Archive for the ‘Government (Public) Schools’ Category

Pro-Common Core Group Wanted Obama to Keep Quiet in Speech

Contact Stopcommoncorenc.org to get this bumper sticker

Contact Stopcommoncorenc.org to get this bumper sticker

According to the Washington Examiner, it’s a pretty big deal to be mentioned in a Presidential speech.  But in Tuesday’s State of the Union, supporters of Common Core “begged” the President to keep quiet.

Common Core is an attempt to create a standard national curriculum for kindergarten through high school.  One of the supporters is Obama, who touted it in his two previous addresses.  -Washington Examiner

Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, told Politico that for the last 2 years, President Obama mentioned Common Core and in doing so, has taken credit all the credit.

Petrilli added, “This has only fueled critics on the right who see this effort as a way for the federal government to take over control of the schools.”

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Stop Common Core NC is a great way to get involved on a state level. Sponsored by the NC Civitas Institute, the Stop Common Core NC website is an excellent resource to get started.  Volunteer, attend events, and even order bumper stickers to share your distaste with others, such as the one at the upper left.

Why should North Carolina’s public schools have a national system forced upon them?  Conservatives want the Federal Department of Education defunded, but Obama is only growing it with bad ideas like Common Core.

SEE ALSO: News and Observer Editorial on Common Core: Misinformed and Misguided – Civitas Institute

AFP-NC Releases Legislative Priorities for ’13 Long Session

Support AFP, especially in North Carolina!

Support AFP, especially in North Carolina!

This week, the North Carolina Chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-North Carolina) announced its Legislative Goals for the 2013-14 legislative biennium. The Regular Session convened briefly on January 9th to adopt rules and organize the session but will reconvene on Wednesday, January 30th.

When it comes to advancing the free market agenda, no state has a better opportunity this year than North Carolina. We believe that we have a genuine opportunity to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in North Carolina with lower taxes and regulations to make government less entangling and burdensome to North Carolinians. We will aggressively promote the opportunities of cheaper energy, quality educational choices, leaner and less burdensome government, and lower taxes.

Please remember that AFP deals only with issues of economic freedom, school choice, and property rights. There are other important issues that face North Carolinians which fall outside of our mission.

We hope you will stand with us once again to promote the following goals:

  • Passage of the state budget without tax increases;
  • Lower overall tax burden in North Carolina;
  • Support for Constitutional Spending Limits that could include: Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) that would limit government spending to the increase in population and inflation and/or legislative supermajority requirement to raise taxes;
  • Keeping North Carolina as a “Right-to-work State,” by implementing it into the state constitution along with the state’s ban on public employee collective bargaining;
  • Dedicating all North Carolina Education Lottery revenue to school construction; or support ending all state-run gambling;
  • Elimination of North Carolina’s Estate Tax – also called the “Death Tax”;
  • Promotion of legislation that allows for the exploration and production of North Carolina’s energy resources;
  • Advocating a “rollback” of North Carolina’s Renewable Portfolio Standard;
  • Blocking the creation of a North Carolina Healthcare Exchange;
  • Allowing the purchase of health insurance from any state;
  • Passage of legislation to get the state of North Carolina out of the liquor business;
  • Ending all “welfare for politicians,” known as taxpayer-funded elections;
  • Protecting free and political speech rights by deregulating campaign speech;
  • Ending the Golden Leaf Foundation;
  • Converting the Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities into a refundable tax credit;
  • Increasing the number of non-public school choice options available to parents;
  • Repeal of the corporate income tax and elimination of all corporate welfare;
  • Simplifying and lowering individual income taxes;
  • Promoting the elimination of redundant committees and commissions in order to shrink the size of government in North Carolina;
  • Expanding recently passed tort reforms, including “loser pays”; and
  • In general, greatly reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens.

Pro-Life Club Group Gets Good News at UNC-Greensboro

Katy is thankful she chose life.

After years of fighting for their rights, pro-life students have finally been given full recognition by the administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Tuesday, KCC learned that the leadership at the university “changed course” and “ finally agreed to recognize a student pro-life group that has been having trouble with college officials”.

Steven Ertelt, writing for the ProLifeNews.com, has the full story.

Two weeks after members of Make Up Your Own Mind filed suit against the school, the pro-life organization, affiliated with the Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center, finally ended its year-long battle to gain official status and be allowed to choose leaders based on their pro-life views rather than opening themselves up to abortion advocates.

