Daily Journal

3.05.15
Pursuing Health Care Freedom

It’s time to turn away from policies that rely on government coercion.

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

3.05.15
Lynch nomination

It’s embarrassing that the senators from her own home state won’t show Loretta Lynch some support. They have no good reason other than petulance says the Winston-Salem Journal.


3.05.15
Don’t punish cities

An increase sought by Gov. Pat McCrory in incentives is likely to incite yet more urban-envy among legislators from the state’s smaller towns and urban areas says the Durham Herald-Sun.


3.05.15
SB 36

The Greensboro News & Record argues that the Senate Redistricting Committee should vote down the Greensboro City Council bill.


3.04.15
Lynch nomination

Rob Christenen writes that Loretta Lynch, a highly regarded federal prosecutor, is likely to become the first attorney general from North Carolina in American history.


3.04.15
ECU medical school

The Rocky Mount Telegram says that the state rarely gives enough credit to the fine doctors and nurses produced by the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.


3.02.15
Ryskind Destroys Romantic Notions of a ‘Noble’ Blacklisted Ten
Veteran journalist Allan Ryskind notes how the Hollywood Ten defended Stalin and Hitler when their Communist Party bosses told them to.

Media Mangle

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.


10.21.14
Steer Clear of Government Editor‘s Pen

Journalists fall short of long-established standards when they allow officials to peruse and even edit their reports.

Lead Story

Audit: State Dental Board Lax in Oversight

March 05, 2015, By Dan Way

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Potentially “tragic” results could occur because the professional board that regulates the state’s dentists issues sedation permits before it inspects dental facilities, and does not conduct compliance checks to ensure dentists can deliver anesthesia safely and respond to medical emergencies, a state audit concluded. The board’s chief operating officer said it was working to improve policies before the audit was launched.

03.04.15 - JLF: FCC Made Mistake Overturning N.C. Broadband Law

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The Federal Communications Commission made a mistake when it approved the city of Wilson's petition to overturn a North Carolina law limiting municipal broadband services. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report explains why. The new report arrives as U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has announced plans to pursue legislation preventing the federal regulatory agency from overturning state or local broadband laws.

03.04.15 - Officials: Checking Medicaid Eligibility Could Be Costly

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The state would have to repay any federal dollars the state provided to ineligible Medicaid recipients within one year, whether or not the state recovered money from the recipients or providers, Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said. That could spell trouble for a government insurance program that routinely spends more than is budgeted. If the state uncovered $100 million of improper payments, Hise said, $65 million would be owed to the feds.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

3.05.15 - NC chief justice asks lawmakers for more courts funding

RALEIGH — Newly elected N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin on Wednesday asked the General Assembly to rescue the state’s financially struggling court system, saying decades of neglect have put its most basic functions at risk. “We are now confronting a situation where the justice system is unable to promptly serve those who turn to us for help,” Martin said in a state of the judiciary address, given before a joint session of the legislature in the state House chamber.


Related NC Courts & Justice Articles:
NC chief justice makes plea for more resources, additional pay
Martin asking for additional $30M to fund state courts
Embattled NC courts director John Smith will retire in May
Workshop focuses on cleaning up criminal records
U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins to leave office in March
JLF: Improving juvenile justice

3.05.15 - Quest for auto manufacturer pushes House to approve

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s quest to entice an automaker to build a manufacturing plant in the state weighed heavily over Wednesday’s state House debate over a bill to expand North Carolina’s business-recruitment incentives program. House members gave the measure, one aspect of which could cost more than $900 million over the next 15 years, tentative approval by way of a 87-32 vote.


