State Government | 2012 Archive
Apr. 25th Medicaid Shortfall Has Lawmakers and Governor Scrambling
RALEIGH — State lawmakers are pushing to inject more fiscal discipline and better forecasting into Medicaid budgeting to end a series of annual overruns that have required tapping into the state’s General Fund. The shortfall was $200 million two years ago and $600 million last year.
Apr. 20th Four GOP Contenders Say Secretary of State's Office Shortchanges Businesses
RALEIGH — Four candidates are squaring off in the May 8 Republican primary for the right to challenge incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall in the November general election.
Apr. 20th The Opposition Fractures
Natural gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, may be moving forward in North Carolina. The General Assembly is ready to authorize it.
Apr. 19th Commerce ‘Sustainability’ Official Still On Job
RALEIGH — Not only did Henry McKoy give no indication that he planned to leave; he also did not acknowledge that Secretary Keith Crisco asked for his resignation. Moreover, McKoy insisted that he and Crisco would answer questions from Commerce employees during a conference call with staff sometime next week.
Apr. 18th Tax Policies Constrain North Carolina’s Economic Ranking
RALEIGH — The Economic Outlook Rank is a forecast based on a state’s current standing in 15 equally weighted policy variables, each of which is influenced directly by state lawmakers. Some of the variables examined are top marginal personal and corporate income tax rates, property tax burden, sales tax burden, estate/inheritance tax, state minimum wage, and right-to-work laws.
Apr. 18th Two Republicans Seek Senate Seat Held For a Generation by Basnight
RALEIGH — Both Rep. Bill Cook and real estate broker Jerry Evans describe themselves as fiscal conservatives and say government is too intrusive. And both say residents want new blood in the legislative seat held for nearly three decades by Democrat Marc Basnight, the former Senate president pro tem.
Apr. 16th General Assembly Republicans Target Cities That Sued Over Annexation Reform
RALEIGH — Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir, believes the ruling against the General Assembly’s annexation reforms will not survive an appeal. Meantime, Republican leaders could introduce a law that would repeal nine annexations now under way.
Apr. 16th Four-Way Primary Has Republicans Battling to Replace Faison
RALEIGH — When Bill Faison decided to forgo running for re-election to the state House and run for governor, few would have predicted that his heavily Democratic district would provoke so much interest from Republicans. The GOP contenders think newly drawn district lines are cause for hope.
Apr. 13th Friday Interview: Tackling North Carolina’s Unemployment Debt
RALEIGH — North Carolina owes the federal government $2.8 billion the state borrowed to pay unemployment benefits since the depths of the Great Recession. Fergus Hodgson, John Locke Foundation director of fiscal policy studies, says the Tar Heel State has dug a particularly large fiscal hole for itself. He discussed the issue with Donna Martinez for Carolina Journal Radio.
Apr. 13th How Governments Abuse Their Power
We’ve fallen pretty far down the slippery slope of abusive government. Let’s start climbing.
Apr. 12th Another Commerce Official Involved In Sustainability Nonprofit
RALEIGH — The arrangement under which high state government officials serve as officers of a nonprofit to which they, as state employees, attempt to funnel taxpayer funds has raised some eyebrows.
Apr. 11th Lobbyists for Government Will Greet Lawmakers At Short Session
RALEIGH — As of March 28, eight North Carolina counties and 10 municipalities were listed as principals in the North Carolina General Assembly Lobbying Directory. The local governments are sprinkled among more than 660 lobbyists and 700 principals registered to lobby on behalf of businesses, industries, and advocates for and against specific causes and issues.
Apr. 11th Three GOP Contenders Vie For House District 6
RALEIGH — The three Republican candidates say they are for limited government, smaller state budgets, reduced taxes, and eliminating federal intervention and environmental regulations that are destroying the beach-and-tourism economy of House District 6.
Apr. 10th WakeMed, Rex Spar Over Level of Charity Care
RALEIGH — As a system, UNC Health Care and Rex Healthcare reported nearly $250 million in community benefit in 2010, compared with WakeMed’s $180 million. WakeMed officials counter that UNC hospitals are located in Chapel Hill, not Wake County, so much of UNC’s uncompensated care benefits people outside of WakeMed’s service area.
Apr. 10th How Governments Abuse Their Power
Using public cost as an excuse for intruding on the rights of private individuals is a common temptation. It must be resisted.
Apr. 5th Commerce Official Tries To Divert Money To His Nonprofit
RALEIGH — A senior official in the North Carolina Department of Commerce launched a scheme in November to direct more than $2 million in federal funds to a small Raleigh-based nonprofit organization that he chaired last year. Henry McKoy failed to disclose the relationship on his statement of economic interest.
Apr. 3rd Fracking Opponents State Case At DENR-Sponsored Hearing
CHAPEL HILL — Nearly 700 placard-waving people filled the East Chapel Hill High School auditorium March 27 and still more were turned away due to crowding. Fifty of the 90-plus people who signed up to speak at the public hearing testified during the lively three-hour proceeding.
Apr. 3rd JLF Expert Urges N.C. to Replace Existing State Income Tax
RALEIGH — North Carolina would boost economic growth and wealth creation by replacing its existing income tax with a new "flat-rate consumed income tax." That's the prescription the John Locke Foundation's top economist offers in a new Spotlight report.
Apr. 2nd Department of Labor Giving National Job Data Security Review
RALEIGH — Federal officials say they want states to protect employment information while it is protected by an embargo, but they haven’t offered specific guidelines. The government has hired Sandia National Laboratories to review security procedures for federal data.
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