“We have apologized to [the organization] for the delay in determining their status and notified them that we are granting the organization recognition,” university spokeswoman Helen Dennison Hebert wrote in an email.

Read the interesting details here. This great news for this publicly funded state university.

Editor’s Note: Just a few years ago, during near the beginning of the Iraq war, liberal students there held a “die-in” to protest this nation’s involvement. KCC wrote at the time that they should go back to class so they can “graduate and get off the dole that is your public education.”

Anyone attending a state university in North Carolina pays very little for it, compared to the true cost. They may “believe” they pay, but that money is only a token of what the true cost is. Additionally, out-of-state students can get a better “deal” for themselves here in North Carolina that they can as an in-state student in their own state. But that’s another matter.

Congratulations to the Pro-lifers at UNC-Greensboro. Cheers to a fight well won!

Obama’s Broken Promises of Regulatory Reform

Obama's Team is always ready and willing to help...themselves.

From a Washington Report, courtesy of Smart Girl Politics:

(WASHINGTON) – President Barack Obama recently halted the implementation of a controversial job-killing regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying he recognized the “importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty” in the economy.

While the President has spoken about, and even launched an effort to evaluate regulations that create unnecessary burdens, agencies in the Obama Administration have regulated in the opposite direction.

Spotlighting these regulatory failures and impacts on job creation is the focus of a newly released report and hearing held Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The federal regulatory process is broken, being manipulated and exploited in ways that benefit allies of the Obama Administration such as environmental groups, trial lawyers, and unions.

Regulators have, in too many instances, been willing accomplices in the strategy advanced by outside interest groups to circumvent the oversight and accountability checks in the regulatory process,” Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) said.

 The report released by Chairman Issa and the Oversight Committee documents a flawed and broken system that punishes job creators and stifles economic growth.  Key findings include:

·         The number of full time regulatory employees is expected to reach an all-time high of 291,676 in 2012;

·         The Obama Administration has already imposed 75 new major regulations that will cost more than $380 billion over ten years;

·         The Administration has 219 economically significant regulations in the pipeline right now—that, if finalized will impose costs of at least $219 billion on the economy over ten years.

In addition, the report outlines  numerous examples in the rule making process where federal agencies and regulators ignored, circumvented or openly flouted direction given by the President.

It spotlighted EPA’s sue-and-settle approach to bypass the process and avoid transparency on a recent lead paint rule with dire consequences for job creators; abuse of the emergency rule making process and use of ‘interim final rules’ regarding Obamacare, causing health plans to lose grandfathered status; and, an ‘enhanced review process’ initiated by EPA of a Clean Water Act provision in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, among others.

“The businesses owners and workers who bear the brunt of these regulations are not Fortune 500 executives, they are main street business owners and workers from around the country,” Issa said.  “These firms, their families, suppliers, customers and employees all bear the cost of these new and proposed regulations.  For them and businesses around the country, the price is greater than just compliance—it is a hidden tax of uncertainty on our economy,” he added.

Beyond the costs and implications for job creators from regulations, the Oversight Committee eport also pointed out that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the federal agency charged with serving as a watchdog over federal rule making, has failed to take meaningful action to address the breakdown in the process. (Editor’s Note: Your blogger didn’t even know there was such an office. She hopes our next president puts this agency on the chopping block, along with the Federal Department of Education.)

“Thus far, the rhetoric we have seen from the Obama Administration on the issue of regulatory reform has not been matched in deed,” Issa said.

A copy of the Committee’s report is here and testimony and other hearing-related information is available here.

Obama Visits Raleigh, Pushes Taxpayer Funded “Jobs” Program

Obama at NC State, Copyright WRAL http://www.wral.com

President Barack Obama visited Apex, North Carolina on Wednesday, trying to sell his jobs bill to a hand-picked small business.  The owner, Erv Portman, is an Obama donor, a Democrat, and a Wake County commissioner in a fight for re-election.

After the President’s speech in Apex, his motorcade drove down I-40 into Raleigh, onto the campus of N.C. State University.  He arrived at a nearly packed Reynolds auditorium, where 24 years ago this month, President Ronald Reagan visited.  Your blogger was in the house that day, along with Senator Jesse Helms and a number of conservative notables.  She remembers it being “wall to wall people”, something that didn’t appear to be on television today.

Twenty-four years ago, President Reagan drew a much larger audience than did President Obama.  Four large, industrial air conditioners were brought in to cool the huge crowd.  Even so, a number of people passed out from the heat.  Mr. Reagan even took off his jacket, revealing his bulletproof vest underneath his shirt, which was soaked through.

