Archive for the ‘NCGA’ Category
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media were abuzz with “facts” put out by the New York Times, The Washington Post, WRAL-TV, and other outlets. They claim that the old North State is losing its brand identity. Why?
Our state is no longer “progressive”. In the last election, North Carolina citizens voted most liberals out of office.
We are not as “progressive” as we once were, thanks to over a century of Democratic rule. Six month ago, for the first time ever, Republicans took control of every branch of government in North Carolina. Citizens were tired of it and wanted to try something else. Apparently, our liberal friends do not realize this.
To the liberal media, this was a true horror. Bruce Mildwurf could barely contain his glee, reporting this evening on WRAL’s 6:00 p.m. news, that even Fox News was reporting on the liberal “Moral Monday” protests. Apparently he doesn’t realize that Fox has a policy of “we report, you decide”.
“Would the losing team in the Super Bowl go protest outside the winning team’s locker room, because they lost the game,” state GOP Chairman Claude Pope told the national media.
State Sen. Thom Goolsby explained that Democrats over spent and left North Carolina in a financial mess. ”Our job has been to come in here and clean up.”
Meanwhile, a liberal activist retorted that “this is only the beginning and legislators should prepare for more protests…” until the next election.
Statewide liberal groups, like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the NAACP have organized weekly protests but so have conservative groups.
Let us hear what you think!
For more information, read Chairman Pope’s statement.
Governor Pat McCrory’s office released his public schedule for Thursday, about an hour ago. The only item on the schedule was a 7:30 a.m. breakfast with invited State Legislators at the NC Governor’s Mansion. No press invited!
Will they discuss their differences on the abortion debate?
We will keep you up to date.
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.
Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) filed Senate Bill 4 to exempt North Carolina from establishing a state-based health insurance exchange or a state-federal partnership exchange.
The bill also directs the N.C. Department of Insurance to return unspent taxpayer funds awarded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month to create a state-federal partnership exchange.
“Obamacare was forced on us against our will by the federal government, and they should shoulder the burden of implementing it,” said Sen. Apodaca. “Any claim that North Carolina would ‘control’ this program is nothing more than an illusion.”
Senate Bill 4 also rules out expansion of the North Carolina Medicaid program. In its 2012 decision on Obamacare, the U.S. Supreme Court exempted states from the federal mandate to expand Medicaid eligibility. Based on the court’s ruling, North Carolina has the authority to opt out of expansion.
Costs for North Carolina’s existing Medicaid program have increased significantly in recent years. In 2012, the General Assembly was forced to fill a surprise Medicaid shortfall that totaled more than $500 million. Recent figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that an expansion of the program would add hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state costs to North Carolina’s Medicaid budget through 2019.
“Senate Republicans are committed to ensuring every North Carolinian receives the highest quality health care and outcomes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “Saddling our citizens with the enormous costs of a new federal bureaucracy and entitlements is simply not the way to achieve this goal.”
Under Obamacare, each state must have in place a health exchange where individuals and small businesses, which are now mandated to have insurance, can purchase health care coverage. There are three options: a state-run exchange, a state-federal partnership exchange and a federally-run exchange. Senate leaders have spent months evaluating the implications of each type of exchange.
In November 2012, former Gov. Beverly Perdue prematurely declared her intent to establish a state-federal partnership exchange – three months before the deadline for the state to make this declaration – while at the same time applying for $73.9 million dollars in federal grant funding to set up the new government program.
Raleigh Republican Dan Forest, became North Carolina’s newest Lt. Governor on Monday. He was sworn into office by Associate Supreme Court Justice, Paul Newby.
Joined his wife Alice, elected officials, family, and invited guests, the private ceremony was held in the Old Senate chambers on Capitol Square in downtown Raleigh.
Forest’s mother, former Congresswoman Sue Myrick, sat on the front row and watched proudly as her son promised to abide by North Carolina law.
According to the Associated Press:
Forest said he’s eager to join (Governor Pat) McCrory and fellow Republicans who now control the General Assembly in transforming state government. Forest says he hopes his fellow GOP leaders will be bold in removing regulations from businesses and in reducing taxes including possibly eliminating income taxes paid by individuals and corporations. He also hopes lawmakers will revolutionize education and open the exploration and production of energy.
Forest is an architect who holding his first public office. Monday, he became the first Lt. Governor of North Carolina since Jim Gardner. Gardner, of Rocky Mount, took office in 1989.
More than 100 people gathered in the old House chambers for the swearing-in. They listened to mostly patriotic music from the Liberty Brass Quintet that’s part of the 440th Army Band from the North Carolina
National Guard. Transition team leader John Lassiter emceed the event.
The ceremony began in earnest at 11:57 a.m. when Gov. Beverly Perdue and first gentleman Bob Eaves entered the room and were given a standing ovation. They sat in the second row. Perdue wore a red dress.
After the presentation of the U.S. and North Carolina flags by a military color guard, McCrory nephew Patrick Sebastian led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. The crowd faced ahead to where a portrait of George Washington sits on the wall high above the speaker’s dais. The participants kept their hands over their hearts as the quintet played the national anthem.
The Rev. David Chadwick of Charlotte recited a prayer, which in part asked God to let McCrory “not worry about anything but in everything with great thanksgiving always lay his burdens upon you in prayer.”
Perdue and McCrory approached the dais and a table where the seal of North Carolina sat. The two, along with Associate Justice Paul Newby, participated in the ceremonial transferring of the seal between governors. Newby called the seal “perhaps the best known representation of the constitutional power and authority of the state of North Caroilna.”
