For the week of
June 26, 2009
Reaction of the Week
RALEIGH — North Carolina lawmakers would do
nothing to help the state’s unemployment problem, if they move forward
with proposed tax hikes in the final state budget. That’s the
assessment of a John Locke Foundation expert analyzing May unemployment data.
The N.C. Employment Security Commission’s latest report lists the
state’s unemployment rate at 11.1 percent for May, up 0.4 percentage
points from the adjusted April rate of 10.7 percent. After a one-month
dip, the rate continued the month-by-month climb that’s been documented
for more than a year. The latest unemployment rate is the highest North
Carolina has recorded since the state started keeping seasonally
adjusted data, according to the ESC. North Carolina ranks No. 7 among
the 50 states in unemployment.
“The latest numbers remind us that North Carolina needs jobs,” said Joseph Coletti,
JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst. “It’s unfortunate that legislators are
considering up to $1 billion in tax and fee increases next year. Gov.
Bev Perdue apparently wants them to consider even larger increases.
Higher taxes would hurt the state’s opportunities for improving job
Two new personal income tax brackets cause special concerns for job
creation purposes, Coletti said. Taxpayers who earn more than $200,000
a year would face additional state income taxes. “North Carolina
already has the highest marginal personal income tax rate in the
Southeast and one of the highest rates in the nation,” Coletti said. “If the General Assembly’s negotiators adopt the new income tax hikes
included in the House budget plan, North Carolina would stand out from
its neighbors for the wrong reasons.”
CJ: Questions surround Black property settlement
RALEIGH — Wake County officials say imprisoned former North Carolina
House Speaker Jim Black satisfied a court-ordered $1 million fine
recently by surrendering some Mecklenburg County real estate, but
questions remain about the real market value of the property, who owns
the parcels, and whether the transfer was legitimate.
CJ: Will More at Four or Smart Start survive?
RALEIGH — Facing pressure to cut redundancies and scale back its
budget, the General Assembly has been seeking ways to reduce funding to
North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten programs. It’s unclear whether the
state’s two principal pre-K programs will survive the conference
committee that will iron out the state’s 2009-10 budget or if a single
program will emerge.
Hurricane costs could affect entire state
RALEIGH — Legislators started grappling Thursday with how to beef up
the state-created but underfunded insurance program for coastal
property, and immediately confronted the possibility that all of the
state’s insured property owners could pay more after a catastrophic
hurricane season. Legislation aimed at fixing the Beach Plan was
introduced in the House Insurance Committee, which will take it up
again next week.
House committee approves annexation reforms
RALEIGH — Opponents of involuntary annexation were angered Thursday
when a Democrat-controlled state House committee rebuffed Republican
efforts to give residents a vote on the matter. The House Judiciary II
Committee approved 31 pages of reforms to North Carolina’s 50-year-old
annexation law. The changes include provisions to require cities to
annex impoverished bordering communities if they request it, and to
pressure cities to provide services quickly to annexed residents.
Sex-education bill ready for Perdue to sign
RALEIGH — Starting next year, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders
across North Carolina will be given more information about
contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases. They will also be
told that they are expected to abstain from sex until marriage. Those
are the dual priorities of a bill that will retool the way that sex
education is taught in the state’s public schools.
Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Daren Bakst & Dr. Troy Kickler
Eugenics in NC: Its History and the Case for Compensating the Victims
“That’s going to help the slightest bit.”
— Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, commenting to the Associated Press on word that state corporate tax collections are coming in $150 million higher than expected.
“Can you really expect to spend more and more money and expect to get more and more back? That’s what I call Madoff math.”
— Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, questioning the logic of offering bigger incentives to the film industry in the hope of getting even greater tax revenues in return.
“We’re still losing jobs hand over fist.”
— Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wachovia Securities, talking to the Winston-Salem Journal about the state’s unemployment rate, which rose to 11.1 percent in May. Vitner expects the situation to get worse before it gets better.
“Nobody’s going to vote to take away money from (their districts), so all this stuff is just a show.”
— Rep. Mitch Gillespie, R-McDowell, commenting to the Asheville Citizen-Times on the likelihood that a study committee will lead to changes in how the state distributes lottery proceeds to school systems throughout the state.
On The Air This Week…
This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Roy Cordato explains the impact of massive federal interventions into the economy; JLF’s John Hood makes the case against forced annexation; advocates debate the so-called bullying bill; NCSU’s Andy Taylor discusses his view that legislative session limits cause more harm than good; and Jenna Ashley Robinson of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy offers viable options to traditional college.
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: Te staggering rate of unemployment in our state; the health care debate and how it has ramifications in North Carolina, community colleges and illegal immigrants; and whether or not Jim Black’s sentence should be commuted. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Elaine Mejia, Director of the NC Budget and Tax Center; and Eszter Vajda, Senior Legislative Correspondent for UNC-TV.
This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at www.nbc17.com.