NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Seeing the forest for the trees: Entire year-to-year spending increase in Governor’s FY2016 budget proposal goes to enrollment growth

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:36
Last week, Governor McCrory unveiled his two-year budget proposal for July 2015 through June 2017. He has since touted how his plan reinvests in the public services and programs that are essential for economic opportunity and quality of life. However, a close look at his 2016 fiscal year (FY2016) spending plan reveals that he fails ...

Governor brags of pardon while request from exonerated brothers languishes

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:00
If you’re like most people, you probably missed Governor McCrory’s announcement yesterday touting a new state plan to help a peanut operation create 78 jobs over three years in Chowan County. Though all well and good as far as these announcements go, what really stands out about this one was its inclusion of the Governor’s ...

New McCrory administration permits for Duke Energy include a massive loophole

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 10:01
The Fayetteville Observer has a fine editorial this morning taking the McCrory administration to task for the latest lame plan to deal with coal ash pollution and the ongoing discharges into our drinking water supplies. As the paper notes, the plan features a loophole the size of a coal fired power plant: it has no ...

Delay on incentives another reminder that McCrory’s not in charge

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 06:56
Governor Pat McCrory was clear two months ago about what he wanted the General Assembly to do as soon as the session convened–pass business incentive legislation. Here’s what he told the N.C. Chamber in early January. Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday that the state legislature must fund incentives “in a matter of weeks” or North ...

Why is it “entirely appropriate” for corporations to wine and dine Governor McCrory?

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 13:46
Governor McCrory amended his state ethics report today even as advocates at Progress NC blasted his previous failure to submit accurate reports as required by state law. In submitting the new and improved disclosures about the Guv’s trips to corporate-sponsored confabs of various governors’ associations, McCrory’s lawyer Bob Stephens — who sure seems to be ...

Trending today on Jones Street – #ethics, #NCGOP, #ncchildhealth

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:43
Travel by Governor McCrory, shifting taxes, new leadership for the NC GOP, and childhood well-being top this Monday’s stories that are trending on Jones Street: Breaking story w/details: McCrory amends ethics report to disclose $13K in trips. #ncpol #ncga #ncgov http://t.co/bTbGIIzEDj — Andy Curliss, N&O (@acurliss) March 9, 2015 NC income tax overhaul hitting taxpayers ...

Getting by on less: North Carolinians see shift in taxes, state pay raises, homeownership (video)

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 11:01
Three must read stories from the weekend’s news paint a remarkable picture of the pocketbook changes many North Carolina families are facing these day. The News & Observer’s David Ranii writes that many North Carolinians are in for a rude awakening as they complete their state taxes this year. Reforms enacted by the NC General ...

Where’s Tony today?

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 10:01
Don’t despair if you’ve missed out thus far on seeing North Carolina’s Secretary of Fiction/Transportation, A.J. “Crush the Enemy” Tata at one of his numerous appearances to plug his new novel. It turns out that North Carolina’s $136,000 per year cabinet secretary has been and will be squeezing several more events into his schedule in ...

The kind of simple legislation Congress ought to be passing

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:49
We’re now a decade and a half into the 21st Century and the notion that our nation’s runaway inequality is going to get any better anytime soon via the “genius of the market” has been shown to be utter nonsense. To the contrary, the incomes of the nation’s ruling class continue to skyrocket at such ...

This week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 16:00
1. Effort to “right-size” the UNC system in the works  | Significant changes may be on the horizon for the state’s higher education network, as the University of North Carolina’s governing board considers “right-sizing” the 17-campus system. “The model should be much smaller than it is,” UNC Board of Governor member Harry Smith Jr. said ...

Consumer/environmental advocates debunk Duke Energy’s anti-solar power claims

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 12:26
In case you missed it, the good folks at NC WARN are out with a new issue brief that takes Duke Energy to task for its latest efforts to derail the widespread deployment of solar power. As the release that accompanied the brief notes: “The Duke claim…is that, as more customers put solar panels on ...

Governor’s proposed funding for court system comes up short

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:43
No cuts, but no $30 million either. That sums up the news for the state’s judicial system per Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed 2015-2017 budget released yesterday. The additional $16 million the governor would give the courts “for essential services” is a far cry from the $30 million Chief Justice Mark Martin asked for just a day earlier as ...

UNC system would trim another $26 million under Governor’s budget (video)

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:43
The University of North Carolina system has a new directive: Cut $26 million from the budget. Lee Roberts, Governor McCrory’s budget director, told reporters Thursday the reduction in the governor’s 2015-17 recommended budget amounts to just small part of the university’s total budget and could be done “without any impact on students.” UNC President Tom ...

The hard reality of governing modifies a Tea Partier

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:10
In case you missed it earlier this week, Raleigh’s News & Observer is featuring Chris Fitzsimon’s excellent column from earlier in the week under the headline “In NC, a Republican lawmaker finds room to rethink.” In it, Chris highlights the recent comments of conservative GOP state representative Bob Setinburg who, amazingly enough, stood up in ...

Senate Redistricting Committee launches predictable power grabs in Wake, Guilford

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 07:01
Well, that didn’t take long. When Democrats swept the Wake County Board of Commissioners in last fall’s election, more than one wag opined that it wouldn’t take long before the GOP-dominated General Assembly would find a way to abolish the Board. Things haven’t gone that far…yet. But as we’ve found out in the last 48 ...

Proposed budget shows how Governor McCrory turns blind eye to self-inflicted revenue constraints

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 16:30
This morning, Governor McCrory released his two-year plan to invest in education, health care, public safety and other priorities that are essential for economic opportunity and quality of life. He spoke of a “new paradigm” for state budgeting. A new paradigm indeed, one that abandons many of the practices that served North Carolina well in ...

Governor’s budget props up beginning teachers, emphasizes ‘flexibility’

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 14:13
Governor Pat McCrory unveiled his recommended $21.5 billion budget Thursday, which continues his promise to boost beginning teacher salaries up to a minimum $35,000 a year but does not provide significant increases for veteran teachers and makes yet another cut to the state’s university system. “We’re changing the basic paradigm of how we evaluate and distribute our limited ...

Pope-Civitas keynote speaker doubles down on his bizarre views of human sexuality

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:15
For those of you that may be wondering who in the heck this strange would-be GOP presidential candidate named Ben Carson is — you know, the troubled soul who claimed this week that prison turns people gay and then issued a non-apology apology for the absurd statement — rest easy as you’ll get your chance ...

Statement on the Governor’s Budget from Alexandra Sirota, Budget & Tax Center Director

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:18
The “tough choices” Governor McCrory says he made in his just-released budget proposal were self-inflicted. They come from tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, meaning there is too little left to invest in education and other building blocks of a strong economy. Also troubling is the Governor’s use of changes to ...

McCrory administration’s war on environmental protection continues

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 08:45
It should probably come as no surprise when a state elects a governor who’s spent most of his adult life in the employ of one of the planet’s biggest polluters and he fails to make environmental protection a top priority. That said, there is something disturbing and notably blatant about the way the McCrory administration ...

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