Daily dose

Daily dose: Hole in budget gets deeper

Economists predict $271M NC government shortfall this year (AP) — North Carolina's tax collections this year are expected to come up $271 million short of what's needed to cover the $21 billion state government budget, economists at the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration say.

Daily dose: Worker abuse, government style

Report calls for ban on certain NC government work contracts (AP) — The General Assembly should ban personal services contracts from state government, a legislative watchdog agency recommended Monday, saying lax oversight has caused the agreements with temporary workers to be "misused and abused." More than 14,600 such personal service contracts were in force across agencies during the 2012-13 fiscal year, valued at $58 million, the legislature's Program Evaluation Division wrote in a report.

Daily dose: Tribute to Dean Smith

Dean Smith dies at 83; N.C. coaching legend (LA Times) – A blue line, 10 inches wide, awaited North Carolina basketball players at the arena's entrance each day before practice. They knew it as the spot where competition began. It was to be crossed only after both shoes were tied, practice jerseys were properly tucked, and minds were prepared. It was just a line on the floor, but it was also much more: It was a metaphorical border of what celebrated coach Dean Smith called “the Carolina Way” — a sense of humility, teamwork and just plain hard work that came to be seen as the university’s ideal.

Daily dose: Stam's Medicaid expansion ignorance

FactCheck: Talking about Medicaid 'On the Record' (WRAL-TV) -- Reps. Skip Stam and Grier Martin debated the proposals from Gov. McCrory's State of the State speech in this week's "On the Record." We fact check a couple of Stam’s claims. … "Most of the people who would be in any kind of Medicaid expansion are already getting large subsidies on the federal exchange, several hundred thousand probably," Stam said. He also added, "The other thing is to realize every dollar that's spent by the federal government for Medicaid expansion is being borrowed from the Chinese." The two claims came within a minute of one another, both overstate their points and leave out important context, and taken together they receive a red light on our fact-checking scale.

Daily dose: TGIF version

5 candidates running to succeed Voller as NC Dems chair (AP) -- The state Democratic Party, still reeling after losing its decades of dominance in North Carolina politics four years ago, is once again choosing a leader members hope will unite the party and bring in more money and electoral victories.


Daily dose: Gerrymandering Greensboro edition

Wade's plan dilutes power of voters (Greensboro News & Record editorial) -- Greensboro’s one-woman Nanny State revealed her plan for changing the City Council on Tuesday. As expected, it mutes the voices of the people but creates greater opportunities for the powerful. State Sen. Trudy Wade’s bill would replace the 5-3-1 plan with a 7-1 scheme. THE WHOLE STORY


Daily dose: Thom Tillis's handwashing moment edition


Freedom is not washing your hands? US senator picks bad day for health joke (The Guardian) -- If ever there was a good time to crack a joke about dismantling the basic public health infrastructure of the United States, it was not this week, with top Republicans on Capitol Hill questioning the fundamental science of vaccines. But newly minted Republican senator Thom Tillis jumped in anyway, bragging at a public forum about a shining point he had made in a debate about regulations on business. As the video that started to go viral on Tuesday made all too clear, his not-too-serious idea involved employees who might not wash their hands.

THE WHOLE STORY http://twitter.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=adaa6913dd17b7097368c9ba6&id=abd68a78dd&e=ec3b99815a

Daily dose: FCC hearts muni broadband edition

F.C.C. Chief Wants to Override N.C. Laws Curbing Community Net Services (New York Times) -- Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will propose an order to pre-empt state laws that limit the build-out of municipal broadband Internet services, senior F.C.C. officials said on Monday. The proposal focuses on laws in two states, North Carolina and Tennessee, but it would create a policy framework for other states. The chairman’s plan to invalidate the two state laws comes in response to petitions from two municipal Internet service providers: the Electric Power Board in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Greenlight, a community-owned broadband service in Wilson, N.C. THE WHOLE STORY


Daily dose: The great tax shift in retrospect

Are NC tax cuts a race to the bottom? (Hendersonville Times-News) -- The 2013 N.C. tax reform Gov. Pat McCrory praised when he signed it into law provided the overwhelming benefits to higher-income taxpayers and increased sales taxes on consumers. A family with a taxable income of $50,000, which is above the median income, received a tax cut of $388. A family with a taxable income of $200,000 received a tax cut of $2,938. While families with higher taxable incomes benefited significantly, the vast majority of taxpayers who have much lower taxable incomes received a very small cut in their income taxes. Who ends up paying most of the sales taxes? Those with taxable incomes below $50,000. Did this tax reform really put more money in most families’ budgets?

THE WHOLE STORY http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20150201/ARTICLES/502011009


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