NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Got something to say about fracking? Final public hearing on tap this Friday

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 08:06
Members of the NC Mining and Energy Commission can expect a full house Friday when they hold their fourth and final public hearing on proposed draft fracking rules in Cullowhee. Three previous hearings in Raleigh, Sanford, and Wentworth drew hundreds of North Carolinians wanting to have their say about the state’s guidelines to drill for ...

Editorial: Save Hofmann Forest

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:07
This morning’s lead editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right in critiquing N.C. State’s proposal to sell tens of thousands of acres of forest in eastern North Carolina to developers. While crediting the university with scaling back its original plan to sell of the whole thing for bulldozing purposes, the editorial rightfully notes ...

New report lists actual names of hundreds disenfranchised during May primary by new NC voting laws

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 14:25
The good people at Democracy North Carolina released a new and detailed report today that documents the negative impact that North Carolina’s new “monster voting law” has already had on voter participation. The report actually provides the names, hometowns and zip codes of 454 voters who were denied the right to vote in the May ...

Charlotte-based hospital system announces cuts, lack of Medicaid expansion by N.C. General Assembly partly to blame

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:51
The Charlotte Observer had an article yesterday about the nonprofit public hospital system Carolinas Health Care cutting $110 million from its budget next year, largely in management positions that are currently vacant. The large hospital system cited the need for cuts as stemming from decisions by both North Carolina and South Carolina politicians to turn ...

The need for a stronger response to college sexual assaults

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 11:46
If there’s anything good coming out of the sickening situation involving former NFL running back Ray Rice in recent days, it’s the growing national chorus that much more must be done to end the scandal that is this nation’s record when it comes to violence against women. Along these same lines and in case you ...

McCrory votes “present” on coal ash bill

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 09:10
It was just a few years ago that opponents of then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama were howling at the notion that he had voted “present” on multiple occasions while a state legislator in Illinois (something that’s permitted for lawmakers in the Land of Lincoln but not  in most states — North Carolina included). The ...

DHHS Sec. defends no-bid contract, says agency is stronger (video)

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 23:16
Dr. Aldona Wos defended her agency’s decision to award a $6.8 million, no-bid contract to a Washington, D.C. firm to help the state agency better organize its Medicaid finance office. Wos credited the outside consultants at Alvarez and Marsal with helping improve the predictability of the Medicaid program, which has been plagued for years with ...

Breaking: Fourth Circuit to hear expedited appeal of voting rights decision

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 14:20
In an order issued today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite an appeal of a lower court’s refusal to block voting law changes from taking effect this November, and has scheduled argument on that appeal for September 25 in Charlotte. That lower court refusal came in the form of  a 125-page ...

Medicaid needs to stay with DHHS, Sec. Aldona Wos says

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 14:02
The head of North Carolina’s troubled health and human services department told lawmakers Tuesday that moving the Medicaid program out from under her purview to a stand-alone agency would “be against common sense.” “Absolutely not,” said N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos in a response to a question about whether moving the $13 ...

Which of these sources do YOU trust when it comes to the future of the planet?

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 11:53
To call the global discussion over climate change a “debate” is actually quite generous. It’s kind of  like describing the interactions that one has with one’s first grader over the value of an early bedtime or a cupcakes-only diet as a “debate.” Yeah, it’s true that there are two different “sides” with strongly held views, ...

Report: Southern HIV/AIDS epidemic dramatically worsened by failure to expand Medicaid

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 10:53
A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts makes clearer than ever just how mean-spirited and morally bankrupt the decision of state lawmakers and Governor McCrory to turn down federally-funded Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of  low-income North Carolinians is turning out to be. The report, “Southern States Are Now Epicenter of HIV/AIDS in ...

More fuzzy math from leaders on teacher pay

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 08:15
In case you missed it, one of this morning’s “must reads” is a story posted late yesterday by WRAL reporter Mark Binker about the ongoing controversy over North Carolina’s muddled and troubled new teacher pay plan.  As Binker reports: When Gov. Pat McCrory wrote to welcome teachers back to the classroom, he touted a “substantial” ...

This week’s troubling inequality statistics

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 16:10
The good people at Too Much, the online newsletter of Inequality.org have another sobering but powerful article this week. The rather amazing and disturbing finding: the wealth of the average American family is up over the last 25 years, but the wealth of the median family has actually dropped. If this finding leaves you scratching your ...

Where does Tillis stand on insurance requirements?

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 13:44
When I last posted about the Senate debate between Speaker Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan I had listened to the exchange on radio but I had not yet watched the video. Watching television coverage of the debate one could hardly miss that Tillis was, once again, wearing a blue lapel pin from the science and ...

With attacks fading, “Obamacare is weaving into the fabric of American culture”

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 13:41
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Sahil Kapur’s article today on Talking Points Memo about the fast-fading attacks on Obamacare and why a political “nightmare” may be coming to pass for the American right. One of Kapur’s key sources: none other than long-time conservative icon William Kristol, who two decades ago ...

Kay and Thom: Just old friends?

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 10:05
There’s been a great deal of discussion in the media and elsewhere in recent days about the issue of sexism in politics and, in particular, whether it was just a friendly and appropriate sign of progress or a sexist and disrespectful bit of backsliding for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to repeatedly refer to ...

Why obstructionists are losing the battle over Medicaid expansion

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 08:19
Our old NC Policy Watch colleague Adam Searing had a great post last week on the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute blog, Say Ahhh! that explains why Medicaid expansion is fast reaching the tipping point as states that once said “no” are now seeing the light. Let’s hope North Carolina come to their sense soon. ...

Time running out for victims of mortgage foreclosure rip-offs to participate in settlement

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 16:13
From the consumer protection folks over at the North Carolina Department of Justice: North Carolina consumers have until Sept. 15 to file their claim forms in order to obtain relief under nationwide “Ocwen Settlement” If you lost a home to foreclosure between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012, and if your home loan was ...

Back to School Series – Our resilient students

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 15:25
This is part of a Back to School blog series that highlight various issues to be aware of as the 2014-15 school year kicks off. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6) Our Back to School series ends today just like the first or second week of school ...

First in Flight from the EITC: Heather’s Story (VIDEO)

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 14:48
Lawmakers let the state Earned Income Tax Credit expire at the end of 2013, making North Carolina the first state in nearly 30 years to eliminate this proven anti-poverty tool. The state EITC helps promote shared economic prosperity for all North Carolinians. It goes only to working people with modest incomes, offering extra support to ...

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