Daily dose

Daily dose: "Say what?" edition


House Medicaid budget provision draws fire (WRAL-TV) -- The proposed House budget would give Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos sweeping authority to run North Carolina's Medicaid program, allowing her to push forward with changes to the program's details and overall structure with relatively little intervention from the General Assembly. "This is audacious," Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, said of the provision during the House Appropriations Committee's vetting of the budget Tuesday morning.

Daily dose: Too much information edition


Why 500 Attack Emails Couldn't Take Down Thom Tillis (Roll Call) -- There were a few constants during the 2014 cycle: death, taxes, my three young kids waking up before 7 a.m. and a daily Democratic email attacking North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis. But in the end, even in the face of hundreds of blistering emails, the Republican challenger knocked off Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. All of that time and effort spent electronically attacking a candidate who ends up winning begs the question: “Was it worth it?” Looking back, the North Carolina legislature was the national poster child for what Democrats hated about alleged Republican overreach, and Tillis led one of the chambers.

Daily dose: "Hall of Shame" edition


'Hall of Shame' adding more legislators (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Pitt County’s Republican state legislators are being added to the “Hall of Shame” established by leaders of the Moral Monday movement. The North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement are joining the Pitt County NAACP and other local partners at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center, 1100 Ward St., at 7 p.m. today to hold an organizing meeting and to induct state Reps. Brian Brown and Susan Martin and state Sen. Louis Pate into the “Hall of Shame.”

Daily dose: Hands across the sand version

Hundreds join hands on the sand in peaceful protest (WWAY-TV) -- Hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered at the Kure Beach fishing pier this afternoon to help spread awareness about the topic of off-shore drilling for oil. Those in attendance said they believe that the approval of off-shore drilling on the NC coast would be bad for the environment. Instead they are pushing for NC leaders to look into wind power further, and other sources of clean renewable energy.

Daily dose: In defense of renewables edition


With renewables freeze in Senate's hands, industry ramps up opposition (Triangle Business Journal) -- The N.C. Senate will take up in the next few weeks legislation that would freeze the state's renewable-energy requirements at the current 6 percent level and limit the size of contracts that could be issued. But opponents of the measure are already lobbying to convince senate lawmakers that adopting the legislation would cost the state jobs and capital investment. “There’s a very good chance we would have to reduce the number of people we hire if this bill is passed,” says Nicholas Wiebelhaus , vice president of operations at Shelby-based Schletter Inc., which manufactures mounting brackets for solar panels.

Daily dose: McCrory's GEAR doesn't catch in House edition


House GOP leaders snub McCrory's centerpiece reform effort (Raleigh News & Observer) – Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature reform program for promised government efficiency could be in trouble after a legislative committee approved a draft budget that doesn’t fund its essential personnel. McCrory, in his recommended spending plan for the next biennium, had requested seven new positions to “institutionalize” the work of the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiative, or NC GEAR. “The General Assembly decided we weren’t going to do that,” said Rep. George Cleveland, an Onslow County Republican, of the $872,000-a-year request.

Daily dose: It's a family affair edition

Scathing audit accuses DHHS director of 'nepotism' (Triangle Business Journal) -- The former director of the state office that manages Medicaid claims payments abused her authority by employing friends and family members who were not qualified for their positions, gave unjustified pay raises and logged unjustified overtime, according to a state audit released Wednesday morning.

Daily dose: Stein in the political crosshairs edition


Josh Stein being stalked (Independent Weekly) --How do you know it's already campaign season? Here's a clue: State Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, has a stalker.

Daily dose: Whining Skvarla edition


McCrory administration blames GOP-led legislature for losing Volvo plant (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina lost its bid for a Volvo manufacturing plant in part because the Republican-led legislature hasn’t approved more jobs incentive funding, said GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s Commerce Secretary John Skvarla. Skvarla’s comments came mere hours after Volvo announced it will build a new $500 million plant near Charleston and employ up to 4,000 people -- after offering about $150 million in state incentives.

Daily dose: Surplus shenanigans edition

Let's not get giddy about that $400 million surplus (Fayetteville Observer) -- It wasn't that long ago that state budget analysts were warning that the tax-revenue flow was running behind estimates

That $400 million surplus? Your tax refund built that (Charlotte Observer column) --Democratic leaders in the N.C. General Assembly say higher taxes produced the state’s $400 million surplus.


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