Carolina Journal Weekly Report

April 27, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of April 27, 2012 - carolinajournal.com

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — State officials are scrambling to close a Medicaid shortfall that could be as high as a quarter-billion dollars, or risk being unable to deliver services to recipients and make payments to providers, reports Carolina Journal.

“We begin having cash problems about two weeks from now,” state budget director Andy Willis said April 17.

State lawmakers are pushing to inject more fiscal discipline and better forecasting into Medicaid budgeting to end a series of annual overruns that have required tapping into the state’s General Fund. The shortfall was $200 million two years ago and $600 million last year.

Much of this year’s deficit is a cash-flow problem caused by a federal delay in approving several cost-saving Medicaid plan amendments North Carolina officials have proposed. This delay has held up money owed to the state. Willis is confident the changes will be approved, but many may not be finalized before the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

Some of the shortfall is due to higher-than-anticipated utilization of the entitlement program.



News Features

CJ: State sees surge in charter school applications
RALEIGH — Demand for new charter schools in the Tar Heel State has surged following the enactment of a bill approved by the N.C. General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bev Perdue in 2011 that lifted the 100-school cap.

CJ: State threatens to shut down nutrition blogger
CHARLOTTE — The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.

CJ: Five Republicans seek Beth Wood’s job
RALEIGH — The five Republicans running for state auditor say incumbent Democrat Beth Wood has been weak in rooting out waste, fraud, and inefficiency in state government. Lack of transparency, selective auditing, and inefficient use of staff resources plague the office, they say.

CJ: Three contend for Democratic nomination in 10th Congressional District
RALEIGH — Three distinct narratives have emerged in the race for the Democratic nomination for the 10th district seat in Congress, where three people hope to emerge the winner and, come fall, replace U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, a four-term Republican.

N.C. Senate wants teacher merit pay, end to tenure
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s public school teachers would see employment tenure eliminated, but become eligible for performance bonuses under an education reform package rolled out Monday by Senate Republicans that also seeks to improve early reading skills.



Upcoming Events

Monday, April 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest John L. Rustin
"North Carolina - The Quintessential Battleground State"

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
A Panel Discussion on North Carolina's Marriage Amendment
with our special guests Dr. Michael Munger, Chair, Department of Political Science, Duke UniversityKatharine Parker, Legal Director, ACLU of North CarolinaTammy Fitzgerald, Executive Director, NC Values CoalitionKen Klukowski, Director, Center for Religious Liberty,
North Carolina's Proposed Marriage Amendment


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

Capital Quotes

Carrying North Carolina is vital if we are going to win the presidency.
— Soon-to-be former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, as quoted by the Winston-Salem Journal, speaking in Elkin.

Yes, since 2008, I think you can really say a lot of it’s fizzled.
— UNC-Chapel Hill student Bridget Walsh, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on the level of youth support for President Barack Obama in 2008 as compared to today.

We rushed into the law, and we rushed into the implementation. We want to implement it more slowly.
— Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about plans to increase ferry tolls

Eighty percent of the customers that walk in there are women over the age of 40. Is the city saying that older women in the community are such big problems?
Chase Brookes, president of The Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization, commenting to the Asheville Citizen-Times on a proposal to raise the yearly licensing fee on video sweepstakes machines in Asheville.


On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
CJ’s Rick Henderson explains why a Department of Commerce employee’s relationship to a nonprofit is being looked into; Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy discusses North Carolina’s opportunity with shale oil deposits; legislators debate who should receive free- and reduced-priced lunches; author Connie Sage talks about the fascinating life of Weather Channel founder Frank Batten; and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy’s Jenna Ashley Robinson discusses the Spirit of Inquiry awards program.


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: Elections update: the legislature; the first Racial Justice Act decision; superintendents: “cancer in our budgets;” and UNC health changes. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former legislator Connie Wilson; and political consultant Brad Crone.

 

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Material published here may be reprinted provided the
Locke Foundation receives prior notice and appropriate credit is given.

 

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