(12.16.10) Public Employee Pension Debt Explodes
RALEIGH — If government officials were forced to apply the same uniform accounting methods that private pension plan administrators must use to calculate liabilities, experts say the funding shortfall would be five times greater than the amount being reported by state and local governments.
(12.01.10) GOP House Delegation Poised to Gain Clout in 112th Congress
RALEIGH — Between the 60-plus seats Republicans picked up in the House and the six they gained in the Senate, upcoming changes in committee and subcommittee leadership should boost the state’s influence.
(11.16.10) N.C. Counties and Municipalities Missing Deadlines on Financial Reporting
RALEIGH — A review of county and municipal data on the Treasurer’s website shows that seven counties and dozens of municipalities missed the deadline to file their audited financial statements due on Oct. 31, 2009, the latest year for which data are available. Meantime, 53 municipalities have failed to file a report for two or more years.
(11.09.10) N.C. Dog Breeders Wary of Missouri Referendum
RALEIGH — Opponents say the referendum would not prevent cruelty and neglect because it does not address all dogs, just those that are part of a breeding program. Instead, critics say the law would cause economic harm to licensed responsible dog breeders by forcing them to comply with arbitrary, costly, and unenforceable regulations.
(10.12.10) Pig Pickin’ Ban in North Carolina?
RALEIGH — Several cities in California, Colorado, and other states have banned outdoor grilling — particularly where wood or charcoal is involved — at parks and other public areas and at events including weekend festivals. And if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightens its regulations covering coarse particulate matter in 2011, mobile smokers could be endangered.
(10.08.10) Democrats Select N.C. Senate 19 as Essential Race
RALEIGH — N.C. Senate District 19, considered a swing district, comprises all of Bladen County and part of Cumberland County.
(9.27.10) Federal Food Safety Legislation Hits New Snag
RALEIGH — With 15 agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and even the Environmental Protection Agency now regulating food safety, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said a lack of regulations isn’t the problem. Instead, Coburn has cited “inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources” for gaps in enforcement.
(9.27.10) Hollo, Munday Vie for Open Seat in State House District 88
RALEIGH — Earlier this year, the Raleigh-based North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation said the 88th District has the highest percentage of Republican voters of any district now represented by a Democrat, making it perhaps the best opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat.
(9.23.10) House 93 Candidates Differ on Legislative Priorities
RALEIGH — House District 93, comprising Ashe and Watauga counties, is among the top 10 most competitive seats in this year’s midterm elections, according to the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation, a Raleigh-based nonpartisan research and education organization.
(9.09.10) Budget Reform Commission Has Major Tasks Ahead
RALEIGH — To date, the commission has made several recommendations adopted by the General Assembly that should save millions of tax dollars annually over time. But with the state facing multibillion-dollar deficits for years to come, critics say BRAC must get much more aggressive if it is to live up to the goals Gov. Bev Perdue articulated initially.