NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 1 hour 49 min ago

The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 14:00

1. In North Carolina, the conservative war on academia merges with its war on the poor and vulnerable Right launches new attack on UNC legal centers that serve people in need For several years now, North Carolina conservatives have been waging a war on the poor, the vulnerable and people of color. From the evisceration ...

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Chapel Hill schools cancel class during “Day Without a Woman”

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 13:33

Here’s a developing story. The News & Observer is reporting that Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will be closing next Wednesday. The reason? School officials are expecting a number of missing staff taking note of “Day Without a Woman,” a national protest intended to draw attention to the role of women in American society. From the ...

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New info: Blue Cross turned a $185 million profit in 2016, minimized ACA losses by 86%

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:23

On March 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina provided a year-end financial report for its health insurance business in 2016. What we learned is telling: after turning a small profit the prior year, Blue Cross produced a profit of $185 million in 2016. Much has been made in the past of the ...

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Former NC House member: I regret my vote for vouchers, time for the General Assembly to “correct course”

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 10:19

If you missed it this week, take time today to read Charles Jeter’s op-ed in The Charlotte Observer reflecting on his vote for school vouchers in the General Assembly. Jeter, a former member of the NC House who is now a government relations coordinator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, details the findings of a new study on ...

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Governor’s budget makes important investments in Pre-K and child care

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 09:52

Gov. Cooper’s budget proposes lofty goals to improve North Carolina’s education system. A significant portion of that promise is focused on investing in high quality child care and increasing the number of children attending Pre-K. Investing in our state’s youngest and, often times, most vulnerable children is absolutely a step in the right direction. Here ...

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Another 1,500 jobs at stake as HB2 gridlock continues

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 07:43

There’s already a lot at stake in the battle over repealing HB2. In addition to what’s obviously at stake for LGBT North Carolinians, the state stands to lose millions in revenue related to major sports events as it faces boycotts. Now, WRAL reports, a company will likely bring 1,500 jobs to Wake County – with ...

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GOP lawmakers pushing another “you can’t make this stuff up” power grab

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 07:00

It’s beginning to look as if there are, literally, no bounds to the extent to which North Carolina Republican lawmakers are willing to go in their never-ending quest to repeal the 20th century and seize all political power in the state for themselves. At times, the proposals are so utterly outrageous and downright preposterous that ...

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Governor’s Justice & Public Safety budget invests in safe and healthy communities

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 15:00

The Governor’s proposed Justice & Public Safety budget for fiscal year 2018 includes $161 million, a 6.2 percent increase, in additional state funding compared to the current fiscal year budget. The majority of the additional funds are for pay raises for state employees along with other targeted investments, particularly in the area of public safety. ...

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Senate committee votes to move forward with Larry Hall’s confirmation

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 14:43

The fourth time was the charm for Larry Hall. A Senate committee voted unanimously to confirm Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to head the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs after questioning him for about an hour and a half. A second Senate committee also approved Hall’s nomination and the full Senate will vote on ...

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Proposed federal Medicaid cuts, policy changes could be disastrous; General Assembly must act

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 14:00

Republicans in Washington are upping the ante when it comes to destroying health coverage gains that resulted from the Affordable Care Act. In addition to eliminating provisions that protect and ensure affordability to millions of Americans, the GOP has added provisions that would eliminate Medicaid expansion. Thirty-one states and DC were able to make significant ...

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Governor’s Budget Supports State Employees, Strengthens Military and Veteran Affairs, and Modernizes IT

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 14:00

Gov. Cooper has proposed additional funding that focuses on state employee salaries, securing and modernizing information technology (IT), and strengthening military and veteran affairs. Supporting good management practices in government is needed to ensure agencies carry out their missions effectively and efficiently for the benefit of all North Carolinians. In his first proposed budget released ...

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Governor’s budget reflects high priority for the health of North Carolinians

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 10:44

  Gov. Cooper presented a series of bold health initiatives in the budget proposal he released on Wednesday. In addition to Medicaid Expansion, it also would particularly improve access to care for North Carolinians with disabilities and mental health and substance abuse issues. The Governor proposed increasing the Health and Human Services budget overall by ...

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U.S. Supreme Court orders lower court to review Virginia’s racial gerrymandering case

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 10:30

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a decision in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, a racial gerrymandering case out of Virginia. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice had filed a brief in support of plaintiff’s in the case arguing that the state’s unnecessary use of race in redistricting fractured African-American communities and packed black ...

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GOP health care proposal would hike premium costs for half a million North Carolinians

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 09:00

The Republican Congress’ plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have started to come into focus following the release of a policy brief and the leak of draft legislative language. Their proposal would eliminate the ACA’s premium tax credits and replace them with flat tax credits, which would operate like a voucher, ...

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Calls mount for U.S. Attorney General Sessions to resign in light of apparent Russia perjury

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 08:11

The tangled web with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin woven by Donald Trump and his minions continues to grow more and more sticky. Earlier this week, it was North Carolina Senator Richard Burr who found himself caught up in the mess. This morning, it’s Trump’s already controversial and embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This is from ...

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Larry Hall to attend Senate confirmation hearing Thursday morning

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 22:12

A spokesman for Gov. Roy Cooper announced late Wednesday that Larry Hall will attend a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday morning. “Since the Court has yet to decide this matter, Secretary Hall will honor the subpoena and attend the hearing, but we will reserve our right to contest any vote that is taken,” said Ford Porter. “We look forward to the ...

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Governor’s budget proposal invests in higher education, workforce training

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 19:00

The Governor’s budget continues investments in the education pipeline beyond K-12 education so that North Carolinians have access to the training and education that prepares them for the workforce and participation in civic life.  The post-secondary budget comprises investments in the state’s Community College system and the UNC Public University system. Here are five things ...

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Tip-toeing in the right direction: Gov. Cooper’s budget expands economic, cultural & environmental investments

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 18:00

Governor Cooper’s first budget for Natural and Economic Resources makes a number of moves in the right direction, albeit mostly modest steps more than ambitious strides. After years of giving away big tax breaks to wealthy people and profitable corporations, there is no funding for truly bold initiatives. That said, several specific provisions in the ...

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Trump paid leave plan may not be much of one

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 16:39

During his address to Congress Tuesday night, President Trump again raised the dual issues of paid leave and child care, expressing a desire to work across the aisle on both policies. The move was intended to appeal to women lawmakers, many of whom wore white to the address in protest of his negative personal and ...

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Governor’s budget for public school limited by tax cuts in recent years

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 16:30

The Governor’s proposed budget for K-12 public schools reflects the reality of North Carolina’s constrained revenue landscape, which is a result of costly tax cuts in recent years. Beyond state funding provided for teacher pay raises, little progress is made to boost investments in other areas of the public schools budget. Overall, spending for public ...

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