NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse

Subscribe to NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse feed NC Policy Watch's the Progessive Pulse
Affecting NC public policy through informed, energetic and progressive conversations.
Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

Director of voucher-eligible private school in Raleigh accused of sex with children

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 12:12
According to ABC 11, the director of a Raleigh-area private school, which is eligible for publicly-funded vouchers from North Carolina, has been charged with having sex with children. From ABC 11’s report: The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has charged the 54-year-old director of a Raleigh private school with having sex with children. According to an ...

Today’s “must read”: How a progressive stance on one issue is saving NC residents more than $450 million per year

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 11:19
The list of regressive new laws enacted in North Carolina in recent years is a long and sobering one. In area after area, state leaders have pushed an agenda that has dis-invested in essential public services and structures, promoted discrimination, laid waste to the natural environment and expanded economic stagnation and inequality. Happily, if rather ...

Public can comment on Hofmann Forest settlement between EPA, NC State Resources Foundation

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 10:13
The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting public comment on a $160,000 settlement with the NC State Resources Foundation for violations of the Clean Water Act in Hofmann Forest. The deadline for comments is Sept. 7. In 2014, the EPA alleged contractors for the foundation illegally dredged 120 acres of wetlands in Hofmann Forest during timbering operations. Those ...

Drumbeat of criticism for GOP voter suppression efforts continues

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 07:54
The editorial page of Raleigh’s News & Observer joined the chorus of critics blasting state GOP boss Dallas Woodhouse this morning for his memo urging Republican Board of Election members to vote in lockstep to limit early voting opportunities in the November election.. Here’s the N&O: “Well, you have to give him this: Dallas Woodhouse, ...

North Carolina schools chief renews call for comprehensive teacher pay plan

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 16:19
North Carolina’s final budget this year may have included modest raises for teachers, but the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson renewed her calls Thursday for an improved “comprehensive teacher pay plan.” Atkinson, speaking on a panel at an education conference organized by the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, again pitched her “wedding cake” teacher ...

Department of Justice: Rivers Correctional Institution in Hertford County is a lawless place

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 15:37
Rivers Correctional Institution is located on 257 bucolic acres on Parker’s Fishery Road, in unincorporated Hertford County. With a capacity of 1,450, the federal prison could fit about two Wintons — the closest town, population 760 or so — inside its walls. Even though Rivers is a low-security facility — not a supermax prison — it is a desperate, violent ...

Three things North Carolina consumers need to know about Aetna’s Marketplace exit

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 13:37
On Monday, the health insurance giant Aetna announced it would scale back its offerings on the Health Insurance Marketplace, where consumers can shop around for individual health insurance plans and qualify for financial help from the federal government to afford their coverage. While Aetna ostensibly cites high costs as the reason it is pulling back ...

TANF at 20: How it contributed to a tattered safety net for struggling families

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 12:03
This blog is the first post in a series that will detail how lawmakers have weakened Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) over the last 20 years, explain why TANF is a cautionary tale rather than a model for other work and income support programs, and map out a better way forward. Come Monday, Aug. ...

Dissecting McCrory’s “laughable” explanation for his appeal to the Supreme Court

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 11:12
This morning’s lead editorial in the Greensboro News & Record includes an on-the-money takedown of Gov. Pat McCrory’s downright preposterous excuse for pushing an “emergency” appeal of the Fourth Circuit’s July ruling striking down the state’s “monster” voter suppression law. As the N&R demonstrates, the Guv’s explanation would literally be laugh-out-loud funny if it wasn’t so ...

What is Dallas Woodhouse really afraid of?

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 07:16
The big story in North Carolina today is the blatantly partisan effort of state Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse (pictured at left in his Americans for Prosperity days) to suppress voter turnout in the November election. As Colin Campbell of Raleigh’s News & Observer reported yesterday afternoon, Woodhouse has sent directives to all of ...

Great news from Greensboro as city adopts paid parental leave policy for city workers

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 13:49
There was great news in Greensboro last night as North Carolina’s third largest city moved into the 21st Century (the 20th in other advanced parts of the world) in an important area of public policy: leave for new parents. The good people at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, report: Greensboro City Council ...

Expert: Why McCrory’s (very expensive) lawyer faces an uphill battle at the Supreme Court

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 10:56
U.S. Supreme Court chronicler Ian Millhiser has another fascinating post at Think Progress on the “emergency” appeal that Gov. Pat McCrory filed 17 days after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down North Carolina’s discriminatory “monster” voter suppression law. As Millhiser notes in “North Carolina Hires One Of America’s Most Expensive Attorneys To Defend ...

It’s past time to halt program that subsidizes discrimination against LGBT North Carolinians

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 08:43
A few weeks back, Chris Fitzsimon was the first commentator in the state to call attention to the fact that North Carolina’s badly misnamed “Opportunity Scholarship” (i.e. school vouchers) program is funneling public money to private religious schools that discriminate against LGBT children and/or kids whose parents are LGBT. Happily, since that time, mainstream news ...

New analysis: NC teacher pay still mired near the bottom (state-by-state chart)

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 15:07
The most recent edition of the NC Budget and Tax Center’s “Prosperity Watch” feature by BTC Director Alexandra Siroat has more sobering news on teacher pay in North Carolina: Prosperity Watch: N.C. teacher pay still lagging as they go back to school As children, families, teachers and communities prepare to head back to school, the ...

Blatant voter suppression efforts continue as local conservative officials work to limit early voting

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 11:58
Despite somewhat encouraging results in Guilford County last week, efforts by conservatives around the state to limit early voting in the fall election continue apace. This is from today’s Charlotte Observer: “Despite pleas not to curtail early voting, Mecklenburg County elections officials voted Monday to cut the overall number of hours from the 2012 election ...

What a way to live: Raleigh mall panic highlights the terror (and costs) of a society awash in guns

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 09:27
News outlets are reporting today that there is still no definitive evidence that gunshots were actually fired this past weekend at a Raleigh mall. This is from Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Police are still trying to determine what caused the ‘loud noise’ reported as gunshots at Crabtree Valley Mall on Saturday afternoon and are asking ...

McCrory appeals to Supreme Court to restore voter ID ahead of fall elections

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 06:39
Governor Pat McCrory has formally requested U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stay a ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and reinstate North Carolina’s Voter ID law. “Allowing the Fourth Circuit’s ruling to stand creates confusion among voters and poll workers and it disregards our successful rollout of Voter ID in the ...

Parents, teachers: NC state spending not meeting needs for school supplies

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 16:40
Last week, we shared an op-ed from a Wake County teacher bemoaning the increasing financial burden for North Carolina teachers who, lacking proper funding from the state, oftentimes spend their own cash to provide for their pupils. Today, The News & Observer is wading into the issue for parents and teachers as many students prepare to ...

Supreme Court expert: It’s as if NC lawmakers “were trying to get caught” on voting rights

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 15:20
Ian Millhiser, the extremely knowledgeable Supreme Court observer/analyst at the Center for American Progress, has some advice for the lawyers representing Gov. Pat McCrory and the other defenders of the state’s voter suppression law that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a couple of weeks ago. This is from his new post: “Is ...

Panel of scientists, including several from N.C., disagree with EPA’s rosy fracking report

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 14:24
More than two dozen scientists, including several from N.C. State and UNC Chapel Hill, have criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 draft fracking report, stating it downplays the risks that horizontal drilling poses to local water supplies. This is conclusion of the EPA’s independent science panel, which recently released its own report  asking the agency to incorporate its findings, according ...

Pages