To see the follow-up, click here. Many underprivileged kids in Durham County got a very cold Christmas present last year, as around 250 children on a Smart Start scholarship for government subsidized childcare were abruptly and unexpectedly dropped from their scholarship, leaving them with few other alternatives for affordable childcare. Furthermore – the agency responsible, [...]
In a bold move to proactively address an historical budget shortfall expected this summer, Senator Richard Stevens (R – Wake) and two other Republican senators, introduced SB 13, also known as the Balanced Budget Act of 2011, early last week. In anticipation of a $3.7 billion shortfall, the bill empowers Gov. Perdue to hold back [...]
On an otherwise dreary Wednesday afternoon, a newly instated and historical legislative body wasted no time in setting the tone for the 2011-12 session with a series of substantial changes in legislative procedure. Wielding a strong governing mandate, Republican leadership moved quickly to enact a new set of rules to govern their respective legislative bodies [...]
2011 finds North Carolina in the abyss of recession: high unemployment, low private sector job growth, and state government scrambling to fill a $3.7 billion budget hole. In a year when state finances are scarcer than any other time in recent history, virtually all government programs will be cut back; it is merely a question of how much.
Within minutes of the legislative body taking the oath of office, Senate leadership pushed through a number of procedural reforms that were at times contentious and other times universally applauded. On the one hand, many concessions were made to the minority party as a gesture of good will. The Republican administration harped on the conditions [...]
Reflecting on the economic reality in North Carolina throughout the recently-completed year of 2010 reveals some grim truths about the so-called stimulus, which should have by now long since rescued us from the depths of recession.
Nearly $800 billion and two years later, state government analysts are revealing the true impotence of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); aka the federal stimulus bill. Recent data produced by North Carolina’s Fiscal Research Division shows that the federal stimulus in North Carolina has failed to live up to its name in terms of private sector job growth throughout the duration of the recession.
The crushing weight of North Carolina's Medicaid costs continue to encumber state finances amidst an historic fiscal crisis, and sources say it is about to get much worse. With economic stagnation and expiring stimulus funds, North Carolina will have to grapple with a ballooning population of Medicaid recipients coupled with increased expenditures on those participants. Furthermore, a daunting leviathan looms on the horizon: Obamacare's new 500,000-700,0001 Medicaid recipients that will be enrolling as a direct consequence of federal healthcare legislation. The plight of Medicaid will prove to be the bane of many taxpaying North Carolinians for years to come.
October 2010 Poll Results
North Carolina's $3 billion budget shortfall awaiting the winners of November's elections is sure to dampen many a victory party. Those lucky legislators will be inheriting a fiscal bomb and win a trip through a gauntlet of special interests, state employees, and other state-funded groups seeking to avoid becoming a casualty of a balanced budget. November's victors can thank their predecessors for doing everything in their power to avoid responsibly balancing the budget in an election year. Their patchwork methods included rerouting lottery receipts and burning through temporary stimulus money, all to avoid rocking the boat and thereby endangering their own reelection...
It is a taxing business to bring about fiscal policy reform. However, in the context of an unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, North Carolina needs to consider how to defibrillate a stagnant economy and usher in new jobs to the state.
Twenty years ago, state prison populations forced the North Carolina Department of Corrections to effectively "legalize misdemeanors." Many existing prisoners were released to be free long before their sentences had required.
In case you were in the camp that believed that $41 million was an obscenely large annual budget to run a Ferry system that takes in around $2.5 million a year, recent investigations into wrongdoings and increased public attention may cause the Ferry Divisions finances to go under some long overdue scrutiny.
Andrew Henson with the Civitas Institute talks about his article on the new UNC System President Thomas Ross and goes toe-to-toe with Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch on Ross's affiliations and speedy confirmation.
At a hastily convened meeting on August 26th, The UNC Board of Governors voted to appoint Thomas Ross as the next President of the more than 200,000 students and more than 30,000 staff of the university system. While relatively unknown by most state residents, Ross is well known by the politically connected, especially those on the left.