Two 24-year-old campaign elves landed senior state jobs making at least $85,000 a year because they were the strongest applicants, McCrory said. “They were actually moved over to areas that frankly a lot of older people applied for, too,” he explained. There were no other applicants since the jobs were not posted. Both young men fail to meet standards for entry-level jobs at Health and Human Services, where they hold top positions. McCrory gave them 35 percent raises within three months while freezing other state workers’ salaries.
A new committee of legislators that is looking for ways to save money by making the courts more efficient recently heard just how difficult a task that will be. Lawmakers on the House Judicial Efficiency and Effective Administration of Justice committee, meeting for the first time in November, were given an overview of a statewide judicial system struggling to keep up with caseloads amid budget cuts.
"Do you have any answers?" asked Rep. Allen McNeill, a first-term Republican House member from Asheboro and retired law enforcement officer.
"More funding," Smith replied.
You can provide them with all the statistical data and dour warnings you like but, at the end of the day, all these single-minded GOP lawmakers are going to do is make the occasional inappropriate or non-pertinent comment and then move forward with more budget cuts. In their minds, money is never the answer, it all has to do with "work ethic" or some other phraseology that shifts the blame.
I often hear from the right that teacher salary ranking is an inaccurate measure because it fails to take into account the differences in cost of living. It is something often repeated by the talking heads from the various Art Pope organizations.
I was having a conversation with two fellow teachers that are transplants, one from Delaware and the other from Maryland. Both of these guys are strong GOP backers so our conversations are always interesting to say the least. (The liberal teacher stereotype is extremely inaccurate.) Both of them insisted that not only was teacher pay much, much better in their home states, but the cost of living was not higher.
By most accounts, next year's US Senate race in North Carolina will be a squeaker. With Republican hopes of regaining a majority in Washington hinging on their ability to unseat Kay Hagan, right wing special interest groups are already in high gear.
In the midst of such a serious challenge, however, we find it disingenuous and irresponsible that you have chosen to aggressively, publicly, and inaccurately blame environmental organizations for this bridge closure. As a result of your urging, we have been at the receiving end of multiple threats based on misinformation you have provided. Rather than continue with these irresponsible public attacks, we encourage you to provide the leadership required to resolve the closure as quickly as possible and to focus on developing a long term solution to replace Bonner Bridge that ensures safe and dependable transportation to Hatteras Island.
Make no mistake, the Republicans are wetting their pants at the prospect of endangering the safety of the attorneys working for the Southern Environmental Law Center. The group has been a thorn in the side of irresponsible developers and polluting industries, and the GOP would love nothing better than to sweep this organization out of the way. And the bridge is only part of this story. A comment I posted on Facebook:
Gov. Pat McCrory's administration is poised to move dozens of jobs and millions of public dollars to a recently formed private nonprofit early next year.
The DAG's proposal is based on a "brief and vaguely written provision in the state budget passed earlier this year". This isn't the first time that poorly written legislation has caused problems. It seems that some in the legislature interpret the vaguely written provision differently than the DAG:
The Crisis Intervention Program is a federally funded program that helps low-income families pay their heating bills in times of crisis. This year, the county received less money from the program. Funds were cut from $1.3 million to just less than $870,000.
Because of the reduction, the state came out with revised recommended guidelines for who would qualify for help.
Of course it did. Instead of looking for funds elsewhere, NC Republicans just shake their heads like they have no idea why this happened.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration is moving to change the government insurance program for 1.7 million of the state’s elderly, disabled and poor residents to a system where providers are paid set rates for each person they treat. As it is now, the government pays fees for each medical treatment or service.
Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican and advisory committee member, said he was concerned about managed care insurance companies coming in to take over big parts of the Medicaid program. He asked whether insurance companies would be needed.
Adam Searing, director of the N.C. Health Access Coalition, has been critical of McCrory’s rap on Medicaid. Searing, whose organization advocates for low-income and working class people, was also critical of Atlas for not presenting what Searing said would have been a complete picture of managed care.
They don't want a complete picture. All they needed to see was "capped payments" and the love affair was off to a great start.
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