Despite the fact that North Carolina already ranks near the bottom nationally in the generosity of its retiree health plan—better only than Georgia—Senate and House lawmakers met on Monday to mull over ways to address the plan’s looming unfunded liability, with some options including a reduction and even elimination of the state’s commitment to providing its workers with retiree health benefits.
Highlighting an unfunded liability of $25.5 billion for the Retiree Health Benefit Fund that is expected to grow at least another ten billion dollars by 2020, a new legislative report presented to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee suggests a number of ways to reduce that debt. [Continue reading…]
Several months ago on a public affairs television show, the host asked one of the two guests why he was opposed to the school voucher scheme that was upheld last week by the N.C Supreme Court.
The guest cited the lack of accountability in how the program spent taxpayer money and pointed out that students at some voucher schools were being taught that humans and dinosaurs co-existed and that slaves were treated well.
The host seemed taken aback and asked where in the world that was that being taught and was told that many of the roughly 700 schools eligible for taxpayer-funded vouchers are fundamentalist Christian academies that use the A-Beka Book curriculum and books from Bob Jones University Press that include the inaccurate and offensive claims. [Continue reading…]
The former head of North Carolina’s public-private economic development group received a $30,000 “stay” bonus in January, an enticement that only kept him at the new endeavor for three months.
Richard Lindenmuth, a Raleigh business executive, was selected in January 2014 to get the largely publicly-funded Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina off the ground. He had specialized in helping troubled companies but had no prior economic development experience.
The public-private partnership, which received $17.5 million in state funding last year, has been a central piece of Gov. Pat McCrory’s economic development strategy, after state lawmakers granted the McCrory administration’s request to move Commerce’s job recruitment, tourism and marketing arms out of state government. [Continue reading…]
Secret and swift.
That’s what executions in North Carolina would become under a bill headed to the governor’s desk for signature.
Despite recent examples of botched prosecutions here that sent innocent men to death row – Henry McCollum comes to mind – and botched executions elsewhere in the country, state lawmakers this morning adopted H774, which eliminates obstacles that have kept the state from carrying out the death penalty since 2006.
The bill cuts off public debate by exempting the Department of Public Safety from rule-making requirements when executions are involved, eases restrictions on the type of drug used for lethal injections, and allows medical professionals other than doctors to monitor the process.
It also aims to gag opposition. [Continue reading…]
5.The “history” excuse doesn’t wash either
The most dangerous explanation of Confederate flag and monument defenders for their obstructionism
The ongoing debate over the continued (and, indeed, expanding) celebration of the confederate flag on thousands of North Carolina license plates and the recent enactment of a law forbidding local governments from removing confederate monuments has once again placed North Carolina and its leaders in an unfavorable national light. Even as officials in South Carolina moved to take down the flag from their state capitol, North Carolina leaders seem content to point fingers and shrug their shoulders one day and then double down on defending confederate symbols the next.
All of this is especially embarrassing for Governor McCrory. [Continue reading…]
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