NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 2 hours 50 min ago

As Teaching Fellows program sunsets, educators ask: Where will tomorrow’s teachers come from? (Audio)

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:57
Education reporter Lindsay Wagner has a must read piece on NC Policy Watch’s main site today profiling one of the final college students to go through the highly-acclaimed NC Teaching Fellows program.  Here’s an excerpt from her story: Since its inception, the program has graduated in the neighborhood of 9,000 teaching fellows. Participants of the ...

Audit: DHHS’ Medicaid billing department wasted $1.6 million by overpaying temps, overtime

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:36
An audit released today showed that the state’s Medicaid billing department wasted more than $1.6 million in overpayments for temporary employees and excessive overtime, while its director hired close relatives and associates to work at the public agency. The former director of the Office of Medicaid Management Information Systems Services, identified by WRAL as Angie ...

State lawmakers lower the bar, profitable corporations get more tax cuts

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:20
The lesson this week in North Carolina is that when you dramatically lower expectations, you are bound to exceed them. Behind these low expectations is a state setting itself up for more cuts to things like schools and a slowed economic recovery. When North Carolina’s revenue this month came in a bit higher than the ...

WBTV: Big safety concerns thanks to state law loophole that fails to require charter school bus inspections

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 09:22
WBTV reported Monday that thanks to a loophole in state law, dozens of school buses serving students at charter schools in the Charlotte area go uninspected, prompting serious safety concerns. State law only requires that charter schools ensure transportation isn’t a barrier to a student attending their school. There is no requirement to offer transportation services. ...

Greensboro N&R columnist explains grisly details of gun proposal

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 08:04
[This post has been updated.] As explained in the post immediately below, the House Rules Committee was scheduled to take up a bill this morning to further liberalize North Carolina gun laws. Late last night, however, the meeting was, thankfully, cancelled. Greensboro News & Record columnist Susan Ladd explains this morning why the bill “is ...

Lack of process, public input on gun bill the latest outrage on Jones Street

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 16:40
As long as North Carolina is going regulate guns about as effectively as a broken down banana republic, it might as well pass laws in a similar way. That’s about the only conclusion that one can draw about the attitudes of the folks running the General Assembly after this afternoon’s announcement by North Carolina House ...

House prepares to fast track its budget

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 15:14
NC House Speaker Tim Moore hopes his chamber will pass its version of the state budget by the end of next week, in advance of the Memorial Day weekend. Moore sat down with reporters at the NC Insider Tuesday and hinted the spending package members will vote on likely next Wednesday and Thursday could include ...

Disabled woman explains why better pay for the people who help care for her is essential

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 13:24
Here’s an question that most healthy, able-bodied people have probably never spent much time considering: How much should the people who help others to get dressed, shower and use the toilet get paid? According to the present-day “genius of the market,” the answer is: “not much.” Home care workers in our society – many of ...

Opponents of controversial gun bill debut TV ad (video)

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 10:30
For the first time in a while in North Carolina, advocates for common sense gun regulations are showing some real spunk (and getting some traction) in combating legislation pushed by the Second Amendment fundamentalists. Scroll down to see the new TV ad from the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the North Carolina chapter ...

Charlotte Observer calls on Guv to act on McCollum and Brown pardon

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 07:04
As has been chronicled for some time now on these pages, the unexplained delay in justice for Henry McCollum and Leon Brown continues. This is Day 243 since the pair submitted their pardon application to Gov. McCrory. The two remain essentially indigent after having had 31 years of their lives stolen by the state of ...

Bye, bye buffers: Former DENR official explains what demise of water protection rules will mean

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 16:04
Former state environmental official and current Appalachian Voices advocate Amy Adams (whose coal ash-covered hand graced hundreds of articles in the aftermath of the Dan River disaster last year) has written a highly instructive and disturbing explanation of the proposal in the current “regulatory reform” bill wending its way through the General Assembly to, in ...

Indigent defense – the “civil rights issue of our time”

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 12:36
Jon Rapping’s at it again. Watch the founder of Gideon’s Promise, an organization that trains and supports public defenders, talk about how his young proteges are taking on what he calls the biggest civil rights issue of our time — ensuring that those who can’t afford an attorney get the representation they need to navigate the ...

Was voter registration decline intentional? NAACP, Democracy NC demand explanation

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 11:50
The leaders of the North Carolina NAACP and Democracy North Carolina held a brief press conference outside Gov. McCrory’s office this morning to highlight their demand that the Governor explain the precipitous and troubling drop-off in voter registrations at state public assistance offices. As was reported here and in several other places last week, a ...

Advice to NC’s new grads: Live a life that matters, be curious, ‘don’t run from big and bold challenges’

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:47
Spring commencement services were held across North Carolina over the weekend, with the Class of 2015 hearing from scientists, journalists, leaders in education and philanthropists. Here are a few excerpts from the more notable speeches: “No other country in the world is graduating as many people in higher education as the United Stated in the history of ...

The best op-ed of the weekend

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 07:45
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Ned Barnett’s column from Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer in which he explains why the myth of runaway Medicaid spending is just that — a myth. “Refusing to expand Medicaid may look reflexively anti-Obama and hardhearted, but Republicans say it’s a matter of ...

Advocates call for action in response to voter registration crash at NC public assistance offices

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 14:26
Here’s the latest statement from advocates in response to this morning’s story about the remarkable crash in voter registrations at North Carolina public assistance offices since the beginning of the McCrory administration: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VOTING RIGHTS ADVOCATES CALL ON NORTH CAROLINA TO TAKE ACTION AFTER VOTER REGISTRATIONS DROP SHARPLY AT STATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OFFICES ...

Second Chance Lobby Day Recap

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 10:33
The Second Chance Alliance held its 3rd Biennial Second Chance Lobby Day at the North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday. More than 200 North Carolinians gathered to share their stories with lawmakers and lobby in support of policies that help people reenter their communities after incarceration. The Lobby Day kicked off with an assembly featuring law makers ...

New report shows huge drop in voter registration of poor NC residents

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 10:14
A new analysis of voter registration data shows that under the McCrory administration, North Carolina may be systematically failing to provide state residents with the opportunity to register to vote when they apply for public assistance — such as food stamps or welfare — in violation of the National Voter Registration Act. Commonly called the “Motor Voter ...

On cap and gown weekend, higher education leaders take stock (video)

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 08:38
Across North Carolina this weekend, thousands of college graduates will be collecting their diplomas and entering what they hope will be an improving job market. NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson is mindful of not only what the students have accomplished, but the hard work from his faculty and staff under tight state budget constraints ...

Editorial: Gun bill that would gag docs should be defeated

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:31
The Greensboro News & Record tells it like it is this morning in a polite but firm editorial regarding the controversial House bill to further liberalize North Carolina gun laws. The editorial is entitled “Doctors and guns” and it rightfully labels the proposal to gag doctors who would ask their patients about firearms in their ...

Pages