NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

BTC Report: Changes to unemployment insurance system creates a “double whammy” for jobless

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:05
Changes made to North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system a year ago have caused pain for North Carolina workers and communities, according to a new report by the NC Budget & Tax Center. Center analysts project things will get even worse for many jobless workers because of new limits to how long anyone can receive insurance that ...

Belhaven mayor marches to (big) Washington to protest hospital closing, calls for N.C. expansion of Medicaid

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:34
The mayor of a small coastal town with a recently-shuttered rural hospital began a nearly 300 mile walk to Washington, D.C. to call attention to his community’s lack of emergency medical care. Adam O’Neal, the Republican mayor of Belhaven on North Carolina’s Inner Banks, began his walk after a brokered plan with Vidant Health to ...

The one speech Teaching Assistants want NC budget writers to hear (video)

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:16
House and Senate budget conferees head back to the bargaining table this afternoon. Last week, senators made it clear they were sticking to their position of an average 11% pay raise for teachers, even if it could result in deep cuts to Medicaid and other areas of education spending. House members are pushing for a ...

Monday good news – solar power taking off

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 08:47
The good people at the League of Conservation Voters have highlighted a couple of encouraging stories this morning in their weekly newsletter about the rapid progress occurring in the solar energy business (even as the fossil fuel industry and their paid helpers in government and the conservative think tanks do their utmost to stop it). ...

Editorial: ‘Foolish’ move to put voting restrictions in place before a full trial

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 07:45
The Wilmington Star News notes that the federal judge who will decide whether North Carolina’s voter suppression law should be placed on hold for the 2014 midterm elections has a lot to consider following last week’s testimony in Winston-Salem. But the editorial board concludes it would be foolish to enforce the law before a full ...

Wags at BuzzFeed frankly assess some of Governor McCrory’s claims

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 14:00
Many politicians are well known for the frequent use of a particular catchphrase,  rhetorical device (or verbal tic) when they want to call attention to a particular statement. Richard Nixon always seemed to preface every statement with “let me make one thing perfectly clear.” Both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama are known for using “let ...

Ten takeaways from this week’s voting rights hearing

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:26
Ari Berman at The Nation reports on some of what he saw and learned after spending the week at the voting rights hearing in Winston-Salem,  alongside the unsinkable Rosanell Eaton. From a list of ten points he makes, here’s number one: 1. The law disproportionately burdens African-American voters The plaintiffs, including DOJ, the ACLU and ...

Do something about the immigration crisis, billionaires tell Congress

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:47
There’s plenty to read about the heartbreaking crisis at the border and what should be done about it. Here’s a few of today’s highlights. Money talks:  Three billionaires who don’t often find themselves on the same side of issues – Bill Gates, Sheldon Adelson and Warren Buffett – take on the do-nothing Congress in this must-read ...

Budget negotiations cancelled – members try again Monday

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:54
Optimists hoping for a budget resolution heading into the weekend had those hopes dashed on Friday, as House negotiators cancelled a scheduled public meeting. Senators had already announced they weren’t going to show up. Adding to the tension, Governor Pat McCrory vowed to veto the Senate’s budget plan on Thursday as he lined-up behind a ...

Editorial: Crisis on the border makes immigration reform a must

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:00
The Greenville Daily Reflector reprinted an editorial this morning that first ran in a town with a lot of up-close-and-personal experience in the nation’s ongoing immigration crisis on the southern border. According to the editors of the Corpus Christi Times: To hear Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi tell it, Congress is willing ...

A guilty pleasure? The Real Legislators of Jones Street

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 08:13
The Charlotte Observer’s Associate Editor writes this week’s back-and-forth budget battle in Raleigh (which has included a walkout by Senators,  finger-pointing on both sides, along with Christmas stockings and lumps of coal) could challenge Bravo’s Real Housewives series for ratings this summer. Here’s Fannie Flono’s Friday editorial: My guilty pleasure these days is the N.C. ...

McCrory vows veto if final budget includes Senate’s numbers

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:59
As budget-talks head toward the weekend, Governor Pat McCrory took the unusual step Thursday of issuing a press release pledging to veto the Senate’s budget proposal, if those were somehow the final numbers to come out of the budget-writers’ conference committee. Earlier in the day, the House agreed to move to a six-percent pay raise ...

Economist takes local conservative to school again on unemployment insurance

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:11
Earlier this week, we cross-posted a brief essay by one of the nation’s best economists, Dr. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in which he thoughtfully and professionally dissected and demolished the claims made by a Raleigh conservative think tanker in a Wall Street Journal piece. The think tanker’s central claim ...

Stunning lack of diversity of NC’s federal judges highlighted

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 12:24
The latest news story from NC Policy Watch Courts and Law Reporter Sharon McCloskey — “All white and overwhelmingly male: Latest departure leaves NC federal courts among lest diverse in the nation” — contains a lot of information that will leave caring and thinking people frustrated and even ticked off, but this passage stands out: ...

3 takeaways from NC’s budget brouhaha (w/video)

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:24
If you’re trying to get up to speed on this week’s colorful and cantankerous state budget negotiations, here are three quick takeaways: Governor Pat McCrory is ‘disappointed’ with the Senate after Tuesday’s walkout, and McCrory thinks the Senate’s 11% pay raise for teachers is ‘not realistic‘ House members are willing to give up on expanding ...

Top North Carolina news, USA Today style

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 08:22
The complimentary USA Today that hotels give to their guests has this as the only news about North Carolina in their  State-by-State news section this morning. The Wildlife Resources Commission would like anyone who spots a wild turkey through Aug. 31 to enter it into an online database. Apparently nothing else is going on in ...

The Fiscal Times: state tax cuts fail to deliver promised job creation

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 08:00
During the debate over last year’s billion-dollar-a-year tax cut plan, supporters made a lot of big promises about the supposed economic benefits of cutting corporate and personal income taxes for wealthy individuals and highly profitable corporations. The problem—as many warned at the time—is that tax cuts almost never live up to their promises. And that’s ...

Editorial: Cooler heads needed in contentious budget debate

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 07:33
With another day of negotiations on tap, the Wilmington Star News says it’s time for state representatives and senators to end their posturing and find some common ground. The editorial board writes that the current budget logjam has only served to create more uncertainty for educators and North Carolina’s public schools. Here an excerpt from ...

To get to a budget deal, stop the 2015 tax cuts

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 07:29
This morning’s edition of Setting the record straight over on the main Policy Watch website has some rare praise for the surprisingly progressive rhetoric emanating from state budget negotiations this week. But it also takes lawmakers to task for their failure to seize upon the most obvious solution to their inability to find a way ...

Seats still available for Charlotte luncheon on casinos, lottery

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:38
With North Carolina leaders looking more and more to the expansion of gambling in the state — perhaps even with the development of a new casino west of Charlotte — NC Policy Watch will be bringing one of the nation’s experts on the subject to North Carolina on Wednesday, July 16 for a special Crucial ...

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