Daily Journal

5.26.15
Hard-Living Tar Heel Pioneers Banjo Music

Randolph County mill worker Charlie Poole became a national sensation during the 1920s.

CJ Ticker

Other Opinions

5.26.15
Budget debate

Patrick Gannon says that when the House finished debate on its $22 billion budget, many listeners had to wonder what of any consequence had been accomplished with all the talk.


5.26.15
Awaiting Raleigh

The Greensboro News & Record says that that local budget plans seem reasonable and responsible. The state Senate could still shake things up.


5.26.15
No political litmus

If GOP legislators try to see that the new UNC president passes an ideological litmus test, they can forget any chance of the university getting the leader it needs says the Raleigh News & Observer.


5.22.15
State audit, nepotism

Patrick Gannon says that it’s fairly rare that news out of state government surprises the seasoned and cynical reporters that cover the statehouse.


5.22.15
It’s my way or no giveaway

The Charlotte Observer writes that a N.C. donor’s outburst is a blunt example of a dangerous political culture.


5.08.15
Author of Naked Public Square Led an Extraordinary Life
Theologian and social critic Richard John Neuhaus argued that democratic pluralism promoted peace and social justice much better than any Marxist dogma.

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

House Budget Faces Uncertain Future

May 26, 2015, By Dan Way

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — An unusual coalition of 12 liberal Democrats and 11 conservative Republicans comprised the only formal opposition to the $22.1-billion General Fund budget passed around 1:00 a.m. May 22 by the state House of Representatives. The spending plan, approved by a 93-23 vote, is expected to undergo dramatic changes in the Senate and received a less-than-enthusiastic response by Gov. Pat McCrory, who has tended to align more closely with the lower chamber in fiscal debates.

05.26.15 - VIDEO: AFP Unveils Jobs Agenda for N.C.

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Lower taxes and government spending. Energy policy reform. Health care reform that focuses on the supply side. Deregulation of private-sector enterprises. These are the priorities set out in Americans for Prosperity’s new NC Jobs Agenda. AFP unveiled the agenda during a news conference Tuesday outside the State Capitol.

05.22.15 - Friday Interview: Relying on States to Help Curb National Debt

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The federal government spends more money each year than it collects in taxes and other revenue. That means annual spending deficits. Each deficit drives up the federal debt. Nick Dranias, president and executive director of the Compact for America Educational Foundation, has an interesting idea for addressing that problem. He discussed his proposal with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

5.26.15 - NC House budget sees unusual unity

RALEIGH — After months of negotiations and more than nine hours of debate, the state House early Friday approved a $22 billion budget with a surprising show of unity. About two-thirds of the chamber’s Democrats joined the majority of Republicans to pass the budget bill by an unusually bipartisan margin of 93-23. The naysayers were split between the most conservative and liberal representatives.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
JLF: JLF budget plan emphasizes savings, fiscal discipline
House budget proposal gets lots of Democratic votes
House approves $22.1B state budget plan
House GOP compromises on tax credit, fees
NC House budget passes in 94-23 bipartisan vote
House budget gets tweak for energy credits

5.26.15 - NC renewable energy tax credits more than doubled in 2014

RALEIGH — Despite skepticism among some lawmakers, North Carolina’s tax break for solar farms and other renewable energy projects continues gaining in popularity. In 2014, the state’s residents and businesses claimed $126.7 million in the tax credit, which is another way of saying that amount wasn’t paid in taxes by those who installed solar panels or any of 17 other renewable technologies.


Related Energy Articles:
New system for assessing impact of Duke scrubbers
NC argues fracking panel’s work valid
Green energy finds a defender in former Duke Energy chief
Coal ash begins exit from Riverbend power plant
JLF: Facts on fracking
Judge halts fracking commission from issuing permits

5.26.15 - NC argues fracking panel’s work valid

RALEIGH — State environmental regulators are arguing that even if the commission that created North Carolina’s first fracking regulations is found to be unconstitutional the work it has done is still valid. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources makes that argument in a lawsuit brought against the state by an environmental group and a Lee County resident who lives next to land leased for natural gas extraction.


