC SPIN, held a special taping of his program at ...

Capital gains tax breaks won’t help economy, bypasses most North Carolinians

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:30
A new report released today by the Budget & Tax Center highlights how eliminating North Carolina’s taxes on capital gains would largely benefit those who need it least while making things worse for families struggling to make ends meet. Some lawmakers and outside groups in North Carolina are pushing a plan that would benefit the ...

Health insurance for 1 million North Carolinians at risk in US Supreme Court case

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:43
We have written before about King v. Burwell, the case that will be heard before the US Supreme Court to determine whether or not health insurance subsidies can flow to states that refused to establish state-based marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. As John Stewart has noted, justices would have to be more literal than ...

Justice Ginsburg explains everything you needed to know about religious liberty in two sentences

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:21
Credit Ian Millhiser of Think Progress with the excellent headline that appears above as well as the following story that appeared on the group’s website yesterday: On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Holt v. Hobbs, establishing that a Muslim inmate may grow a half-inch beard “in accordance with his religious ...

There he goes again: State Senator Tucker inserts foot in mouth once more

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:45
The last time any significant number of North Carolinians were aware of state Senator Tommy Tucker was probably a couple of years ago when the Waxhaw Republican made some incredibly arrogant statements to people trying to inform lawmakers of the truth about some controversial issues. “I am the senator. You are the citizen. You need ...

Reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:52
“There’s no denying that the country continues to make great gains.  Over the past six years, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have together delivered the longest stretch of economic and job growth in this nation’s history; made accessing health care affordable, easier, and transparent; and safeguarded the American people by enacting strong financial reforms.  However, ...

Reviewer of shuttered Charlotte charter school’s application says school’s financial plan was never there

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:41
The struggling charter school Entrepreneur High School has shut its doors, leaving dozens of students scrambling to find new schools to finish out the academic year. Tim Markley, New Hanover schools superintendent and a reviewer of Entrepreneur’s application, told N.C. Policy Watch he didn’t think the school should have opened. “The application [for Entrepreneur] came forward ...

Reflections on an Equitable Economy

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:25
North Carolina’s recovery from the Great Recession has been slow and uneven across the state. While some cities have rebounded and are thriving, many communities—particularly communities of color— continue to struggle due to a shortage of good-paying jobs. It is in this context of uneven opportunity and access that our state and nation should not ...

Joseph Sledge gets his day in court

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:12
Joseph Sledge, convicted in 1978 of the murders of two eastern North Carolina women and in jail since, may now be just a few short days to freedom. The 70-year-old Georgia native, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, has a court date this Friday with three judges who have the authority to exonerate him, according to this report ...

UNC’s search for “a great leader with a fantastic work ethic and perfect integrity” (w/ video)

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 13:36
If you’re still scratching your head trying to figure out what was behind last week’s decision by the UNC Board of Governor’s to end its relationship with system President Tom Ross, be sure to read today’s Fitzsimon File where Chris works to unravel the mystery. Here’s an excerpt: A politically appointed board unexpectedly fires a ...

RSVP today for lunch with N&O reporter

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 11:22
Seats still remain for the first Crucial Conversation luncheon of 2015 next Wednesday – “Fraud in the workplace: How numerous North Carolina employers are cheating their competitors and stealing from employees and taxpayers (and what should be done about it)” Click here to register There’s a multimillion dollar crime spree underway in North Carolina. Unfortunately, ...

Another editorial criticizes Ross firing

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 09:20
The tone is very measured, but the basic message of this morning’s editorial in the Wilmington Star News echoes the the negative reviews that have been appearing over the last few days to the UNC Board of Governors’ decision to fire President Tom Ross: “It is understandable that the board would want to leave its ...

Common core review commission worried that keeping standards would violate copyright law

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 16:51
Members of the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC) met Friday afternoon to continue their work in reviewing the Common Core State Standards and developing recommendations for high quality alternatives. But commission members quickly ran into a road block when the issue of the Common Core’s copyright arose, with some members becoming concerned that attempts to ...

The cowardly firing of Tom Ross

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:52
By now you probably know that the UNC Board of Governors, all of whom were elected in the last four years by the Republican majorities in the state House and Senate, voted this morning to force UNC President Tom Ross to resign effective January of 2016. Sarah Ovaska has a good rundown of the meeting ...

Just in: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review same-sex marriage cases

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:44
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to take on directly the question of whether same-sex marriage bans violate the Constitution. Here’s the language from the order: The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. 14-556             OBERGEFELL, JAMES, ET AL. V. HODGES, RICHARD, ET AL. 14-562   ...

UNC leader Tom Ross out, GOP-led Board of Governors mum on reason

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:35
The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors pushed out the head of the state’s university system on Friday, sparking a search for a new leader of the 17-campus system. Tom Ross, who had served as president since 2011, will remain in the president’s role until January 2016, while a national search is underway for ...

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