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Carolina Journal Radio No. 893: Lawsuit highlights concerns about N.C. Medicaid contract

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 893: Lawsuit highlights concerns about N.C. Medicaid contract

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 29, 2020 8:00 am

A lawsuit has helped expose controversy surrounding a multimillion-dollar N.C. Medicaid contract. Donald van der Vaart, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, dissects the issue. He says evidence suggests that state regulators manipulated the bidding process to help a favored company. State Auditor Beth Wood recently revealed that the N.C. Transportation Department overspent its budget by $742 million in one year. Wood presented those findings to the General Assembly’s transportation oversight group. You’ll hear highlights from Wood’s comments and lawmakers’ responses. Many N.C. businesses remain closed because of government restrictions tied to COVID-19. State lawmakers have tried to ease restrictions on restaurants and bars. You’ll hear highlights from legislative debate over one proposal involving outdoor dining. Before the coronavirus pandemic began dominating state and national headlines, two N.C. congressmen were trying to attract attention to the victims of government sanctuary city policies. You’ll hear Reps. Ted Budd and Dan Bishop discuss their proposals for helping those victims. Gov. Roy Cooper’s approach to the state budget in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been “reckless and irresponsible.” That’s the assessment from John Locke Foundation senior fellow Joseph Coletti, who criticizes the governor’s decision not to scale back state government spending as the pandemic’s negative economic impact became clear.

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From Cherokee to current tagging from the largest city to the smallest town and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Mitch Coe got during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. North Carolina's state Transportation Department overspent by nearly 3/4 of $1 billion in a single year to learn details from the state auditor and hear reaction from lawmakers. Legislators also continued their search for ways to help more businesses reopen from Gov. Roy Cooper's economic shutdown will have details before covert, 19 struck the United States to North Carolina Congressman were trying to highlight the victims of government sanctuary city policies to hear their concerns and you learn why one expert believes the Gov.'s recent approach to the state budget is reckless and irresponsible those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us, but she has the Carolina Journal headline in 2019.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services awarded multibillion-dollar Medicaid managed care contracts to for private companies. These companies scored highest on an evaluation, but now there are questions about whether the agency actually put its thumb on the scale in favor of one company and against another. This whole question is the subject of a really interesting piece written by my next guest. He is Dr. Don Vander var. He is a senior fellow with the John Locke foundation. You can read this piece@johnlocke.org Don welcome back to the show. So what you've written about apparently is a serious enough that this is ended up in court. Tell us who is suing whom insurance company drives and lost and they for various reasons, believe that the process was somewhat capricious and file suit against DHHS for review and and so now there is a procedure requires they are in the office right now.

These contracts can't just briefly explain what they are and why it is either lucrative enough or influential enough to have one that someone would actually sue over not getting one will read many many many years.

The last remaining states to implement Medicaid service model. Most other states are going over to managed care model and so being some frustration pushed to get this to managed care model the things that are important. One is the amount of the contracts are more very large largest is the largest contract, set of contracts that the state is ever left to private companies billion dollars over five years number two probably are very because the company realize that they are starting as a baseline with the historical fee-for-service expenditures of the past years.

They believe their experience be able to save a significant amount of money under the managed care model and is this difference that they're going to be part of for profit. So is extremely probably in these these insurance companies looking at a contract for the contract of around $6 billion over five years while so that's a huge business opportunity and for now, which was not selected as one of the four that is a loss to the company tell us how these four firms were selected them. We were told that this was an independent evaluation and that each of the companies were scored essentially on certain parameters and that Aetna simply did make the top four judges evaluation team. These are some some numbers and they were made up of DHHS individuals, but they all have expertise in this area. They met many many many many times to evaluate the proposals from a number of links seven or eight different companies and they scored them a long, long range of criteria and the and that's how the winners the top winners now. Is it fair to say that I thought that they were going to be the fourth firm selected by dad in the end, it ended up that they were scored as number five, and a different firm became number four and therefore got a contract actually lost for a number of reasons. They believe that there was perhaps a conflict of interest between some of the members.

