State Government | 2007 Archive


Aug. 28th — Interview: Decker Discusses His Fall
RALEIGH — Rep. Michael Decker knew he was doing wrong, but he did it anyway because “it got easy to lie,” he said in an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal.

Aug. 27th — Decker Job Process Questionable
RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley, Cultural Resources Secretary Libba Evans, or their designees apparently violated state law in 2005 when they honored former House Speaker Jim Black’s request to provide a job for former Rep. Michael Decker.

Aug. 21th — Ruling Allows Town to Extend Jurisdiction
RALEIGH — N.C. law allows municipalities to extend their zoning regulations to cover neighboring unincorporated areas under certain circumstances. Under state law, cities and towns may do so without the consent of affected residents. The legality of one such extraterritorial jurisdiction extension was recently at issue before the state’s second highest court ruling that Alamance County acted improperly in attempting to stop the town of Green Level from extending its zoning to unincorporated areas.

Aug. 20th — Lawmakers Avoid Transportation Fix
RALEIGH — Many motorists had hoped the General Assembly would have increased funding for North Carolina’s transportation system, but lawmakers actually cut appropriations for roads in the recently adjourned session of the legislature.

Aug. 20th — No. 951 How "Elastic" Are Lottery Sales
North Carolina will be making the 2-year-old lottery more attractive to play. As part of the just-concluded state budget, the lottery rules were changed to permit higher prize payouts. The hope is that better winnings will increase ticket sales and increase profits, or net proceeds, to the state.

Aug. 17th — Friday Interview: Pandemic planning
RALEIGH — No one likes the flu, but imagine a flu season that proves more widespread than those we have been accustomed to dealing with: an influenza pandemic. It’s a possibility discussed during a recent speech for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. Mark Holmes, vice president of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, delivered the speech. He also spoke with Mitch Kokai for Carolina Journal Radio.

Aug. 16th — Voters Denied Eminent Domain Vote
RALEIGH — The chances for a statewide vote on property rights protection dimmed this summer, when the N.C. Senate refused to endorse a constitutional amendment targeting eminent domain abuse. Voters will not address the issue before 2008.

Aug. 16th — No. 950 A Short History of the Lost State of Franklin in Western N.C.
In North Carolina, regionalism has existed since day one. In August 1784, western North Carolinians established the State of Franklin — “the only de facto state that functioned in every aspect of statal power,” writes historian Samuel Cole Williams. After a civil war in the mountains, however, the “Lost State of Franklin” ceased in February 1789.

Aug. 15th — Johnson & Wales Is Halfway There
RALEIGH – While it didn't fulfill the $10 million promise in state money that disgraced former House Speaker Jim Black committed in 2002, the General Assembly gave Johnson & Wales University another $2 million in this year's budget, which nudges the culinary school more than halfway toward its goal.

Aug. 14th — New Law Targets Illegals in County Jails
RALEIGH — North Carolina will take new steps in 2008 to find illegal immigrants jailed on felony and drunken driving charges. The General Assembly approved the measures during the closing days of the legislative session.

Aug. 10th — Friday Interview: Health Care Policy
RALEIGH — Perhaps no public policy issue is more vexing to policymakers and more of a concern to average North Carolinians than health care: the cost, access to care, health insurance. Carolina Journal Radio's Donna Martinez recently discussed the topic with John Locke Foundation fiscal policy analyst Joseph Coletti.

Aug. 10th — A Telling Turn of Phrase
Voters understand, even if newspaper editorialists do not, that when the tax burden rises, most of them will be givers, not getters.

Aug. 10th — The Theory and Practice of Interns
Sure, we send them out for supplies. They move chairs and boxes, collect fees at events, make copies, and man the telephones. They are valuable assets to our research staff and our administrators. The Locke interns work at the interesection of theory and policy here, so reading economic and political theory to inform policy is an integral part of our intern program. I think it's a win-win-win approach.

Aug. 9th — N.C. Customers to Pay Out-of-State Electric Bills
RALEIGH – North Carolina electricity customers could soon be forced to pay as much as $125 million a year for electricity they’ll never use. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report notes that money would fund out-of-state electricity use instead.

Aug. 8th — Legislators Defer Steep-Slope Regulations
RALEIGH — Legislators representing western N.C. counties attempted to tighten control over local ordinances through House Bill 1756, which called for greater regulation of development on steep slopes. The bill was deferred until the next session of the General Assembly.

Aug. 6th — Senator Faces Ethics Complaint
RALEIGH – A complaint against N.C. Sen. Fletcher Hartsell was filed last week with the State Board of Ethics, alleging that in a rezoning and forced-annexation case his roles as an elected official and as a lawyer for a developer and the Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County were a conflict of interest.

Aug. 3rd — The Bitter Fruits of “Deliberation”
If the North Carolina General Assembly was just going to end its 2007 session with a 10 percent spending increase, roughly $1 billion a year in new taxes and electricity rate hikes, and more welfare for corporations and politicians, couldn’t it at least have done its damage months ago and left Raleigh?

Aug. 2nd — The Tos & Froms of the Lottery
“It’s more of a dictatorship in the Senate. You’ve got four or five people, maybe two, calling every shot over there.”

Aug. 1st — Well, Of Course He Was
In what may go down as the least-surprising political news story of 2007, Black confirmed that Don Beason was the lobbyist who loaned him half-a-million dollars back in 2000.

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