Wednesday, President Obama claimed that his jobs program would be paid for via higher taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers.  Meanwhile, these people already pay the bulk of our taxes and are our major job creators.

He now wants to tax them further so that the government can provide another “stimulus” of money into our state and others.  He even went so far as to promise the collegiate audience summer jobs.  Additionally, he promised more teachers and a $1300 “to the average working family”.

Since we are all working families, your blogger wonders who he is trying to push off his class warfare language on?

He then tried to sound like a conservative.  He promised that the government would live within its means and began his “blame Bush” tactics when he said that we had lived too well “these last ten years”.

Yet, Obama said “a lot of THEM don’t get it,” referring to Republicans, and added “Raleigh needs people who can put country before party.”  Believe us, Mr. President, Raleigh has these leaders and we plan to vote you and Governor Beverly Perdue, right out of office in 2012.

The President gave his students a homework assignment.  He told them to put on their marching boots and get to work contacting their members of Congress, “even writing a letter”.

We appreciate your orders Mr. President.  KCC will certainly follow up.  We will contact our Congressman and urge that he vote AGAINST this expensive and unnecessary jobs bill.  Have a pleasant flight to back to Washington.  There is a community on the south side of Chicago that is missing its organizer right now.

Word on the street is, that in setting up this visit, the President first tried to rent out a Wake County school.   An advance team contacted General Anthony Tata, Supt of Public Instruction for Wake County, gave them the thumbs down.  The White House then went looking for higher education.  Your blogger assumes that Tata didn’t want anyone exploiting Wake County school children for political gain, and KCC applauds him for his actions.

Editor’s note:  The President was very careful to stay on message and avoid using the “s” word.  He didn’t want to be associated with either of the two failed stimulus acts.

Your blogger’s husband is a double alumnus of NC State University, having both undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering and minors in math.

 

 

 

 

 

More Red Veto Ink by Dallas Woodhouse

Let's Veto Beverly Perdue in 2012

Here we go again. Governor Beverly Perdue continued to mark up good legislation with her red veto stamp. She ignored the will of the people of this state and ran roughshod over legislation that a bipartisan and duly elected legislature crafted together and overwhelmingly passed.

And she vetoed bills, such as the Regulatory Reform Act and the Energy Jobs Act —  an action that will kill jobs at a time when the state economy has lost 100,000 jobs over a two-year period. The Regulatory Reform Act actually hadunanimous support in the Senate because it was a common-sense bill that eliminated cumbersome and unclear regulations that had created uncertainty for businesses.

On Thursday, she vetoed 4 bills –all had passed in the House and Senate either unanimously or with very solid majorities.

She did not even have the guts to sign into law the hugely bi-partisan Tax Credits for Special Needs Children Bill and the Annexation Reform Bill – but allowed them to become law by simply not addressing them prior to today’s deadline.

It is a shame that the voters worked so hard to get real change at the legislature, begged for regulatory and tax relief and common-sense legislation—only to have Governor Perdue arrogantly use the veto 15 times this session.

You can be sure that AFP will be at the legislature building when it opens again later this summer and early fall, trying to come up with the votes to override these vetoes.

And we know you will be right there to help us – calling and emailing your legislators or visiting them on Jones Street.

Just look at some of the great, AFP-supported legislation that Governor Perdue vetoed this year:

Budget with zero tax increases         VETO Overridden

Medical Malpractice Reform              VETO

Individual Opt-out of Obamacare       VETO

Stop Government from taking union dues from teacher paycheck                                           VETO

Requiring a photo ID to vote               VETO

Regulatory Reform                              VETO

Energy Jobs Act                                 VETO

With your help, we got some good laws passed this year, too.

  • Removed cap on charter schools
  • Tort Reform for Businesses and Citizens
  • Repealed Land Transfer Tax
  • Tax Relief for Small Businessman
  • Workmen’s Comp Reform
  • Regulated Local Government Competition with Private Business
  • Annexation Reform
  • Tax Credits for Special Needs Children

The North Carolina Americans for Prosperity works for us!

However, we have our work cut out for us in trying to undo the damage Governor Perdue created with her veto stamp. We hope we can count on you to help us override these vetoes when the legislature convenes again later this summer.

