NCDP Clips for May 3, 2013

  • NC’s Medicaid shortfall is found to be much higher than previously thought, while Pre-K cuts move ahead in the House, and Speaker Tillis heads to an ALEC Convention. Friday’s clips:


JACKSONVILLE DAILY NEWS – NC Medicaid shortfall now $248M this year
Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration revealed Thursday it expects this year’s Medicaid shortfall to be more than double what was previously estimated. A legislative budget-writer said tax collections should help fill the immediate gap but the disclosure accentuates long-term challenges for the health insurance program.

WTVD – North Carolina Medicaid shortfall jumps by $135 million
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of State Budget and Management blamed the administrator of former Governor Bev Perdue Thursday for a forecasting error that has increased the state’s Medicaid shortfall by $135 million.


NEWS & OBSERVER – Cuts to NC Pre-K get preliminary House approval
The state House gave preliminary approval to new income limits for the state’s preschool program that would make it off-limits to about 30,000 children who would have qualified under the existing guidelines.
The House voted 62-46 to lower the family income requirement for N.C. Pre-K from about 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent of federal poverty level. This year, the federal poverty level is $19,530 for a family of three. Most of the children in the program qualify because they meet income guidelines, but the public preschool also enrolls disabled children and children whose parents are in the military, no matter the family income.

WTVD – North Carolina charter school board bill delayed in Senate
Debate on a bill that would create a new panel for managing North Carolina’s growing number of charter schools has been delayed until early next week.
Republican leaders pulled the bill from the chamber’s calendar Thursday and rescheduled floor discussion for Tuesday. They gave no reason, but lawmakers spent more than an hour debating a consumer finance bill before leaving for the weekend.


WRAL – House approves two elections changes
State House lawmakers have approved two changes they say will help clean up voter rolls and allow counties to save money on runoff elections.
House Bill 460 would request that funeral directors provide families with the paperwork needed to remove a deceased person from the voter rolls.


WRAL – State House leaders off to ALEC
As House lawmakers debated whether to halve the number of North Carolina children eligible for free pre-kindergarten, several key members were missing from the chamber.
House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, left early Thursday to attend the ALEC Spring Task Force meeting in Oklahoma City, scheduled for Thursday and Friday.


WCNC – NC House passes new ‘right-to-work’ bill
A bill outlawing any contract that makes union hiring a requirement has passed the North Carolina House.
The proposal was approved Thursday over the objections of Democrats who said it violates the National Labor Relations Act.


NEWS & OBSERVER – NC won’t find any school miracles to copy in Florida
KATHLEEN OROPEZA – As a Florida mom, I find it hard to watch states with veto-proof majorities push and pass the same education reforms that have hurt our children and harmed our public schools.

North Carolina parents are right to worry about SB 337/State Charter School Review Board, which bypasses the authority of elected school boards to give political appointees the power to grow and fund charter schools. Equally concerning is SB 361 by Sen. Phil Berger – the Excellent Public Schools Act – that implements Florida’s A-F school grading system and ties high-stakes student test scores to teacher evaluations.


Clay Pittman
North Carolina Democratic Party
Twitter: @ClayPittman