Carolina Journal Weekly Report

March 27, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of March 27, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Lawmakers seeking real reform of the state’s flawed annexation law should tackle two critical issues that were not addressed properly in a study group’s final report. That’s the assessment of a John Locke Foundation analyst.

“Regardless of where one stands on other annexation reform questions, these simple reforms should be enacted without delay,” said Daren Bakst, JLF Legal and Regulatory Policy Analyst. “First, municipalities should not be able to annex areas unless they provide truly necessary services. Second, municipalities need legitimate oversight when they initiate forced annexations.”

Bakst addresses both issues in detail in a new Spotlight report. He also offers draft legislative language that would help lawmakers address key annexation issues.

Legislators can improve upon the recommendations the Joint Legislative Study Commission on Municipal Annexation approved in January, Bakst said.

“One of that group’s recommendations would allow property owners in proposed annexed areas to vote,” he said.  “This important recommendation, overwhelmingly supported by a 14-6 vote, should be very encouraging for those who believe that North Carolina’s outdated system of forced annexation needs to be changed. However, two other critical reforms were not addressed properly.”

News Features

CJ: Republican leader questions gas tax payment
RALEIGH — State Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, isn’t keen on using North Carolina gasoline tax revenue to partner with the Climate Registry, a California-based nonprofit that seeks to fight global warming. Berger recently criticized the use of gas tax funds for expenditures unrelated to transportation, including two payments made by the N.C. Division of Air Quality to the registry.

CJ: More troubles for former ferry chief
RALEIGH — A panel of federal judges ruled last Friday that a North Carolina judge should have imposed a harsher sentence on former N.C. Department of Transportation Ferry Division Director Jerry Gaskill for his role in the illegal dredging of the Currituck Sound in 2004.

CJ: Wake’s busing for diversity not making the grade
RALEIGH — In early 2000, the Wake County Board of Education adopted a school assignment policy based on family income, which the board says is necessary to improve the educational outcomes of economically disadvantaged students and balance schools across the district. But North Carolina end-of-grade test data show student achievement for economically disadvantaged students in Wake County has declined since income-based assignments were instituted.

House holds up health plan bill
RALEIGH — A $650 million-plus bailout of North Carolina’s state employee health-insurance plan may fail to reach Gov. Beverly Perdue’s desk by legislators’ self-imposed deadline next week after House members groused yesterday about the bill’s rapid movement. Leaders of the House Insurance Committee and the bill’s chief proponent in the chamber agreed to allow several amendments in the committee after colleagues complained that they were being rushed.

Domestic violence kills 131 people in NC in '08
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s attorney general said Thursday that domestic violence killed 131 people in the state last year, and he’s urging victims to get court-ordered protection against their abusers. Calling it a problem that has been “swept under the rug” over the years, protective orders could help lower the statistics, said Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 30, 2009 at 12 noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Napoleon Byars
"Return to Freedom of Information"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 6 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12 noon
Special Tuesday Shaftesbury Luncheon
with our special guest Yuri Maltsev
Gone but not Forgotten: The Rise of Soviet Communism

Thursday, April 02, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Western N.C. Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest John Hood
How To Get Involved With Your Local Freedom Club

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

We have to balance our budget, and the federal government doesn’t.
— Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, and a co-chairman of the N.C. Senate’s Finance Committee, talking to the Associated Press about changes in federal tax law that would reduce North Carolina state tax collections by $320 million if the state were to adopt the tax breaks as well.

The last thing North Carolina, or any state, needs right now is more lost jobs.
— N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, testifying before Congress on the ripple effects that proposals to more closely regulate smoking would have on North Carolina.

If a kid comes up to another kid and takes something from them, from their person, yeah I would say that’s a strong-arm robbery. That’s a felony.
— Rep. Nick Mackey, D-Mecklenburg, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, proposing that schools and police get tough on schoolyard bullies.

People drink on Sundays, too. We’re not all Southern Baptists.
Cheryl Caudle, a 58-year-old hotel worker buying a fifth of vodka at the Midtown ABC store in Charlotte, commenting to the Charlotte Observer on a bill that would allow local ABC boards to open the liquor stores they operate on Sunday.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Joe Coletti discusses N.C.’s unemployment rate and business fears, Sen. Minority Leader Phil Berger responds to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s budget priorities, author Winston S. Churchill cautions Americans to be wary of moving toward socialism, Duke professor emeritus John Staddon picks apart arguments about social costs of smoking, and JLF’s Daren Bakst discusses the Environmental Management Commission’s desire to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. 

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Judge Howard Manning’s apparent mandate for the state to take over operation of Halifax County Schools; and state employees at the center of several controversies. This. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa; and Laura Leslie with WUNC Radio.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at


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