Sincerely,

Dallas Woodhouse
North Carolina State Director
Americans for Prosperity

 

But it takes money to fight. Won’t you help the AFP NC  fight Governor Perdue and her bad policy decisions by sending $25, $50 or $100 today? The AFP needs us all.  This is your blogger’s favorite group and the one she works most closely with.  Let’s keep pushing to get the message out on radio and television. Join KCC and please donate today.

Weekly NC Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo

The following is the latest North Carolina Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo.  She writes on behalf of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women.  Your blogger is a member of that organization and has exclusive permission  to reproduce these legislative reports.

Congress 


House of Representatives


On May 13, 2011 the House passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2011 (HR 754) which authorizes current fiscal year funding for intelligence and intelligence related programs.  The vote was 392 to 15 with 24 not voting.

 

NC  Representatives voting for the bill:  G.  K. Butterfield (D-1st), Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), David E. Price (D-4th), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), Heath Shuler (D-11th), Melvin Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

NC Representative voting against the bill:  Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-3rd).

Senate


1.  On May 17th the Senate rejected a motion to proceed on the consideration of S. 940 which is titled by the Democrats, “A bill to reduce the Federal budget deficit by closing big oil tax loopholes, and for other purposes.” This is the “test vote” promised by Senate Democrats.  This bill will do nothing to decrease the price of gasoline at the pump, and the fault with the high prices lies with President Obama’s policies on energy, according to Investors Business Daily.

The vote failed 52 to 48 with Senator Hagan voting for the bill and Senator Burr voting against it. Three Democrats voted with the Republicans against the bill:  Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Mark Begich (D-Alaska).  Republican Senators Collins and Snowe of Maine were the only Republicans to vote with the Democrats for the punishment of big oil.

2.  On May 18th the Senate rejected a motion sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a measure titled, “A bill to authorize the conduct of certain lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf, to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to modify the requirements for exploration, and for other purposes.” The main purpose was to force the Obama Administration to act on oil and gas leases and to increase offshore oil production.  It is similar to bills that previously passed in the House.

The vote failed 42 to 57 with 1 not voting.  Senator Hagan voted against the motion and Senator Burr voted for it.

3.  On May 19th the Senate rejected a cloture motion for the nomination of Goodwin Liu of California for the U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.  The vote was 52 to 43 with one voting present (Senator Hatch (R-UT), and 4 not voting.  Sixty votes were required under cloture rules to end the debate and move to a final vote.  Senator Hagan voted for cloture and Senator Burr voted against it.

The issue surrounding Liu is that he is “President Obama’s most radical judicial nominee and the man who Obama would dearly like to make the first Asian-American Supreme Court Justice,” according to Red State.  He is a Berkely law professor “whose vocal and unabashed championing of judicial activism has made him a star on the legal left.”  Liu said, he “envisions the judiciary . . . as a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning,” also reported by Red State.

The nomination was effectively defeated, but Senator Hagan perhaps voted her ideology.  Contact her at (202) 224-6342 if you think Americans do not want other activist judges appointed by the Obama administration.

Note on Senator Hagan
Senator Hagan is an “honorary co-leader of Third Way, a Democratic-leaning business-friendly think tank in Washington,” according to the News & Observer.  While at a breakfast meeting last week CNN asked her some questions.  Senator Hagan said she is for raising the debt ceiling; she is for tax reform and fairness; she favors raising taxes on people making more than $1 million a year; and she supports ending tax breaks for oil companies.  She indicated that she wants cuts in defense spending including in the acquisition process; and believes that more competition in the “industrial defense complex” system would be advantageous.  Finally she sees that rising gas prices have had an effect on military budgets, because filling up a F-15 fighter jet is “huge.”  (Senator Hagan’s voting record does not indicate that she is serious about domestic energy production of gas and oil.)

N.C. General Assembly 


1.  State Health Plan – Republicans and Governor Perdue have worked on a plan for state workers’ health care to replace the bill that Perdue vetoed in April that would have required state employees to pay for the very first time a small amount for their own health insurance premiums.

 

Because $55 million was available in the budget and unspent, the state can still afford to continue requiring no premiums to be paid by employees who have the most basic health programs of 70/30 policies.  If state employees have more expensive coverage (80/20) they will pay modest premiums.  Governor Perdue reportedly agrees with the two companion bills that passed the Senate in a vote of 33 to 16 and passed in the House 90 to 24, which help to close the $515 million deficit in the budget for the state health plan through the middle of 2013.  The legislation also changes the oversight for the state employees health plan from the Legislature to the State Treasurer.

