Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

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Another look at Cooper’s doggedly impressive start

As the national pundits weigh in on President Trump’s first 100 days in office and the General Assembly careens toward its self-imposed crossover deadline for legislation, it’s worth considering how Governor Roy Cooper has fared in his first ...
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Monday numbers

3,000---minimum number of K-3 teachers that school districts will have find to comply with the General Assembly’s unfunded class size reduction mandate adopted last year for the 2017-2018 school year (“Class-Size Chaos: Districts are scrambling to meet new requirements by initiating layoffs and eliminating enhancement teachers, N.C. Justice Center, April 2017)

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The truth about the Senate leaders’ tax plan from their own staff

The wisdom of the plan by Senate leaders to cut taxes by $839 million was called into question this week by an important source, the nonpartisan legislative staff that works for them and inadvertently by a powerful Senator himself.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

24 million---the number of people in the United States who would lose health care coverage by 2026 under the House Republican health care bill, the American Health Care Act, or AHCA (“State Reports: House Republican Health Plan Would Mean More Uninsured, Costlier Coverage,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 13, 2017)

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Almost absolute power is corrupting in Raleigh, absolutely

Here is something you may not know about the way the General Assembly works these days. The odds are that your senator and representative have almost no say in what happens to controversial legislation. None.

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Monday numbers

2---rank of North Carolina among the 50 states with the highest percentage of workers who earn below a poverty level wage (“Prosperity Watch Issue 65, No. 1: The Working Poor make up one-third of the North Carolina workforce, N.C Budget & Tax Center, September 13, 2016)

30---percent of workers in North Carolina’s smaller cities who earn poverty wages (Ibid)

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After partial HB2 repeal NC remains woefully behind on anti-discrimination protections

Now that HB2 has been partially repealed, enough for the NCAA and ACC anyway, a lot of folks in Raleigh are hoping the issue of discrimination in North Carolina goes away for a while, at least for the four years that local governments must now wait before protecting LGBTQ people from being fired or denied services because of their sexual orientation.

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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

1 billion---estimated amount in dollars of loss of state revenue over the next two years if the latest Senate tax plan becomes law (“Still walking the path to zero: The Senate tax plan will harm North Carolina’s goal of building a stronger, inclusive economy, N.C. Budget & Tax Center, March 2017)

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Important Medicaid news you might have missed

You probably missed the news that the members of the overwhelmingly Republican state Senate finally came to their senses Monday and voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and provide health care to hundreds of thousands of people.

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Monday numbers

369—number of days since House and Senate passed HB2 in a special legislative session in March of 2016 that was signed by former Gov. Pat McCrory the same day (Ibid)

6---number of days since news reports revealed that Credit Suisse was considering bringing up to 1,500 jobs to Wake County with an average annual salary of $100,000 if the General Assembly would repeal HB2 (“North Carolina's HB2 repeal could mean 1,000-plus new Credit Suisse jobs in RTP, sources say, Triangle Business Journal, March 21, 2017)

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Enough is enough: tax-cutting frenzy threatens North Carolina’s future

Two weeks ago a group of state Senate leaders unveiled a plan to raise principal pay in North Carolina and raise funds for school construction in rural areas. Both are good ideas.

Many small and poor counties don’t have the tax base to afford to build new schools and North Carolina ranks 50th in principal compensation.

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Photo from flickr user familymwr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/6277787834/), (CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Fitzsimon File Top Story

Monday numbers

1,112---number of students for every school nurse in North Carolina (2017 North Carolina Child Health Report Card, N.C. Child and N.C. Institute of Medicine)

750---number of recommended students per school nurse ratio to adequately meet the health needs of students (Ibid)

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Cooper’s measured remarks and Berger’s bluster set the stage in Raleigh

Two different visions for North Carolina were prominently on display this week in Raleigh, both in terms of policy and also in tone, how political leaders work together and how they behave when they disagree.

The occasion was the first State of the State address from Governor Roy Cooper to the General Assembly. Cooper talked about raising teacher pay, making more investments in early childhood programs, reforming the criminal justice reform, and creating jobs.

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Monday numbers

1,700---amount in dollars less on average nationally that the Republican heath care proposal would give consumers to help with insurance premiums in 2020 than the Affordable Care Act (“House Tax Credits Would Make Health Insurance Far Less Affordable in High-Cost States, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 9, 2017)

11---number of states where consumers would see their tax credits to buy health insurance fall by more than $3,000 (Ibid)

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Unaccountable school vouchers at a crossroads

Unless things change soon, North Carolina taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $145 million a year for a voucher scheme that funds private, mostly religious schools with no idea about what the schools teach or ...
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Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

6.1---percentage increase in spending in K-12 education proposed in the budget released by Governor Roy Cooper last Wednesday (“Governor’s budget for public schools limited by tax cuts in recent years, Progressive Pulse, March 1, 2017)

5---percentage raise proposed for teachers each year for the next two years in Cooper’s budget (Ibid)

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