• Weekly Report 2004-05-28

    For the week of May 28, 2004 – carolinajournal.com Reaction of the Week Two Raleigh-based research organizations with contrasting political philosophies joined forces to foster a broader and more constructive dialogue on North Carolina public policy with the debut Wednesday…

  • Senate Panel Pulls Incentives Bill

    RALEIGH — A bill that would expand funding and the number of projects that can be subsidized for economic development was tabled in a Senate Finance Committee meeting Tuesday. Both Democrat and Republican senators doubted the worth of the Job Development Investment Grant program in a lively debate. Some thought the legislation might have failed in a vote before its sponsor, GOP Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord, asked that the bill be set aside. Current law allows the state to provide tax-rebate incentives for 15 businesses per year, with up to $10 million per year for the entire program. The new legislation would increase the potential number of projects to 25, at a cost of up to $18 million annually.

  • On Milking A State’s “Cash Cow”

    RALEIGH — A workshop conducted in late March, led by experts in getting economic development incentives from state and local governments, shows that large companies are now banding together to learn how to extract as much public money as possible from elected officials. The seminar taught dozens of corporate government-relations executives how to “Turn Your State Government Relations Department from a Money Pit into a Cash Cow.” It urged companies in part to “involve elected officials in press announcements;” to “thank everybody a zillion times;” and to “be mindful of the election and legislative cycle.” Two NC lawmakers criticized the presentation and what it signified.

  • Easley Proposes $16 Billion Budget

    RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley released his mid-biennium budget term adjustments yesterday, which he said maintained his priorities for spending discipline, creating jobs, and improving public education. Forecasters anticipate economic growth by a rate of 5.5 percent for 2004-05, which raised revenue expectations by $200 million. Easley’s revised budget comes in at almost $15.9 billion. Increased spending over last year includes $119 million for education enrollment, $231 million for state employee retirees and health coverage, $220 million for pay increases, and $80 million for servicing debt and capital expenditures. Also, last year’s temporary Medicaid relief from the federal government was removed, so state spending on it will increase by $182 million.

  • The Fiscal Choice We Face

    The 2004 session of the General Assembly began Monday with Gov. Mike Easley's $16 billion budget proposal. It helped to bring North Carolina's fiscal choice into stark relief.

  • NC Lagging in Workforce Development

    RALEIGH — A lack of education and vocational training has left North Carolina lagging in the competitive race of building a competent workforce to attract new corporations and businesses to the state. Community colleges leader Martin Lancaster said the system is doing its best to bridge the gap across the state through tech prep and other programs, but he thinks the state is on a collision course with disaster.“Forty-eight percent of recent high school graduates that enroll in community college need remediation in either reading, writing, or mathematics,” he said. “It’s a very bad sign that puts the North Carolina economic future at risk.”

  • Volume 11, Number 4 – April 2004

    Cover • No matter how North Carolina slices them, “targeted economic incentives” — such as the $534 million package offered to Boeing to start a new plant at the Global TransPark in Kinston — discriminate against companies already doing business in the state, both supporters and opponents of the inducements…

  • Weekly Report 2004-03-26

    For the week of March 26, 2004 – carolinajournal.com Reaction of the Week We’re past the preseason phase of North Carolina politics, when candidates were just beginning to announce their intentions and organize their campaigns. The 2004 season is now fully…

  • Weekly Report 2004-03-05

    For the week of March 05, 2004 – carolinajournal.com Reaction of the Week National attention paid to the Democratic presidential nomination process diminished this week, as Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry brushed aside his final serious opponent, North Carolina Sen. John…