Daily Journal

3.27.15
Lucky To Be Here

Well-designed and properly manned systems have helped North Carolina avoid problems tied to predatory policing.

CJ Ticker

  • 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.
  • Gov. McCrory names former Supreme Court justice and appeals court judge Bob Hunter to a vacant seat on the N.C. Court of Appeals.
  • The N.C. Supreme Court upholds the state's congressional, legislative election district maps.

Other Opinions

3.27.15
Voter ID rules

The voter ID process seems simple. You show your ID, you vote. It’s not that simple says Patrick Gannon.


3.27.15
Senate jobs plan

While the sprawling Senate Bill 338 contains interesting economic development proposals, it also contains wildly irresponsible elements says the Charlotte Observer.


3.27.15
School calendar

Tom Campbell writes that we can surely find a solution that will please most people and not shortchange our children’s education.


3.26.15
A deadly mistake

The DACA program is a good step toward immigration reform, but it may have stumbled with fatal consequences in a North Carolina case says the Greensboro News & Record.


3.26.15
Local government

Some North Carolina civic leaders must feel they’re trying to listen to someone talk out of both sides of his mouth. Only it isn’t a person. It’s state government says the Raleigh News & Observer.


3.26.15
N.C. Played Crucial Role At Civil War’s End
Some scholars contend that one-sixth of the Confederate dead hailed from the Old North State.

Media Mangle

3.13.15
Corrections Policies Say A Lot

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


1.08.15
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.


12.21.14
When the Media Ignores the News

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

Lead Story

Senate Adds New Tax Cut To Fiscal Equation

March 27, 2015, By Barry Smith

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — On Thursday, Sens. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, and Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, introduced a bill that would cut the personal income tax rate over two years from 5.75 percent to 5.5 percent. It also would cut the corporate income tax rate from 5 percent to 4 percent over the same time period.

03.26.15 - Student Data Mining System Raises Privacy Concerns

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — North Carolina public schools are developing a multimillion-dollar student data mining system intended to compile and analyze reams of information to improve educational outcomes. But critics say it poses a “creepy” potential to engineer the work force and easily could fall prey to a variety of “malicious” abuses.

03.25.15 - NCGA Committee Boosts Special-Needs Scholarships

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — A House education committee on Tuesday gave its OK to House Bill 133, a measure increasing the scholarship amount available to special needs students who attend private schools from $3,000 per semester to $4,000. It also approved a change allowing families receiving those scholarships to collect the money in advance rather than waiting for reimbursement. The latter provision was intended to help low-income families.

Editorial Cartoon

cartoon-fpo

View larger


Headlines

3.27.15 - Gas tax ‘cut’ will boost NC DOT revenues by $400 million

RALEIGH — House and Senate leaders announced a deal Thursday to gradually cut a few pennies off the state gas and diesel fuel tax over the next two years – starting next week – and to cancel a much more substantial cut that would have cost the state Department of Transportation hundreds of jobs and more than $400 million in revenues.


Related Transportation Articles:
‘Autocycle’ bill whizzes through House
Bill calls on state to reconsider privatizing ferry system
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Panel OKs abolishing Map Act
House panel wants to revoke DOT’s power to control land
Legislation could make NCDOT pay more when it takes land

3.27.15 - Senate Republicans propose more tax cuts

RALEIGH — State Senate Republican leaders said they would push again this year to further lower personal and corporate income rates – taking a step beyond the GOP tax overhaul package passed two years ago. They filed a bill Thursday that they said amounts to $1 billion in additional tax cuts.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
JLF: Trends in North Carolina state spending
House vote preserves new version of historic tax credit
Bill to restore medical expense tax deduction advances
Senate economic development plan would lower corporate taxes
Berger, Moore quizzed on privilege license, historic tax credit
NC Senate, McCrory at odds on incentives, corporate taxes

3.27.15 - Senate bill would sell Dorothea Dix site to highest bidder

RALEIGH — A bill filed late Thursday by three Republican N.C. senators would put the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property up for bid – likely revoking a deal reached between Raleigh leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory to create a park. Senate Bill 705 calls for ensuring “the fair sale” of the former psychiatric hospital campus by using the state’s standard procedure for surplus property.


Related State Government Articles:
Bill aims to close eugenics ‘loophole’
Lawmakers clear way for some nominations
Analysis: Ruling could rebalance power in N.C. government
Records show big travel costs for some state agency heads
Students make pitch for bobcat as N.C.’s newest symbol
Lawmakers put gubernatorial nominations on hold

3.27.15 - Bill aims to close eugenics ‘loophole’

WINSTON-SALEM — A state senator from Mecklenburg County has filed a bill what would open up the last round of eugenics compensation payments to victims who were involuntarily sterilized by counties. The state has already sent out a first round of payments to victims who were sterilized by the state eugenics board, and a second and final round of payments is set to go out later this year.


