NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 2 hours 41 min ago

New report reveals negative impact of legislative changes to child care policy and a better path forward

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 16:23
One of the most pressing concerns for any working family with children in North Carolina is to figure out a child care arrangement for children that allows parents to work and provide for their family, and allows children to learn and grow in a safe and stimulating setting when not in parental care. This is ...

It’s time for a plan to cover 500,000 North Carolinians

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 15:59
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled — again — that the structure of the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, it is time to move forward with making the law work better in our state. The first, and most important, step is accepting federal funds to extend the benefits of affordable health insurance coverage to 500,000 ...

N.C. Policy Watch reporters blocked from McCrory press events

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 15:25
Education reporter Lindsay Wagner was kicked out of a North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) annual meeting today, a press event listed on McCrory’s public schedule that was sent out to media outlets, including N.C. Policy Watch. When pressed for an explanation, a representative who appears to be from NCBCE — which operates under ...

High court sustains use of critical tool in fair housing cases

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 13:53
With a nod to the role the Fair Housing Act has played in reducing segregation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that housing discrimination cases can proceed in court upon a showing that a challenged practice disproportionately affects minorities, rejecting the argument that such cases turn upon proof of discriminatory intent and handing an important ...

Stop-gap spending measure expected before new fiscal year begins next week

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 13:21
State legislators are expected to pass a stop-gap measure today to address the expiration of the current spending plan, which runs through June 30 or next Tuesday. The measure, known formally as a Continuing Resolution, would allow North Carolina to avoid a shutdown and keep state government operating. The measure would give the leadership in ...

Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court upholds subsidies for eligible purchasers on all health care exchanges

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:34
In a 6-3 decision released today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the availability of subsidies to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange, affirming the Fourth Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell. “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice John Roberts ...

Senate leaders dodge questions about proposal to end retirement health care for future teachers & state employees

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 09:47
The News & Observer reports that when faced with questions about why the Senate included a provision in its budget proposal that would end retirement health care for future teachers and state employees, some Senate leaders wouldn’t talk. Sen. Tom Apodaca, who chairs the Pensions, Retirement and Aging Committee, said he couldn’t comment on the ...

Editorial: “Death penalty and the pursuit of it can border on being crimes in themselves”

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 09:44
In case you missed it, the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer does a fine job of summarizing the new and disturbing report from the good people at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation: “On Trial for Their Lives: The Hidden Costs of Wrongful Capital prosecutions in North Carolina.” As ...

UNC Board of Governor member arrested, facing assault charge (from N&O)

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 14:42
A member of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is facing an assault charge related to a May domestic violence incident, the News & Observer is reporting. Doyle Parrish, who heads the Summit Hospitality Group and was appointed by the state legislature to the university governing board in 2013, was charged with a ...

King v. Burwell: What will it mean for NC?

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 13:37
While many of us are anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court decision on King v. Burwell, a recent poll shows that 44-percent of people still don’t know much about the case. The King v. Burwell ruling will determine the legality of health insurance subsidies for states using the federal marketplace. If the Supreme Court rules ...

Panthers, NASCAR can and should do more to help banish the Confederate flag

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 12:11
It’s great that conservative politicians, business leaders and sports moguls are speaking out in favor of ending government displays of the Confederate flag. As Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said the other day: “Divisive symbols and actions should not stand in conflict to progress, healing and the unification of all our citizens.” Even the folks ...

Berger, Moore ask NC Supreme Court to allow school voucher program to go forward this fall

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:22
Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) filed a motion Tuesday asking the state Supreme Court to allow the controversial school voucher program to proceed for the 2015-16 academic year while the high court continues to debate the constitutionality of allowing families to use public dollars for tuition at private schools. “Intervenor-Defendants respectfully ...

Last chance to RSVP for tomorrow’s luncheon on the future of the death penalty

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 09:22
Some seats still remain for tomorrow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon: Is the death penalty broken beyond repair in North Carolina? Click here to register Featuring Gretchen Engel, Ken Rose and Kristin Collins of the North Carolina Center for Death Penalty Litigation The recent pardons belatedly granted by Governor Pat McCrory to Henry McCollum (who sat unjustly ...

Fact check with economists: Adjusting for inflation is not up for debate

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 14:18
During the Senate budget debate last week, some lawmakers demonstrated a lack of understanding—or a willingness to ignore the economic reality—of how money loses its value overtime. By ignoring inflation, Senate leadership readily claimed that education spending in the state is the highest that it has ever been. This claim, however, when placed in proper ...

Rev. Barber helps connect the dots in the aftermath of the Charleston attack

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 14:04
“The perpetrator has been arrested, but the killer is still at large.” That’s Rev. William Barber’s insightful take in the aftermath of the Charleston tragedy. Barber, the President of the North Carolina NAACP, spoke those words today during an interview with Amy Goodman of the Democracy Now! News Hour. As Barber went on to note: ...

What about those Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates?

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:42
North Carolina doesn’t have a Confederate battle flag flying over its state capitol, but it does have a specialty license plate featuring that  flag, issued by the state on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It’s just one of many vanity plates offered by the Department of Motor Vehicles “allowing citizens with common interests ...

Medicaid reform: How the House and Senate compare

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 11:06
Since 1978 North Carolina’s Medicaid program has been managed by the Division of Medical Assistance, which is within the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). As the state’s Medicaid program stands today, most Medicaid enrollees are categorically needy – in other words, aged, blind, disabled or very low-income families (including pregnant women). As ...

NC budget debate: It’s bigger than dollars and cents

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:34
This past week I visited Charleston, South Carolina to lay flowers and show support to the people of Charleston and the victims of the Emanuel AME Church shootings. The place buzzed with activists, reporters, and policy makers, including the mayor and governor. Across the nation, political pundits, academics, candidates, law makers, and others have posed ...

Let’s see the climate change deniers deny this

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 08:38
Like their intellectual predecessors who for so long denied the dangers of tobacco smoke, the creativity of climate change deniers in manufacturing excuses and red herring-filled critiques of common sense public regulations knows few bounds. At some point, however, the evidence simply becomes so overwhelming that reasonable people simply stop listening to the denials. Let’s ...

Two charter school hopefuls part ways with troubled Florida management company

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 14:57
Two charter schools hoping to open up shop in North Carolina in 2016 have abandoned partnering with a troubled management company that had planned to operate the schools, according to the News & Observer. The questions surrounding Newpoint Education Partners [a Florida-based education management company] caused the State Board of Education earlier this month to refer Pine Springs ...

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