Andrew Brod, an economist and researcher at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, said that McCrory’s claim "defies reason." This isn’t the first time Brod has looked at this claim. In November, Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker told an audience that the state’s unemployment rate remained high because of the "headwind" of people moving here. She did not claim that people were moving here for unemployment benefits, but her claims got some push back from economists who said her statement cited old data. At the time of Decker’s remarks, Brod wrote a column relying on census data that showed fewer people were moving for any reason. Only a small percentage – somewhere between 2 and 3 percent – of those who do move, he said, moved because they were laid off.
Despite more troubles in North Carolina’s health agency, legislative Republicans aren’t ready to join Democrats in asking that Gov. Pat McCrory replace its chief, the Associated Press reports. It comes as legislators prepare to meet Tuesday to seek answers on a privacy breach and renewed food stamp delays. A legislative oversight committee scheduled several hours to hear from leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services on several topics, as is common with their monthly gathering. But this meeting comes after vocal criticism of the department for mistakenly mailing 49,000 Medicaid cards for children to the wrong addresses late last month and the time it took to make the error public.
Supporters of the law blame the Republican-led state legislature for some of the cost increases. They contend that health insurance costs would have been lower here had North Carolina formed its own insurance exchange, instead of deferring to the feds, who charge the state for the service. Supporters also contend that the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid will steer low-income uninsured people to private insurance, driving up insurance. But Adam Linker, a policy analyst with the liberal N.C. Justice Center, said he doesn’t expect the benefits of the law to get much attention during the upcoming investigation. “These things are obviously rigged from the beginning,” Linker said.
In November the company proposed a 19 percent rate increase, which is the third time it’s asked state regulators for a rate increase in the past five years. "If they approve it then we don’t have a prayer," Decker said. Now the attorney general’s office is stepping in to help. In a statement sent to Eyewitness News, Cooper’s office said: "Our office intervened in the Aqua rate case because we’re concerned about the size of the proposed rate increase. … We’re also concerned about a proposed change that would allow Aqua to get certain future rate increases without a hearing."
The Catawba County Democratic Party also held an open house celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 11. The open house was attended by Randy Voller, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party, who officially opened the new headquarters. Other Democratic officials were on hand, along with at least one likely candidate for Congress in the 10th Congressional District. “We are excited to be able to open a new party headquarters in Hickory and enthusiastic about the upcoming 2014 campaigns,” Moone said.
PRWeb: Alpha Install Adds Solar Array to its Building in Pittsboro, NC
Outgoing Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller said that "he was proud that Alpha Install had moved to Pittsboro and become a part of the community." In addition Voller commented that "the enhancement of the building’s energy performance was in line with the long term sustainability goals for the community" and that he "looked forward to seeing a line of electric vehicles utilizing the Alpha Install charging station, which would be fueled substantially by the PV panels on the roof."
The very evident give-and-take caps more than six weeks of often intense bargaining within the Appropriations Committees and sets the stage for what the leadership hopes will be a rapid series of floor votes sending the bill on to Obama by this weekend. “This bill is a compromise, but it reflects Republican priorities and holds the line on spending in many critical areas,” Rogers said. His Senate counterpart, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), more colorfully described the deal as an end to “shutdown, slowdown, slam-down politics.” And speaking for the White House, Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell suggested lawmakers get on with it. “The administration urges Congress to move quickly to pass it,” Burwell said.
This week, Congress is scheduled to tackle a series of pivotal bills that would reshape how the federal government helps unemployed Americans and what kind of aids it provides to the sprawling agriculture industry. Lawmakers will try to do this while making good on a pledge to keep federal agencies open without the partisan brinksmanship of the recent past. Much of the action, however, will serve as tests of the power for the two leading figures on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
The state legislature’s decision to reduce benefits now has become a central issue in what is likely to be one of the mostly hotly contested U.S. Senate races in the country in 2014, one in which the GOP is looking to unseat incumbent Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan. Hagan secured a provision in the White House-endorsed legislation to restore unemployment benefits for three months under consideration in the Senate that would make residents in her state eligible for long-term benefits by permitting North Carolina to negotiate an agreement with the Department of Labor.
A dark money group featured state House Speaker Thom Tillis in two advertisements promoting the work of state lawmakers before he announced his Senate candidacy. And as the Huffington Post reports, North Carolina House Legislative Partners plans to reactivate at some point.
