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Thursday, July 1, 2010
July 1, 2010
I want to begin this week by saying, if I’ve seemed a little partisan in my last couple of updates, I apologize. Sometimes, the people in charge can make things a little frustrating.
Today marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, and, we have a budget! Listed below are a few of the problems with this $20.6 billion budget.
1. It doesn’t address the $3 billion shortfall expected for next year when stimulus money and temporary taxes are due to expire
2. $175 million in additional debt without voter approval
3. Uses lottery money that was allocated for school construction to help balance the budget- a broken promise
4. $2 million for coastal wave energy research to “capture the energy of waves”
Tuesday, while we were debating the budget, our State Treasurer, Janet Cowell, sent the following statement in a press release regarding a provision in the budget:
“Underfunding the pension system by $310 million is a short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible way to balance the budget. Pension contributions function like credit card debt in that they are contractual obligations with compounding interest. Left unpaid, the next bill gets bigger and harder to pay. Legislators are setting themselves up for a $1.2 billion pension bill in 2011 – a year in which the projected budget shortfall is $3 billion. It is my responsibility as Treasurer to sound the warning call that we are starting down a dangerous path. I urge legislators to uphold the 69 year tradition of meeting our pension obligations lest we go the way of too many credit card debtors who find themselves in a deep hole they cannot get out of.”
This is interesting because this is what we, as Republicans, have been arguing from the beginning of the budget process- that we need to look ahead to next year and make sure we’re looking out for the state’s future economic climate. Get ready for the worst train wreck the state’s ever seen next year.
Bill of the week- I want to know what you think. We heard House Bill 1726, Improve Child Care Nutrition/ Activity Standards, in the Health Care committee yesterday. The bill would require that the Division of Child Care Development recommend nutritional guidelines for child care facilities. The recommendations include:
Is this something the state should be regulating?
Watch it HERE.
Date: Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Watauga Historical Association/Speaker Cancellations at Tipton-Haynes
Dear Madam President Cheryl Smith of the Watauga Historical Association,
This letter is written in response to the disturbing email I received below. I am HK Edgerton, President of Southern Heritage 411, and Chairman of the Board of Advisors Emeritus of the Southern Legal Resource Center. Several weeks ago, I received a request to speak at your August 5, 2010 monthly meeting. I entered into a verbal contract to do so with Mr. Bill Hicks, your Interim Program Chair.
In entering that contractual obligation, I agreed to waive a major portion of my set Honorarium fee of $500.00 and appear for the sum of $75.00, a fee that Mr. Hicks relayed that your organization could only afford to cover the cost of my travel from Asheville, N.C. , and the speakers fee. And I might add that I turned down other engagements that would have covered the entirety of my fees to include travel, accommodations, and meals , because of not only my camaraderie to Mr. Hicks, but for the love that I carry for the people of the region that you serve.
I have been given no reason for why your organization decided to cancel my engagement, other than that related below by Mr. Hicks. I have turned this matter over to my attorney for advisement on any punitive or civil damages that I might have incurred .
I would greatly appreciate some explanation before moving forward.