Archive: 2013 General Assembly

  • Voucher Supporters Call Ruling ‘Temporary Roadblock’

    RALEIGH — The move Thursday by Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood to strike down the state’s fledgling Opportunity Scholarships program is seen as a short-term setback by supporters of the private tuition vouchers. Even so, the ruling comes as parents were preparing to use those scholarships to send their children…

  • House Revolt Crashes Incentives Bill

    RALEIGH — Twenty-eight House Republicans bolted party ranks Tuesday, joining 26 Democrats to defeat an economic incentives program that some labeled “corporate welfare.” It was a rebuke to House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and Gov. Pat McCrory, all of whom championed the legislation.

  • Analysts: National Issues A Problem For Hagan

    RALEIGH — As Republicans continue to portray DemocraticU.S. Sen. Kay Hagan as joined at the hip to an unpopular President Obama, and with congressional approval ratings cratering, the freshman senator’s best campaign strategy is to avoid national issues, political observers say. Some pundits consider Hagan among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

  • Analysts: Abrupt End To Session Has Election Overtones

    RALEIGH — Competing House and Senate plans for Medicaid reform will be addressed after the Nov. 4 general election, but another stab at coal ash legislation could happen before then. Political analysts say Democrats will use that unfinished business to try to fire up their base while Republicans point to…

  • House Rejects Senate Revamp of Medicaid

    RALEIGH — Speculation is rampant that the General Assembly will pass a compromise $21.3 billion budget, then recess for several months while Medicaid discussions continue, though no officials have confirmed it. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis indicated Tuesday, during a joint press conference called to announce…

  • Counties Using Schools To Justify Sales Tax Hikes

    GREENSBORO — Guilford, and possibly Wake and Rockingham, will join Bladen, Mecklenburg, Richmond, and Brunswick counties with “local option sales tax referendums” on the Nov. 4 ballot. Each measure would hike the current tax rate by 0.25 percent. But a bill in the General Assembly could quash Mecklenburg’s referendum and…

  • Senate Set To Take Up Managed Care Medicaid Plan

    RALEIGH — Today’s Senate calendar includes a measure revamping Medicaid from the current fee-for-service model to one paying providers a set per-member-per month fee, moving Medicaid from the Department of Health and Human Services to a new department, and allowing hospital- and physician-led accountable care organizations to bid against insurance-based…

  • Senate Medicaid Plan Relies on Competition

    RALEIGH — The proposed legislation would sever Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice from the state Department of Health and Human Services. It would create a Department of Medical Benefits to administer those programs. As the General Assembly’s short session nears its close, it’s unclear whether the full Senate will adopt…

  • AFPNC Asks Lawmakers To Shift Film Subsidy Spending To Vouchers

    RALEIGH — A grass-roots group that backs school choice has asked the state Senate to shift $20 million it targeted for film incentives toward vouchers that would help low-income children attend private schools. Donald Bryson, deputy state director of Americans for Prosperity-North Carolina, said the move could resolve a lingering…