Fennebresque, UNC governors begin search for new system president

May 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

John Fennebresque, the Charlotte-based attorney who chairs the UNC Board of Governors, says the January news conference following the announcement of UNC System President Tom Ross' retirement was "a fiasco."

NC House amends budget proposal

May 15, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Now that state revenue projections show a $400 million budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year, the N.C. House has begun making adjustments to its proposed spending plan. Some provisions differ from Gov. Pat McCrory's budget proposal, though details on key topics such as jobs incentives haven't been made public yet.

Audit shows DHHS unit overspent on payroll

May 14, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A State Auditor's report released Wednesday shows the state Office of Medicaid Management Information Systems wasted at least $1.67 million on excessive pay and compensation between 2011 and 2014. The report shows the unit's director abused her authority by hiring her daughter, ex-husband and other temporary employees who were unqualified for their jobs.

Lawmakers seek alternatives to I-77 tolls

May 13, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Lawmakers from the I-77 corridor north of Charlotte are bringing concerns about proposed toll lanes to Gov. Pat McCrory in a last-ditch effort to find alternatives to the plan. The state is about to sign a $650 million contract with a private company to build and operate toll lanes in the 26-mile corridor ("Taking a Toll," April).

Skvarla blames legislature for losing Volvo to SC

May 12, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said he wasn't sure North Carolina was "ever in the game with Volvo," because the state legislature hasn't approved funding for jobs incentives. Volvo announced Monday it will build a $500 million plant that will employ up to 4,000 people near Charleston, S.C. The Palmetto State offered more than $150 million in incentives to lure the automaker.
Also: South Carolina trumps North Carolina in bagging Volvo

NC threatened with lawsuit over voting access

May 11, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Four voting-rights organizations are threatening to sue North Carolina over allegations the state violated a federal law requiring it to help poor people register to vote. The groups say applications from public-assistance agencies have dropped by more than half since 2007.

McCrory touts incentives plan in Greensboro

May 8, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

At a meeting of the Greensboro Partnership on Thursday, Gov. Pat McCrory said North Carolina is losing the chance to compete for jobs with other Southern states because the General Assembly hasn't acted quickly enough to pass a proposal to increase incentives.

Latest revenue forecast: NC has $400M surplus

May 7, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The latest revenue projections show North Carolina will have a $400 million surplus at the end of the fiscal year, a sharp turnaround from the $270 million shortfall predicted in a previous forecast. The projected surplus is due to higher income tax payments and lower tax refunds for 2014.
Related: McCrory: Budget surplus should go to state employees

State erases $2.8M unemployment debt

May 6, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state has paid off $2.8 billion in unemployment insurance debt a year ahead of schedule, Republican leaders said Tuesday. North Carolina had borrowed from the federal government after the state's unemployment trust fund ran out of money in 2009.

Carolinas OK seismic testing permits

May 5, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Regulators in North and South Carolina have certified proposals for companies to begin seismic testing for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources approved proposals by Spectrum GEO and GX Technology; two other requests have been received.