NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

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Updated: 6 min 28 sec ago

Responding to anti-gay pastors

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:34
There are two articles worth reading in Raleigh’s News & Observer this morning about Tuesday’s anti-gay speak-out by some conservative pastors. Chris Sgro of Equality NC is on the editorial page with this excellent post in which he responds to a list of absurd claims. For example: ‘(Marriage equality) is not a trend of the ...

New data: Medicaid expansion providing big benefits to states that have opted for it

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:56
In a new post this afternoon, Jesse Cross-Call at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports the latest confirmation that North Carolina is shooting itself in the foot with its stubborn and shortsighted refusal to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people under the Affordable Care Act. As a growing number of ...

Time to Call a Spade a Spade: Public education and health programs face the chopping block because we can’t afford last year’s tax plan

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:46
North Carolinians are being dealt a bad hand. The deep revenue losses resulting from the 2013 tax plan is creating a reality in which there are too few dollars available to meet the needs of children, families, and communities. Budget writers are facing a self-imposed budget crisis and finding it difficult to agree on just ...

Senate offers newest Medicaid proposal, could open $13 billion system up to privatization

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:52
The state Senate pushed its most recent proposal in committee today to move North Carolina’s complicated and massive Medicaid program to a new structure outside of the state’s health agency. The Senate’s Medicaid plan  would also open up the state’s $13 billion health care program for poor children, the disabled and elderly to privatization by ...

Lawyers are game changers for immigrant children

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:01
As we reported last week, many of the children crossing the border into the United States wind up in court defending themselves — a situation that presumably does not end well for them. The American Civil Liberties Union describes the plight of such children in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle against Attorney General ...

The governor’s latest appointment flub

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:07
This morning’s editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it just about right with its assessment of Pat McCrory’s bizarre foul-up of — of all things — the appointment of North Carolina’s poet laureate by ignoring the established processes and then compounding the error by appointing a person whom some have charitably described as “a ...

Latest budget proposal could spell trouble for TAs (video)

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 06:25
State senators offered a new budget proposal Tuesday – one that included 8% raises for teachers and would fund second-grade teaching assistants. But teaching assistants in the third-grade, they would not be funded in this latest proposal. And there’s another wrinkle, as Rep. Nelson Dollar discovered when seeking clarification on the Senate’s new numbers: “If ...

Sen. Jerry Tillman: “The timing is right” to repeal Common Core (w/ video)

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 16:33
Is Senator Jerry Tillman truly the man of compromise that he says he is when it comes to the Common Core standards? State lawmakers are coming close to passing legislation that would aim to repeal the Common Core standards, although the language in the bill currently would allow for a review commission to recommend keeping parts ...

Breaking: Fifth Circuit upholds Texas affirmative action program

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 16:31
Following remand by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the university’s affirmative action program. The Supreme Court had sent the case back to Texas for a reconsideration of the university’s affirmative action policy under a strict scrutiny standard. In the 7-1 ...

Today’s lamest homophobic rant

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 15:24
It comes from the notorious all-purpose far right minister, the Rev. Patrick Wooden of Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ. At a pastor’s anti-marriage equality event today near the state Capitol Building, Wooden said the following according to this AP story: Seventy-eight percent of our children are born into homes where there are ...

The next legal challenge to Obamacare

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:49
The dust has yet to settle since the Supreme Court  took apart the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act in its Hobby Lobby decision, but already the next and potentially more debilitating wave of lawsuits challenging a different provision of the Act are making their way through the courts. This time the target is the tax ...

Last film in Moral Movies series – Inequality for All – shows in nine cities across NC this month

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:04
In case you’ve missed it, there has been a phenomenal film series going on this summer throughout North Carolina, which concludes this month with screenings of “Inequality for All” in nine cities from July 22nd – July 31st. The Moral Movies film series, which also included showings of American Teacher, American Winter and Freedom Summer, ...

N&O headline: “Berger: Budget delay is incompetence”

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:34
What’s this? Did I read that right? Yes here it is, dated  Monday, July 14: “Berger: Budget delay is incompetence” And here’s Senator Berger’s lead quote: “For the average person, when they have a deadline and they need to get something done, they are held accountable,” said Berger, an Eden Republican, at the weekly Republican ...

Editorial explains the absurdity of repealing teen preregistration to vote

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 08:53
Thanks to the opinion editors of the Greenville Daily Reflector this morning for republishing an excellent Charlotte Observer editorial that may have gotten lost in the shuffle for a lot of folks when it ran originally over the Fourth of July weekend. The essay deserves to be reprinted repeatedly and, as they say down on ...

Date of disbursement for school voucher funds moved up, ahead of court ruling that could halt new taxpayer-funded program

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 17:42
School voucher money could be in the hands of families and schools one month earlier than planned for the upcoming school year—and prior to a court date that could rule the program unconstitutional. According to an updated schedule published on June 20 on the N.C.  State Education Assistance Authority’s website, funds for the school vouchers, ...

Controversy brews over McCrory choice for state poet laureate

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:47
Gov. Pat McCrory is facing scrutiny over his decision to name a fairly unknown Fuquay-Varina woman as the state’s top poet. Valerie Macon was named Friday as North Carolina’s poet laureate, and has self-published two collections of poetry through a small Sylva-based publisher, Old Mountain Press. (Click here and here to read some of her ...

National HHS officials tout Medicaid model now promoted by House and Guv

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:18
There’s new and compelling evidence that North Carolina’s model for delivering Medicaid (Community Care North Carolina -CCNC) is a winner — notwithstanding the often-bumbling oversight provided by embattled state DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and the attempt by Senate leaders to sell the program off to a private managed care company. (It’s worth noting that the ...

BTC Report: Changes to unemployment insurance system creates a “double whammy” for jobless

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:05
Changes made to North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system a year ago have caused pain for North Carolina workers and communities, according to a new report by the NC Budget & Tax Center. Center analysts project things will get even worse for many jobless workers because of new limits to how long anyone can receive insurance that ...

Belhaven mayor marches to (big) Washington to protest hospital closing, calls for N.C. expansion of Medicaid

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:34
The mayor of a small coastal town with a recently-shuttered rural hospital began a nearly 300 mile walk to Washington, D.C. to call attention to his community’s lack of emergency medical care. Adam O’Neal, the Republican mayor of Belhaven on North Carolina’s Inner Banks, began his walk after a brokered plan with Vidant Health to ...

The one speech Teaching Assistants want NC budget writers to hear (video)

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:16
House and Senate budget conferees head back to the bargaining table this afternoon. Last week, senators made it clear they were sticking to their position of an average 11% pay raise for teachers, even if it could result in deep cuts to Medicaid and other areas of education spending. House members are pushing for a ...

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