Carolina Journal Weekly Report

January 11, 2013

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of January 11, 2013 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s mental health programs have faced fiscal challenges for several years, and the programs now are running a $35 million deficit. Nonetheless, a legislative committee is pushing for the possible creation of a fourth state psychiatric facility and broader mental health treatment programs for returning combat personnel and military veterans, reports Carolina Journal.

Most of the topics discussed Tuesday at a meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services revolved around finding solutions to “critical shortages” in areas such as psychiatric inpatient beds, the number of practicing psychiatrists and psychologists, and treatment options for veterans.

Amid that backdrop, and with the visitors gallery overflowing, state Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos met for the first time with the committee and told lawmakers she was “now a whole 16 hours smart in this industry.”

With a $4.7 billion budget that accounts for 23 percent of General Fund appropriations, the Department of Health and Human Services is one of the main drivers of state spending. Its costs and various budget overruns have rankled many legislators for years.

During her brief remarks, Wos said she planned to make the department “accountable, reliable, and that you can count on information that you receive from them.”

News Features

CJ: General Assembly opens under full GOP control
RALEIGH — Senators, representatives, their families, and scores of other government officials gathered Wednesday at the Legislative Building as the 2013 session of the General Assembly convened. The day was absent of surprises as the leaders of both legislative chambers were re-elected to their posts without opposition

CJ: McCrory scraps Perdue executive order
RALEIGH — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory issued his first executive order Monday, rescinding an order issued by his predecessor, Democrat Bev Perdue, which Perdue exempted herself from at the end of her term of office.

CJ: Unemployment insurance reform moves forward
RALEIGH — An interim legislative committee Tuesday set the stage for a major battle over unemployment insurance benefits when the General Assembly gears up later this month.

CJ: Lawmakers wrangle over training for bail agents
RALEIGH — Two of the General Assembly’s most powerful Republican lawmakers and the Democratic state insurance commissioner are among those ensnared in a legal struggle between private and nonprofit bail bondsmen organizations providing instructional courses for bail agents.

UNC may open doors wider to out-of-state students
CHAPEL HILL — The UNC system, strapped for money for new initiatives, may take a step that has long been politically explosive in North Carolina: admitting more out-of-state students. Unlike many public universities across the United States, the UNC system has for decades had an 18 percent limit on the number of out-of-state freshmen at its campuses.

Upcoming Events

Monday, January 14, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. Andrew Taylor
What to Expect from the 2013 Congress

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
JLF 23rd Anniversary Gala Event
with our special guest Stuart Varney
JLF 23rd Anniversary Event with Fox Business News Anchor Stuart Varney

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

Capital Quotes

There are a number of people who do not appear to have IDs. We need a treatment for that.
— House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about proposed legislation requiring that identification be present in order to vote.

We have her in the ‘endangered’ category.
Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist, talking to the Charlotte Observer about Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC, who is up for reelection next year.

Unfortunately, it’s always about corporations, ‘bad,’ and public schools, ‘good,’ and that’s not the right discussion.
Bryan Setser, former executive director of the N.C. Virtual Public School, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on proposals to create virtual charter schools in the state. 

The jobs are coming back. They are just different than they used to be.
John Enamait, dean of business, industry and technology at Catawba Valley Community College, talking to the Charlotte Observer about the furniture industry.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson discusses new appointments to Gov. McCrory’s team; National Review Online’s Reihan Salam on the importance of developing conservative policy proposals; JLF’s Kory Swanson looks at an informed citizenry and the Glorious Revolution; the Reason Foundation’s Adrian Moore on costs vs. benefits of passenger rail; and JLF’s Roy Cordato explains the Unlimited Savings Allowance (USA) tax.

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 McCrory team; the Martin Report; and 2013 economic forecast. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former House Speaker Joe Mavretic; and former legislator Connie Wilson.


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