How about a plan?

BY: - March 28, 2005

(03-28-05) If you are paying attention at all these days, a theme is emerging from much of the coverage of the issues facing North Carolina.

Friday’s Follies—the Thursday edition

BY: - March 24, 2005

(03-34-05) Lotto fever. Hold on, here comes the massive blitz from lottery supporters. Monday night House Speaker Jim Black will announce a special legislative committee to consider the lottery and promises a floor vote, raising the question of why bother with a committee?

The budget behind the scenes

BY: - March 23, 2005

(03-23-05) While discretionary funds, the upcoming lottery vote, and the battle over land between the Governor and the Speaker of the House have been dominating the headlines about the General Assembly, the budget process continues in sparsely attended subcommittee meetings held twice a day in the Legislative Office Building.

Time for reform and a responsible budget

BY: - March 22, 2005

(03-22-05) Folks need to take a breath in Raleigh. Revelations that legislative leaders controlled $20 million in special discretionary accounts has folks calling for House Speaker Jim Black, Speaker Pro Tem Richard Morgan, and Senate President Marc Basnight to give up their leadership posts.

Lottery refresher course

BY: - March 22, 2005

(03-21-05) It has now been 10 days since House Speaker Jim Black announced that the House would vote on a lottery in the next six weeks, the lottery on its own, without a referendum.

Friday’s Follies

BY: - March 18, 2005

(03-18-05) It seems like this legislative session is providing more puzzling debates than usual. Lobbying reform is an example. An unusual coalition of public policy and advocacy groups has formed to try to toughen the state’s amazingly weak laws that essentially let lobbyists do anything they want without reporting anything.

Losing public confidence

BY: - March 16, 2005

(03-16-05) A broad coalition of public interest groups, think tanks, and former legislators met with reporters Wednesday to support a reform of North Carolina’s woefully weak lobbying laws.

Cutting off the future

BY: - March 15, 2005

(03-15-05)This is shaping up as a troubling week for folks who think we ought to invest in human services in North Carolina. Legislative leaders announced they want to cut $500 million from the budget Governor Easley presented a few weeks ago. Health and human services would take almost half of those cuts, roughly $220 million.

The tax sky is not falling

BY: - March 14, 2005

(03-14-05) You have to hand it to the folks who single-mindedly want to cut taxes. They rarely seem to let the facts get in the way and if somehow they do, well they can always find some more facts.

Friday’s Follies

BY: - March 11, 2005

(03-11-05) State lawmakers are now setting up the procedure they will use to elect the 16 members of the UNC Board of Governors in the next few weeks. The Senate debate was about the guaranteed slots for people of color, women, each political party.

More lottery lunacy and a wakeup call

BY: - March 10, 2005

(03-10-05) There must a lot of members of the North Carolina House who swallowed hard Thursday when someone told them that Speaker Black was inclined to push for a straight up or down vote on the lottery instead of a referendum.

Working Man’s Blues

BY: - March 9, 2005

(03-09-05) Sometimes you have read things twice to believe them. A lot of folks must have had that experience recently reading the News and Observer’s in-depth look at the Smithfield Packing Company’s pork processing plant in Bladen.