NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Stories and voice that matter | A blog from NC Policy Watch
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Mecklenburg, Forsyth schoolteachers speak out on pay, class size, vouchers

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 07:03

Two North Carolina schoolteachers authored fine assessments of state education policy this week. Charlotte-Mecklenburg schoolteacher Justin Parmeter has written another fine post on the reality that confronts North Carolina school teachers in light of rising benefit costs: Rising cost of benefits means NC teachers earn less each year Last week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Ann Clark ...

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Conservative lawmakers to introduce omnibus Biblical inerrancy law

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 15:57

(Warning: this post is a parody — though the fact that we have to make that explicit probably says something about the current state of things in North Carolina.) In an effort to build on the warm reception they received this week to their introduction of the “Uphold Historical Marriage Act” — a proposal that ...

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House Speaker: Bill attempting to ban gay marriage will not be heard

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 13:45

Just days after passing legislation to repeal the anti-LGBT legislation known as HB2, the last thing legislative leaders wanted was to wade into another highly-publicized, controversial battle over gay marriage. House Speaker Tim Moore issued a statement Wednesday saying House Bill 780, which would bar same-sex marriages in North Carolina and refuse to recognize such ...

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Undocumented immigrants pay their fair share of taxes, too

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:01

Tax Day is just around the corner, and this year is no different than any other for countless undocumented immigrants filling tax forms in North Carolina. Current rhetoric on immigration often overlooks the important contributions undocumented immigrants make to our communities as neighbors, workers, and taxpayers. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy recently released ...

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Senate’s new and poorly-designed voucher program would expand avenues for educational fraud

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:23

Last week, Senators Barefoot, Clark, and Lee introduced SB 603, a bill creating a new voucher program that would provide approximately $9,000 per year to students with disabilities going to nonpublic schools. Known as “education savings accounts” or ESAs, these new types of vouchers differ from traditional vouchers in that parents may spend the money ...

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Local officials voice overwhelming opposition to latest GOP overhaul of county elections boards

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 09:30

Not that anyone would ever expected Republican lawmakers in Raleigh to give a hoot, but it’s worth noting that almost all local elections officials are none too happy with one of the more controversial provisions in the new Republican bill to merge the state Board of Elections and Ethics Commission. We know this because of ...

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Four Republicans introduce bill to outlaw gay marriage in NC, return to ‘decree of Almighty God’

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 08:00

If it were up to four white, Republican male lawmakers, same-sex marriage would be banned in North Carolina. In fact, they’ve introduced a bill to do just that, despite a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. Obergefell v. Hodges be damned — House Bill 780 states that not only that the highest court in the ...

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WATCH: Forsyth County legislator introduce Republican plan for Medicaid expansion (Carolina Cares)

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 21:24

Rep. Donny Lambeth introduced House Bill 662 Tuesday, a new Republican proposal to provide health coverage for the state’s working poor. Click below to hear Lambeth discuss the work requirement in the bill and how the initiative could be paid for.

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Bill to shrink state Court of Appeals, add to Supreme Court’s workload in Governor’s hands now

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 19:22

Republican lawmakers have ignored every piece of advice and concern from the legal community over the last few weeks regarding shrinking the Court of Appeals and passed House Bill 239 Tuesday. The bill not only reduces the court from 15 to 12 judges, it takes away three types of cases and adds them to the ...

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In delaying recommendation, Duke University subcommittee concerned about “credibility” problem with new natural gas plant

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 17:02

For a university that has always been protective of its global reputation, contributing to global greenhouse gases through a natural gas plant is no way to burnish that image. That’s one of the conclusions of a Duke University Campus Sustainability Subcommittee, which released a report on a proposed combined heat-and- power natural gas plant today. As ...

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Medicaid expansion has allowed millions with substance use disorders to get health coverage, access treatment

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 15:59

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) have become a serious challenge in America. Abuse of prescription painkillers now ranks second as the nation’s most widespread illegal drug problem, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Today, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), released a report concluding that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ...

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Report: Black elementary teachers spur graduation for black students

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 14:40

A new study shows black elementary school teachers may have a positive impact on high school graduation for black students in North Carolina, The News & Observer reports. The report, published by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, American University and the Univ. of California, would seem to offer evidence of the benefits of teacher diversity ...

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Students protest racism, transgender policies, dorm conditions at Salem College

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 14:05

Students at Salem College, a private women’s college in Winston-Salem, began a sit-in Monday to protest what they say are racist attitudes and policies, anti-transgender admissions policies and poor living conditions on campus. More than 100 students at the college of about 1,100 participated in the protest at its outset, according to reports, occupying the ...

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NC tax policy right now, explained in GIFs

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 13:50

In case you haven’t heard, the North Carolina Senate has proposed a tax bill that they claim cuts taxes by $1 billion. They also claim that these tax cuts are mostly going to help middle-income folks out. These claims are both false. The billion dollar claim is a rounding error that is nearly 20 percent ...

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Education expert on the gap in school funding and the revival of the NC Teaching Fellows program (audio)

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:19

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to listen to Chris Fitzsimons’s radio interview with Public School Forum president and CEO Keith Poston on local school financing, the Roadmap of Need, and legislation to resurrect the NC Teaching Fellows program. http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/News-and-Views-for-4-09-2017-SEGMENT-TWO.mp3

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Three court-related news items you may have missed Monday

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 10:54

It was a busy news day in the legal community Monday, both in North Carolina and in other states. Here are three of the biggest headlines you may have missed: Senate lawmakers took the first step last night toward reducing the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12. House Bill 239 is expected to have ...

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Editorial: Bill to limit lawsuits against hog polluters is dead wrong

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 07:39

As Lisa Sorg reported last night in the post immediately below, the state House approved legislation last night that would insulate polluting hog operations (“farms” seems like too genteel a term) from liability for the damage they inflict on their neighbors. This morning’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal explains why this idea, to put ...

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Live blogging the House vote on hog bill, H467

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 17:33

T he prayer just started, followed by the pledge. The Speaker is recognizing Marcia Morey, the new representative from House 30 in Durham. She’s a former judge. We’re warming up with a couple of other bills, 265 and 293, and there seems to be some question of whether Speaker Moore has a hearing problem during the ...

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New HPU poll: Cooper approval up, Trump holds steady

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:20

In case you missed it, last week High Point University released their latest North Carolina poll. The poll, the third of 2017, found Gov. Roy Cooper’s approval rating at 49 percent. That’s up from 44 percent in HPU’s February poll. The latest poll was taken from March 25 – March 30, just as the HB2 ...

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Transgender athlete who represents USA explains why NCAA returning to NC should not be celebrated

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 15:35

After North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 2, Chris Mosier was faced with a decision about whether or not to compete in one of the most meaningful races of his life because of location. The transgender athlete didn’t feel welcome in the Tarheel state and he was concerned for his safety both in competing and in ...

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