NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 28 min 52 sec ago

Report: N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 14:07

The Budget & Tax Center has released its initial analysis of the N.C. Senate’s budget proposal in a Brief, “N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs.” The Brief follows the money to detail missed opportunities for North Carolina in order to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and profitable corporations, and how ...

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Senate budget snubs Raise the Age funding; eliminates money for emergency, special judges

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45

The Twittersphere praised Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger yesterday when he touted that the budget included a provision for Raise the Age legislation. What he failed to mention is that the budget contains no funding for such provision. Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke, Cleveland) said after the Justice and Public Safety appropriations committee meeting that ...

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Another sobering anniversary in NC’s ongoing war on workers

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:51

From the good people at the NC Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project: Business owners, legislators, and working moms gathered at the General Assembly on Wednesday to mark the 10-year “Unhappy Anniversary” of The Healthy Families & Workplaces/Paid Sick Days Act – legislation that has been introduced every year over the last decade, but has never ...

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Quick hit: Senate’s environmental budget cuts key positions, services at DEQ

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 10:56

F ew people have had time to take a deep dive into the hours-old, 857-page Senate budget and accompanying policy document. But at first glance, the Senate appears to be punishing the NC Department of Environmental Quality with sharp cuts to staff and services. The most breathtaking reductions include the elimination of 45.5 full-time equivalent positions in an ...

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Senate teacher pay proposal fails beginning and experienced teachers

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 09:01

The North Carolina Senate released its proposed FY 2017-18 teacher salary schedule this afternoon. Remarkably, the proposal is bad news for both beginning teachers and experienced teachers. As compared to the plan released earlier this spring by Governor Cooper, all teachers would fare worse under the Senate proposal. The Senate proposal, described as providing current ...

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Senate Intel Chairman Burr ‘troubled’ by Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 06:10

Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an ...

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Details are scarce, but Senate Republicans tout big investments in teacher pay, K-12 funding

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 18:00

State Senate Republicans touted major investments in teacher and administrator pay, as well as overall public school funding, in a $22.9 billion budget proposal presented Tuesday afternoon. While details of the budget plan aren’t expected for release until late Tuesday, Senate GOP leaders announced the broad planks of their two-year spending package, which increases the ...

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NC Senate leaders tout tax cuts, education spending in budget proposal

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:19

Senate leaders gave a broad outline of their proposed 2017-2018 budget Tuesday afternoon, saying it shares a lot of the same priorities as Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposal – but has different priorities. The $22.9 billion Senate plan is an increase of about 2.5 percent over this year’s budget – but it’s about half of what ...

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Statement on Senate press conference announcing budget proposal

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 16:59

At a time when lawmakers have the opportunity to do more to help everyone in North Carolina and every community thrive, they have squandered it by proposing another round of ineffective tax cuts for the few. Late tonight, we expect the full details of how Senate lawmakers pay for their tax cuts while proposing modest ...

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How North Carolinians ought to say “thanks” on Teacher Appreciation Day

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 16:15

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day — an event that will spur many of us to send a brief note of appreciation or chip in toward a gift card. And while most teachers will acknowledge that these annual gestures really do provide a helpful reminder that they are in fact appreciated, the hard truth is that ...

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Citing a lack of public input, Southern Environmental Law Center challenges DEQ’s air permit to wood-pellet maker Enviva

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:24

A long Highway 177 lies Dobbins Heights, a small, predominantly African-American community, on the northern edge of Hamlet. The main drag features a community center and a series of modest, tidy homes, as well as quite a few that are collapsing into themselves. The CSX rail line parallels the neighborhood. The trains and an associated manufacturing ...

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Troubling signals from the NC Senate on budget priorities

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:00

The Senate is set to release this afternoon its proposed budget for how it envisions funding public investments over the next two fiscal years. More tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations will likely be included in the Senate’s budget. The Senate has already put forth a tax plan that will cost ...

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More revenue presents an opportunity to invest, not a sign to cut taxes for the wealthy

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 14:20

Senate leaders and their supporters at the conservative, D.C.-based Tax Foundation argue that the state’s revenue collections are a sign that North Carolina can cut income taxes again for the wealthy and profitable corporations. We can’t expect to continue to compete and deliver a better quality of life to North Carolinians if we continue the ...

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Report: Some charter school leaders slam “company” charter bill

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 13:15

Some North Carolina charter leaders are fired up over a legislative proposal to set aside half of a charter school’s enrollment as a corporate “perk,” a new report from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation’s Lindsay Wagner finds. The news comes with the state Senate expected to consider House Bill 800 in the coming weeks. House lawmakers ...

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How much does NC invest in you? Three things to know before the NC Senate releases its proposed budget

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:19

How much does NC invest in you? The short answer: not enough. 1) The State of North Carolina ranks 43rd in the country in total state expenditures per capita.  In other words, there are 42 other states in the country that invest more on each individual living in their state. This is not good news ...

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Cooper, legislative leaders agree to extend order halting Election, Ethics merge until next hearing

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 11:30

Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative leaders agreed Monday to extend a temporary restraining order blocking the merging of the State Elections Board and the State Ethics Commission. The parties were set to appear Wednesday at a hearing for a preliminary injunction, which would halt the merge until the conclusion of the case. Cooper is suing ...

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Trump, Russia, Money – with a N.C. connection

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 10:58

More news about the Trump family’s financial ties to Russia this week – and this time, there’s a North Carolina connection. On Friday golf writer James Dodson, a Greensboro native, gave an interview in which he said Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, told him the family was able to continue acquiring and building ...

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BREAKING – Report says “Senate Elections Committee chair violates disclosure law, is suspected of excess payments to himself”

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 09:32

The nonpartisan government watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina just released the following: A voting rights group today is calling on State Sen. Ralph Hise, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Elections, to recuse himself from any further involvement with restructuring the State Board of Elections because he faces charges of violating campaign disclosure laws ...

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Editorial: NC Chamber’s criticism of Cooper veto is “HOGWASH”

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 07:40

Governor Cooper continues to fight the good fight. Last Friday he vetoed the General Assembly’s latest destructive proposal to advance the interests of polluters at the expense of the health (and even the property rights) of average citizens. Not surprisingly, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce — a once-moderate group that has, tragically, become the mouthpiece ...

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As N.C. Senate preps budget, teachers make the case for more K-12 funding

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:45

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. And with news out of Raleigh suggesting North Carolina’s state Senate leaders intend to follow through on their pledge to release their budget plans in the early part of this week, some of the state’s top K-12 leaders are making their case again for a far greater investment in public schools ...

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