NC Budget

A budget that no one wants

A friend shared this observation with me today, and it seemed right on the money.

In the old days, they were called “Kremlin Watchers” – international analysts who’d keep an eye on the public appearances of top Russian leaders to determine who was on the ins and who was on the outs. Often, the biggest display of closeness to power was at the annual May Day parade in Red Square. Who appeared atop Lenin’s tomb, and what order they were standing in often signaled critical changes in power and influence.

Well, applying that cold war practice to today’s budget signing by Gov. Pat McCrory offers some interesting, and perhaps revealing, insights.



While North Carolina currently enjoys a AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor's, it potentially could come to this:

TOPEKA — News that the state’s credit rating had been downgraded put a damper on Gov. Sam Brownback and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts’ Republican unity celebration Wednesday morning.

Standard & Poor’s lowered Kansas’ bond rating to AA from AA+, citing the state’s unbalanced budget caused by income tax cuts signed into law in 2012. Though the state’s bond rating is still high, the downgrade is a signal to investors that Kansas bonds are a riskier investment than they were before the tax cuts.

"The downgrades reflect our view of a structurally unbalanced budget, following state income tax cuts that have not been matched with offsetting ongoing expenditure cuts in the fiscal 2015 budget," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst David Hitchcock in a release.
S & P also downgraded the state’s appropriation-secured debt to AA- from AA.

Our poll was right: McCrory caves!

There are no fig leaves big enough to cover McCrory's private parts in this debacle. After threats and warnings and more ultimatums than you can shake a stick at, the Deputy Assistant Governor flat out CAVED, surrendering his integrity and spine to the kooks in the legislature.

We are thrilled.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday said he would sign the budget that the legislature has tentatively approved, explaining that it met his demands under the threat of a veto

Read more here:

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.

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