Archive for the ‘State Gov’t Employees’ 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.
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.
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.
7:21 p.m. Hello and Welcome to the Wake County Republican Party’s Precinct meeting. We are at Dorton Arena this evening in West Raleigh, at the state fairgrounds. This is the first time that the Wake County party has help the precinct meetings all in one place and the strategy has worked out beautifully. KCC commends county chairman Susan Bryant and her entire team.
7:25 pm Susan Bryant has welcomed Pat McCrory, Republican candidate for Governor to the stage. He is standing alongside Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.
It’s like a pep rally in here. Don’t Get Fooled Again, by The Who is playing loudly and people are dancing in the aisles and clapping along.
7:36 p.m. McCrory said “we’ve already accomplished half the battle in scaring Gov Beverly Perdue out of the race. But that’s only half the battle.”
“We won’t get fooled again, as we will get rid of the (former NC Governor) Mike Easley culture of corruption”, Pat McCrory added.
McCrory says that Democrats want to “raise the taxes at the worst time…when new graduates of our colleges cannot find jobs and are having to move back home with mom and dad….instead we need to grow our economy and a pro-growth policy,” he opined.
“We are gonna make sure that every bill that Beverly Perdue vetoed will pass, especially photo voter ID…we have to have a photo ID to get into the Governor’s mansion. We have to have an idea to buy Sudafed. We need an ID to vote, too”.
Second, McCrory will join the lawsuit of the states against Obamacare.
Third, McCrory will change the policy against offshore drilling. ”We will search for oil and natural gas, both onshore and off.”
7:33 p.m. Education is “very near and dear” to his heart. He wants to change the way we help our children. McCrory said he got his teaching degree at Catawba College in 1978 and he wants to contine teaching, this time the entire state.
McCrory does not believe that every child needs to go to a 4-year college or university. He believes in “two equal paths to success”. He believes also in a vocational path, where a child can learn to use their hands as a skill so they can innovate.
“The liberal elite tries to force us into only one path, but we need a system of productivity.” Otherwise “people end up on welfare or in prison.”
We need to emphasize more in technology. We need to engage these learning tools to help kids with basic skills, he added.
7:40 p.m. The Culture of Government in North Carolina
McCrory noted that little has changed at the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) since he got his first driver’s license in Jamestown, in 1973.
“We need to change this thinking. We need to change this culture as we have some great state employees right here in Wake County”.
7:43 p.m. The State
“No state is as great as ours”, said Pat McCrory. ”We have fertile soil and lots of industries. We need less government interference and allow these businesses and industries so they can expand. Government regulations are also hurting our manufacturing and agriculture sectors.”
“With our great work ethic and our great universities, there is no reason why this state should not lead the nation out of the recession.”
“We must get out and do the hard work. We have to LEGALLY register people and then take them to the polls on election day. The other side is doing it. We don’t want to be outworked.”
He then concluded his speech to the tune of “Won’t get fooled again” by The Who.
8:04 p.m Chairman Susan Bryant is talking with the audience about the procedures about the county, district, state, and national conventions this year.
Chairman Bryant has announced that Wake County has more registered Republicans than our friends in Mecklenburg County. The audience went crazy. It doesn’t matter to this blogger. KCC just wants everyone taking five people to the polls on election day.
8:08 p.m. Chairman Bryant announced that over 1300 people PRE-registered to come tonight and many more registered at the door. She asked the groups to break into House Districts and find our precinct.
9:00 p.m. After signing up for the Wake County convention and paying the fee, this blogger’s precinct business has concluded. It was great seeing so many friends and candidates. Thank you to the entire Wake GOP team, and to everyone who came out tonight.
This concludes our live blogging session, this evening.
The Statements of Economic Interest are one of the means by which the public can determine potential conflicts of interest between a legislator’s duty in the General Assembly and their personal financial interests.
The State Government Ethics Act requires the disclosure of financial and personal interests by state legislators and other covered persons. All SEIs are public records and may be requested by the public. The form provides a profile of each legislator’s financial interests including: sources of income, real estate owned in North Carolina, ownership of public and private companies, involvement in non-profits, investments, and liabilities. Income from Social Security, federal and military retirement, and capital gains are excluded.
The SEIs include information not just on each legislator, but data on family members residing in the household as well.
This is a resource that you can use to look up your legislators individually and notify the Civitas Institute of interesting things you might find. KCC thanks Civitas for all of their hard work in North Carolina.
