NCDP Clips for Friday, March 6th, 2015

NCDP Clips for Friday, March 6th, 2015

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THE BUDGET

Economic development proposal likely to face opposition (Winston-Salem Journal) — Gov. Pat McCrory’s fiscal 2015-17 budget calls for restoring historic rehabilitation and film tax credits, although at expected lower funding levels, and sharply increasing state economic incentives. McCrory faces major challenges with those proposals given that some Senate Republican legislative leaders prefer corporate tax cuts over specific credits and exemptions as an economic-development tool.

Does McCrory’s $21.5 billion budget leave veteran teachers behind? (WBTV-TV) — Principals, students and an advocacy group are concerned about Governor Pat McCrory’s $21.5 billion budget. The budget includes $12 billion for K12 education. That includes a $2,000 raise for first year teachers but doesn’t include significant raises for veteran teachers. "Take care of these people who have devoted their lives to our children," Myers Park High School Principal Mark Bosco said. Bosco told WBTV that Myers Park has about 55 percent veteran teachers, but he says that number is shrinking.

Budget calls for cuts at UNC, community colleges (Raleigh News & Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget plan would increase tuition at the state’s community colleges, give veterans in-state tuition rates and force the UNC system to find cuts of 2 percent, or about $50 million. But the budget also provides new spending and $49 million for expected enrollment growth in the UNC system, so the overall university budget cut is 1.2 percent. The “efficiency” reductions are left up to UNC system leaders, but they are barred from cutting financial aid.

McCrory’s Budget Holds Healthcare Spending Mostly Steady (N.C. Health News) — State officials estimate as many as 70,000 people could discover they’re eligible for Medicaid as they attempt to enroll for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That’s a big driver for this year’s increase in Medicaid expenditures. But Gov. Pat McCrory did not earmark money in either this year’s or next year’s budget to cover costs of Medicaid expansion, which would add anywhere from 370,000 to 500,000 more people to the rolls.

Local lawmakers propose $66 million for film (Wilmington Star-News) — Legislators from Southeastern North Carolina introduced companion bills Thursday in the state House and Senate that would allocate $66 million to the state’s film incentive grant program for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The proposal comes in stark contrast to the $10 million for film incentives included in Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget, releasedThursday.

LEGISLATURE 2015

NC House wants gas tax to fall, just not as much as Senate (AP) — The North Carolina House has agreed to restrain an impending cut in the state’s gasoline tax to keep money flowing to road and bridge projects.

Gas tax, jobs incentives bills clear NC House (Raleigh News & Observer) — The state Senate will take up two controversial measures next week on the gas tax and Gov. Pat McCrory’s jobs incentives plan, following final votes in the House Thursday. Both bills had initial approval on Wednesday, but they were on the agenda again Thursday for more debate and a final vote. The vote tallies were largely the same, as more speeches didn’t change the bitter divide that’s split political parties on both proposals.

NC House weighs jobs versus corporate giveaways, OKs breaks (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers are divided on whether corporate tax breaks sought by Gov. Pat McCrory will encourage job creation or amount to a multi-million-dollar giveaway.

Hearing on Wake redistricting bill takes opponents by surprise (WRAL-TV) — The Senate’s Redistricting Committee heard public comment on a bill redrawing Wake County’s commissioner districts Thursday. Opponents said they got scant notice.

POLICIES & POLITICS

Judges hear McCrory lawsuit involving executive power (AP) — Lawyers for Gov. Pat McCrory are pressing his case that fellow Republicans at the North Carolina legislature violated the state constitution when they created three new commissions, including the one overseeing the closure of Duke Energy’s coal ash dumps.

N.C. misses again? SC is finalist for Volvo plant, lawmakers say (Charlotte Observer) — Volvo soon could drive into South Carolina with a manufacturing plant, likely in the Charleston area,

SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES

Recession, tax cuts hurt education, says departing State Board member (Raleigh News & Observer) — John Tate of Charlotte ended his 12 years on the State Board of Education on Thursday with a speech criticizing state tax cuts he said hurt public education. In prepared remarks that touched on a range of topics including testing, teacher preparation, charter schools and school leadership, Tate, a retired banker, asked the board members to be the state’s chief advocates for children.

State Board of Education Votes to Revoke Charters from Some Charter Schools(TWCN-TV) — For just the third time in North Carolina’s history, the State Board of Education voted Thursday to revoke the charter of a public charter school.