DHHS and affirm that the firm did end up winning. It's interesting because folks listing to us might say, well, you know, I mean sometimes you win a contract. Sometimes you don't. That's just the way business goes in well.

Aetna suggests should just accept that and move on and try to get other business but something came out in these proceedings over this case.

That was pretty unexpected and got Aetna's attention and here's the really really bizarre.

First of all, is based on personal personnel, conflicts of interest actually file suit.

Then they began the discovery process which is the first part of fact-finding part of litigation and during discovery. Nothing more was was found, but they continued to have. For example, relationships between members of DHHS team and one firm during discovery, nothing more much came out.

Then they started to close some of DHHS. That's where was real surprised during one of the depositions where these witnesses are essentially questioned under oath. It came out that the end of the process review process by the evaluation committee have actually been stored in the top four words, they were one of the winners and document was not to during discovery. Isn't that an ethical breach. I mean if you watch Law and order. You kind of know about discovery and and attorneys are required to turn over materials to the opposing side note, I understand from a judicial efficiency standpoint, the court wants to get all of the facts out between the two parties and maybe after all that's done. The part one parties is your right to probably do the right thing and so when you have the possibility of attorneys concealing information that is you don't do that because you want to have have all the facts before the court spends their time and in this case, if you're talking about. If you put yourself in Europe and you believe for other reasons that treated unfair and I think probably a very important document might be a earlier draft final list really showing that you are aware you were not so.

That list is particularly important to so Don, what does the state say about this.

I mean, do they they must dispute that Aetna actually was scored higher than Blue Cross because at the bottom line here it it ends at the Blue Cross is one of the four firms that dad got the contract and Aetna did not apparently there was this list by the evaluation team showing up though, was one of winners is not and then there was outside senior leadership discussion and the General Counsel stepped in and changed evaluation parameter and then so Don where does this go from here right now the state is actually fighting Aetna's right to include this document in their complaint, Don Vander var has been writing about it. He senior fellow with the John Locke foundation Don, thanks so much for joining us to talk about appreciated say with as much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina journal, honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina journal is free to subscribers sign up@carolinajournal.com you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles. The powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles.

Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspaper is published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot on the Carolina journal.com once, twice, even three times a day won't be disappointed. It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina journal.com Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you Carolina journal radio I Michiko got North Carolina's state Transportation Department overspent nearly 3/4 of $1 billion last year.

State auditor Beth would make that determination recently would share details of her audit with state lawmakers Republican Sen. Tom McInnes set the stage for which remarks weekly reports ups and downs in the economy and that sort of thing and we find ourselves now in a down economy is exasperated about issues that have taken place under the under the management of the follow-through on the map back from litigation. Many things of all coincide at one time very very pleased that the auditor is only audit but will also here to work towards an end result in a bipartisan way to make sure that this doesn't happen again cut out for food network to went through the numbers then offered ideas for improving the Transportation Department spending plan recommending spending plan should be based on cost estimates of specific projects and operations that you can use office should formally monitor each Holly spending on a regular basis and adjust whether those adjustments are holding back or slowing down some of the spending, but there should be some adjustments made again the idea of the disaster spending. We spent $300 million to replace.

Rose destroyed by the hurricane. Yet no slowing down for the rest of the year actually happened. The chief engineer's office should take corrective actions whenever highway divisions are overspending and the chief engineer should consider requiring corrections on a quarterly basis. Sen. Jim Davis started the questioning of state auditor Beth there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle.

