Daily Journal

9.03.15
Families Deserve Fully Funded School Options

Current funding levels deprive too many families the means to secure a better future for their children.

CJ Ticker

  • Charlotte keeps No. 1 ranking in annual JLF By The Numbers local tax-and-fee burden rankings.
  • Adverse selection plays key role in Blue Cross' 34.6 percent rate increase, according to new JLF report.
  • JLF report shows N.C. counties promised $284 million in targeted incentives over a five-year period.
  • JLF report uses "reverse logrolling" technique to identify $383 million in additional state budget savings.
  • JLF report critiques industry lobbying group's misleading study on the N.C. renewable energy mandate and electricity rates.
  • JLF reports documents N.C. certificate-of-need problems, urges law's repeal.
  • JLF report explains why repeal is necessary to address all N.C. Map Act problems.
  • JLF's alternative N.C. budget focuses on savings, fiscal discipline.

Other Opinions

9.03.15
Redistricting reform

The Fayetteville Observer says North Carolina should turn redistricting over to an impartial panel and make the voter, not political power, the most important principle.


9.03.15
Righting a wrong

The Senators should work on passing a House bill that offers relief to North Carolina residents whose retirement accounts are taken by ill-gotten means says the Burlington Times-News.


9.03.15
Education funding

The Charlotte Observer says that House leaders should not accept the Senate’s additional demand that the teacher assistant money be used exclusively for teacher assistants.


9.02.15
In familiar territory

Rob Christensen writes that it’s probably fair to say that Donald Trump has replaced Jesse Helms as “the icon of Mexico bashing.”


9.02.15
Five budget questions

Patrick Gannon says that the last week brought an optimistic tone to lingering budget negotiations on Jones Street, but plenty of important issues remain undecided.


9.01.15
Sen. Ted Cruz Draws Parallels to 1980 In Political Manifesto
Sen. Ted Cruz sees America much as it was in 1980, seeking a strong yet principled leader. But his political memoir reminds us how difficult it is for even reformers to change the status quo.

Media Mangle

7.16.15
We Must Value the First Amendment

The notion of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" has given way, even among journalists, to a multicultural fetish against offending anyone who is not Western, or who is among a media-anointed "victim class.


6.16.15
Telling Both Sides of the Story

Those who read, watch, and listen to the news lose when media outlets decide to ignore the “wrong” side.


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.

Carolina Beat

8.28.15
Limit Sessions, Expand Freedom?

Lead Story

Lawmakers May Combine All 2016 Primaries

September 03, 2015, By Barry Smith

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Lawmakers could be moving all of next year’s North Carolina’s primaries to March 15. The state House on Wednesday rejected a Senate-approved plan to hold only the presidential preference primary on March 15, 2016. Under that plan, the other North Carolina primaries — including those for U.S. Senate, governor, Council of State, state legislative races, and hundreds of local races — would have taken place May 3.

09.02.15 - Survey: UNC System Grads Deficient in Work Skills

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Results from an employer survey recently released by the University of North Carolina system suggest that graduates of the state’s 16 public universities — especially those from less selective schools — are deficient in terms of their written and oral communication, work ethic, and workplace etiquette.

09.01.15 - Wind Farm Project Could Disrupt Radar

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Despite initial concerns by the U.S. Navy that a massive wind farm near Elizabeth City will disrupt a sophisticated radar station located near the Virginia-North Carolina border, the $400 million project will proceed. The radar system provides critical surveillance capability to support the Southern Command’s program to detect and monitor drug-smuggling aircraft and ships from Central and South America.

Editorial Cartoon

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Headlines

9.03.15 - House adds wrinkle in primary campaign scheduling

RALEIGH — Lawmakers in the state House on Wednesday put on hold a bill that would have set up two primaries this spring – one on March 15 for presidential candidates and a second, in May, for other statewide offices. Now, legislators are considering combining the primaries into the March date as a cost-saving measure.


Related Elections Articles:
NC Supreme Court reconsiders 2011 redistricting
Voting maps back before NC Supreme Court
Fate of 2011 legislative, congressional maps back in court
Appeals court won’t reconsider Wake school board decision
Future of voter ID lawsuit heard in N.C. state court
Challenge to NC voter ID law set for hearing in state court
Races Take Shape as 2012 Primary Season Officially Gets Underway

9.03.15 - No Labor Day break for NC budget negotiators

RALEIGH — House and Senate budget negotiators said they’ll be working through Labor Day weekend to reach a final agreement by next week. “Those who are working on the budget should plan to see what Raleigh’s like on the weekend,” House Speaker Tim Moore said as Wednesday’s session wrapped up.


Related NC Budget and Tax Articles:
JLF: JLF budget plan emphasizes savings, fiscal discipline
McCrory: Progress on budget, Medicaid, bonds
Senate budget offer met with skepticism
Senate offers deal to fund teacher assistants, driver’s ed
NC budget talks extended again; agreement appears to be in reach
NC budget agreement reached on worker pay, spending targets

9.03.15 - NC test scores static, student growth slips

RALEIGH — Fewer schools met North Carolina’s overall targets for academic improvement in the most recent year, according to new test results, even as the high school graduation rate jumped to what state officials called a historic high. The data released Wednesday also show that student performance on the state standardized tests has remained largely static from a year ago.


