Carolina Journal Weekly Report

October 09, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of October 09, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Legislators need to overhaul North Carolina’s budget process before they force taxpayers to cough up billions of additional dollars in new taxes. That’s the assessment of the John Locke Foundation’s chief budget analyst, who outlines seven potential reforms in a new Spotlight report.

“While families across North Carolina were tightening their budgets and adjusting their priorities, the General Assembly missed a rare opportunity this year to put government spending on a more sustainable path,” said Joseph Coletti, JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst. “Instead, lawmakers chose to add $5.9 billion from new taxes, fees, and one-time revenue sources to pay for $41 billion in programs over two years. That’s more than $4,200 per North Carolina resident.”

Coletti’s proposed reforms involve simple changes, he said. “Topping the list is a proposal to make a budget bill publicly available online 72 hours before lawmakers take their first vote,” Coletti said. “The extended time would allow legislators, staff, and outside observers to study the bill and make informed decisions. Contrast the 72-hour proposal to this year's budget process, when discussion and votes on the final bill started 4 ½ hours after legislators first saw it.”

Budget bills also need a five-year “fiscal note,” Coletti said. “This is a tool legislators use for other bills and sometimes for parts of a budget to gauge their long-term spending and tax implications,” he said. “There are no similar estimates now for the full budget bill, even though that bill has more spending and tax implications than any other measure the General Assembly approves.”

News Features

CJ: State’s investment fees rose as portfolio tanked
RALEIGH — Fees paid to managers of private equity — investments in companies that aren’t traded on a stock exchange — accounted for the biggest increase, going up about 51 percent to $62 million. Fees paid for real estate investments went up 18 percent to $65 million.

CJ: GCS has enough money to add administrators
GREENSBORO — In a difficult budget year where a doomsday scenario of massive budget cuts, massive layoffs, and compromised educational standards was constantly being painted for the public, Guilford County Schools found the funding to reinstate several administrative positions as staff put the finishing touches on its $590 million budget.

CJ: Congress doesn’t address school lunch fraud
RALEIGH — Congress could soon act on bills that would devote more taxpayer funds to the programs and expand eligibility for students — even while questions about the reliability of one entitlement, the free and reduced-price lunch program, remain.

Alcoa says NC claims on dams unique, irrelevant
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s effort to deny Alcoa Inc. a new, decades-long license to operate four hydroelectric dams takes an unprecedented step of asking federal regulators to do the state’s bidding, the company said. A subsidiary of the largest U.S. aluminum producer, which wants to renew its expired 50-year license, also said in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Gov. Beverly Perdue’s economic arguments are irrelevant under federal licensing rules and should be rejected.

Truitt: ‘Forced busing is dead’
RALEIGH — Wake County school board candidate Cathy Truitt declared Wednesday she won’t back busing for diversity if she’s elected, dashing hopes she would champion the issue and preserve a board majority that opposes a move to neighborhood schools. Truitt, who officially requested Wednesday a runoff election on Nov. 3 against front-runner John Tedesco for the board’s District 2 seat, called “forced assignments” a dead issue in Wake County.

Upcoming Events

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Sandhills Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Transparency: What is really happening in our public schools?

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Paul Paolicelli
Values not Valuables: a talk about Southern Italian Sensibility

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Transparency: What is really happening in our public schools?

Monday, October 19, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Western N.C. Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Transparency: What is really happening in our public schools?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Piedmont Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Transparency: What is really happening in our public schools?

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

Capital Quotes

This is not a buggy whip manufacturer. Computers will still be needed for a long time.
Dan Gerlach, as quoted by the Greensboro News & Record, speaking in 2004 when a senior adviser to then-Gov. Mike Easley, talking about Dell, which with the aid of state and local incentives, was to build a new computer assembly plant in Forsyth County. The company announced this week that it was closing the plant as of early next year.

I’m not denying him the right to go to church. He denied himself that.
— Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, commenting to the Associated Press on the case of convicted sex offender James Nichols, who was arrested for attending services at a church that has a daycare center. Hoyle sponsored the state law that barred sex offenders from coming within 300 feet of places intended primarily for the use, care or supervision of minors.

What once was thought to be somewhat of a toothless sleeping dog is now a very alert German shepherd.
— Political consultant Brad Crone, talking to the Associated Press about the State Board of Elections’ policing of campaign financing laws.

There has never been city oversight in projects like this.
Denise Bell, Winston-Salem finance director, talking to the Winston-Salem Journal about the city’s decision to provide $12 million toward the construction of a new baseball stadium without conducting any due diligence. The projected, originally estimated to cost $22.6 million, ended up costing $40.7 million, with most of the difference being financed by the city.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood analyzes the impact of Gov. Perdue’s tripto Asia on job recruitment; the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund predicts liberals will look for new ways to secure their policy goals; rally organizer David Williams explains why the Fed needs greater scrutiny; longtime EPA employee Allen Basala explains how regulatory review helps stifle rules that generate more costs than benefits; and JLF’s Jon Ham assesses media coverage of President Obama. 

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: Legal and constitutional issues in the news in North Carolina. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; and Robert Orr, executive director for the Institute for Constitutional Law.

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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