NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

The $1 million mystery: The Senate budget gives a low-risk hazardous waste site a major windfall — at the expense of hundreds of critical projects

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:05

O ff a stub of Pine Grove Road behind the West End fire station in Havelock, an old sand mine turned wayward recycling facility has become an environmental and civic albatross. The 34-acre former Phoenix Recycling site contains an assortment of wood, metal, plastic and cardboard — plus construction and demolition detritus that has been illegally dumped ...

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Immigrant students in N.C. lobby for tuition equity

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:04

Dozens of students from across the state visited the Capitol building on Wednesday for the fifth year in a row to rally together and speak with state legislators about tuition equity. The “Undocugraduation” event was organized by the Adelante Education Coalition, a statewide network of organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities for Latinx/Hispanic and immigrant ...

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Multiple state officials make announcements in advancements for battle against opioid abuse

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:56

It’s been a big day for North Carolina’s battle in an opioid crisis that is plaguing the nation. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin announced that he accepted an invitation to join the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI), which is a working group of regional state court officials that was created to develop multi-state solutions and ...

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NC Senate proposal would expand the sales tax

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:06

The devil is in the details. This old saying has become increasingly true for North Carolina, particularly with tax policies passed in recent years. Yesterday’s Senate Finance committee meeting was no different. Yesterday, members of the Senate Finance committee discussed a lengthy proposed bill (Senate Bill 628) that makes numerous substantive  and technical changes to ...

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Federal cuts threaten key NC priorities; State Senate budget makes matters even worse

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 10:19

The Senate budget passed last week sets out the ways in which federal dollars will be invested in various key priorities for the health, well-being and infrastructure of our communities. But, unlike previous years, it is not guaranteed that North Carolina will receive these funds. North Carolina already faces an uncertain future in 2018 as ...

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Cooper administration releases county-by-county numbers on GOP food aid cutoff

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 07:49

Governor Cooper has released more  details about the 133,000+ North Carolinians the Senate would cut off of SNAP food assistance with its you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up budget proposal, including county-by-county numbers broken down by adults and children. For instance, more than 7,000 children 18 and younger would lose food in Mecklenburg County. Here’s the statement from the administration: ...

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Majority of House lawmakers pass raise the age bill after debate about money, crimes included

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:32

House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed “Raise the Age” legislation Wednesday afternoon after a little over an hour of debate. The vote for House Bill 280 was 104 to 8. The Representatives who voted against it are James Boles Jr. (R-Moore), Mark Brody (R-Anson, Union), George Cleveland (R-Onslow), Jeff Collins (R-Franklin, Nash), Jeffrey Elmore (R-Alleghany, Wilkes), Carl Ford (R-Cabarrus, ...

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New report: One million days in classroom lost to school suspensions in North Carolina

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:36

North Carolina school suspensions and expulsions cost the state’s students about a million days of classroom instruction in the 2015-2016 school year, a new report from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Youth Justice Project finds. The new report is part of a growing body of evidence questioning long-running disciplinary practices in the state’s public ...

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12 significant policy changes buried in the NC Senate budget

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:01

The North Carolina Senate passed a budget last week after less than 72 hours of public scrutiny and limited debate. While investment choices are the focus for the budget, the Senate budget also includes a number of special provisions that set out policy. These policy changes don’t get the scrutiny or debate that they deserve ...

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North Carolina’s Medicaid reform is missing one transformative component

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:10

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, hosted the fourth and last Medicaid Reform Public hearing last night in Raleigh. Secretary Cohen noted that even though there were hearings last year before the previous administration submitted its plan to move North Carolina’s Medicaid program to a hybrid managed care ...

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63 years ago today, a Republican-led Supreme Court struck down school segregation as unconstitutional

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 14:30

For the millions of Americans who’ve come of age in recent decades, it may seem hard to believe, but there was a time in U.S. history in which the Republican Party (i.e. the party of Lincoln) often led the fight to combat racism in America, while many Democrats — especially in the South — dragged ...

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After another legal setback, Charah will ask state appellate court for temporary stay in coal ash disposal suit

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:33

For a second time, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox told Charah to talk to the hand. Fox yesterday rejected Charah’s request for a stay of his original order to stop disposing coal ash in parts of the Brickhaven mine while the case wends through the higher courts. Charah, the Kentucky-based coal ash disposal ...

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Berger tries and fails to offer credible defense of 3:00 a.m. amendment blitz

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:00

The numerous unflattering news stories and commentaries that have arisen in recent days in response to last Friday morning’s outrageous Senate budget blitzkrieg appear to have had an impact on Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. Whereas the usual response from Berger to just about any criticism from any corner is to lash out with barbed/venomous ...

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Sen. Thom Tillis collapses during charity race

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 09:30

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) collapsed while running a charity race Wednesday morning, according to reports. From the Associated Press story:   Tillis, 57, was seen on the ground being administered CPR by bystanders at about 15-20 minutes into the race, which started at 8 a.m. The three-mile race was being held in Anacostia Park in ...

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Senator Ralph Hise: Too busy to file campaign finance reports, but not to cut kids off of food assistance

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 07:16

There’s more “you can’t make this stuff up” news from the North Carolina General Assembly this week. As reported in this space Monday, lawmakers slipped a provision into the Senate budget (none of this stuff ever gets done or debated in public anymore) to slash SNAP food assistance benefits to as many as 133,000 North ...

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Senator Burr: Burden is on the New York Times to prove Comey memo exists

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 22:54

U.S. Senator Richard Burr is voicing skepticism about a New York Times report that President Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation of national security advisor Michael Flynn. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee told PBS NewsHour if Comey had written such a memo, the Times should produce it. “Somebody ...

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GOP health care bill would hurt one million rural North Carolinians who benefit from Medicaid

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:50

A new report finds the House-passed health bill – the American Health Care Act – would devastate health care in rural America, primarily because of the dismantling of Medicaid. This is concerning considering that last year in North Carolina Medicaid offered health coverage to 1.9 million poor seniors, children, parents, and people with disabilities – ...

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Hearing set for end of June in State Board of Education lawsuit

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:15

A three-judge panel will hear arguments in the State Board of Education’s lawsuit against North Carolina and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson at 10 a.m. June 29. The notice of hearing was filed Monday in the Wake County Superior Court. The State Board of Education sued North Carolina just before the New Year over legislators’ ...

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NC Congressman says Trump’s intel leak will test Congressional leadership, require independent investigation

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 15:16

A day after the Washington Post published a report that President Trump revealed “highly classified” intelligence to Russia’s Foreign Minister last week, Trump tweeted he had the ‘right’ to share that data. The White House spent much of the day trying to shift the focus of the bombshell story to questioning the source of the ...

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Facing massive K-12 infrastructure needs, N.C. lawmakers advance $1.9 billion school construction bond

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 14:55

Calling it a “Band-Aid” for North Carolina’s mounting school construction needs, state House lawmakers on a key K-12 panel advanced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that calls for a $1.9 billion school construction bond referendum next fall. House Bill 866 passed with support from Republicans and Democrats in the House Education Committee, a rarity in the polarized state ...

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