Archive for the ‘North Carolina Government Agencies’ 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.
By Susan Bryant, Chairman, Wake County Republican Party
It’s Tax filing time, and when you file your IRS and North Carolina Tax returns, I am asking that you DO NOT check off the box that sends public funds to political parties!
From the time it began in the 1970’s, I have been opposed to public financing of political campaigns. This includes the years I made my living as a campaign consultant, and could therefore have pocketed some of the money involved myself. I consider my position one of the most selfless and altruistic I have ever espoused. But seriously, why should taxpayers’ money go to pay for politicians’ bumper strips when we are running up trillions of dollars of debt?
So I’ve been against all public financing schemes, the Presidential check-off, the many various proposals for financing Congressional campaigns that have been floated over the year, and, yes, the North Carolina check-off law, too. Now that we have a Republican legislature, I think elimination of the Political Parties Financing Fund ought to be a major part of the campaign reform bill they pass, along with Voter ID and a number of other changes that are needed.
Not all of the reports have been filed yet, but last year, more than $2 million was doled out by the state to the three recognized political parties, with by far the largest share going to the Democrats, who got over a million and a half. Some of the Democrat money (as Francis DeLuca pointed out in a Civitas Review article last April,) went to pay for the settlement the Dems paid to cover up the allegation of sexual harassment.
Doing away with the check-off fund would also make it unnecessary for Republicans to wrestle with the choice between honor and political expediency. Assuming they don’t get it repealed in time for the 2012 tax returns we’re all dealing with now, I will decline to say yes to wasteful spending again, hopefully for the last time, at least at our state level. I hope you will, too.
Democrats argue that public financing will cut down on political clout by fat cats and other special interests, but doesn’t that go against their basic philosophy of “soak the rich?” When they check the box, they are taking $3 out of the funds that would otherwise go to education, mental health and other worthy causes in the state budgets and give it to the politicians. How did that ever get to be the policy of the party of the “little guy,” anyway?
I don’t believe those precious dollars should go to politicians, but rather should go to the education of our children, homeless veterans and other worthy causes. And I encourage all who want to contribute to a political party to do so…and for you Republicans, I’m including a link to do so for either the North Carolina GOP or the Wake County GOP.
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.
On his first official workday in office, newly minted Governor Pat McCrory got down to business. He signed his first executive order and named three more appointments to his leadership team.
His first act was to rescind one of his predecessors executive orders which was to have a panel pick vacant statewide judicial positions. In Executive Order 1, he will do it directly.
At his first press conference this morning, the governor expressed concern over the state’s exploding budget and warned agency directors to watch their bottom lines.
Additonally, he discussed the state’s Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, calling it antiquated and out-of-date. He had specific worries about the computers in Health and Human Services.
Finally, he named three more to positions of political importance:
Tony Almeida as Senior Advisor to the governor for Jobs and the Economy, Fred Steen as the governor’s Legislative Liaison and Chris Estes as State Chief Information Officer.
Tuesday evening, the Governor will be in his predecessor’s (and this blogger’s) hometown of New Bern, greeting constituents. Katy’s Conservative Corner will be there and have the story for you, as well as other stories of the day and from the past weekend.
Remember all that work you did last Spring, Summer, and Fall? Today is pay off time as North Carolina’s new Governor, Pat McCrory, is inaugurated. The activities will take place in the old Senate Chambers at Capitol Square in downtown Raleigh. The details follow, below.
Find out how you can watch the entire event on your computer, via Livestream and scroll down to see the activities of the noon hour. Katy’s Conservative Corner will also be there to bring you photos and interviews.
We listed a viewing guide beneath the video box, to assist you.
ACTIVITIES OF NOON HOUR
|WHO:||Governor-Elect Pat McCrory|
|WHAT:||Official Swearing-In Ceremony|
|WHEN:||Saturday, January 5, 2013
12:00pm – 12:30pm
|WHERE:||House of Representatives Chamber
North Carolina State Capitol, Second Floor
1 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
12:00pm – Gov. Elect McCrory enters chamber
12:02pm – Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
12:05pm – Invocation by Minister David Chadwick
12:07pm – Transfer of the seal w/ Gov. Elect McCrory & Gov. Perdue
12:11pm – Gov. Elect McCrory takes the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Parker
12:17pm – Gov. McCrory exits chamber
OPEN TO FAMILY and media only
Swearing in of Cabinet Secretaries
|WHO:||Governor Pat McCrory, Cabinet Secretaries|
|WHEN:||Saturday, January 5, 2013
North Carolina State Capitol, Second Floor
1 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
You may also watch the proceedings on North Carolina Public Television.
Thursday, North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory appointed Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, Retired) as Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Sharon Decker as Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Bill Daughtridge as Secretary of the Department of Administration. Additionally, the Governor-Elect announced Neal Alexander will serve as Director of the State Office of Personnel.
With these appointments, Governor-Elect McCrory has filled all eight of his cabinet secretary positions with a diverse, bi-partisan group of people representing all portions of the state. Half of Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet secretaries are Republican and half are either Democrat or Independent.
“I am incredibly proud of the strong team we’ve assembled,” said Governor-Elect McCrory. “These individuals are pragmatic problem solvers and leaders that will help me run the government in the most effective way possible while seeking long-term solutions for our state.”
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, Retired) joins Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet after most recently serving as Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, leading the state’s largest school district of 18,000 employees, 150,000 students and a $1.25 billion budget.
Prior to serving as Superintendent, General Tata was in Afghanistan where he served as the Deputy Commanding General of U.S. forces from 2006-2007. Throughout his career, General Tata has planned and implemented multiple operations involving complex transportation and infrastructure challenges ranging from multi-mode operations involving ports, airfields, rail, and highways to designing and implementing extensive infrastructure plans in developing countries. Among his many military assignments, General Tata served two tours of duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
He also served as a brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division and as the Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division. General Tata graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1981.
Sharon Decker enters the McCrory Administration with extensive private sector experience. She was the CEO of the Tanner Company, a large textile company based in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. In 2004, Decker created the Tapestry Group, a non-profit that helps individuals lead healthy lives in body, mind and spirit. Decker has served on the boards of three Fortune 500 companies. She also has more than 17 years of experience with Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She began working with the company in consumer services and moved rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest and first female vice president in Duke Power’s history. Her work at Duke Power led to the creation of its 24-hour customer service center, an organization that still serves as a model for the industry.
Bill Daughtridge is the President of Daughtridge Gas & Oil Company based in Rocky Mount and currently is on the UNC Board of Governors, where he serves on the Budget Committee. From 2002-2008, Daughtridge served in the North Carolina House of Representatives, where he chaired the Commerce Committee and focused his efforts on promoting economic growth and development in North Carolina.
Daughtridge is also a former President Area Seven (VA and NC) on the Southern Region Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America and is a former member of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, the Nash County Board of Travel & Tourism, Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the Rocky Mount Community Foundation. Daughtridge also held other statewide and local leadership positions including President of the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association, Rocky Mount Area United Way and Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to three Cabinet appointments, McCrory also announced that Neal Alexander will serve as the Director of the State Office of Personnel.
Alexander joins Governor-Elect McCrory’s leadership team with 40 years of experience in various Human Resources roles at Duke Energy. Most recently, he served as Vice President for Human Resources for Duke Energy’s US Franchised Electric and Gas Service, and has won awards for excellence in Human Resources such as the Duke Power William S. Lee Leadership Award and The Employers Association Babcock Award. He also currently serves as chair of the Gardner-Webb University Board of Trustees and The Employers Association, which provides human resources and training services to organizations.