Updated: Union Protesters March on NC Republican Party Headquarters, Demand Union Rights, State Jobs
Republican Party headquarters. The union supporters then circled the front lawn, chanting slogans and demanding”justice”. They wanted “union rights” and “rights for laid-off state workers” in North Carolina. Oddly, no one was working in the Republican party office at the time. Plus, very few workers have been laid off.
North Carolina liberals have been unhappy for most of the past year, when Republicans won control of the NC General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction. (After over 100 years of corruption lead by Democrats, this blogger never thought she’d see GOP control in her lifetime.)
In January, when the Legislature convened for its long session, Republicans went straight to work. They were left $2.4 billion budget deficit thanks to over spending by their Democratic colleagues.
GOP members had to make the tough decisions, and nothing was immune. State Universitites, community colleges and even public schools shared the burden, but not to the extent reported by the mainstream media. Even state employees, the apparent untouchables of budgeting, felt the heat.
Frankly, there was no point in their march. The General Assembly recently adjourned after putting a marriage amendment to the NC Constitution on the May ballot. Union supporters got very little mainstream media coverage. Only WTVD covered it locally and it appeared to this blogger that the marchers were not state employees at all, but rather people paid to be out a cool, wet night. Let’s hope our state government does not hire those with dread locks, like the gentlemen who spoke with the television station.
They marched NOT to save state jobs, but rather to push unionization in an otherwise anti-union state.
Unions have felt the heat, lately,
with the 2012 DNC Convention coming to Charlotte. Leaders have been pressuring the Governor to support President Barack H. Obama’s anti-union measures here in the State Capital. He visited the city last week, pushing his so-called jobs program.
Meanwhile, where does NC Governor Beverly Perdue stand on the issue? She refuses to take a stand, thus bowing to pressure from her union buddies who contributed heavily to her 2008 election campaign.
Editor’s Note: North Carolina’s State Employees Association (SEANC) is affiliated with The Service Employees International Union (SEIU). State employees in NC do not have collective bargaining rights, but they continue to pushing anyway.
UPDATE: 1:45 a.m. Sunday 9/18/2011 Turns out, Saturday was a “Day of Rage” for Liberals.
UPDATE: 1:47 p.m. Sunday 9/18/2011 The News and Observer weighed in today, with one activist calling the situation a ”crime scene”. They over reported the number of activists, at 100.
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
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.
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.
Bi-partisan agreement rejects Governor Perdue’s $1 billion tax hike and right-sizes state government
Today, North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes shared his thoughts regarding Beverly Perdue’s budget veto by the North Carolina General Assembly. He added facts that the liberals have chosen to overlook. When the television commercials are running, don’t forget the bullet points . The liberals running the television ads certainly have!
Thank you, Chairman Hayes, for reminding us of the truth. Let’s not forget to thank the “Party of Five” that stood with the Republicans, either.
Chairman Hayes’ Remarks:
North Carolina faces high unemployment and historic budget deficits because of decades of out-of-control spending and failed policies from the tax and spend Democrats in Raleigh. Governor Perdue had a chance to work with Republicans but chose to politicize her veto stamp to protect the status quo and to energize her liberal base for her re-election campaign.
“Fortunately for North Carolinians, the General Assembly reached a bi-partisan agreement to reject Governor Perdue’s $1 billion tax hike and right-size state government to provide a better future for North Carolina’s families, students and job creators. Our state’s fiscal problems were not caused by Republicans but this budget is a responsible first step by Republicans towards putting our state’s fiscal house in order.”
Budget fulfills promises made during the 2010 campaign:
- Balances the budget, closing a $2.5 billion shortfall
- Allows the temporary sales and income tax increases to expire, putting $1.3 billion back into the hands of North Carolina taxpayers
- Provides tax relief for small businesses allowing them to expand and put people back to work
- Protects education – fully funding all classroom teachers and teacher’s assistants
- Brings state spending in line with revenues and places North Carolina back on the path to fiscal responsibility
Right-sizes State Government:
- Cuts state spending by approximately 4%. Spending has more than doubled in the past 10 years.
- More than doubles the amount of money in the Rainy Day Fund – $185 million
- Allocates $125 million for renovation and repair of university and state buildings
- Fully funds the state’s retirement system
Creates Private Sector Jobs:
- Cuts taxes for EVERY North Carolinian by allowing temporary taxes to expire, reducing the state’s sales tax from 7.75% to 6.75%
- Implements small business tax relief – exempting the first $50,000 of small business income from income tax
- Creates nearly 14,000 private sector jobs in the first year (30,000 over the next two years) by returning nearly $1.5 billion to the hands of taxpayers of North Carolina
- Extends unemployment benefits for 40,000 North Carolinians whose benefits have expired
Protects Students and Teachers:
- Republicans believe that every child should be reading by the time they leave 3rd Grade. Currently 23% fail to do so, yet only 3% are held back.