Perdue told McCrory that with the seal she transferred to him “the powers and duties as chief executive officer of the great state _ the greatest state in America _ and may God bless you in the months and years ahead as you and Ann serve North Carolina’s people as their governor and leader of this great state.”
McCrory accepted the seal “and the power and duties it represents. I hereby promise to fulfill the duties of the governor of North Carolina and to fairly and justly use these powers entrusted to me to enable the people of North Carolina to be the very best they can be. May we all, working together, be a beacon of hope and progress for our nation, and of course to our great state.”
Chief Justice Sarah Parker administered the oath to Patrick Lloyd McCrory at 12:10 p.m. on two Bibles held by Ann McCrory _ the McCrory family Bible and the George Durant 1599 Bible, which is known as North Carolina’s oldest book. After saying “I do,” the crowd applauded and the new governor hugged his wife.
McCrory told the crowd: “This is quite an honor and privilege. I first want to thank the governor and her husband, Bob, for just graciousness during this transition. And thank you for your leadership and your public service over the past 20 years.” The crowd gave Perdue another standing ovation.
McCrory continued: “I ask for your prayers. I ask for you to pray for Ann and myself and may God continue to bless a great nation and may God continue to bless the state of North Carolina. Thank you very much.”
The McCrorys then walked out of the House chambers at 12:13 p.m. to complete the ceremony.
Swearing In of Cabinet and Secretaries
Those in attendance at the swearing-in included all seven members of the Supreme Court; incoming Lt. Gov. Dan Forest; State Treasurer Janet Cowell; Secretary of State Elaine Marshall; Attorney General Roy Cooper; Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin; State Auditor Beth Wood; Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson; House Speaker Thom Tillis; Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger; and McCrory’s incoming Cabinet secretaries.
McCrory and his Cabinet then walked over to the old Senate chambers, where McCrory watched as the eight were sworn in to office simultaneously by Newby. Spouses of the Cabinet members held Bibles as they all stood in a row for the oaths. McCrory also stood in the line to watch.
Associate Justice Mark Martin then swore in some of McCrory’s top staff members, including deputy budget director Art Pope, general counsel Bob Stephens, chief of staff Thomas Stith and state personnel director Neal Alexander.
McCrory gave some brief remarks following: “…Our goal and my faith tells me that we leave this place in a better place than it was when we arrived.”
McCrory left the 2nd floor of the old Capitol building to the sounds of the brass quintet, which proceeded to play “Penny Lane” and “When I’m 64” by The Beatles _ a favorite band of the state’s 74th governor. McCrory was driven by his security detail to the Executive Mansion for a meal with ceremony participants.
Gov. Beverly Perdue on Sunday vetoed legislation that would have paved the way for a robust local energy sector, lured private investment to the state and created new jobs for North Carolinians.
Below is a joint statement from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg):
Gov. Perdue’s latest flip-flop on shale gas exploration is an attempt to slam the brakes on the creation of a vibrant new economic sector in North Carolina.
“The General Assembly incorporated many of the governor’s recommendations in a bipartisan plan to begin developing the regulatory framework for affordable, clean energy alternatives. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that when decision time neared, she once again caved to her liberal base rather than support the promise of more jobs for our state.”
Gov. Perdue’s stance on the creation of an energy sector in North Carolina has changed repeatedly in recent years. After stating her support for the development of offshore energy, she vetoed the Energy Jobs Act, which would have put pressure on President (Barack) Obama to open the East Coast for energy exploration.
Earlier this year the governor flip-flopped again, expressing her confidence natural gas exploration could be done safely after a research trip to Pennsylvania. Her administration even issued a report concluding shale gas exploration could be done safely.
Editor’s Notes: A number of sources have expressed confidence that the Obama campaign was the reason beyond Perdue’s decision not to run for a second term as Governor of North Carolina.
Additionally, please contact your state legislators to encourage them to vote to override the governor’s veto. A special list of those needing to be contacted appear at the bottom of this page.
Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) on Tuesday called for Gov. Beverly Perdue to sign a $20.2 billion budget adjustment that invests hundreds of millions of state dollars in public education, fixes serious problems in Medicaid, cuts the gas tax, and gives raises to teachers and state employees – without hiking taxes or incurring debt.
The two-year budget enacted last year will remain in place if the governor vetoes the improvements the General Assembly made last week. North Carolinians will face serious consequences if she chooses to place politics ahead of the public interest. Among the worst consequences of failing to make second-year budget adjustments are:
- $255 million in additional state funds will not go to public K-12 education. This includes $126.9 million to fill in the discretionary cut for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, $16.4 million in lottery funds, a $27 million education reform program to strengthen student literacy and improve graduation rates, and $85 million for a 1.2 percent raise for public school teachers.
- In addition to public school teachers, state employees will lose a 1.2 percent raise. This will be the fifth consecutive year they go without a salary increase. State retirees will lose a 1 percent cost of living adjustment increase.
- The state’s Medicaid program will run out of money during the fiscal year, causing doctors to go unpaid and patient care to suffer.
- Programs for needy families and the state’s at-risk population will not receive $900 million in federal block grants.
- The state’s gas tax will not be cut.
Want to support public, charter, schools in North Carolina? Attend the N.C. Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ dinner with State House Speaker Thom Tillis.
The dinner, which is set for Monday, July 23 at the Concord Convention Center, is part of the Alliance’s third annual charter school conference.
Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by clicking HERE. Reserve your seat today!
The North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a mission of advancing quality educational opportunities for all North Carolina children by supporting and expanding successful public charter schools.