2.  Major Bills: Two notable bills remain in conference to be negotiated between the Senate and the House, because different versions were passed in each chamber.  They are the “No Cap on Number of Charter Schools” (Senate Bill 8) that passed the Senate 33 to 17 on February 24th, and the House 68 to 51 on April 11.  Also the “Medical Liability Reforms” (Senate Bill 33) passed the Senate on March 2, 36 to 13; and the House on April 20, 91 to 27.

Other bills have either passed in the Senate or in the House and have been assigned to various committees including:

  • Eminent Domain (House Bill 8) passed by the House 98 to 18 on April 28, now in the Senate Judiciary I Committee;
  • Castle Doctrine (House Bill 34) passed by the Senate on Feb 28 in a vote of 35 to 13, now in the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Involuntary Annexation Moratorium (Senate Bill 27) passed the Senate on March 7 in a vote of 36 to 12, now in the House Rules Committee.
  • The Energy Jobs Act (Senate Bill 709) passed the Senate on May 10 in a vote of 38 to 12, and is now in the Senate Committee on Public Utilities.

3.   Photo Voter ID – Last week, Senator Debbie Clary (R-Cleveland) presented to a Senate committee another version of the photo ID bill that is similar to the House bill that is still in committee.  Senate bill 595 requires a driver’s license or other evidence of a photo ID to vote so that fraud can be avoided.  Without a photo ID, the voter could cast a provisional ballot that is counted when the voter presents to elections board officials a valid photo ID within 10 days of the election date.  Democrats are urging Governor Perdue to veto the legislation which is expected to pass, and that 84% of North Carolinians polled think is necessary in NC.

South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law on May 18th that would require voters in South Carolina to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.  Haley remarked, “If you can show a picture to buy Sudafed , if you can show a picture to get on an airplane, you should be able to show a picture ID to (vote).”

What will Governor Perdue do?  According to Civitas, Perdue’s job approval rating is 46% in recent polling, and represents an increase of 3% since March 2011.    

4. Last week the House voted on a bill that reduces the “early-voting” timeframe.   The vote was 60 to 58, mostly along party lines.  The measure reduces early-voting time by a week from the 2 1/2 week period.  Money is the issue and researchers in the legislature have estimated that $2000 per voting site will be saved if the bill is approved.  Democrat legislators fear that fewer Democrats will vote if the measure passes.  The bill is now in the Senate.

5.  Restoring Unemployment Benefits – A compromise bill is expected by next week, but the 37,000 long-term unemployed seeking benefits has increased to 42,000.  Both Republican Senate and House and leaders are working to reach an agreement on a bill that Governor Perdue will sign.

6.    Redistricting – Senator Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), Chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee, said last week that a public hearing will be held in Raleigh, with satellite access at four other sites, for the public to see the redistricting maps which are expected to be completed next month.

7.  Legislative Day and the Marriage Rally in Raleigh, May 17th.

Thanks to the NCFRW members who attended the Marriage Rally and Legislative Day activities last week.  NCFRW Parliamentarian Mary Frances Forrester addressed the estimated 3500 people attending the rally with sincere and compelling oratory on the merits of the Marriage Amendment for North Carolina.  She was outstanding in her comments and demeanor.

Among the speakers for our separate Legislative session was House Speaker Thom Tillis who accepted our Marriage Amendment petitions and inspired us to have confidence that the Republicans will do as they pledged during the election.  Specifically to pass important bills that matter to North Carolina, such as cutting spending, creating jobs, and passing legislation including the Voter Photo ID bill, the Marriage Amendment, Eminent Domain, and other measures that are favored by North Carolinians.

Other Republican Representatives who took time from their busy schedules to speak to the NCFRW members included:  Marilyn Avila (Wake), John Blust (Guilford), John Faircloth (Guilford), Speaker Pro Tempore Dale R. Folwell (Forsyth), Craig Horn (Union), Pat B. Hurley (Randolph), Linda P. Johnson (Cabarrus), Tim  Moore (Cleveland), Tom Murry (Wake), G. L. Pridgen (Hoke, Robeson, Scotland), Phil R. Shepard (Onslow), and John A. Torbett (Gaston).   We enjoyed hearing their updates of important legislation.

We especially thank Speaker Pro Tempore Dale R. Folwell for working with Joyce Krawiec, NCFRW Grassroots Activism Chairman, to schedule the event; along with Paige Fitzgerald Barefoot, Senior Staff Associate, who finalized the arrangements including a conference room to meet with the legislators.


