NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 39 min ago

With same-sex marriages expected to start any moment, NC DHHS delays issuing new marriage license forms

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 09:30
While North Carolina awaits a federal judge’s signal that same-sex couples can marry, county registers of deeds don’t know when they’ll get the necessary forms from the state health agency to marry those couples. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week to not take up cases about same-sex marriage paved the way for gay ...

Carolina comedown continues; McCrory administration finally offers a glimmer of recognition and hope

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 09:29
The lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning rightfully laments the fact that North Carolina’s economic recovery appears to be petering out while other states rebound more quickly. In the end, however, there’s no mystery. The persistence of unemployment points to how badly the job market deteriorated and how tax cuts and spending ...

Decision to uphold voter suppression law means tomorrow is registration deadline

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 07:00
There’s still significant hope that North Carolina’s new voter suppression laws will eventually be sent to the trash bin where they belong — either by the courts, future state leaders or both. For now, however, North Carolinians will have to make do under the current rigged regime if they want to make their voices heard. ...

Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court stays Fourth Circuit ruling on same-day registration and out-of-precinct ballots

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 19:26
There will be no same-day registration and out-of-precinct provisional ballots will not be counted during the upcoming election, as the U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the Fourth Circuit order reinstating those voting provisions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissented from the court’s opinion: The Court of Appeals determined that at least ...

Great new resources to encourage early voting

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 15:50
The good people at the NC Conservation Network have created two excellent new websites to use and share as widely as possible in order to encourage participation in the upcoming election: First, is an interactive map of North Carolina early voting locations and times. Click here to check it out. It’s a great way for ...

Poll indicates teachers are warming up to Common Core

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 13:38
In case you missed it, the Education Writers Association blog has an interesting story about teacher attitudes toward Common Core. Here is the opening: In a new survey, teachers say they’re feeling more confident about using the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms — an optimistic finding that comes even as recent polls suggest ...

Editorial boards across NC: Let Fourth Circuit ruling stand, Justice Roberts

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:02
At least eight of North Carolina’s leading newspapers have now published editorials in support of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that the November election should go ahead without the voter suppression bans on same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. The Asheville Citizen-Times, the Burlington Times-News, the Charlotte Observer, the Greensboro News & Record, ...

Still no word from the Supreme Court on voting rights?

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 10:11
It’s now been three days since the U.S. Supreme Court received the briefing it requested from the parties in the state’s voting rights challenge. And while attorneys have continued to advise the justices on activity here, there’s been no ruling from the high court on the state’s emergency application. What’s going on? Election law expert ...

Charlotte Observer on battle to stop marriage equality: “Write the check, Mr. Tillis”

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 07:58
In case you missed it, this Charlotte Observer editorial puts things very succinctly and accurately when it comes to the narrow-minded, wasteful and just plain pigheaded stances of North Carolina’s House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem on the inevitable and impending  legalization of same-sex marriage in North Carolina: Write the check, Mr. Tillis. If ...

Tillis, Hagan lock horns over Common Core, teacher pay, and per-pupil spending (video)

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 21:24
Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis faced off Tuesday night in their second senatorial debate prior to the the Nov. 4 election. Just like their first debate, the two were quickly at odds over education spending. Watch an excerpt of their hour-long debate below: To watch the entire debate, click here.

State tells federal court no difficulties restoring same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 18:58
Contrary to arguments it made at various stages of the voting rights cases here, the state today told U. S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder that implementing the Fourth Circuit’s order restoring same day registration and out-of-precinct voting would be “simple.” That representation came as the parties awaited a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on ...

Federal court strikes Virgina congressional redistricting map

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:41
In a 2-1 decision, a federal court in Virginia today rejected part of that state’s congressional map, saying that it amounted to an impermissible racial gerrymander. Here’s election law expert Rick Hasen on the decision: The majority ruled that the redistricting involving a majority-minority district violated the equal protection clause as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander (a Shaw ...

Environmental group questions why NC DENR calls Wilmington coal-ash site a “low” hazard

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 16:20
An environmental law firm says the state agency tasked with protecting natural resources downplayed the dangers of toxic coal-ash storage ponds in Wilmington by ranking dams there a “low hazard.” The Southern Environmental Law Center sent a letter Thursday to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources refuting the state agency’s 2013 assessment that ...

Public University an Anchor for Economic Development and an Educated, Engaged Citizenry

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:39
This is the fourth post in a series that takes a detailed look at the final budget passed by North Carolina lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. The first post provided an overview and examined how North Carolina’s investments post-recession have not bounced back nearly as much when compared to previous recessions. The second post ...

Today’s amazing inequality facts

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:46
The good people at have stashed several nuggets of powerful information in today’s edition of Too Much: An online weekly on excess and inequality that will make you want to pound the table, but the story on the newest edition of Forbes magazine’s richest 400 gazillionaires is perhaps the most amazing — especially this ...

State budget takes wrong turn on economic development

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:22
This is the third post in a series that takes a detailed look at the final budget passed by North Carolina lawmakers during the 2014 legislative session. The first post provided an overview and examined how North Carolina’s investments post-recession have not bounced back nearly as much when compared to previous recessions. The second post ...

Could this be the most absurd and cynical anti-Obamacare argument yet?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:23
There’s very little that right-wing opponents of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act aren’t willing to claim in public about America’s increasingly successful and transformative health care law. From “death panels” to imaginary massive tax hikes to allegations about global conspiracies and plots to impose martial law and suspend the Constitution, the loony conspiracy ...

Increasing income inequality not a recipe for an economy that works for all

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 09:14
New data released by the US Census highlight the pervasiveness of poverty nationally and in North Carolina. In 2013, one in six North Carolinians lived below the federal poverty rate – less than $24,000 a year for a family of four and  $12,000 a year for an individual. For communities of color, the poverty rate ...

Editorial critical of latest DENR-Duke shenanigans

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 08:00
As noted in this space yesterday morning, federal regulators have been forced in recent days to put the kibosh on yet another sweetheart arrangement between Duke Energy and the McCrory administration that would have allowed the company to begin to address some of the problems in its coal ash “ponds” by draining the toxic liquid ...

McCrory, Tillis, Berger vow to continue defending Amendment One

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 17:55
Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court’s not to review the appeals court rulings striking down state bans on marriage for same-sex couples, has garnered this response from House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger: “The people of North Carolina have spoken, and while the Supreme Court has not issued a definitive ruling on ...