Daily dose

Daily dose: No Medicaid expansion, sez Bergermoore

State lawmakers have no plans to extend Medicaid (Fayetteville Observer) -- North Carolina won't extend government-paid health insurance to nearly 500,000 of its lower-income residents, the state legislature's leaders said on Wednesday, the first day of the 2015-16 session of the N.C. General Assembly. During a news conference to discuss their lawmaking plans, Berger and Moore said they would not expand Medicaid eligibility to nearly 500,000 lower-income residents who are in a gap in health care coverage that the legislature chose to create in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court partly overturned the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.


Daily dose: A half-billion short edition

N.C. revenues short $468 million according to Dec. Financial Report (Office of State Controller News Release) -- For December 2014, when compared to the prior year through December 2013, North Carolina experienced a decrease in General Fund receipts which includes tax and non-tax receipts. Tax revenues decreased by $468 million, or 4.8 percent, and non-tax revenues decreased by $7.5 million, or 1.7 percent as compared to the previous year.


Daily dose: McCrory faces ethics complaint

McCrory hit with ethics complaint (AP) — Progress North Carolina says it will file an ethics complaint against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory over omissions on his state disclosure forms and potential conflicts of interest raised by his business dealings. Progress North Carolina Action executive director Gerrick Brenner says the group will file its complaint Monday with the North Carolina Ethics Commission. The complaint seeks a formal ethics investigation into McCrory's holdings of stock in his former employer Duke Energy and payouts he received from a Charlotte-based mortgage broker where he was a board member.


Daily dose: Dash for the cash edition


Top on the agenda with return to Raleigh, raising campaign cash (WRAL-TV) -- Amid the rush of office moves, angling for committee assignments and pomp that marks the beginning of the legislative session, another tradition shows top lawmakers have at least one eye on the next election before they even start governing in earnest. Invitations to campaign fundraisers are circling around Raleigh, including a joint event for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker-designee Tim Moore on Jan. 13, the day before lawmakers are due to officially be sworn into office and officially organize themselves. "I actually have three fundraisers the day before," said Moore, R-Cleveland, ticking off a list that included an event coordinated by the House Republican Caucus and an evening gathering featuring barbecue.


Daily dose: "Show me the money!" edition


Donations From GOP-Leaning Groups payoff as legislator leaves Democratic Party (Follow N.C. Money) -- A North Carolina lawmaker recently elected as a Democrat has switched to unaffiliated and will caucus with the GOP. Given the outside money that's supported his campaign, the move is not entirely surprising.


Daily dose: Back to the bigotry edition

NC lawmakers to ask US Supreme Court to take up marriage amendment (WNCN-TV) -- North Carolina's legislative leaders say they plan to file a formal petition requesting the United States Supreme Court to take up the state's ban on same-sex marriages. On Thursday, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker-Designee Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said they plan to file a petition requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court hear legal arguments for the state's marriage amendment. "We've said all along North Carolina voters deserve to have their voices heard, and this important issue won't ever be settled until a final decision is made by the U.S. Supreme Court," Berger said. "Today's petition is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a final resolution."


Daily dose: Governor who?


Despite Mercedes loss, GOP legislators slow to heed McCrory’s call on incentives (WRAL-TV) -- A day before Mercedes-Benz USA passed on North Carolina sites and opted to move its headquarters to Atlanta, Gov. Pat McCrory urged legislators to act quickly when they return to Raleigh in the coming weeks to shore up the state's job incentive programs. But state lawmakers don't appear to be in a hurry.


Daily dose: Continue to have success edition?

Gov. McCrory on Economic Development:

"I need you to help me work with the General Assembly to get a new strategic program in place, and this has to be done in literally a matter of weeks if we're going to continue to have success. This has to be the No. 1 priority in the first two weeks of this legislative session. -- Jan. 5, 2015: Speech to Economic Forecast Forum

“This legislation allow us to put a new economic development approach in place that helps to create jobs by putting greater emphasis on customer service, all while saving taxpayer money. With this new approach, our business recruiters will be able to respond to companies faster. We’ll be able to help existing companies grow and recruit new companies that are considering locating in North Carolina.” -- June 24, 2014: On signing HB1031- Act To Facilitate Economic Development


N.C. big pitch rejected, Mercedes moving headquarters from N.J. to Atlanta (AP) -- German luxury automobile maker Mercedes-Benz said Tuesday that it's moving its U.S. headquarters, with 1,000 jobs, from New Jersey to Atlanta, in part to be closer to its manufacturing facility in Alabama.


Daily dose: No sea level rise allowed here

NC should move with nature on coast (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The sea invading North Topsail Island illustrates the need for planning and rules that allow for rising seas and more powerful storms.


Daily dose: Burrcare? No thank you.

GOP searches for elusive Obamacare fix (Politico) -- Republicans cite a sense that articulating their own alternatives to Obama Care may send a message to the Supreme Court that it doesn’t have to fear health care chaos if it rules against the White House. To that end, GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah are tweaking their Obamacare replacement draft, which is probably the most comprehensive in the Senate. They’ve brought into the discussion two other key committee chairmen — Fred Upton (R-Mich.) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), incoming chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “The onus is on us to present a logical solution prior to that case ever being heard,” Burr said. “Maybe the court will feel more confident making a decision if in fact there is a legislation solution [to the subsidy problem] that is realistic.”



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