Daily Journal

What Are They Doing With Our Money?

A recent debate in Guilford County raises questions about government funding decisions.

CJ Ticker

  • JLF report says new N.C. department for IT makes sense, not for veterans affairs.
  • JLF report recommends replacing most N.C. occupational licensing with voluntary certification.
  • JLF report says FCC made mistake overturning N.C. municipal broadband law.
  • JLF's new First in Freedom Index ranks N.C. No. 23 nationally and No. 5 within Southeast.
  • JLF report says local grants would work better than N.C. tax credits for historic preservation.
  • U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear cases challenging same-sex marriage bans, including N.C.'s.
  • Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, elected speaker of the House by unanimous voice vote for the 2015-16 legislative session.
  • Donald van der Vaart named new secretary of DENR by Gov. McCrory. He's currently deputy secretary and energy policy advisor.

Other Opinions


Patrick Gannon writes that of the 11 African-Americans elected to the state Senate last year, eight took their seats with no opposition last November.

Infrastructure needs

Gov. Pat McCrory’s $3 billion infrastructure bond plan will be a tough sell to voters. But this is a discussion the state needs to have says the Burlington Times-News.

Home design rules

The Winston-Salem Journal says that home design standards should be a matter for cities and towns to decide – not the heavy-handed legislature.

Infrastructure funding

Tom Campbell writes that North Carolina has not adequately built or maintained its public infrastructure for decades.

Finally, some action

Last year’s Dan River coal-ash spill wasn’t a total disaster. It led to the testing of drinking wells within 1,000 feet of other coal-ash storage facilities says the Greensboro News & Record.

Ginsberg Considers War From Both Sides of the Ledger
A political science professor does not shrink from the horrors of war but also says much can be learned from it.

Media Mangle

Corrections Policies Say A Lot

A news outlet’s willingness to own up to its mistakes says a lot about its credibility.

Early Lessons in Journalistic Bias

Professors do future journalists and the reading public no favors by teaching students that a left-wing narrative trumps the facts.

When the Media Ignores the News

News outlets shirk their duty when they fail to acknowledge important stories.

Carolina Beat

Telling Both Sides of the Story

Lead Story

Appeals Court Limits Jurors’ Ability To Set School Funding

April 28, 2015, By Michael Lowrey

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — In an April decision, the N.C. Court of Appeals overturned a jury ruling that Union County public schools had not been provided enough money by the county commission, saying that the judge had offered jurors an incorrect interpretation of the landmark Leandro decision that governs state and local school funding policies. The appeals court said state law limits the amount that school systems are entitled to receive from a trial award.

04.27.15 - Expanding Scope of Nursing Could Save Billions

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Companion bills have been introduced in the House and Senate that would relax some longstanding regulations that require advanced practice registered nurses — nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists — to work with a supervising physician before they can provide a host of medical services and treatments. The legislation would let APRNs work more independently.

04.24.15 - Friday Interview: The Importance of Original Documents

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Original documents should play an important role in American history education. That’s the approach from Roger Beckett, executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Beckett explained his preference for original historical documents over textbooks during a recent presentation for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. He also discussed the topic with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.

Editorial Cartoon


View larger


4.28.15 - Rights groups criticize Burr

WASHINGTON — Civil liberties groups raised concerns Monday about reports that U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, had called in 2013 for the CIA to hunt down and kill an American citizen who’d become a top al Qaida operative, rather than capturing him for trial.

Related NC Delegation Articles:
Pittenger calls for investigation of missing Myers Park mail
Curran announces she'll challenge Foxx
Price: Don’t judge Iran deal yet
Burr, Tillis not sold on Iran pact
NC senators reject effort to get them to support Lynch
Pittenger offers tips to prepare for terrorist attacks

4.28.15 - Delay on incentives worries former commerce leaders

RALEIGH — Former leaders of the state’s commerce agency warn that the uncertainty over North Carolina’s job incentives programs is affecting the state’s ability to compete with the rest of the Southeast. Gov. Pat McCrory and current Department of Commerce leaders have for months expressed their concerns over the expiration of North Carolina’s largest incentives program at the end of the year.

Related Economic Incentives Articles:
NC Senate panel debates jobs incentives plans
State leaders: Volvo can’t find ‘certainty’ in N.C. incentives
County, city mull incentives for Herbalife
Productions get $10M in film grants from N.C.
Documents: Georgia outbid NC for Mercedes headquarters
Volvo to build US auto plant, NC a possible location
Of Course Taxes Matter
Of Course Taxes Matter
Commerce ‘Sustainability’ Official Still On Job

4.28.15 - NC senators drop bill to revoke Dorothea Dix sale

RALEIGH — Three days after the Raleigh City Council approved the final contract to purchase the Dorothea Dix property, three Republican state senators announced Monday that they’re dropping a bill to revoke the sale. Senators Ralph Hise, Louis Pate and Tommy Tucker had argued that the $52 million price set by Raleigh leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory was too low.

Related State Government Articles:
Raleigh City Council OKs deal to buy Dorothea Dix property
Half billion in bonds could fund university building boom
Cowell launching second fund that invests in NC companies
Senate panel delays vote on Dorothea Dix bill
Who should pay for cracking glass on NC office buildings?
JLF: Two new departments?