Sources:  house.govsenate.govInvestors Business Daily, “Editorial:  Dems Blame Business For Own Bad Policies,” May 12, 2011; Red State, “Tomorrow:  Biggest Nomination Fight of 2011,” by Curt Levy, May 18, 2011; Carolina Journal Online, “NCGA Scorecard:  The Good, the Bad, and the Incomplete,” by David N. Bass, May 19, 2011;Charlotte Observer, “Senate panel takes up voter ID bill,” by Jim Morrill, May 18, 2011 and “Haley signs voter ID bill into law,” by Gina Smith, May 19, 2011; Civitas, “Civitas Poll:  Perdue Job Approval Remains Under 50 Percent,” by Katie Trout, May 19, 2011; News & Observer, “House votes to shorten early voting,” by Jim Morrill of Charlotte Observer, May 19, 2011 and “Wings clipped,” editorial, May 20, 2011 and “State Health Plan deal advances,” by Lynn Bonner, May 19, 2011 and “Rucho:  Voters will get say on district maps,” by Mary Cornatzer, May 18, 2011 and “Hagan says U.S. must raise debt ceiling,” by Barbara Barrett, May 18, 2011; m2mpolitics, “Early voting bill concerns state elections chief,” May 19, 2011;  Winston Salem Journal, “GOP plans compromise bill next week to restore unemployment benefits,” by Journal Now Staff & AP, May 21, 2011; Star News, “Perdue ready to sign NC employee health plan deal,” by Gary D. Robertson AP, May 19, 2011and “Thousands rally to back NC gay marriage ban idea” by Gary D. Robertson AP, May 17, 2011; News-Record, “More state residents losing jobless benefits,” by AP, May 18, 2011 and “Triad legislator opposes a ban of gay marriage,” by Mark Binker, May 18, 2011; and News & Observer,“Same-sex marriage foes rally for amendment,” by Eden Stiffman and Lynn Bonner, May 18, 2011; ncga.state.nc.us; and Personal Observations during Marriage Rally and Legislative Day activities, May 17, 2011.

Editor’s Note:  Bolding (other editing) done by the blogger and not by the writer. As requested by the writer, all original content included.  Please note sources cited. KCC appreciates the writer’s extensive research and reporting.

NCFRW – Legislative Report by Brenda T. Formo

Here is the current edition of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women (NCFRW) Legislative Report, written and edited by Brenda T. Formo.  This is posted with permission, as is.  It’s an excellent roundup and your blogger looks forward to receiving it each week.

If you are interested in joining your local club, please check this page for more information.  (You must have a PDF reader installed on your machine.)

US House of Representatives

Continuing Resolution

On Friday, Feb 11 the House Appropriations Committee released a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the 2011 fiscal year budget which is expected to be voted on this week.  Republicans have cut $100 billion from the CR.

Patriot Act

On Feb 14, 2011 the final vote was taken on HR 514, “To extend expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers, and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011.”  The bill passed with a vote of 275 to 144 with 14 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the bill:  G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr.(R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), Heath Shuler (D-11th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

NC Representatives voting against the bill: David E. Price (D-4th) and Melvin L. Watt (D-12th).

United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act

On Feb 9, 2011 the House voted on HR 519, a motion to suspend the rules and pass the “United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act.”  The bill was to “establish as United States policy that the United Nations should return $179 million overpaid into the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund as of Dec. 31, 2009, and that the U.S. should press the U.N. to change its fund assessment procedures to reduce discrepancies.” (MegaVote)  The vote failed, which required a two-thirds majority, in a vote of 259 to 169 with 6 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the refund bill: Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).

NC Representatives voting against the refund bill: G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), David E. Price (D-4th), Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

House Rules Committee

On Feb 14, 2011, the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee voted to “shut down Rep Steve King’s ability to offer an amendment to completely defund Obamacare on the continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year,” according to Erick Erickson at RedState, a conservative internet (sic) site.  Erickson says that the Republicans lost a “prime opportunity” to “shut down Obamacare with its historic ‘power of the purse’” because the continuing resolution is a “must-pass bill.”  Erickson stresses that Republicans should “force the Democrats to use political capital to get the provision out of the bill in the Senate.”