Related Energy Articles:
New system for assessing impact of Duke scrubbers
NC renewable energy tax credits more than doubled in 2014
Green energy finds a defender in former Duke Energy chief
Coal ash begins exit from Riverbend power plant
JLF: Facts on fracking
Judge halts fracking commission from issuing permits

5.26.15 - New system for assessing impact of Duke scrubbers

CHARLOTTE — Buried in Duke Energy’s $102 million settlement of federal charges linked to coal ash this month is an unrelated provision that might cost Duke even more money. Duke agreed to a claims process for municipal water systems affected by power-plant scrubbers that make air emissions cleaner.


Related Energy Articles:
NC argues fracking panel’s work valid
NC renewable energy tax credits more than doubled in 2014
Green energy finds a defender in former Duke Energy chief
Coal ash begins exit from Riverbend power plant
JLF: Facts on fracking
Judge halts fracking commission from issuing permits

5.26.15 - NC receives another food stamp warning

RALEIGH — The state must get faster at approving food stamp applications or risk losing money that supports the program, a federal agency warned this week. The state takes too long to process food stamp applications and is consistently below an acceptable rate, said a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture dated Thursday.


Related Social Services Articles:
N.C. foster care bill receives a boost
NC FAST system still headache for DSS
Hope, hurdles in mental health: Cardinal’s first year
Asheville struggles with enough housing for the poor
House panel approves foster care bill
Senate panel approves foster care bill

5.26.15 - N.C. foster care bill receives a boost

WINSTON-SALEM — The N.C. House’s passage of its budget proposal Thursday has breathed new life into one of two bills proposing changes to foster care services. Included in the budget was funding for House Bill 424, which would extend the age limit for individuals in foster care and guardianship from 18 to 19. The bill, along with Senate Bill 424, is titled “Fostering Success.”


Related Social Services Articles:
NC receives another food stamp warning
NC FAST system still headache for DSS
Hope, hurdles in mental health: Cardinal’s first year
Asheville struggles with enough housing for the poor
House panel approves foster care bill
Senate panel approves foster care bill

5.26.15 - Doctors learn lessons from deadly North Carolina flu season

FAYETTEVILLE — Doctors in North Carolina learned an important lesson after last year’s flu vaccine wasn’t as effective as usual — in times like that, secondary treatments like antiviral medications are even more important. State officials said 219 people died this past flu season in North Carolina, the most deaths since the Department of Health and Human Services began tracking flu deaths in 2009.


Related Health Care Policy Articles:
JLF: The Mechanics of Medicaid
Where you grow up in North Carolina affects your life span
Health advocates want state funding restored
House Medicaid budget provision draws fire
N.C. health mandates get rosier views at General Assembly
WFU professor advocates blending ACOs, private providers

5.26.15 - Health advocates want state funding restored

RALEIGH — For years, health advocates used prevention campaigns to stop teen smoking before it starts, but state funding for such efforts was snuffed out just as e-cigarettes started growing in popularity. From 2011 to 2013, the number of North Carolina high school students who started using electronic cigarettes rose by an estimated 352 percent, according to a study by the state Division of Public Health.


Related Health Care Policy Articles:
JLF: The Mechanics of Medicaid
Where you grow up in North Carolina affects your life span
Doctors learn lessons from deadly North Carolina flu season
House Medicaid budget provision draws fire
N.C. health mandates get rosier views at General Assembly
WFU professor advocates blending ACOs, private providers

5.26.15 - Where you grow up in North Carolina affects your life span

CHARLOTTE — Children born in mountainous Watauga County can expect to live almost 82 years – on par with some of the world’s healthiest countries. But for those who grow up in rural Swain County, just 140 miles to the southwest, it’s a different world. They can expect to live just 73 years – roughly the same as those born in Cambodia.


Related Health Care Policy Articles:
JLF: The Mechanics of Medicaid
Health advocates want state funding restored
Doctors learn lessons from deadly North Carolina flu season
House Medicaid budget provision draws fire
N.C. health mandates get rosier views at General Assembly
WFU professor advocates blending ACOs, private providers

5.26.15 - UNC-CH gets notice from NCAA, but document not released

RALEIGH — UNC-Chapel Hill officials now know the results of a nearly yearlong investigation by the NCAA into the longstanding academic fraud that involved 3,100 students over an 18-year-period. But the only clue the university provided about the NCAA’s findings, known as a Notice of Allegations, is that they are lengthy. UNC officials declined to make the document immediately available.


