Carolina Journal Weekly Report

June 01, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of June 01, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina taxpayers struggling with a sluggish economy would not have to worry about new taxes or fees under the 2012-13 state budget plan moving through the N.C. House. That’s good news for John Locke Foundation budget analysts, who say the plan also has room for improvement.

“Most politicians, pundits, and media outlets have been focusing on the number of dollars heading to particular government programs, setting aside the more important question of how the House budget would affect the people paying the bills — the taxpayers,” said Fergus Hodgson, JLF Director of Fiscal Policy Studies. “The focus on dollars also downplays the important discussion of how the House budget prioritizes toward state government services.”

The House’s Appropriations Committee is considering today a General Fund budget that would spend more than $20.2 billion in 2012-13. That is almost $800 million or 4 percent more than the plan that came out of the 2011 legislative session. But it is less than the $20.9 billion plan Gov. Beverly Perdue put forward days before lawmakers returned to Raleigh for this year’s legislative session.

Much of the difference can be traced to Perdue’s proposal for a 0.75-cent sales-tax hike. Republican legislative leaders have said they are not interested in that idea.

News Features

CJ: Redistricting reform proposal running aground
RALEIGH — A government reform group is prodding lawmakers to enact a measure that would take the process of redrawing legislative and congressional maps out of lawmakers’ hands and hand it to its nonpartisan staff. But the leader of the state Senate indicated that senators might not have an appetite for taking up the House-passed bill this session.

CJ: Berger’s education reform plan faces time limit
RALEIGH — While Republican Senate leader Phil Berger introduced a comprehensive education reform package at the opening of this year’s short legislative session, his GOP House colleagues are offering more limited, targeted changes in school policy.

CJ: EPA agents, police officer interrogate emailer
RALEIGH — An Asheville businessman is left with more questions than answers after a May 2 visit to his home by two armed special agents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accompanied by an Asheville police officer, apparently to question him about what the EPA interpreted as a “cryptic and concerning” email.

CJ: Official’s scheme involved payments for software development
RALEIGH — Documents obtained by Carolina Journal show that a plan recently scrapped by the North Carolina Department of Commerce included a provision to pay Cary-based software developer SAS $1.5 million in federal funds meant to assist low- and moderate-income families.

CJ: Diet blogger sues state for violating free speech
RALEIGH — In North Carolina, it is illegal to give one-on-one dietary advice without a license. The libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice yesterday filed a lawsuit challenging that law.

Upcoming Events

Monday, June 04, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Dr. Jeff Broadwater
"Living with a Legacy: James Madison and the Constitution"

Thursday, June 07, 2012 at 6:00pm
North Carolina History Project Lecture
with our special guest Professor Jeff Broadwater
"James Madison, North Carolina, and the Problem of Governance"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
A Lunchtime Discussion
with our special guest Lawrence Lessig
Raging Cronyism

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

Capital Quotes

I don’t think God is through with me. I really believe he thinks there’s still some good things I can do.
John Edwards, as quoted by the Greensboro News & Record, after a jury acquitted him of one of violating federal campaign finance laws and couldn’t reach a verdict on five other counts.

We cannot continue like we are. We must change the dynamic. We must change the direction.
— Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on a education reform bill being pushed by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.

We have to decide what’s the moral issue here. I choose to put them to work.
— Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, as quoted by the Associated Press, on a bill that would allow live dealer games at Cherokee Indian casino in western North Carolina.

Everybody is concerned about it. Nobody wants it tolled. But how in the world are you going to get it fixed if you don’t?
Gus Tulloss, a N.C. Department of Transportation board member from Rocky Mount whose district includes four counties along Interstate 95, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on a proposal to pay for widening the interstate by charging a toll to drive on it.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Becki Gray analyzes the impact of taxpayer-funded lobbyists at the legislature; Jeanette Doran of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law looks at a legal dispute over beachfront property; legislators discuss concerns about extraterritorial jurisdiction power of localities; Northwestern professor John McGinnis and UNC Chapel Hill professor William Marshall debate original intent; JLF’s Michael Sanera reports on the fate of a taxpayer subsidized Raleigh restaurant.

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: The House budget; fracking on the fast track; redistricting reform and rising tides. 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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