Related Education Articles:
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools graduation rate tops 85 percent
Wake County to review its magnet school program
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Wake wrestling with 2016-17 school calendar options
Groups demand Wake reduce black student suspensions
ACT test scores are stagnant in NC

9.03.15 - Lawsuit: Hospitals cheated Medicare out of millions

CHARLOTTE — A newly unsealed lawsuit alleges that Carolinas Medical Center and N.C. Baptist Hospital have fraudulently obtained tens of millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid through an arrangement that artificially inflated their expenses. The federal suit, filed by Forsyth County whistleblower Joe Vincoli, contends that the two hospitals overstated their costs – and thereby extracted more money from Medicare – by using a company that they own to provide health benefits to their employees.


Related Health Care Policy Articles:
Should NC restrict health care options?
Legislators near Medicaid deal as agency fights for its future
Audit: Managed care company for poor patients saves NC money
JLF: The Case Against CON
944,000 sign up for health coverage, 6 percent from NC
House, Senate negotiators pursue ‘hybrid’ Medicaid model

9.03.15 - Jetties arise as budget issue

RALEIGH — North Carolina would allow more terminal groins – jetties that protect barrier islands from erosion – if state senators get their way in the state budget. The move would be controversial, with some advocates saying the structures are costly and environmentally harmful. But senators insist that protecting barrier islands would save money in the long run.


Related Coastal Issues Articles:
Locals oppose Figure Eight Island terminal groin
Beach driving restrictions at Cape Hatteras open for debate
N.C. sea turtle nest numbers rebound
Manatees regular visitors to N.C. coast, researcher finds
Reef protections aim to grow fish stocks
JLF: Catch shares could help fight problem of declining N.C. fish stocks

9.03.15 - Locals oppose Figure Eight Island terminal groin

WILMINGTON — As the Figure Eight Island homeowners association continues its years-long push to bring a terminal groin to the island, other locals are shoving back. At a public hearing on the project’s future Wednesday, speakers rose one by one to oppose it. The proposed terminal groin — a low-slung structure that extends into the ocean to trap sand and build up the beach — would sit on the north end of the island next to Rich Inlet.


Related Coastal Issues Articles:
Jetties arise as budget issue
Beach driving restrictions at Cape Hatteras open for debate
N.C. sea turtle nest numbers rebound
Manatees regular visitors to N.C. coast, researcher finds
Reef protections aim to grow fish stocks
JLF: Catch shares could help fight problem of declining N.C. fish stocks

9.03.15 - Research finds potential radioactive threat in coal ash

DURHAM — Environmental scientists at Duke University published research Wednesday showing that coal ash might contain harmful levels of radioactive material. The research could open a whole new avenue in the debate over the coal waste emitted by power plants and its potential impact on human health, said Avner Vengosh, a Duke Univeristy professor of geochemistry and water quality who co-wrote the new paper.


Related Energy Articles:
Stokes commissioners may consider fracking moratorium
Duke power line would damage Polk County, McHenry says
Utility meeting set in NC on Duke lines
JLF: Facts on fracking
Duke: Contaminated groundwater not reaching private wells
Drones are taking flight for Duke Energy

9.03.15 - House votes to criminalize most GPS tracking

RALEIGH — State House lawmakers voted Wednesday to ban the use of GPS devices to track people in most cases. Senate Bill 238 would add GPS tracking to the definition of “cyberstalking,” which is a Class 2 misdemeanor under state law. Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, the House manager of the bill, said it makes exceptions for law enforcement, rental or fleet vehicle owners, creditors and car manufacturers in some cases.


Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Attorney general won’t retry Kerrick
Kerrick case exposes a divide within CMPD
Jurors agreed race wasn’t at issue in Kerrick trial
Crime lab backlog continues to delay death penalty case
Charloyye crime ticks upward again
Kerrick trial puts CMPD’s use of Tasers under scrutiny

9.03.15 - Quick anger, little action on Confederate plates in NC

RALEIGH — As a renewed debate over the Confederate battle flag smoldered across the South this summer, Helen Anderson got online and – for the first time in her life – sent a message to the governor. Hours earlier, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office told reporters that the “time is right” for the Division of Motor Vehicles to stop offering specialty license plates bearing the insignia of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.


Related State Government Articles:
Residents on the state line: Keep us in South Carolina
Under-used state offices targeted
House OKs tougher requirement for jobless benefits
McCrory gets way on jobless benefit review board
House passes bill to require unemployed to bump up job search
JLF: Two new departments?

9.03.15 - State approves payments to McCollum and Brown

RALEIGH — The state of North Carolina on Wednesday formally approved the payment of $750,000 each to Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, half-brothers who spent more than 30 years in prison for a murder they did not commit. The action came exactly one year after a Superior Court judge declared the two men innocent of the 1983 murder of an 11-year-old girl in Robeson County.


Related NC Courts & Justice Articles:
Court: $50 charge is a fine and must go to schools
JLF: Improving juvenile justice
NC Supreme Court sends Jason Young case back to lower court
Garner murder trial highlights use of interpreters
Reynolds appeals to Supreme Court in RICO case
Education judge, Howard Manning, to retire
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