Child Fatality Task Force opponent a mystery

Maybe the idea had supernatural origins:

"This just came forth like Aphrodite from the sea foam of the Aegean," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, told members on the House floor Friday, backing a move to preserve the task force.

On Thursday, when the measure was vetted by the House Rules Committee, Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, the committee chairman, said that the task force deletion was requested by the Senate. But House members and others who later investigated said they could not find a Senate member who would claim ownership of the move.

The only "foam" present during this session is what's dripping from the mouths of power-mad Republicans like Stam, who see a technical corrections bill as a handy vehicle to get things done that wouldn't pass muster on their own merits.

Trending: Walking Mayor may arrive in DC on Monday

More Walking Mayor news. Good to see someone in NC doing the right thing for a change.

Flip a district

Bill Maher has a new website up called Flip a district. Renee Ellmers is in the number three spot.

Daily Dose

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
· Thursday July 24: McCrory On Budget Stalemate: 'We're Making Headway' (WUNC-FM) -- “I did present both the Senate and House caucuses, I think, breakthrough plans on how to work out our differences.” McCrory Said.
http://wunc.org/post/gov-mccrory-budget-stalemate-were-making-headway

· Friday July 25: McCrory Says He Could Veto State Budget (WUNC-FM) -- "I’ve clearly communicated my issues and concerns and I will stand by those issues and concerns. If the budget doesn’t address my issues and concerns, I’ll definitely consider vetoing the budget like I would consider vetoing any other bill," said McCrory.
http://wunc.org/post/governor-mccrory-says-he-could-veto-state-budget

THE SPILL
Enviro groups unhappy with ash legislation (Charlotte Observer) -- Several environmental groups wrote N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger and House speaker Thom Tillis
http://obsearthenergy.blogspot.com/2014/07/enviro-groups-unhappy-with-as...

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Smart educators

Asked to make a false choice between two unpalatable budget options, an NC educator deftly demonstrated that he is smarter than the NC GOP wing nut idealogues who claimed that they wanted to hear from him.

At a budget meeting earlier this month that House members invited superintendents to attend, Cumberland County Superintendent Frank Till, when asked to choose between higher teacher raises and fewer teacher assistants or smaller raises where the assistants kept their jobs, said he would “do something to raise revenue.”

Bravo Dr. Till! NC citizens prefer option three also. The GOP legislative loons refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

They're off to see ALEC

As the Republican House and Republican Senate and Republican Governor all carp at each other and make no progress on a budget, after weeks of grandstanding, many of the NCGA members will skip town next week to attend the annual ALEC meeting.

Speaker Thom Tillis dismissed the state House on Friday saying that the chamber was not expected to hold any sessions next week, a strong indicator no deal is imminent.

Many of the state's top GOP leaders are scheduled to attend the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council that starts Tuesday in Dallas, Texas, and lasts into the weekend. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is on the agenda to speak at the opening luncheon of the conservative group.

Cost of Art Pope's tax cut balloons to $690M

Earlier estimates put the cost of the NC GOP's tax giveaways to millionaires at nearly half a billion dollars.

Turns out those estimates were low -- we're now pushing three-quarters of a billion dollars in revenue shortfall because the NC GOP puts Art Pope's tax cut above every other policy objective.

New figures from legislative analysts confirm the 2013 cut to individual income tax rates is costing the state far more than originally projected.
...
According to a memo Thursday from legislative analyst Brian Slivka and chief economist Barry Boardman, the updated cost of the tax cut is $690 million for the current tax year.

That's $205 million, or 43 percent, higher than the original projection of $475 million.

That's for this year. And like the Energizer bunny, the NC GOP's fiscal irresponsibility just keeps going and going.

Republicans screw up charter school laws even more

Privatization going off the rails:

And when you're doing something really unwise, cutting off the debate is SOP:

Daily dose

Thus begins the mismanaged care of the poor:

Senate Tentatively Passes Medicaid Overhaul Bill (WUNC-FM) -- Lawmakers in the state Senate have tentatively approved a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid system. The measure would create an independent agency to oversee the state's health care system for low-income residents. The bill would also contract out Medicaid to managed care and provider-led organizations. They would receive a set amount of money per patient to provide care. Republican Senator Ralph Hise is a sponsor of the bill. He says it's necessary to help control ballooning Medicaid costs. "We go through this budget over and over again, it looks like a spaghetti plate, budget is so intertwined with everything else in health care, in public health, that it's very difficult to get a handle on what it costs to run a Medicaid department," said Hise.
http://wunc.org/post/senate-tentatively-passes-medicaid-overhaul-bill

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Another Case for Reparations

We often talk about social justice at BlueNC, but we rarely talk about reparations. I'd like to take a step in that direction this morning. I'm not an expert on the subject and until recently didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it. This article in the May issue of The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates helped me get over the hurdle of understanding the necessity of reparations.

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

Part of what kept me from embracing the idea of reparations was the enormity of what needs to be done and the knowledge that it won't be enough.

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