Pie in the Sky

Gary Pearce posted the following on his BLOG (www.TalkingAboutPolitics.com):

“The most recent Elon Poll showed why politics is hard. Asked whether they support higher taxes or job cuts to balance the state budget, a majority ofNorth Carolinians just said no. They don’t want either.

No, that’s not logical. But voters don’t have to be logical.

This dilemma was captured recently by a cartoon. It showed one of those pie charts about where federal tax dollars go: Social Security, defense, Medicare and Medicaid, general government, etc.

Then it showed another chart. A small slice – maybe 2 percent – was “Programs That Benefit Me Personally.” The rest of the chart was labeled “Waste.”

 

NCAE video alleges plot to destroy public schools

From Under the Dome:

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/ncae_video_alleges_plot_to_destroy_public_schools

The N.C. Association of Educators has a video linking House Majority Leader Paul Stam, Wake Board of Education Chairman Ron Margiotta and businessmen Art Pope and Bob Luddy in an alleged plan to destroy public schools.

It picks up on a theme that got its footing last year as a new majority took over the Wake County School Board.

The video creates a narrative with graphics, still photos, and audio clips of Stam, who is pushing for tax credits for parents who send their children to private school.
Luddy, founder of the private Thales academies and a public charter school, was the largest donor to the Wake County School Board majority, and its chairman, Ron Margiotta, was on the board of trustees for Thales Academy in Apex.

Luddy gave a $4,000 contribution to Stam’s campaign, the maximum allowed.
Pope, a big contributor to the Wake GOP last year, objects to characterizations that he is against public schools.


Joel Maynard
919.633.0753

Gov. Perdue’s Budget Proposal Highlights

Hoping to read Gov. Perdue’s 2011-2012 Budget Proposal in it’s entirety? If so….

CLICK HERE

 

For everyone else,  here are the highlights of the Gov’s $19.9 billion budget:


Taxes, Reserves or Salaries:

  • extend 0.75 cents of the temporary penny sales tax for another two years: $827 million.
  • reduce corporate income tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent: -$115 million.
  • repeal law giving portion of corporate income tax for public school construction: $72 million.
  • provide unemployment insurance tax credit for 135,000 small businesses: -$65 million.
  • no salary increases for state employees, teachers.
  • cover expected 7.1 percent premium increase for state employee health insurance plan: $117.1 million.
  • require state employees on more generous health insurance plan to pay $21.50-per-month premium for individual coverage: -$89 million.
  • provide $10,000-$20,000 incentive bonus for eligible workers to retire, allocated in limited amounts throughout state government.
  • set aside $75 million from year-end credit balance for repairs, renovations of government buildings.
  • contribute more to state retirement system: $115 million.
  • severance reserve for laid-off state workers: $30 million.
  • rainy-day reserve fund: $150 million.
  • set aside $25 million from year-end credit balance to help local governments and nonprofits interested in consolidating or regionalizing services.

Public Education (K-12):

  • require local school district to pay for workers’ compensation claims: -$34.7 million.
  • make payments of tort claims a local responsibility: -$4.6 million.
  • reduce allotment for local central office staff by 10 percent, potentially eliminating 140 positions: -$10.8 million.
  • reduce instructional support allotment by 5 percent, potentially eliminating 290 positions: -$23 million.
  • reduce school building administration funds by 7.5 percent, potentially eliminating 380 positions: -$24.6 million.
  • 35 percent allotment reduction for textbooks: -$40 million.
  • reduce allotment to districts for custodial and clerical positions by 15 percent, or 1,700 positions: -$59.6 million.
  • reduce school bus transportation allotment by 10 percent, or potentially 1,900 positions: -$40.3 million.
  • make school bus replacement a local responsibility: -$56.9 million.
  • direct 10 percent reduction in Department of Public Instruction, or 40 positions: -$4.4 million.
  • eliminate dropout prevention grants: -$13 million.
  • pay for instruction supplies and positions to teach an extra 5,323 students in 2011-12 school year: $38.3 million.

University of North Carolina System:

  • direct University of North Carolina system to reduce combined spending in operating budget by 9.5 percent, with 1,900 positions to be eliminated, partially offset by tuition increases: -$252.6 million.
  • reduce legislative aid to residents who attend private college by 6.5 percent: -$12.2 million.
  • reduce 25 percent charity care subsidy to UNC Hospitals: -$11 million.
  • operation and maintenance of new system building coming online next year, including 283 positions: $18.5 million.
  • pay for instruction of additional 2,337 students in 2011-12 school year: $23.3 million.
  • consolidate research stations and farms at N.C. State University: $8.7 million.
  • use N.C. Education Lottery Funds to help pay for need-based financial aid: $34.9 million.

Community Colleges:

  • eliminate eight specialized centers and programs: -$3.8 million.
  • raise tuition by $5.50 per credit hour, or $176 per year: -$25.3 million.
  • direct 3 percent reduction in state aid budget to community college system, with as many as 620 position eliminated: -$32.3 million.
  • pay for instruction of additional 9,712 full-time equivalent students in 2011-12 school year: $17.9 million.

