NC Budget

Thom Tillis gets a new fig leaf

You're going to hear joyous news this week, as the Great Senate and House Compromise on Teacher Pay comes to fruition. There will be a token raise for teachers and fewer teaching assistants will be fired, all while destroying public education through reckless charter expansion and vouchers.

We'll be fifth from the bottom instead of rock bottom! Which means the whole process is nothing but a fig leaf, designed to cover Thom Tillis' and his magical private parts.

Stop the 2015 tax cuts

It doesn't take a genius to see the practical way out of our budget conundrum. But then again, it does take at least a few brain cells, which we seem to be lacking in Raleigh.


The NC Senate: the only place you can walk out on your job without worrying about being fired

Apparently the term "at will" means something different to Republicans:

McCrory heaped praise on House Speaker Thom Tillis for calling teachers and superintendents to testify to the budget conference committee that is working out differences between the House and Senate, while lambasting senators for walking out of the room.

"I am disappointed that the Senate walked out on superintendents and teachers," McCrory said after meeting with his Education Cabinet at Shaw. "We need to listen to them, not walk out on them."

That's what you get when you've got a collection of playground bullies running the show in the Legislature. Declaring victory is more important than arriving at any kind of consensus, and the only sure thing you can count on is someone's going to get a wedgie.

NC budget negotiations: Who's on first?

With no consensus about revenue projections or shortfalls, the ongoing discussions between Berger, Tillis and DAG McCrory bring back fond memories.

Oh the irony!

The NCGA has publicly acknowledged what they all privately knew: Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat's budget is nice fodder for the media, but Pat is thoroughly irrelevant and the Tillisberger runs this state and will set the budget while ignoring DAG McDelusional.

The state Senate is diving into the details of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $21 billion budget and will put out its own version in two or three weeks.

“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a little different budget,” said Sen. Harry Brown, a budget writer from Jacksonville.

The hilarious irony, though is this part of the article (the reporter opted for the trite yet convenient Q&A format):

Q: Why is there a shortfall?

A. A memo from the State Office of Budget and Management and the legislature’s Fiscal Research Division says the shortfall is related to personal income tax collections.

McCrory's path forward on Medicaid unclear

New Story by Binker on

Top officials [at NC DHHS] are about to embark on another "listening tour," according to a set of slides that Sandy Terrell, the Division of Medical Assistance's acting chief operating officer, presented at the North Carolina Institute of Medicines annual conference this month. It's unclear where and to whom the agency will be listening. Also unclear is what Terrell meant when she wrote that there would be "changes within the Division of Medical Assistance."

The Department of Health and Human Services refused a request to make Terrell or anyone else available to talk about pending changes in Medicaid, saying that an announcement was coming.

NC General Assembly: Budget Conference Committee

Thanks to Sen. Stein's LA, Candy Finley, for the list of those from the Senate on the Conference Committee from Senate Bill 402, Appropriations Act of 2013:

Here are the Senate appointees:

Appointed 06/19/2013

Sen. Peter S. Brunstetter, Chair
Sen. Harry Brown
Sen. Neal Hunt
Sen. Tom Apodaca
Sen. Bill Rabon
Sen. Ralph Hise

These men will join a group from the House to determine a final budget for the 2013-14 legislative budget. "The House and Senate have each appointed the conferees who will serve as the committee to work out the differences between the spending plans approved by each chamber. The state must have its budget adopted and approved by Gov. Pat McCrory before midnight June 30 to avoid any interruption of government services..."

Art Pope's Horatio Alger gospel

From an opinion piece published by Asheville Citizen-Times on Sunday:
see more at

Art Pope is not famous.

He is wealthy, though. And powerful. In fact, he probably has more political influence over your life than anyone else in the state of North Carolina. This includes the governor, the legislators or even the Rev. Billy Graham.

He’s like Billy Graham, though, in that he preaches a gospel. It’s a Horatio Alger story of pulling one’s self up by the bootstraps. That’s peculiar, since he inherited his money from his family, which started the Pope’s five-and-ten cent chain in Fuquay-Varina and later bought up the Roses variety stores. And he’s like the governor in that he successfully steers policy in our state. Patrick McCrory named Pope his chief budget writer on Dec. 20, so there’s no question of Pope’s influence...

Messages from Reps. Insko and Dollar on the NC Medicaid budget controversy

Original Message Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange Co.) replied to from Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake Co.)

From: Rep. Nelson Dollar
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 11:33 PM
To: Martha Brock; lauriecoker; Rep. Verla Insko
Cc: Mary Annecelli; Emma Thorne; Bonnie Jo Schell; Chris Fitzsimon
Subject: RE: Collaborative letter for LOC and for local legislators

There have been no additional cuts or reductions to the Medicaid budget. Reports and speculation flying around this week are incorrect.

NC Republican Legislators have Betrayed our State

I want to thank Governor Perdue for standing up and fighting the Republican Budget.  I am ashamed that 5 Democrats decided to do what was in their best "Political Interest" instead of what is best for the State of North Carolina and the citizens of North Carolina.  Make no mistake this Budget takes our state in the Wrong Direction!  

The Republicans claim that their budget protects the class rooms but all they do is force the Local Governments to take on more of the burden of making those cuts.  A burden that they can't afford to bare.  

The Republicans have cut funding to Early Childhood education that really helps low income families and minorities, but the Republicans could careless.  All the while Tom Tillis gives his staff Raises, teachers across the state are going to get Pink Slips!  It's unforgiveble!  

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