Art Pope greets his protesters

A small group of protesters showed up outside a luncheon in Raleigh sponsored by the Civitas Institute. A new poll on political races was to be unveiled. Businessman and former Republican legislator Art Pope was scheduled to speak at the luncheon. The protesters want Pope to resign from a new UNC advisory board to which he had recently been appointed. They claim Pope is using his money to hurt public education and buy elections. So, as he has done in the past, Pope went out to greet the small group and answer it’s accusations. See the video clip below..

Public Teachers Now Covered with Statewide Liability Insurance

Many public school employees joined such organizations as the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE)  mainly for the classroom liability insurance. They had dues automatically deducted from their paychecks to pay for it. But beginning in September of 2011 a new statewide insurance policy went into effect for those employees and it is free. That new policy is not widely known.

Representative Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) worked to get the new policy into the budget. He says grouping all of those employees into one pool reduced the cost. Folwell says public school employees also no longer have to join a group to get the insurance and it saves local districts…

At the same time lawmakers approved the statewide insurance they passed legislation to eliminate the state’s involvement in automatically deducting certain organization’s dues from paychecks. Gov. Perdue vetoed the legislation, but the legislature overrode her veto a couple of weeks ago. The NCAE filed a lawsuit to keep the deductions and that is currently working through the court system.

Folwell says the legislature didn’t receive much praise from the education system for giving teachers free insurance…

Gov. Perdue Promises to Raise Taxes in Next Budget

Governor Bev Perdue put out a press release announcing she would raise the sales tax in the budget she will present to the General Assembly for the Spring short session. She said that would pay for education cuts in the plan passed by the legislature. Legislative leaders said they haven’t seen the horror stories come true that were predicted by Democrats because of that budget.

A recent article posted on the Civitas Institute noted an increase in spending and hiring within the education budget.

Perdue was quoted in the press release:

“I want to let you know that when I present my budget this spring, I will once again call on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to temporarily restore three-quarters of the one-cent sales tax as a vital step to funding our schools.”

Perdue’s promised tax increase mirrors the same pledge made by Rep. Bill Faison (D-Orange) who appears to be setting himself up for a primary challenge to Perdue. He also called for increasing the sales tax.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) pointed that out in a press release reacting to Perdue’s pledge.

“Obviously, Gov. Perdue’s attempt to nip this economic recovery in the bud is dead on arrival at the General Assembly,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “The Democratic primary for governor apparently has devolved into a fight over who can raise the most taxes, spend the most money, and grow the biggest government. Gov. Perdue’s latest tax-hike stunt proves she can’t fix this mess she made.”

Berger said The Governor seemed to be wanting to one up Faison. Sen. Berger noted while Faison would raise the tax by $700 million, Perdue’s proposal would up it by $750 million.

Update:

House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) issued the following statement today regarding Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposal to raise $750 million in new taxes:

“Governor Perdue continues to show that she is out of touch with North Carolinians and lacks a basic understanding of our economy.  Her proposal, which would raise the state portion of the sales tax by an estimated 15%, would make it harder for working families to purchase prepared food, clothing, medical supplies and other basic necessities to support an extreme agenda for larger government.  That is completely unacceptable.  This regressive tax would make it more expensive for single moms to buy carryout food for their children, force seniors to pay more for medical supplies, and would negatively impact every level of society.  Now is not the time to raise taxes, especially in light of the fact that the General Assembly’s education budget was only 0.5% different than the Governor’s – and we did not raise taxes.”