• Research Report

    Budget Crisis Is Opportunity: Bigger budget for FY’11 shows need for policy reform

    posted July 19, 2010 by Joseph Coletti
    The final budget for fiscal year 2011 spends $20.56 billion, $153 million more than the budget for fiscal year 2010. General fund availability in fiscal year 2011 excluding federal funds is $17 million less than was available in fiscal year 2010. A $7 billion shortfall (accounting for federal bailout funds, temporary taxes, pensions and retiree health benefits, etc.) in a $20 billion General Fund requires fundamental reform of state government.
  • Research Report

    Trust But Verify: Open government is better government

    posted December 16, 2009 by Joseph Coletti
    Governments have been seeking ways to adopt or advertise their efforts at open government, sunshine, and transparency. Recent history is rife, however, with examples of how they have failed - such as Gov. Mike Easley's financial dealings and the hole in the state health plan.
  • Research Report

    Why Transparency? Creating trust in government

    posted December 16, 2009 by Joseph Coletti
    Open government is just as important in a modern republic as it was two centuries ago. Larger bureaucratic states threatened to overwhelm the ability of citizens and their representatives to keep track of government.
  • Research Report

    Seize Property As a Last Resort: Eminent domain bill should protect humans, not just natural habitats

    posted June 14, 2009 by Daren Bakst
    In North Carolina, the government can invoke eminent domain and seize private property even if reasonable alternatives exist to using this power. A recent Senate bill (SB 600) would allow conservation easement holders to challenge takings in court by requiring the government to prove that no prudent and feasible alternatives exist to condemnation of properties encumbered by conservation easements.
  • Research Report

    No Bureaucrat Left Behind: N.C. public schools add staff at a much faster rate than enrollment

    posted May 27, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    North Carolina’s public schools continue to add administrative, non-instructional, and instructional support positions at rates that far exceed enrollment growth. Since 2000, North Carolina’s public school student enrollment (Average Daily Membership) has increased by approximately 13 percent, while school personnel has increased by nearly 18 percent. North Carolina’s pupil/staff ratio decreased from nearly 8:1 in 2003 to just over 7:1 in 2006.
  • Research Report

    Meaningful Services and Proper Oversight: Two Common-Sense Annexation Reforms

    posted February 11, 2009 by Daren Bakst
    Even those commission members who would have wanted a proper definition of “meaningful services” had to oppose the weak definition provided to them by the legislative staff. The chair prohibited commission members from amending the definition. The recommendation was so weak that it would have allowed municipalities forcibly to annex areas without providing water and sewer service.
  • Research Report

    North Carolina’s Beach Plan: Who pays for Coastal Property Insurance?

    posted November 30, 2008 by Eli Lehrer
    North Carolina's little-known Beach Plan imposes an enormous fiscal liability on the state. Intended largely to provide windstorm insurance for coastal residents unable to find coverage elsewhere, the Plan has grown to become one of the nation's largest entities of its type.
  • Research Report

    Main Street, Not Jones Street: The real greed menacing North Carolina is government greed

    posted November 17, 2008 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    During policy discussions, much is made of the greed of private individuals, but rarely is government greed mentioned. Government greed is the lust for power that consumes policymakers — the desire to do whatever it takes to stay in power and to give government more power. In the North Carolina legislature, government greed is alive and well. Ten policy examples discussed in this report reasonably attest to this lust for power.
  • Research Report

    Mental Health Reform: Steps Toward Improvement

    posted October 14, 2008 by Joseph Coletti
    Mental health reform began in 2001, but has had disappointing results. This paper examines major areas of the mental health system – care management, criminal justice, provider networks, supplemental services, and payment. It offers some evolutionary steps toward improvement.

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