Perdue signs JobsNOW legislation, but who benefits?

Gov. Bev Perdue  signed House Bills 1973 and 1035 yesterday that she says will help create jobs for more North Carolinians. Gov. Perdue signed the bills in a ceremony at Epic Games, a video game company headquartered in Cary.

Who will benefit?

• A new tax credit for investments in the digital media industry.

• Extension of tax credits for businesses that create new jobs and new investment.

• Enhancements to North Carolina’s film tax credit to increase our competitiveness in film production. Continue reading

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Goodall questioned about his role as legislator and lobbyist

Eddie Goodall, the outgoing N.C. senator who represents the Mint Hill area, is being questioned by the Greensboro News and Record about his role as Senator and President of the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Goodall offered an amendment yesterday that calls for a lifting of the 100 limit of charter schools in North Carolina. The measure, like past years, was tabled—or killed, in layman’s terms.

Goodall is not running again so that he can focus on his role as President of the charter school alliance. Mark Binker of the News and Record asked Goodall if there was a conflict of interest between his role as lobbyist for charter schools and senator.

“I took the ethics rules there and looked at them very closely, I can’t really recall some of the language there, but clearly I don’t. It wouldn’t impact my compensation. I’m doing the same thing I’ve done for six years in terms of charter schools, everyone knows that. If you look at those rules…clearly to me, it doesn’t present a conflict.”

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JLF reaction to Perdue’s proposed budget: Not as fiscally conservative as advertised

As expected, The John Locke Foundation says Gov. Perdue’s budget cuts do not go far enough:

Gov. Beverly Perdue’s new budget plan spends more than she’s willing to promote, and it includes ideas for boosting the North Carolina economy that are likely to have little positive impact. That’s the initial reaction from the John Locke Foundation’s top budget expert.

Said Joseph Coletti, Director of Health and Fiscal Policy Studies for the John Locke Foundation:

“The governor’s budget is not nearly as fiscally conservative as advertised. Her own budget director admitted that Medicaid spending, listed as a large cut, actually has higher spending in this budget. Add in the federal money from the original stimulus bill and the state budget reaches $20.8 billion in General Fund spending.

“An example of the smoke and mirrors in the budget is the governor’s setting aside $100 million in the Savings Reserve Account, the states rainy day fund. This looks like a fiscally prudent idea, but $85 million of that is set aside to offset the temporary repeal of the death tax this year, before it returns in 2011.

“Gov. Perdue highlighted a number of targeted incentives that help North Carolina’s ranking in Site Selection magazine, but do little actually to help entrepreneurs and businesses in the state.

“The entire budget debate illustrates the problems we brought up last year in taking the federal stimulus money. If it goes to pay for recurring expenses, it just delays the day of reckoning. Regardless of how it is used, there are a number of strings attached to those dollars.”

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Gov. Perdue cuts $1 billion in proposed budget

Photo by Justin Ruckman

Gov. Bev Perdue released her proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and surprise, there is $1 billion in cuts to cover more than a billion dollar deficit. Most of these cuts came from eliminating 600 state jobs, reduced spending by 6-7 percent to agencies and reducing education entities by 4 percent. Read the press release after the break. Continue reading

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A new day for divvying up highway funds?

Joseph Coletti of the John Locke Foundation gave a presentation today to the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee. Read the press release after the break.

“More money is not the only issue, or even the most important issue,” Coletti added. “Spending what we have more wisely is the key, by acting to delay or delete funding for the most cost-ineffective projects and moving that money into maintenance needs.”

Continue reading

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NC loses RTT money–lack of charter schools to blame?

North Carolina missed out on the first round of Race to the Top stimulus funds, ranking 12th out of the final 16. The North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools thinks it’s because of the state’s reluctance to lift the cap of 100 charter schools in the state. Here’s the press release sent by the Alliance:

“North Carolina’s arbitrarily low limit on the expansion of public charter schools and its lack of equitable public charter school funding data proved a “significant contributing factor” to its rejection in President Obama’s Race to the Top first phase funding.

Repeatedly stressed among the five Race to the Top reviewers was North Carolina’s low cap on public charter schools coupled with no future plans for growth. This, along with the lack of provable data demonstrating financial equity between North Carolina charter schools and traditional public schools, caused North Carolina to score significantly lower than first round winners Delaware and Tennessee.

Eddie Goodall, President of the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools, stated:

“Along with the school districts across North Carolina we share the disappointment of not getting any of the half billion dollars awarded today in the “Race to the Top” funding. The second round of applications are due in June and three and a half billion more federal dollars for our nation’s schools is at stake. North Carolina has a second chance to do the right thing and raise the public charter school cap allowing for the growth of quality public charter schools.” Continue reading

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