NC “State of the State” & Legislation
Governor Beverly Perdue presented her “State of the State” address on February 14, 2011 in which she commented on the $2.4 billion deficit and her proposed budget. Sounding more like a Republican or perhaps having a change in attitude, Governor Perdue wants tax relief for corporations in NC decreased to 4.9% from 6.9%, saying it would be the lowest in the Southeast and one of the lowest rates in the country.
The governor also made proposals for her “Career and College Promise” initiative and maintaining education funding for teachers and teaching assistants, indicating that education is sacrosanct and saying that she will not budge on it.
Republican leaders, Phil Berger and Thom Tillis both questioned the funding of the governor’s favored College Promise program, but indicated agreement with the lower tax rate for corporations.
NCGOP Chairman, Robin Hayes provided an articulate response emphasizing that Republicans want less tax, less spending, and less regulation.  Predictably, the Democrat party Chairman David Parker blamed the NC fiscal problems on President Bush as opposed to Democrat spending decisions.
Balanced Budget Act of 2011
On Feb 10, 2011 the NC Legislature ratified the Balanced Budget Act of 2011.  The House votes were 66 to 51 with 1 not voting.  The Senate passed the measure earlier in the week.  The bill takes advantage of $540 million in savings from the current budget and is now ready for Governor Perdue’s signature.  Speculation from Democrats is that she will veto the legislation.  According to Bloomberg News, “Three-fifths of the members voting on an override in the House and Senate would have to agree” to overturn the veto and make the legislation law.

Sources:

Investors.com, “Editorial:  Obama’s Gutless Budget Proposal, Feb 14, 2011;

Heritage Foundation, “Morning Bell:  Obama Budget Doubles Down on Deficit Spending Failure,” by Conn Carroll, Feb 15, 2011; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “House Budget Cuts,” by Jamie Dupree, Feb 15, 2011; The Daily Caller, “White House budget gives House GOP a chance to regroup,” by Chris Moody, Feb 14, 2011 and “Ryan:  Obama punted budget, it’s ‘Debt on Arrival,’” by Mary Katherine Hamm(sic), Feb 14, 2011, and “House Republicans’ CR a step in right direction, though not complete solution, says conservative groups,” by Matthew Boyle, Feb 15, 2011; CNN.com, “Obama defends budget priorities,” Feb 15, 2011; Real Clear Politics, “To Close Fiscal Deficit, We Must First Close Our Leadership Deficit,” by Senator Tom Coburn, Feb 15, 2011; The Hill, “McConnell:  Obama budget ‘unserious’ and ‘irresponsible,” by Josiah Ryan, Feb 14, 2011; The Wall Street Journal, “Obama’s ‘Keynesian Misadventure,’” by Stephen Moore, Feb 14, 2011; Chicagotribune.com, “Passing on most painful choices, Obama sends Congress $3.7 trillion budget with some cuts,” by Andrew Taylor, Feb 14, 2011; hotair.com, “Budget reveals the Boldness Deficit,” by Ed Morrissey, Feb 15, 2011; house.gov; MegaVote: NC 6th, 2/14/2011; RedState.com, “RedState Action Alert:  Take Down the Rule,” by Erick Erickson, Feb 15, 2011; newsobserver.com, “Perdue urges cut in business taxes,”  by Rob Christensen and contributor Andy Curliss, Feb 15, 2011; News 14 Carolina, “State of the State” address from Governor Perdue, Feb 14, 2011; nbc17.com, “Perdue:  NC Budget will Eliminate ‘Thousands of State Positions,’” by NBC17 Staff, Feb 14, 2011; ncga.state.nc.us; “Senate Bill 13,” Feb 15, 2011; Bloomberg.com, “NC Legislature gives final OK to savings bill,” by AP, Feb 10, 2011.

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Legislative Report from NC Federation of Republican Women

Your blogger’s friend, Brenda T. Formo, volunteers diligently following both the U.S. Congress and the North Carolina General Assembly,  to provide updates for the membership of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women (NCFRW).  That group, which includes your blogger, is active in electing Republicans statewide.  They host legislative days, as well as visits for their members to visit the North Carolina Congressional delegation in Washington.

They also visit troops and families at the Fisher Houses, help the USO, and a number of other needed tasks.

To find out more, find a local club near you.

North Carolina Federation of Republican Women – Legislative Report
Brenda T. Formo
January 27, 2011
U.S. House of Representatives

On January 25, 2011 the House voted on a bill entitled “To reduce spending through a transition to non-security spending at fiscal year [FY] 2008 levels.”  The bill passed 256 to 165 with 13 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the bill:  Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Walter B. Jones, Jr.  (R-3rd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).

NC Representatives voting against it:  G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), David E. Price (D-4th),

Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th).

