NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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NCWU’s Report Card on the 2015 Legislative Session gives lawmakers mostly “very bad” grades

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:30
State lawmakers are failing to prioritize public policies that will advance and improve the lives of women and families across the state, according to a new 2015 Legislative Session report card that NC Women United unveiled yesterday at the North Carolina General Assembly. They called upon lawmakers to enact public policies during the Short Session ...

McCrory’s starvation diet: Funds jeopardized by HB2 would be just the latest frittered away by NC leaders

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 11:30
Yesterday’s news that the United States Department of Justice has determined that HB2 violates federal civil rights laws and therefore puts hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding in jeopardy has rightfully caused a stir in media and government circles. As HB2 critics have noted, when combined with the losses in private investment that ...

National conservative website to Burr and Tillis: Time to confirm Obama’s Supreme Court nominee

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 08:00
The latest sign that Richard Burr, Thom Tillis and their fellow GOP senators have lost in their effort to prevent consideration of President Obama’s nomination of federal judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court emerged yesterday as the national conservative website Red State officially through in the towel. Here’s Red State managing editor Leon Wolf: “Now ...

Gov. McCrory faults “political left” as US Justice Department issues warning over HB2 (video)

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 23:27
Governor Pat McCrory says his administration is still studying a letter from the U.S. Justice Department that found House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX, threatening billions in federal education funding that comes to North Carolina. The governor told those attending an event hosted by the N.C. Chamber Wednesday that ...

HB2 update: Feds rule law violates U.S. Civil Rights Act; Minnesota bans college sports travel to NC

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 15:45
The walls are closing in on Pat McCrory and Phil Berger. Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer reports: “U.S. Justice Department officials Wednesday notified Gov. Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The department gave state officials until Monday to address the situation ‘by confirming that the State will not ...

The Governor’s priorities

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 14:36
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I will tell you what you value.” –Vice President Joe Biden Governor McCrory made his vision for our state clear when he announced a summary of his budget two weeks ago, saying that his proposal followed the highest priorities he has for the state’s ...

PW contributor flays op-ed claiming that progressives are responsible for Trump and HB2

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 13:45
If one were looking for the strangest op-ed to grace the editorial page of a major North Carolina news daily in recent weeks, it would be hard to top the entry of Michael Jacobs, who teaches at the UNC business school. According to Jacobs, it’s progressive do-gooders in Chapel Hill and their ilk who are ...

House Democrats move to use lottery funds to help pay teachers’ loans

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 10:22
In February, we reported the startling number that students seeking education degrees in the UNC system had plunged by about 30 percent since 2010, just the latest evidence that the profession is growing increasingly unattractive to prospective teachers. This week, a handful of state House Democrats have filed legislation they say should help to provide at ...

Gov. McCrory makes up his own facts in lame defense of HB2

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:20
Gov. Pat McCrory is acting more and more like a desperate politician, trying everything to escape responsibility for HB2, the sweeping anti-LGBT law he signed in March that prompted corporations to cancel plans to create jobs in North Carolina and cost the state millions in lost tourism revenue. McCrory has lashed out at the media, ...

Missed Opportunities: Investments that are MIA in Governor McCrory’s budget

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 15:50
Deep tax cuts are preventing Gov. McCrory from proposing a bold, visionary state budget for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year. The 2013 and 2015 tax cuts are draining more than $1 billion in revenues annually, squeezing out much-needed reinvestment in the programs and services that help children, families, and communities thrive. Under his budget, North ...

HB2, the tourism industry, and the “more progressive state of South Carolina”

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 14:01
While Gov. Pat McCrory continues to attack opponents of HB2 and blame the media for how it is covering the damage caused by his anti-LGBT law, leaders in the tourism industry in North Carolina have a clear message for McCrory and the General Assembly—repeal the law that is hurting their businesses. The Lumina News reports that ...

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, educators and lawmakers call for raises, big reforms in NC

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:36
N.C. Sen. Dan Blue, the Democratic leader in the Senate, remembers Dorothy Washington, his high school English teacher and an educator in his former home in Robeson County for a half-century. Rep. Graig Meyer, a Democrat from Orange County, still keeps an aging, brass school bell on his legislative desk to remind him of one ...

Advocates for Merrick Garland nomination holding “Do Your Job” tour to push Burr, Tillis

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 07:37
In case you missed it, advocates at Progress NC will be helping to spearhead a series of events around the state this week to combat the ongoing blockade by Senators Burr and Tillis of the nomination of federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court. As is explored in some detail ...

With local school districts battling for funding, one Iowa district promises to break the law

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:37
Here’s a fascinating report Monday from Education Week, which tells the story of one Iowa school district’s surprising response to apparently insufficient state funding. According to the paper, the Davenport Community Schools district says that it may be forced to break state law in order to fill in budget gaps, gaps wrought, according to the district’s superintendent, ...

McCrory’s teacher pay proposal fails on retention goals

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:17
In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I’d focus my first blog post on the most obvious way North Carolina shows its appreciation (or lack thereof) for teachers:  the North Carolina teacher salary schedule.  In particular, let’s take a closer look at Governor McCrory’s 2016-17 Proposed Teacher Salary Schedule. On the positive side, ...

U.S. Secretary of Education labels HB2 “hateful” as pressure mounts for repeal (video)

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 14:54
U.S.  Education Secretary John Kelly is the latest high-profile figure to weigh-in on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law known as HB2. Speaking to a group of education reporters in Boston on Monday, King said the legislation deserved to be repealed: “They are hateful laws and should be repealed,” King told the Education Writers Association conference in ...

Senator cites secret conference calls about HB2 to defend rushed special session

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 14:45
Given the national firestorm about the sweeping anti-LGBT law HB2 signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, many local papers are checking in with their legislators who voted for it to see if they are having second thoughts. The folks representing Wilkes County don’t seem to regret their support of the law that has cost the state ...

The truth about the Governor’s proposed “Medicaid expansion”

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:30
There’s been a lot of talk of late emanating from the McCrory administration about “expanding Medicaid.” Unfortunately, a close look at the fine print makes clear that the minor proposed “expansion” has absolutely nothing to do with closing the state’s massive Medicaid coverage gap that has resulted from our failure to expand the program under ...

Six things to have on your radar this week

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 09:25
 #1 – Budget work begins this week – Starting Tuesday morning multiple House Appropriations Subcommittees will begin reviewing Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget, available resources and the state’s needs. The good folks at the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center have done a thorough review of Gov.  McCrory’s spending plan and it’s well worth a ...

Weekend editorials: Criticism of HB2 referendum idea piles up

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:30
Two more of the state’s major newspapers weighed in against the idea floated by some state lawmakers last week of putting HB2 on the November ballot. The editorials in the Wilmington Star-News and the Greensboro News & Record come on top of another one that blasted the plan in last Thursday’s edition of Raleigh’s News ...

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