NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 17 min 13 sec ago

To get to a budget deal, stop the 2015 tax cuts

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 07:29
This morning’s edition of Setting the record straight over on the main Policy Watch website has some rare praise for the surprisingly progressive rhetoric emanating from state budget negotiations this week. But it also takes lawmakers to task for their failure to seize upon the most obvious solution to their inability to find a way ...

Seats still available for Charlotte luncheon on casinos, lottery

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:38
With North Carolina leaders looking more and more to the expansion of gambling in the state — perhaps even with the development of a new casino west of Charlotte — NC Policy Watch will be bringing one of the nation’s experts on the subject to North Carolina on Wednesday, July 16 for a special Crucial ...

Obama’s inadequate response to the southern border crisis

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 11:36
The President has decided to bypass Congress in an effort to respond to the immigration crisis at the southern border but not in all the right ways. While the Border Patrol has failed in treating its detainees in a humanitarian manner–as seen here–no action has been taken in response either by the Obama administration or ...

Story explains steady decline in NC’s commitment to public education

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:33
In case you missed it, WRAL.com had an instructive story last night entitled “NC education spending on a decades-long slide.” The story reported that the percentage of the North Carolina budget dedicated to K-12 has been falling steadily: “WRAL News reviewed budget numbers for the last 30 years and found that the percentage of general ...

Bob Rucho’s “different model” of education

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:41
As Clayton Henkel and Lindsay Wagner report in the posts below, negotiations over teacher pay have taken what appears to be a positive turn this week at the General Assembly with the announcement that the state Senate is willing to back down on its demand that teachers choose between a pay raise and their right ...

Value of Teaching Assistants questioned as NC budget debate drags on (video)

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:00
Budget negotiations resume Wednesday morning with Senate and House members still at odds over how much of a bump in pay teachers will receive. One of the sticking points Tuesday centered on the Senate’s proposal to pay for those raises by eliminating about 7,400 teacher assistants. Stokes County Rep. Bryan Holloway said that would hamstring ...

Senate offers 11% pay raise for teachers without requiring them to give up tenure; still does away with TAs

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 17:04
Lawmakers tasked with coming up with a 2015 state budget met in public this afternoon, where Senate leaders pitched once again an 11 percent pay increase for teachers – but this time, without requiring them to give up their tenure protections. Sen. Harry Brown introduced the proposal, explaining that their budget plan would bring North Carolina up to 27th ...

Economist: Conservatives dreaming if they think unemployment insurance cuts helped NC

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:28
In case you missed it, be sure to check out the latest from one of the nation’s sharpest economists, Dr. Dean Baker on the one-year anniversary of North Carolina’s harshest-in-the-nation cuts to unemployment insurance. In a post that originally appeared on the website of Baker’s Center for Economic and Policy Research, Baker specifically takes one of ...

UNC system gets a cash infusion for capital projects as across-the-board cuts loom

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:52
Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill on Monday that will pump $376 million into the UNC system for capital improvements, as the state’s public universities await a 2015 budget proposal that could heap on more budget cuts to other critical areas of service for students. The funds, which the Governor says will come from various fees, receipts, ...

Four-letter words at the Supreme Court

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:41
Perhaps you’ve recently heard of Richard Kopf, the federal judge from Nebraska who blogged the other day about the damage the U.S. Supreme Court rendered with its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Kopf had some terse words for the five justices who decided that corporations had religious rights under the Constitution,  speculating that they’d ...

The Earned Income Tax Credit matters to NC families

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:18
If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a chance to get ahead. This is why the Earned Income Tax Credit was invented: to help families with low-paying jobs make ends meet. Unfortunately, North Carolina is the first state in 30 years to eliminate its Earned Income Tax Credit. This move abandoned a ...

A couple of simple truths about Medicaid

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 08:36
As state lawmakers and Gov. McCrory argue about ways to cut public outlays for Medicaid — the public health insurance system for people of low income — the lead editorials in North Carolina’s two largest newspapers offer some straightforward and compelling truths this morning that ought to guide their discussions: 1) Service cuts harm real ...

New report has the real story on African-American voter turnout

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 15:48
New findings today from the good government experts at Democracy North Carolina: “Black Turnout Up in May Primary, But Drops in 32 Counties 82% of State’s Increase Centers in 12 Counties with Hot Races Republican attorneys and the State of North Carolina are telling a federal judge today that about 44,500 more blacks voted in ...

North Carolina is home to fastest growth in share of people living in high-poverty areas

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 14:46
Among the nation’s 50 states, North Carolina experienced the biggest increase in the proportion of people living in high-poverty areas between 2000 and 2010, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau  report.The growing number of North Carolinians living in disadvantaged neighborhoods is problematic because they face restricted access to the jobs, education, and networks that ...

Editorial: It’s time to rethink NC tax cuts

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:35
State budget writers are currently grappling with the task of ironing out a final budget in the face of last year’s huge tax cuts that are hampering our ability to invest in the building blocks of a strong economy. As we entered into the new fiscal year without a revised budget, the News and Observer Editorial Board ...

Voting rights open the week’s legal news

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:26
Here’s a look at a few of the stories headlining courts and law news this Monday. The challenges to the election law changes enacted last summer get their first real test this week, as hearings begin in federal court in Winston-Salem. Following what is expected to be a week-long presentation of witnesses and evidence, U.S. ...

Lack of Education Investment Blocks Students’ Path to Success (Infographic)

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:25
The good folks at the N.C. Budget & Tax Center are out with a new information graphic this week detailing the roadblocks facing students on their way to a high-quality education. The graphic (below) follows students as they travel through the K-12 system toward a two- or four-year college degree, showing how budget choices by ...

More advocates pan coal ash legislation

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:23
As this morning’s “Monday Numbers” make clear, the coal ash clean-up legislation making its way through the General Assembly falls short in numerous ways. This statement from the League of Conservation Voters expands on this conclusion: Legislative Watch: Not Good Enough on Coal Ash “We could and should have done better for the citizens of ...

Editorial: The time to reinstate teen voter preregistration is now

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 07:29
As the U.S. Department of Justice and several civil rights groups head to court in Winston-Salem to challenge North Carolina’s monster voting-law, the Charlotte Observer writes that it’s time to reinstate preregistering of teenage voters. Here’s more from the paper’s editorial board: This is what happens when politics and ideology overrule common sense. In their zeal ...

More casinos in NC? RSVP today for Charlotte luncheon with national expert

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:09
With North Carolina leaders looking more and more to the expansion of gambling in the state — perhaps even with the development of a new casino west of Charlotte — NC Policy Watch will be bringing one of the nation’s experts on the subject to North Carolina on Wednesday, July 16 for a special Crucial ...

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