On January 26, 2011 the House voted on a bill, “To reduce Federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions.”  The bill passed 239 to 160 with 35 not voting.

NC Representatives voting for the bill:  Renee Ellmers (R-2nd), Virginia Foxx (R-5th), Howard Coble (R-6th), Sue Myrick (R-9th), Patrick T. McHenry (R-10th), and Heath Shuler (D-11th).

NC Representatives voting against it:  G.K. Butterfield (D-1st), Walter B. Jones, Jr.  (R-3rd), David E. Price (D-4th), Mike McIntyre (D-7th), Larry Kissell (D-8th), Melvin L. Watt (D-12th), and Brad Miller (D-13th)

The North Carolina General Assembly

NC House of Representatives

The 120 members of the NC House of Representatives were sworn in on January 26, 2011, when the House convened at 12 Noon.  Members include 67 Republicans, 52 Democrats and 1 Unaffiliated. The room and balcony were packed for the historic event.

The Representatives voted for the Speaker of the House.  Republicans nominated Thom Tillis (Mecklenburg) and Democrats nominated Joe Hackney (Chatham, Moore, Orange).  Tillis won with 74 votes, Hackney had 46.

House Speaker Tillis delivered comments to the attendees.  He said that NC has a budget deficit as a result of high spending.  He noted that we must lower expectations on what the government does for us and raise expectations on what we can do for ourselves as individuals.  His plans for the House include:  a sunset of temporary taxes, to pass a term limit bill, and to complete a 180 – day schedule around June 4, 2011.
He added that the House must act swiftly on Education, Health and Human Services, Law Enforcement and Transportation infrastructure.  The cost of government needs to be reduced through privatization.  Goals of Republicans in the House are based on:  limited government, free markets, and federalism.  Citizens have been taxed enough as exemplified by the TEA Party movement.

Tillis acknowledged the  Republican Women’s caucus who were wearing red and admired their red roses, given as gifts from the NCFRW.  He noted that the House men were wearing red ties and that both the women and men symbolized Republican unity by wearing red. He also thanked former Speaker Hackney and his staff for the help they had given him during the transition.
Speaker Tillis has a new gavel, which he has named “Ray” as a tribute to his father.  The gavel was made from a long leaf pine tree planted in the Colonial Forest of NC that lived more than 100 years ago.  The wood was from the tree first used to build an 1830′s home, later salvaged, and recently used to make the gavel.

The House also elected a Speaker Pro Tempore.  Republicans nominated Dale Folwell (Forsyth) and Democrats nominated William Wainwright (Craven, Lenoir).  Folwell won with 68 votes and Wainwright had 52.

On the Calendar for Thursday, January 27, 2011 are the following bills:   ”Protect Health Care Freedom,”  ”Community Colleges/Opt Out of Federal Loan Program,” and “Eminent Domain” among others.

NC Senate

NC Senators were sworn in also on January 25, 2011.  Republicans hold the majority 31 to 19 in the Senate.  The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Senate and presides over daily sessions, however he has no vote except to break a tie.  The Senate elected Senator Phil Berger (Guilford, Rockingham) as President Pro Tempore.

Senator Berger commented that, “The Senate’s primary objective is to revitalize North Carolina’s economy and foster a business climate where the private sector can create new jobs.”  He specifically highlighted the NC budget deficit of $3.7 billion and vowed to close it with the help of both parties.  Berger said, “Balancing the state’s budget and reducing government costs to families and business is how we can most effectively create jobs in North Carolina.”  His goals are to “reduce spending, balance our budget, and reform North Carolina’s regulatory environment to make our state a better place to live, work, raise a family, and start and grow a business.”

The Senate’s agenda for Thursday, January 27, 2011 includes the following bills from Senator Don Vaughn (Democrat-Guilford):  ”Broaden Sweepstakes Law,” and “Make Synthetic Cannabinoids Illegal.”  Used as an alternative to marijuana, Synthetic Cannabinoids are known as “Spice,” “K2″ or “Genie” and in 2010 at least 11 state legislatures outlawed them.  This year, 21 states have introduced legislation related to the drug.

Sources:  house.gov; ncga.state.nc.us; Notes from House of Representatives Opening Day, prepared by Brenda T. Formo, Jan 26, 2011;  NC Senate Caucus, Jan 26, 2011; and ncsl.org, “Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2),” Jan 18, 2011. 
North Carolina Federation of Republican Women
Dena Barnes
President
North Carolina Federation of Republican Women

ncfrw.com