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: 19 min 1 sec ago

Local school districts grapple with losing valuable teacher assistants as school year approaches

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 11:10
The Fayetteville Observer took a closer look this weekend at how things will play out at local elementary schools if Cumberland County and surrounding areas are forced to cut hundreds of teacher assistants from classrooms in exchange for reducing class sizes. Many say sacrificing TAs for smaller classes isn’t a good tradeoff. “The perceived benefit ...

Don’t miss next week’s Crucial Conversation: Caring for Caregivers

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:49
Caring for Caregivers: The importance of quality wages for ensuring quality care Click here to register Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina is quickly aging. Within 35 years, the population over age 65 is projected to more than double. There is a rapidly growing need for direct care to allow community members to ...

Charlotte Observer’s perfect one-line summary of McCrory Administration

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 07:22
A Charlotte Observer editorial over the weekend calling for Gov. Pat McCrory to demand a line banning policy changes from future state budgets before he will sign this year’s spending plan includes what may the best one line summary of the McCrory Administration that has been written since McCrory took office in 2013. From the start of ...

All eyes on Winston-Salem as federal trial begins over ‘monster’ voting rights law

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 06:20
The much-anticipated federal trial over North Carolina’s ‘monster’ voting rights law gets underway today in Winston-Salem. As Policy Watch’s courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey explains, opponents are seeking relief from what they say is the most restrictive law of its kind in the nation: The gist of the case against the state is that ...

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore gets job as Cleveland County attorney, tasks include advising on legislation (with update)

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:55
Note: This post has been updated to include comment from Moore’s legislative office. N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore has a new job, after he was hired this week to serve as the attorney for Cleveland County, where he lives. One of his tasks in the county position will be to “[a]dvise the Board and Manager ...

North Carolina Walking Back Economic Progress According to New Report

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:41
A report released yesterday by ThinkNC First argues that decision makers in Raleigh have walked away from many of the programs that helped to build a middle-class in North Carolina. Authors William Lester and Nichola Lowe of the University of North Carolina review data showing that middle-income jobs have become much harder to find over ...

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 14:00
1. The disturbing “little-noticed provisions” snuck into the Senate budget One of the most often used phrases these days by the media outlets that cover the General Assembly is “a little-noticed provision in the Senate 500-page budget bill…” Tuesday the News & Observer reported that a little-noticed provision in the budget document threatens special downtown ...

NC’s business climate depends on which ranking you look at

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 09:13
It is becoming ever clearer that recent tax cuts have not endeared North Carolina to the entire business community. Proponents of the 2013 tax cuts argued that they would create a more competitive and business-friendly climate. Looking at recent business climate rankings, however, undermines this argument in two key ways. First, multinational corporations already liked ...

Workers, like state lawmakers, need paid time off

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 08:24
A coalition of workers’ rights groups this week called on vacationing state lawmakers to pass legislation when they return to Raleigh that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave and family leave for their employees. Here is the way Alan Freyer, with the workers’ rights project of the N.C. Justice Center put it. “It ...

North Carolinians took to Twitter to tell lawmakers their vision for pending final budget deal

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 14:37
As state lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors on a final budget deal, North Carolinians came together on Twitter to have their say on the smart investments that will best move the state forward. North Carolinians know that if we want to build a more inclusive and prosperous state for everyone, the state budget is key ...

What transparency in redistricting looks like

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 12:56
The Florida Supreme Court ruled today that congressional districts redrawn by the Republican-controlled legislature violated a voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring nonpartisan map-drawing, and sent the voting maps back for a do-over. It’s an important decision for Florida voters, who’d made clear their distaste of politicized redistricting by approving the amendment. North Carolina, of course, has ...

DPI budget chief: school districts in a bind on whether to keep or let go of teacher assistants

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 11:40
The Department of Public Instruction’s budget chief told members of the State Board of Education Thursday that the number one issue local superintendents are wrestling with as they figure out how to fund their schools for the upcoming year is how to handle their teacher assistants. “It is a very big problem for school districts to ...

Greensboro votes to sue state over controversial law that restructures city council (w/ video)

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:44
Following an emotional two hour special hearing Wednesday night, Greensboro’s City Council voted (8-to-1) to sue the state over a new law that dramatically changes the council’s district boundaries. Mayor Nancy Vaughan blasted the process used by Senator Trudy Wade and other Republican legislators to muscle through House Bill 263. Vaughan noted significant constitutional issues ...

Teacher assistant layoffs begin as budget uncertainty remains

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:58
Layoffs at public schools have begun as local education officials wait for state lawmakers to return from vacation and come to a final agreement on the budget for the next two years. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that more than 30 TAs have already been let go from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and more layoffs might ...

Poll: Trump now top choice of NC’s Republican primary voters (video)

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 05:56
North Carolina Republicans voters don’t appear to be troubled by a recent slate of controversial remarks by Donald Trump. A new poll by Public Policy Polling finds Trump the top presidential choice of Republican primary voters across North Carolina. The latest poll shows Trump earning 16% of the vote — that compares to 12% for ...

Who accredits the for-profit colleges that scam students?

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 16:04
In case you missed it, I have a story on our main site today that takes a look at how the now-defunct for-profit Corinthian Colleges sold many students up a creek, including some North Carolina veterans who are saddled with big debts and worthless degrees and coursework. In response to the story, one reader questioned ...

Momentum is building in other states when it comes to strong tax credits for working families

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 15:26
Within the last month, policymakers in three states approved tax changes that will strengthen family economic security and support a stronger, more inclusive economy. Policymakers in New Jersey and Rhode Island approved expansions in their state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and California officials adopted its first state EITC, which goes to people that work ...

14 NC magistrates seek to opt of of performing same-sex marriages under SB2

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 12:44
The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that states can no longer block same-sex couples from getting married, but the ruling does not prevent some North Carolina magistrates from refusing to perform marriages under Senate Bill 2. SB2, that became law last month after legislators overrode Gov. McCrory’s veto, allows for magistrates to opt ...

Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque sentenced two years in prison for stealing $300K

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 10:34
Note: this post will be updated throughout the morning. Stephen LaRoque was sentenced to two years in prison this morning by a federal judge for stealing more than $300,000 from a federally-funded non-profit. He will self report to federal prison sometime in the next 30 days. LaRoque, a former Republican state representative from Kinston, pleaded ...

Greensboro considers legal options following ‘political revenge’ redistricting bill

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 10:16
The Greensboro City Council holds a special meeting this evening to discuss whether to legally challenge House Bill 263. The controversial bill that dramatically changes the council’s district boundaries was pushed through the House last week after a major rewrite and little notice to the public. Critics of the bill said at the very least ...

Pages