• Research Report

    Junk Science on Soot: Flawed Study Can’t Justify Clean Smokestacks Bill

    posted March 20, 2002 by Dr. Kay Jones
    A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association alleges a significant increase in lung cancer risk for those exposed to high-levels of particulate matter, commonly called soot. In North Carolina, the news media and others have cited the study to boost support for the proposed Clean Smokestacks bill. But according to expert analysis, the study is so flawed that it should have been rejected by the journal. Moreover, it does not establish a case for new regulation.
  • Research Report

    Wrong Set of Priorities : GA Set to Approve Tax Hike, 5.2% Budget Growth

    posted September 19, 2001 by John Hood
    State lawmakers will consider today a revised tax and spending plan for the 2001-03 biennium that promises to shove an already teetering economy, buffeted by layoffs and the prospect of war, into a full-blown and painful recession. Its massive tax hike will fuel a healthy increase in wasteful state spending and help to push the state’s tax burden well above that of Massachusetts, California, and all the Southeastern states — and higher than the national average for the first time.
  • Research Report

    The Study that Wasn’t: Touted Report Says Little About Smokestacks Bill

    posted August 19, 2001
    Supporters of the so-called "Clean Smokestacks" bill now under consideration by the state legislature are citing a study they claim proves that the legislation would save the lives of a thousand North Carolinians annually. In fact, the study says no such thing. Its subject matter bears little relationship to the bill's likely impact on North Carolina, which would be limited because most power-plant emissions affecting the state's air quality originate outside North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Slow Down On Bonds: First Ask Questions About UNC Budget Priorities

    posted June 17, 2001 by George Leef
    A recent report showing that many state university buildings are in very poor repair and warning of explosive UNC enrollment growth has led to a proposal that would allow the state and the university system itself to sell bonds without voter approval. There are strong reasons to doubt that this is the best way to solve the problem of building maintenance, and to consider redirecting existing funds and allowing more students to choose private colleges to reduce the pressure.
  • Research Report

    Sales-Tax Hike Not Needed: There Are Better Ways to Help Struggling Localities

    posted June 12, 2001 by Eric Root, John Hood
    Some state lawmakers are discussing a plan to give local governments the authority to raise their sales taxes by up to 1 penny while simultaneously eliminating state tax reimbursements. While it is true that many counties are raising property taxes this year, most have not been starved for revenue during the 1990s. More importantly, the state can give the same assistance to localities without raising taxes by increasing flexibility and assuming more responsibility for Medicaid.
  • Research Report

    Rhetoric or Reform? The Future of Mental Health in North Carolina

    posted April 19, 2001 by Dr. N.N. Fullwood
    North Carolina has reached a crossroads in the delivery of mental health services. After decades of escalating budgets and haphazard growth, years of costly and controversial study, and promises to act that have yet failed to materialize, the state’s mental health system continues to suffer from a host of systemic problems. Only fundamental change in the structure and funding of the system will improve outcomes for patients and taxpayers.
  • Research Report

    Hasty on Health Choice: New Data Show Adverse Impact on Self-Sufficiency

    posted March 20, 2001 by John Hood
    North Carolina's new Child Health Insurance Program known as Health Choice has grown rapidly in its first two years, attracting national praise and prompting calls for additional funding to enroll more children. But the program, while helping to reduce the uninsured rate, has also contributed to a 30 percent drop in private coverage and self-sufficiency among families of modest means. Significant changes are needed to ensure a better use of taxpayer dollars.
  • Research Report

    Triage for Medicaid

    posted March 6, 2001 by John Hood
    Among the major causes of this year's $800 million state budget deficit is a $108 million increase in projected Medicaid spending. After a brief period of slow growth in the late-1990s, North Carolina's Medicaid program is now a significant threat to the state's long-term fiscal health. It is also the most expensive Medicaid program in the South. The state should enact reforms in eligibility and benefits which could save taxpayers at least $251 million a year.

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