- Reduces class sizes in grades 1-3 from 18:1 to 17:1 – adding more than 1,100 additional teachers
- Protects every teacher and teacher assistant position currently employed
- Provides liability insurance for teachers and school employees to help ensure their safety in the classroom
- Does not pass down fiscal responsibility for school buses, tort claims and worker’s compensation claims to the counties like the Governor’s budget proposed – saving counties $75 million
- Allocates $100 million to the Public School Building Capital Fund to assist counties in building, renovating and upgrading schools with new technology. Governor’s budget proposed only $55 million
- Creates a performance pay model for teachers and state employees to retain and reward our state’s best and brightest employees
Protects Health and Human Services:
- Over half of all the budget reductions in the Department of Health and Human Services have been achieved through savings with no loss of services. We have also maximized the swapping of federal block grant funds for state funds.
- All DHHS treatment facilities, schools, mental health hospitals and contract beds have been preserved.
- All 23 optional medical services in the Medicaid program have been preserved.
- We have paved the way for major Mental Health Reform in North Carolina.
- We have achieved pharmacy and medication savings through new initiatives to increase utilization of generic drugs.
- We have restored the Governor’s proposed cuts to local health departments and senior services, and taken steps to lessen the financial burden on counties.
Thankfully we here in North Carolina don’t have it as badly as do the conservatives in Wisconsin. Here are a few of KCC’s favorite bloggers and
what they are saying about the teacher’s union mess.
Gov. Scott Walker has quite a fight on his hands in Wisconsin, but thankfully Facebook groups like this one and this one are popping up to support him. He’s certainly managed to get opposition on Facebook, too, as seen here.
Update: Don’t miss Little Miss Attila’s blog. She stole some of our thunder (actually it was a coincidence, but KCC has to blame it on someone!) She’s got a great roundup!
Also, read up on the fraud at Da Tech Guy‘s blog, and Conservatives 4 Palin also mention the event. The Chicago Boyz argue that its time for a recall election for Democrat state Sen. Jim Holperin, who won his most recent election in a squeeker over his GOP opponent.
Finally, in a related note, The Lonely Conservative reports that a Michigan has hired homeless people to picket the very group that helps them. Go figure.
Be sure and “Like” us on Facebook. KCC has a new “Like” page and we need help to get the word out. Thanks!
The North Carolina Senate has tentatively passed Senate Bill 13, the Balanced Budget Act of 2011. Final approval in the Senate will come after the 3rd reading of the bill, probably early next week. It will then go on to the NC House of Representatives for consideration.
This is excellent news for all North Carolinians as it provides $800 million in savings that will help close a projected $3.7 billion budget gap and help the private-sector create jobs.
The Act, which would give the governor the authority to cut spending for the current fiscal year and calls for immediate cost-savings to help tackle next year’s budget.
The governor’s office agreed to cut $400 million to help fill the gap between current spending and revenue. Senate Republicans added an extra $400 million in savings to the bill Wednesday that will help eliminate the deficit while minimizing negative impacts on school teachers and state workers.
“Our job is to make tough choices to balance the budget.
The people expect Democratic legislators and the governor to do more than sit back and say ‘no.’ We are still waiting for them to bring us their ideas,”
said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
“We are forced to make these decisions because they have not put forth adequate cost-saving measures after spending us into a budget deficit of several billion dollars. These sacrifices are necessary to close that deficit.
“We are doing this to minimize harm to classroom teachers and rank-and-file state employees and to foster an environment that gives the private sector the means to create jobs. Letting the current taxes expire, as Democrats said they would, will be a far more effective incentive for businesses than unspent money from government grants and programs,” Berger concluded.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Your blogger concurs with Speaker Pro Temp Berger. There is much talk these days about the role government should play in our lives, and at KCC, we believe that the role should be minimal.
It is NOT the role of government to be handing out money (so-called “incentives”) or corporate welfare to businesses to come or stay in our state.
Instead, to help create jobs, the government should keep its HANDS OFF, lower taxes, and allow businesses to flourish on their own.
It isn’t fair to small and medium-sized businesses that are already located here, to provide this corporate welfare to incoming industries.
Small-businesses provide the vast majority of jobs in our nation. When this blogger hears liberals complain about “jobs, jobs, jobs”, she reminds them how President Barack Obama poured billions into our national economy in the form of a “stimulus” act, only to see our economy fall, rather than rise.