Related Higher Education Articles:
Medicaid director to become new UNC Pembroke chancellor
UNC-CH creates online program for military students
UNC search panel debates how to identify next leader
The continuing education of John Fennebresque
Former player charged with violating sports agent law
CFCC becoming a magnet for students farther afield

5.26.15 - Ethics law doesn’t pertain to fundraisers on NCDOT board

RALEIGH — Two of Gov. Pat McCrory’s five appointees to the Board of Transportation this spring are Republican fundraisers. A blind spot in state ethics law prevents the public from seeing how much money they helped McCrory collect from campaign donors. When the governor’s first batch of appointees filed their disclosure forms two years ago, one of them reported having raised more than $100,000 to help McCrory win election in 2012.


Related NC Ethics & Corruption Articles:
Senator’s private legal work mixes with state policy
After SEANC debacle, employees’ group looks to rebound
Man pleads guilty to supplying NC with bad bridge parts
Piedmont Triad Partnership investigates irregularities
Bill seeks to slow revolving door
Ex-SEANC leader Dana Cope misspent $500K, audit finds

5.26.15 - North Carolina considers law to regulate virtual currencies

RALEIGH — Legislators in America’s second-largest banking center are considering regulations for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. North Carolina’s banking commissioner is seeking legislative authority to require that companies circulating digital IOUs meet consumer protection, anti-money laundering and other standards. Legislation passed the state House earlier this month and is pending in the Senate.


Related Regulation Articles:
Celebrities urge McCrory to veto ‘ag-gag’ bill
Alochol provisions all rolled into one Senate bill
JLF: How sunset laws can improve North Carolina’s regulatory climate
‘Ag-gag’ bill goes to governor
Senate OKs ‘ag-gag’ bill targeting undercover workers
Airbnb to collect and pay taxes in North Carolina

5.26.15 - Concealed carry permits soar amid political, safety fears

ASHEVILLE — After a couple of break-ins and with her husband out of town on business at times, Kim Smith Worley decided to take her safety into her own hands. Just as millions of other Americans have in recent years, she bought a gun and got her concealed carry permit, which allows her to legally carry the weapon on her or in her car, as long as she abides by state laws.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Lawmakers look to crack down on graffiti
Durham accepting federal assist on violence
House budget creates new grants for body cameras
North Carolina ACLU launches ‘the people’s body cameras’
ACLU app lets users record exchanges with police
Supreme Court hears tale of a trooper’s missing hat

5.26.15 - Lawmakers look to crack down on graffiti

RALEIGH — State senators are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to create a new class of crime for graffiti, which could lead to prison time for repeat offenders. House Bill 552 would separate graffiti from other forms of vandalism and would charge with a felony anyone with two previous convictions for “graffiti vandalism” or anyone charged with five or more such violations in a 60-day period.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Concealed carry permits soar amid political, safety fears
Durham accepting federal assist on violence
House budget creates new grants for body cameras
North Carolina ACLU launches ‘the people’s body cameras’
ACLU app lets users record exchanges with police
Supreme Court hears tale of a trooper’s missing hat

5.26.15 - Tillis bill would designate Wilmington ‘World War II City’

WILMINGTON — Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced legislation Friday that would designate Wilmington as the country’s first “American World War II City.” The bill co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., would designate one city each year as a World War II City, starting with Wilmington because of the city’s contributions to the war.


Related NC History Articles:
N.C. denies claims in Blackbeard’s pirate ship dispute
Bennett Place played key role in Civil War’s end
USS North Carolina needs repairs
Ballot box holds secrets of rigged mountain election
Legislation would designate Wilmington as first 'American World War II City'
Re-enactment of Bentonville battle expected to draw 40,000

Week in Review

Upcoming Events

Monday, June 01, 2015 at 12:00 p.m
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Tyler Collins

Adopting Drones For The U.S. Airspace

Monday, June 08, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. Peggy Smith

Great Learning Starts With Great Leaders

Monday, June 15, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. Sara Imhof

Deficits Down, Debt Up, and the 2016 Presidential Race: Let's Talk Fiscal Policy

The Locker Room ~ John Locke Foundation's Statewide Issues Blog