Health and Human Services:

  • find efficiencies in department budget to reduce 25 positions: -$1 million.
  • reduce Smart Start early childhood initiative by 10 percent: -$9.4 million.
  • create up to 5.5 percent assessment on hospital and other Medicaid providers as a way to draw down more federal funds: -$60.2 million.
  • adjusting Medicaid provide reimbursement rates, for private duty nursing, imaging and ultrasounds: -$8.4 million.
  • modify Medicaid pharmacy services to find efficiencies: -$15.9 million.
  • modify optional and mandatory Medicaid services: -$16.5 million.
  • set aside $75 million in year-end credit balance for mental health trust fund.
  • reduce administrative funds to operate local mental health management offices: -$3.3 million.

Justice and Public Safety:

  • consolidate Departments of Juvenile Justice, Correction and Crime Control and Public Safety into one Department of Public Safety. Sixty positions would be eliminated.
  • reduce administrative functions in judicial branch by 16 percent, or 54 positions: -$9.1 million.
  • reduce funds for family and drug treatment courts, dispute resolution and other programs: -$1.9 million.
  • reduce courthouse operations expenses by 1 percent, or 71 positions: -$3.3 million.
  • shift requirement that sheriffs check whereabouts of registered sex offenders by first-class mail, not certified mail: -$93,000.
  • close Woodson Wilderness Camp for juvenile offenders, eliminate 20 positions: -$970,000.
  • close Swannanoa Youth Development Center, affecting 26 positions: -$1.4 million.
  • eliminate 77 correction positions: -$2.9 million.
  • find $12.4 million in savings, eliminate 237 positions from Justice Reinvestment recommendations.
  • fund operations and staffing for four new prisons, including 280 positions: $10 million.

Natural and Economic Resources:

  • merge Employment Security Commission into Department of Commerce, resulting in 53 position eliminations.
  • close welcome centers two days a week, privatize them in 2012-13 fiscal year: -$600,000
  • One North Carolina Fund economic incentives initiative: $10 million.
  • Job Maintenance and Capital Development Program: $8.5 million.
  • direct reductions at Department of Agriculture at agency’s discretion: -$5.2 million.
  • reduce Department of Environment and Natural Resources by 68 positions, largely in permitting offices: -$418,000.
  • close Rendezvous and Turnbull Creek educational state forests due to low attendance: -$131,000.
  • reduce Division of Parks and Recreation budget by 10 percent, requiring most parks to close two days a week: -$3.1 million.
  • matching money for clean and drinking water revolving funds: $14.5 million.
  • Clean Water Management Trust Fund: -$50 million.

Transportation:

  • reduce public transportation, aviation and ferry funds: -$6.9 million.
  • repair, replace and maintain ferry vessels: -$2.1 million.

Other state agencies:

  • consolidate Department of Administration, State Controller’s Office, Office of Information Technology Services and Office of State Personnel into a new Department of Administration and Management, reducing 21 positions and other human resources jobs.
  • delay filling intern positions at the General Assembly: -$1.25 million.
  • eliminate four positions from the Officer of the Governor: -$433,000.
  • purchase land buffers for military installations: $1 million.
  • reduce six positions in State Auditor’s Office: -$784,000.
  • increase Department of Insurance company and insurance adjuster licensing fees: -$4.5 million.
  • pay for new Department of Revenue tax computer system: $3 million.
  • reduce grants for arts, libraries, NC Symphony by 10 percent: -$2.3 million.
  • consolidate, reduce management layers at North Carolina State Library, eliminating nine positions: -$500,000.
  • centralize human resources functions, cutting 92 positions: -$2.8 million.

___

Source: Office of State Budget and Management.

The Governor wants you to “Balance the Budget with Charlie”

—–

ACCEPT HER CHALLENGE HERE

 

 

Also….

Under the Dome put together the Education highlights from the Gov’s ‘State of the State’…

Check It Out Here

NCAE reacts (then reacts again) following comment by Sen. Tillman

It all starts with the article below….

The GOP targets public education for deep cuts

From Bob Geary at INDYWEEK.com:

In Room 643, the vast committee room on the top floor of the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh, it was last rites for the Democratic Party’s control of education policy in North Carolina. Both co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, Democrats Doug Yongue of Scotland County and Tony Foriest of Alamance County, had been swept from office in the Republican landslide Nov. 2, making the atmosphere close to funereal as the committee met briefly last week to wrap up its business. “Real changes in the way we do business,” Sen. Foriest said, will be coming under Republican control.

Rep. Ray Rapp, a Madison County Democrat and retired Mars Hill College dean, asked that the committee go on record in favor of, above all, protecting education funding as the GOP slashes spending to close a $3.7 billion budget gap for fiscal 2010–11. “We cannot eat our seed corn,” Rapp said.

Several Democrats joined Rapp in expressing the hope that Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman, a retired public school administrator from Randolph County and part of the new Senate leadership team, would put his lineman-size body in the way of severe education cuts.

Tillman, said Sen. Bob Atwater, D-Chatham, “is a big man in more ways than one……”

READ MORE HERE

And it seems that Senator Tillman’s comments didn’t sit well with NCAE…..

 

NCAE’s Initial Reaction:

(http://capwiz.com/nea/nc/issues/alert/?alertid=28218501&type=CU&show_alert=1)

NCAE’s Revised Action Alert:

(http://capwiz.com/nea/nc/issues/alert/?alertid=28365501)

Education Committee Meeting Today at 10:00am

Live audio stream of committee meetings can be accessed by clicking the link below:

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The above link will direct you to the Legislature’s audio page – which has a few different options.

For today’s 10:00am meeting, select:

FINANCE COMMITTEE ROOM AUDIO (Rm 544)

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