“They’re going to use up all their funds in a circular firing squad,” said Mark Schneck, chairman of the county’s Republican Party, of former Shelby mayor Ted Alexander, physician Greg Brannon, radio host Bill Flynn, nurse practitioner Heather Grant, pastor and Baptist State Convention of North Carolina president Mark Harris, and N.C. House speaker Thom Tillis, all slated to compete in the May Republican primary.
WECT: Woody White says David Rouzer’s campaign donors are defecting
"Folks in this district want a winner," White said Wednesday when announcing his bid. "They want someone who’s going to go to Washington to change the tone. They don’t want a classic insider like David Rouzer, so his base has eroded. His money base has migrated to us, and we are excited about our prospects." When asked by a reporter to name Rouzer donors who are now throwing support behind his campaign, White listed: Agnes Beane, a Wilmington attorney; Hank Estep, president at Griffin Estep Benefit Group in Wilmington; Tom Fetzer, former chair of the North Carolina Republican Party; Parks Griffin, principal at Griffin Estep Benefit Group in Wilmington; Robert Holding, a Wilmington businessman; and Franklin Rouse, owner of an insurance company in Brunswick County.
A third state legislator announced on Friday that he wouldn’t seek re-election. Three-term Rep. Mark Hollo, a Republican from Taylorsville, joined the ranks of those wanting to spend less time in Raleigh and more time with their families. Earlier, Republican Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilmington and Democratic Sen. Michael Walters of Proctorville said they won’t run again.
Politico: Ed Gillespie’s steep slog to the Senate
Gillespie, 52, will enter the race as the heavy underdog. Aside from his time as a top D.C. lobbyist, he’ll have to fend off attacks from his right on issues from immigration to deficits to the Wall Street bailout — without damaging his prospects against a popular, deep-pocketed incumbent in the general election.
Health insurance enrollment during the first few months of the federal overhaul law was stronger in North Carolina than in all but four other states, a new report released Monday said. Almost 108,000 North Carolina residents signed up for health insurance in the first three months since the Oct. 1 launch of new marketplaces for private policies.
WXII12: NC Affordable Care Act enrollment among highest in US
A new federal report released Monday showed almost 108,000 people signed up for health insurance in the first three months since the Oct. 1 launch of new marketplaces for private policies. Only California, New York and Texas signed up more people than North Carolina. All of those states have larger populations than North Carolina. California and New York run their own health insurance marketplaces, while North Carolina and Texas opted to leave that task to the federal government.
Democrats in New Jersey sharpened their aim at Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Monday, forming special legislative committees to explore the role politics played in traffic jams last fall and announcing that the investigation has grown into an abuse of power probe. The intensifying investigation, which threatens to undermine Christie’s second term and his chances at a 2016 presidential run, revealed last week that high-ranking Christie aides and appointees were involved in ordering lane closings in September as apparent political payback that led to massive gridlock in the town of Fort Lee.
The Republican Rubio, who has as legitimate a chance of becoming president as my big toe, is calling Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty program a bust, a failure, a waste of trillions of dollars. I respectfully disagree. Scratch that: I disrespectfully disagree. Who can have respect for some kowtowing, know-nothing politician whose every utterance drips with contempt for the people who are in the same position his family and he once were?
The Daily Yonder: Pattern of Rural Job Loss Continues
Jobs continue to be created in cities while they are lost in rural America, according to the latest employment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS found that urban counties had added more than 1.1 million jobs between November 2012 and November of this year. Micropolitan counties (ones with cities of 10,000 to fewer than 50,000 residents) added 13,600 jobs. But in rural counties the number of jobs had dropped by more than 17,000 between November 2012 and November of this year.
The Mountaineer: Rep. Presnell should listen to the majority of Haywood constituents
The dream of a future with more jobs, an increased number of visitors and fun places to go that will benefit local residents, as well, is within reach. The challenge is to convince a lone legislator from Burnsville, Rep. Michele Presnell, that Haywood County residents are completely capable of building a better future through increased tourism. All we need is a single change in a law that already funds tourist promotion efforts in Haywood.
Today, I joined the ranks of unaffiliated voters. I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now. The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP. The current leadership lacks the courage to stand up to it – I’m not sure they ever will.
Micah Beasley, Communications Director
North Carolina Democratic Party
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