Related Economic Incentives Articles:
JLF: N.C. film incentives are good old-fashioned corporate welfare
NC House votes 87-32 for jobs incentives
Bill would double fund for incentives
House panels back NC jobs incentives plan
Bill boosting job lures clears House committee
Economic incentives bill to again test NC urban-rural divide
Commerce ‘Sustainability’ Official Still On Job

3.05.15 - House bill could revive state historic preservation credits

GREENSBORO — A bipartisan House bill submitted Wednesday would revive the state’s historic preservation tax credits at an expected lower value per project. House Bill 152 lists recommendations most recently attempted in July: a 15 percent tax credit for qualified expenditures up to $10 million, and a 10 percent tax credit for qualified expenditures between $10 million and $20 million.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
As McCrory prepares budget, its foundation has shifted
Forgiven mortgages wouldn’t count as income under bill
Abandoned house photos make political statement
Bill would extend airline fuel tax cap
American Airlines: Fuel tax break a top priority
JLF: Trends in North Carolina state spending

3.05.15 - As McCrory prepares budget, its foundation has shifted

RALEIGH — Months before Gov. Pat McCrory set about building the spending proposal he’s set to promote on Thursday morning, its foundation shifted. A new state law has ended the decades-old practice of automatically building in numbers that account for expected growth, such as covering the cost of more children attending public schools each year.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
House bill could revive state historic preservation credits
Forgiven mortgages wouldn’t count as income under bill
Abandoned house photos make political statement
Bill would extend airline fuel tax cap
American Airlines: Fuel tax break a top priority
JLF: Trends in North Carolina state spending

3.05.15 - NC’s new budget director a ‘quick study’

RALEIGH — Lee Roberts is not the lightning rod his predecessor was. The state’s budget director since September, Roberts has had limited interaction with the media, isn’t registered with a political party, has made relatively few campaign donations – and the political money he has given was to help candidates on both sides of the aisle. This is also his first time on a government payroll.


Related State Government Articles:
Showdown between governor, legislature goes to court
NC Department of Revenue sends 43,000 incorrect tax forms
State mulls monitoring drivers electronically
GPS study finds waste, speed in state motor fleet
McCrory aims to put all attractions under one department
NC Senate approves bill that would undo a McCrory veto

3.05.15 - Showdown between governor, legislature goes to court

RALEIGH — A constitutional showdown between Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly heads to court Thursday. McCrory sued lawmakers last year, saying they had wrongfully taken away his ability to manage certain executive branch affairs. The dispute erupted over a new commission that was put in place to oversee the clean up of coal ash ponds across the state. Lawmakers reserved the right to appoint some of the members of that commission, but McCrory said those appointments should be his.


Related State Government Articles:
NC’s new budget director a ‘quick study’
NC Department of Revenue sends 43,000 incorrect tax forms
State mulls monitoring drivers electronically
GPS study finds waste, speed in state motor fleet
McCrory aims to put all attractions under one department
NC Senate approves bill that would undo a McCrory veto

3.05.15 - Public weighs in on magistrates bill

RALEIGH — The House Judiciary 1 Committee heard public comment Wednesday on a bill allowing magistrates and county workers with religious objections to gay marriage to opt out of marriage duties entirely. Senate Bill 2 passed the Senate last week. The meeting Wednesday was its first airing in the House.


Related NC Politics Articles:
McCrory: State should stay out of local government
How far must NC go to deal with gay marriage concerns?
HPU Poll: N.C. still split over gay marriages
Move to exempt magistrates rekindles marriage debate
Same-sex marriage debated as magistrates law passes Senate
Senate approves magistrate opt-out bill

3.05.15 - Push for ‘puppy mill’ bill renewed

RALEIGH — Animal advocates gathered at the Legislative Building on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to regulate so-called ”puppy mills.” Similar bills have failed in every legislative session for years, but one Raleigh couple said they hope their four-legged lobbyist can turn the tide. Bee is a little cuter than the average lobbyist, but you would never guess she came from a rough background.


Related Regulation Articles:
JLF: Certificate of Need laws raise health care costs
US Supreme Court says dental board can’t regulate teeth whitening
Court: Dentists unfair to limit bleaching provider
Guilford to give warnings to owners of tied-up dogs
Companies fight smoking ads
Blogger says he’s feels vindicated in free speech fight

3.05.15 - Ruling in road-building process should help landowners

HAMPSTEAD — Based on his long experience as a member and official of local and state homebuilders’ associations, Jeff Stokley saved himself a lot of headaches and a lot of dollars. Stokley Development was preparing to physically expand a business near Hampstead, county permits in hand and construction workers at the ready, when he consulted filed maps of possible highway expansions. He learned that his site was smack in the middle of the proposed Hampstead Bypass.