Related State Government Articles:
Senate bill would sell Dorothea Dix site to highest bidder
Lawmakers clear way for some nominations
Analysis: Ruling could rebalance power in N.C. government
Records show big travel costs for some state agency heads
Students make pitch for bobcat as N.C.’s newest symbol
Lawmakers put gubernatorial nominations on hold

3.27.15 - ‘Autocycle’ bill whizzes through House

RALEIGH — A bill to define and license three-wheeled cars, or “autocycles,” whizzed through the state House on Thursday, passing a Finance Committee vote and two floor votes with little debate. The vehicles are enclosed like a car, with a steering wheel, safety belts, air bags and a roll cage in case of accidents. They have a three-cylinder engine and can carry a driver and an additional passenger in a rear seat.


Related Transportation Articles:
Gas tax ‘cut’ will boost NC DOT revenues by $400 million
Bill calls on state to reconsider privatizing ferry system
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Panel OKs abolishing Map Act
House panel wants to revoke DOT’s power to control land
Legislation could make NCDOT pay more when it takes land

3.27.15 - House committee OKs Trinity Council bill

RALEIGH — A House committee approved a bill this morning that would shrink the Trinity City Council, after hearing arguments from the legislation sponsor about an out-of-control government body. The committee members narrowly defeated an attempt to add a referendum to the legislation, which would have allowed local voters to make the final decision about changes to the council.


Related Local Government Articles:
Tax drop came as surprise, Meck tax assessor says
Charlotte one of biggest losers under sales tax plan
Greensboro could recoup lost funds through new fees
Davidson County to vote on alcohol sales
Senate plan could prompt local sales tax increases
JLF: What government costs cities and counties

3.27.15 - Bill would limit political activity by teachers

GREENSBORO — A bill filed in the N.C. Senate Thursday would limit political activity by school employees, including teachers and administrators. Sen. Andy Wells, R-Catawba, the bill’s primary sponsor, said school boards across the state have different rules on the time, manner and type of political activities in which school employees can engage.


Related NC Politics Articles:
Santorum testing messages before deciding on 2016 run
Women hold less than 25 percent of offices
NAACP: ‘Moral Monday’ will travel
Public weighs in on magistrates bill
McCrory: State should stay out of local government
How far must NC go to deal with gay marriage concerns?

3.27.15 - Santorum testing messages before deciding on 2016 run

RALEIGH — Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said during a Thursday visit to the North Carolina General Assembly that he plans to decide by late spring or early summer whether to make another run at the presidency in 2016. Santorum, who was in the Triangle for a speaking engagement, stopped by the Legislative Building at the invitation of Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, and quickly launched into what frequently sounded like a stump speech on the campaign trail.


Related NC Politics Articles:
Bill would limit political activity by teachers
Women hold less than 25 percent of offices
NAACP: ‘Moral Monday’ will travel
Public weighs in on magistrates bill
McCrory: State should stay out of local government
How far must NC go to deal with gay marriage concerns?

3.27.15 - Board of Elections dismisses complaints against Ferrante

RALEIGH — The State Board of Elections has dismissed all four complaints filed against New Hanover County Board of Elections Chairman John Ferrante. Though some members mentioned that the behavior can be concerning, the issue is not within the scope of the board's authority, it concluded Thursday.


Related Elections Articles:
N.C. DMV offering Voter ID Cards
State to send voter ID reminder to 200,000 this month
State judge allows voter ID lawsuit to proceed
Wake judge allows case on voter ID law to proceed to trial
Howard doesn’t ‘anticipate’ reversal of McFadyen decision
GOP senators cool to moving 2016 primary
Races Take Shape as 2012 Primary Season Officially Gets Underway

3.27.15 - Tax drop came as surprise, Meck tax assessor says

CHARLOTTE — A surprise $2 billion drop in Mecklenburg County’s property values happened because the consultant, Pearson Appraisal Services, put off the most questionable assessments until the end, the county tax assessor said Thursday. Since the fall of 2013, Pearson has been re-examining all county property to correct mistakes from the 2011 revaluation.


Related Local Government Articles:
House committee OKs Trinity Council bill
Charlotte one of biggest losers under sales tax plan
Greensboro could recoup lost funds through new fees
Davidson County to vote on alcohol sales
Senate plan could prompt local sales tax increases
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
The Locker Room ~ John Locke Foundation's Statewide Issues Blog