NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Running government like a business…that’s going under

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 08:45
The right-wingers in charge at the North Carolina General Assembly made much of their desire to “run government like business” upon assuming power a few years ago and it’s clear now that they have succeeded. The only problem is that the business in question is probably Lehman Brothers or maybe Enron. Editorials in this weekend’s ...

Statement from Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, on the final budget

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 12:23
The NC House gave final approval (66-44) Saturday to a $21.1 Billion state budget. The measure now heads to Gov. McCrory, who said on Friday he would be proud to sign it. The Director of the NC Budget & Tax Center says the plan places our state on an unsustainable path. Here’s the full statement ...

Tennessee will shutter virtual school run by K12, Inc., for-profit company seeking to set up in North Carolina

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 16:27
Tennessee’s education commissioner has ordered the closure of a struggling K12, Inc.-operated online school, as lawmakers here at home debate a budget proposal that could pave the way for K12 to finally set up shop in North Carolina. Tennessee Virtual Academy began operating in 2011 and struggled to produce positive academic results from the get ...

UNC system puts brakes on using tuition revenue for need-based aid

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:36
North Carolina’s public universities can’t keep turning to tuition revenues to fund need-based aid for lower-income students, a move could lessen how much aid is available for coming classes and lead some to take on more student loans. The university system’s Board of Governors unanimously passed a four-year tuition proposal Friday that puts a 15 ...

$500 raise a “slap in the face” for school bus drivers, teacher assistants and other public school employees

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:19
Bettina Vinson has driven a school bus in Wake County for 17 years, and when she learned that after years of frozen pay she would receive a $500 raise according to the budget proposal state legislators are debating now in Raleigh, she was shocked. “It was like a slap in the face,” said Vinson. Lawmakers ...

Attorneys asking Supreme Court to review 4th Circuit ruling on Obamacare tax credit

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:49
Last week’s unanimous Fourth Circuit ruling in King v. Burwell, upholding the availability of Affordable Care Act tax credits to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange, may be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday, attorneys for challengers to that ruling filed a petition asking the high court to take the ...

Budget moves forward without acknowledgement of higher cost of tax plan

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:53
Over the course of the past three days, nearly 10,000 North Carolinians signed a petition calling on legislators to address the rising cost of the tax cuts that passed last year.  Tax cuts that primarily benefit wealthy taxpayers and profitable corporations.  The petition was delivered yesterday to legislators and yet early this morning the Senate ...

Here we go again with the three-judge court

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:10
The notion that the state should have a three-judge panel at the trial court level to decide constitutional challenges to state laws was the brainchild of the Senate, appearing in its budget back in May. Although the House had no similar language in its draft budget, the provision is back in the latest (and supposed final) ...

Latest budget details eugenics claims payment process

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:17
Provisions in the latest budget explain the payment process for the 780 eugenics claims submitted to the Office for Justice for Sterilization Victims by the June 30 deadline, and set some hard deadlines for those whose claims have been received by the deadline but are missing information. (Despite a request by the state NAACP, the General Assembly ...

‘New kid on the block’ scolds Senate leaders over budget rush-job (video)

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 09:58
Senator Jeff Jackson took Senate leaders to task Thursday for rushing to approve the $21.1 billion budget plan just hours after the 260-page document had been made public. The Mecklenburg County Democrat, appointed in May to  replace former state Senator Dan Clodfelter, chastised the chamber for failing to include any members of minority party in ...

How soon before Amendment One is off the books? Join NC Policy Watch August 7th for this special Crucial Conversation

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 08:10
This week’s marriage equality ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Bostic v. Schaeffer  has prompted a great deal of celebration by equality supporters in North Carolina and around the country. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s quick follow-up announcement that the state would no longer seek to defend the marriage discrimination ...

N.C. charter school advocates Baker Mitchell, Paul Norcross resign from advisory board

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 16:49
Two members of the state’s advisory board for charter schools unexpectedly submitted their resignations yesterday. Both Baker Mitchell, of Wilmington, and Paul Norcross, of High Point, co-founded charter schools and have been some of the more prominent advocates through the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools for the privately-run but publicly-funded schools. They also both ...

An August recess? General Assembly to pass budget, take a two-week vacation

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:04
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about how the North Carolina General Assembly is starting to look and sound more and more like Congress — especially when it comes to the influence of big dollars from corporate fat cats and plain old, general dysfunction. Today, we got another persuasive indicator: Legislators ...

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos honored at “old-fashioned love fest”

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:43
Aldona Wos, North Carolina’s embattled Health and Human Services Secretary, was the woman of the hour at a luncheon held Wednesday that included remarks from Gov. Pat McCrory that Wos has been unfairly criticized. The Greensboro News & Record covered the event sponsored by the Greensboro Partnership, a booster group for city, that honored Wos.  ...

How Justice fares in the latest budget

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:38
Here’s a quick look at how the compromise budget released last night affects the courts and justice system. Funding for the Administrative Office of the Court  The proposed budget calls for a $2.9 million reduction of funding for the AOC, but specifies that positions not be eliminated in any district operating at less than 100 percent of recommended ...

A quick look at the education budget

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:00
Late last night, lawmakers released a final budget deal brokered between the House and Senate that provides pay raises for teachers and a number of other education funding adjustments. There’s a lot to process in the mammoth document, so let’s just get started with the basics on education, and I promise you — there will ...

Budget deal released: Tax cuts and tight revenues are making it hard to meet Tar Heel priorities

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:08
The 2013 tax plan continues to rear its ugly head. The final budget deal released late last night is yet another reminder that the state cannot afford cost of the tax plan that primarily benefits the wealthy and profitable corporations.  If the state could afford those deep revenue cuts, budget writers would not be relying ...

Another dismal jobs report for NC metro areas

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 09:30
Another new jobs report, the same old story for North Carolina’s metro areas–too many of the state’s urban centers are struggling to create jobs and meaningfully create opportunities for the unemployed. Some of the low-lights from yesterday’s June report on local area unemployment include: 13 out of 14 metros saw their labor forces decline since ...

Paid family leave takes step forward in U.S. Senate

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 09:00
Support for Paid family leave advanced in the U.S. Senate yesterday, as lawmakers heard testimony on its benefits in a key Children and Families Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. During the hearing—which was requested by U.S. Senator Kay Hagan—North Carolina business owners, advocates, and representatives of working families made the case for why paid family ...

Ten Reasons why Educators dislike the state budget

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 06:32
Even as House and Senate leaders tout a seven percent pay raise for teachers, the North Carolina Association of Educators is out with a top ten list of why the final 2014-15 budget lawmakers will vote this week on is bad for education. The NCAE notes the budget compromise takes away longevity pay, funds vouchers, ...

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