Archive for the ‘NCGA’ Category
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.
By Alissa Bonk, Smart Girl Political Action
Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle from New York’s 25th District has been ranked the most conservative woman in the House. She is wildly popular among pro-life groups, and her strong stance against government spending has earned her a Club for Growth rating of 92, a full 24 points higher than the next best rating in NY. Rep. Buerkle is a strong, independent, female conservative — the kind that the Republican Party sorely needs in Washington.
So naturally, the New York State Party is intentionally redistricting her out of her seat. Their own, self-drawn map places Rep. Buerkle in a nearly impossible electoral situation.
Anyone who is familiar with the New York Republican establishment shouldn’t be too surprised by this.
In 2009, the state GOP forced the liberal, pro-union, pro-choice Dede Scozzafava onto the Republican ticket in the NY-09 special election, causing a third-party rebellion within the conservative movement that led to Scozzafava’s withdrawal from the race and endorsement of the Democrat over the conservative candidate.
In 2010, the establishment tried to hoist candidate, Rick Lazio, onto the GOP gubernatorial ticket – only to result in yet another voter revolt that put Carl Paladino on the ballot, a candidate who went down in flames in November.
This time, instead of forcing a flawed candidate onto the ticket, the state GOP is trying to redistrict a good one – a great one, actually – out of contention, simply because she won’t play ball with the Albany old boys club.
Luckily, the conservative movement is identifying this for what it is – an attempt to get an independent-minded, strong female conservative out of the establishment’s way – straight out of the gate.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), head of the Republican Study Committee, has already said he will fully support Buerkle in her primary fight against any challenger, even if it means defeating a Republican incumbent in a different district. The Chairman of the Onandaga County GOP, located within Buerkle’s district, has announced his support as well.
In fact, the conservative outcry has reached the ears of real conservative voices like Erick Erickson, who recently criticized the “tone deaf” state party and urged other conservatives to start paying attention to the unfolding fiasco.
The Republican Party should be applauding and encouraging strong conservative women to run for office and fight for fiscal sanity in Washington. Instead, the New York State GOP wants to redistrict them out of existence. Hopefully, conservatives – especially us (sic) conservative women – will recognize this shameful move for what it is, and put pressure on Albany to keep Rep. Buerkle in Congress. The GOP, and the country, needs her there.
Please check out my Op-Ed posted on The Daily Caller and leave a comment of support for the Congresswoman. We need strong conservative women representing us in Congress.
SGPA Communication Team
Editor’s Notes: Not too many years ago, something similar happened in the North Carolina State House. The Citizens of the old North State elected a Republican majority, in spite of the Democrat party’s gerrymandering. The GOP Seniority system was set and the people destined to take their places in leadership positions prepared to do so.
Along came a state representative and longtime party activist, Richard Morgan of Moore County. He scared up eight of his best pals and brokered a “power-sharing” agreement with the Democrats, and setting up a “co-speakership” in the State House of Representatives. Co-Speakership? What happened to the GOP majority that had just been elected? Morgan”s pals shared key committee chairmanships and the Republicans who had worked so hard were left with little.
How did it work? Like a broken clock.
Two years later, the Democrats were voted back into the majority and didn’t give it up until 2010, when the anti-Obama wave hit the country and people wanted to go in a different direction.
Two years after his scheme, Richard Morgan was voted out of office, with the support of many from Wake and surrounding counties, including Art Pope, a benefactor of conservative and libertarian causes. The others were “hunted down” voted out, too by recruiting good candidates. Such a long story cannot be completely covered here, but thankfully we in North Carolina do not have a short-sighted NCGOP.
Uber Liberal NC Representative Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake) to retire: Your blogger’s day is made. KCC lived in her district nearly all the years Weiss “served” and wrote her many letters. Weiss never once listened to a different idea, or one that didn’t come from her socialist playbook. Read Laura Leslie‘s report.
According to Leslie,
This year’s Republican redistricting maps drew her into a GOP-leaning district with a Republican incumbent, Rep. Tom Murry.
NC House Majority Leader, Rep. Paul Stam, wants you to know what the Marriage Amendment will do. It’s on the same ballot as the May primaries and he offers five points for readers to consider. KCC notes that our liberal friends have been getting most of the mainstream press on this (what’s new?).
Stam argues in part:
Legally Recognizing Only Heterosexual Marriage Isn’t Discrimination Against Homosexuals Wanting To Marry. Marriage between a man and a woman has existed in virtually every known society. It has served the purpose of channeling procreative sexual activity into an institution which will provide a stable environment for children produced from the sexual union of the partners in marriage.
In a true loss for our state and nation, Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC, 9) will not be running for re-election for her seat in Congress. Myrick, a former Charlotte Mayor, understands the terrorists threats more than any other member of Congress. She has organized workshops and worked with a variety of groups in Washington, Charlotte, and Raleigh, to educate and to promote understanding of what the terror threat is, and founded the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus.
Katy’s Conservative Corner wishes Mrs. Myrick our very best and we thank her for her 9 terms serving North Carolina’s ninth district.
Finally, Pat McCrory, likely Republican nominee for Governor, is finishing off his fundraising push after his big announcement week. He needs any support you can provide. To donate to McCrory for Governor, please click here and follow the directions.
The big news from the Capitol press corps in Raleigh, Thursday, is that Winston-Salem state Rep. Dale Folwell, won’t run for re-election in 2012.
Laura Leslie of WRAL reported in a Twitter post that the 4-term Republican is double-bunked in the new legislative maps with fellow GOP member, Larry Brown. This means they are now in the same district.
Folwell added in a press conference that it “didn’t sway his decision”. Brown is running again, and if Folwell ran, they’d face each other in a primary. Folwell is popular, and your blogger believes that he could defeat Brown, but was considering higher office anyway.
In fact, Folwell has been considering this action for months now.
He told this blogger he was running for a specific higher office (we won’t share which).
In the presser Thursday, Mark Binker reported that Rep. Folwell is considering running for State Auditor, State Treasurer, or Lt. Governor.
Your blogger suggests he will get in a state race, if and only if:
1. He believes he can win.
2. He has or can raise the money to win without putting him in tremendous personal debt.
Whatever race he chooses, this blogger would instantly support him over any other candidate she may have already been considering. Dale Folwell has been an effective legislator, and has been able to work with both the front and rear of the house. (In North Carolina, the minority party sits at the rear of the chamber).
We’ll have more on Rep. Folwell coming up soon.