Related Transportation Articles:
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Bill limiting road path restrictions filed in N.C. House
Bill would let drivers cross yellow lines to pass slowpokes
House revises gas tax plan
House makes big changes to gas tax bill
NC ‘autocycle’ legislation looks to possible vehicular future

3.05.15 - Bill limiting road path restrictions filed in N.C. House

WINSTON-SALEM — A bill that would shorten the period within which the N.C. Department of Transportation can forbid development in the designated path of roadways has been filed in the N.C. House. The bill would reduce the period of non-development from three years to 180 days. But the attorney representing landowners in the path of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway says the state should scrap the time limits altogether.


Related Transportation Articles:
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
Ruling in road-building process should help landowners
Bill would let drivers cross yellow lines to pass slowpokes
House revises gas tax plan
House makes big changes to gas tax bill
NC ‘autocycle’ legislation looks to possible vehicular future

3.05.15 - GOP bill would change voting districts for Wake commission

RALEIGH — A bill filed Wednesday would change the way the Wake County Board of Commissioners is elected, resulting in each voter only being able to cast votes for two members instead of being able now to decide on every seat. Republicans said the bill would end “outrageously expensive” countywide campaigns and better represents Wake’s small towns.


Related Local Government Articles:
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
Tarte’s reval bill designed to fix back tax issue
Greensboro goverance bill up for hear before Senate panel
LGBT supporters look to fall elections
Charlotte LGBT ordinance fails 6-5
Wake County sewing hundreds of acres into greenbelt

3.05.15 - Greensboro goverance bill up for hear before Senate panel

GREENSBORO — Senate Bill 36 — state Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill to reshape the Greensboro City Council — will have its coming out party in Raleigh today. And local folks plan to be there to see its debut. The Senate redistricting committee will consider the bill this afternoon. It will be the first legislative vetting of the controversial proposal — and the first time Wade will publicly make the pitch for it.


Related Local Government Articles:
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
GOP bill would change voting districts for Wake commission
Tarte’s reval bill designed to fix back tax issue
LGBT supporters look to fall elections
Charlotte LGBT ordinance fails 6-5
Wake County sewing hundreds of acres into greenbelt

3.05.15 - Tarte’s reval bill designed to fix back tax issue

CHARLOTTE — As promised, state Sen. Jeff Tarte introduced a bill this week that attempts to undo the “unfairness” of sticking Mecklenburg County property owners with back taxes during years they didn’t own the property. During the state-ordered review of Mecklenburg’s mistake-riddled 2011 revaluation, the owners of hundreds of undervalued parcels were sent bills for back taxes – totaling about $256,000 – for properties they didn’t own at the time of the billing.


Related Local Government Articles:
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
GOP bill would change voting districts for Wake commission
Greensboro goverance bill up for hear before Senate panel
LGBT supporters look to fall elections
Charlotte LGBT ordinance fails 6-5
Wake County sewing hundreds of acres into greenbelt

3.05.15 - Lottery secrecy bill draws fire in NC House panel

RALEIGH — Legislation to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous proved controversial in a House committee Wednesday, and legislators from both parties are looking for a compromise. Rep. Darren Jackson, a Wake County Democrat, wants the N.C. Education Lottery to keep the names of its biggest winners private – unless the winner chooses to publicly receive the oversized check.


Related Lottery & Gambling Articles:
JLF: Eastern NC’s lottery bug
Bill would bring secrecy to NC lottery
NC illegal gambling investigation could top $20 million
Appeals court upholds sweepstakes gaming convictions
Stam: Lottery ads misleading
New casino games fuel growth in Cherokee

3.05.15 - Guilford College facing budget crunch

GREENSBORO — Guilford College is once again facing a budget deficit because of a sharp drop in enrollment, especially among adult students. Three years after the private liberal arts college laid off 16 employees to balance its budget, Guilford is running a budget deficit of about $2 million this year.


Related Higher Education Articles:
Piedmont to merge with Tennessee Temple University
UNC Board of Governors votes to close 3 centers
UNC-CH grad school pushed to take players
UNC Board of Governors moves closer to closing centers
Fayetteville State nursing students ace license exam
Adjunct faculty, supporters demonstrate at UNC-CH
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