4.28.15 - Got raw milk? NC lawmakers say you might soon

RALEIGH — North Carolina residents might soon be able to buy part ownership of a cow – or an entire herd – to get access to raw milk for themselves and their families. House Bill 309, which passed the House Health Committee on Monday afternoon, would allow so-called “cow shares” in the state, which was legal until 2004, said sponsor Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance. Part-owners would then be able to get around state regulations that prohibit the sale of unpasteurized milk, he said.

Related Regulation Articles:
NC House votes to ban powdered alcohol
Bill would ban private ownership of lions, tigers and bears
Bill pulls back N.C. environment mandate
JLF: How sunset laws can improve North Carolina’s regulatory climate
Committee gives nod to mobile beauty salons
NC environmental impact law in jeopardy

4.28.15 - Busted brake light still street-legal in North Carolina

RALEIGH — Six years have passed since a Surry County deputy stopped a car with just one working brake light, confident in his belief that state law requires two. Sgt. Matt Darisse was wrong on April 29, 2009. And he would be wrong today. But in his confusion about North Carolina traffic laws, he was in good company.

Related Transportation Articles:
Dozens more sue the state over Northern Beltway project
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Port volume on pace to set fiscal year record
State lawmakers consider priority passes for ferry
East End Connector impacts outlined for Council
Senator pulls his bill to force NCDOT layoffs

4.28.15 - Dozens more sue the state over Northern Beltway project

WINSTON-SALEM — The attorney representing many landowners in the path of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway on Monday filed 62 more lawsuits calling on the courts to force the N.C. Department of Transportation to buy roadway properties. Attorney Matthew Bryant said that he’s talked to hundreds of clients and potential clients in the weeks since the N.C. Court of Appeals sided with his clients in one lawsuit and said the state has to pay.

Related Transportation Articles:
Busted brake light still street-legal in North Carolina
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Port volume on pace to set fiscal year record
State lawmakers consider priority passes for ferry
East End Connector impacts outlined for Council
Senator pulls his bill to force NCDOT layoffs

4.28.15 - Sunday hunting once again debated in NC legislature

ASHEVILLE — North Carolina’s on-again, off-again debate over whether to allow Sunday hunting might just have a different outcome this year. A bill clearing the way for Sunday hunting on private land has been approved by a state House committee and awaits consideration by the full House.

Related Environment Articles:
National wildlife refuge a sanctuary for mountain bogs
Environmental groups sue over chicken farms emissions
Sunday hunting in NC up for debate in General Assembly
NC Senate has honey of idea to boost bees, agriculture
Impact of new FEMA climate change rules unclear
Bear boom predicted in Asheville area this spring

4.28.15 - Report: Many factors contribute to NC’s solar renaissance

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s stratospheric ascent to becoming the nation’s fourth-largest developer of solar energy is the result of numerous forces aligning under the sun, according to a report issued Monday by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The institute’s report summarizes a slew of recent reports that track different aspects of North Carolina’s solar renaissance, underscoring this state’s transformation from solar pipsqueak to solar powerhouse.

Related Energy Articles:
Homeowners find green heating units can’t take the cold
Most wells near Duke Energy ash ponds contaminated
DENR to drill fracking test well in Walnut Cove
Bad well water found near coal ash ponds
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Lee County residents ask court to suspend fracking rules

4.28.15 - House committee set to vote on PWC bill today

FAYETTEVILLE — A revised bill rewriting the Fayetteville Public Works Commission charter is scheduled to get another committee vote this morning. Late Monday night, state Rep. John Szoka, the local delegation's Republican chairman, emailed copies of the revised bill to local officials and The Fayetteville Observer.

Related Water & Sewer Articles:
Groups unite to kill Hydrilla on Lake Wylie
Riverbed rights next in Alcoa dams fight
JLF: Variable prices can work better than restrictions
Judge peers to US independence as NC fights Alcoa dams title
CFPUA officials: Those wipes aren’t flushable
Wildlife board referees paddlers vs. motorboaters

4.28.15 - Race, poverty create uneasy police relationships

ASHEVILLE – It’s 5:30 on a Friday evening at Hillcrest Apartments, a subsidized housing community just west of downtown. People are coming home from work. Two boys toss a football back and forth. Another rides his bike, still equipped with training wheels, his face barely visible underneath a bright red helmet. A mother tosses her baby up in the air.

Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Body-cam video would not be public record under bill
McCrory seeks money to hire vets to catch child predators
Police body-cam footage not public record under NC bill
Bill would let work zone speeders dodge those $250 tickets
Feds analyze Durham violence, offer advice
Bill allows police to withhold body camera footage

4.28.15 - Asheville looks at property tax increase

ASHEVILLE — Property owners are facing a possible tax increase this summer following the elimination of a $1.5 million business fee. Elected officials are looking at scenarios that include either a 1 cent or 1.5 cent increase, as well as a possible hike in garbage pickup fees. The new tax would generate from $1.1 million to $1.7 million and would be used to replace the business privilege license fee, which will be eliminated statewide by the General Assembly this summer, city officials said.

Related Local Government Articles:
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
Bill gives Meck property owners time to pay back taxes
Greensboro council considering cutting funding to DGI
NC House bill would let cities, towns add to sales tax
Analysis shows Wilmington spent $475,000 on consultants
Charlotte may end $47 garbage fee, raise property tax
The Locker Room ~ John Locke Foundation's Statewide Issues Blog