There are a lot of variables to this passion financial crisis of what is the most meaningful thing that you think that we can recommend that would assist in getting a handle on this financial crisis that the ER you know what you starting point is and that's that's got to be some kind of check and balance some kind of oversight to ensure that the spending plan is being followed like it should be how they forecasted was not based on projects that are being done so their forecasting is not what it should be and then the oversight. Once that on spending and cash flow got into trouble between the two better forecasting and in the oversight. Sen. Tom McInnes peppered Wood with a series of questions about the Transportation Department's overspending is racially by the public about rolling forward as planned due to his financial situation in the letter to the Gen. assembly this week. Please save the attached plan is necessary to reduce expenditures in this fiscal year to offset the negative impacts were covered like Taino revenue continues to to not take responsibility for the mishandling of contracts and are attempting to use the code crisis as their excuse for their financial situation. This is nothing new to use Apple disasters on the map as an excuse for the spending mismanagement from the time this was my question is walkover contributed to his financial situation and recent actions, some of which were actually being implemented before these cash management is a strong contributing factor financial situation we see based on the audit that we did absolutely goes on to say that you believe it is more of a contributing factor. The revenue due to covert thus far mean that billions of dollars but certainly that's the time when you should be managing absolutely the best you can, because they stuck to their spending plan in 2019. DOT would have $700 million more money in the bank covert virus to cover up her pre-existing issue with their coach about I can answer the question you still not taking proper responsibility for Skype falls come to light in the salt. According to the response. It appears that they are making that move and they do have a new secretary and he has yet to have a chance to see what he can accomplish. I received no pushback at all from him on the findings that we had and certainly he's is brand-new. I guess that's some thought that there was a move to doles out news and so on. You know it is hard to say when he has had a chance to do anything yet from slowdown or correct the spending rate which the office of chief engineer was approving based on the audit that we did not. Sen. Danny Britt continued the questioning of state auditor Beth would go to get to the root of nearly 3/4 of $1 billion in overspending at the state Transportation Department did have the ability to slow down or stop letting of contracts that run some of it makes sense and that on if you have a bridge that have finished that you certainly couldn't stop so so the idea is that that slowing down of the stopping would be at certain milestones so I'm given that example. I understand that that's part of the reason they said they didn't.

But again, you can spend money you don't have but again there were other projects that they didn't stop or slow down that warning that process hypothetically Atrios was there any point were you determined it transportation to any type of corrective action to try to slow the spending.

We didn't see any evidence and I work do you believe that upper management were told to keep spending, the Gen. assembly would possibly bail them out.

We have no knowledge of that conversation nor did it come up in our audit would set her audit suggests that other DOT issues ought to be addressed.

Sen. Brett to hear about those issues for some things about motor you thinking to be looked into.

While some of the contracting processes, and I mean you just have to wonder if you have preliminary preliminary engineering contracts and the spending is on hundred $94 million over budget. You believe that the claimant engineering should be associated with certain projects, I mean just looking to find how that went on and then again the 4.8 million and it's just a balance of projects that are intended anticipated to be paid for with federal monies. Again, what's what's really in that number. At what point DO to you appear to realize that there was a spending problem or cash balance issue. We were told that in November 2018 and their cash projections they were recognizing that would be some problems in their cash projections. November 2018.

Most of these problems recognized within almost 2 years ago. Not since could not things that run the trip. Was there any information that the governor was aware of the problems of DOT and how long ago was he made aware of the problems I have no idea that's state auditor Beth would respond to a series of questions from State Sen. Danny Britt was one of multiple members of the Senate's transportation committee asking questions about a recent state audit found that the North Carolina Transportation Department overspent nearly 3/4 of $1 billion last year, will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment. If you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups across North Carolina all in one place North Carolina conservative.com it's one stop shopping. North Carolina's freedom movement@northcarolinaconservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blocks on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and want foundation analysts, opinion pieces and reports on higher education James G. Martin Center for academic renewal, commentary and polling data from the scimitar's Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com.

Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina.

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Welcome back Carolina journal radio amateur coca North Carolina restaurants reopened in the covert, 19 pandemic at just 50% capacity. Some state lawmakers want to compensate by permitting more outdoor dining Republican Sen. Rick got an amazing amount of response for House Bill 536 will which will hopefully be a lifeline for restaurants. As we all work through this very, very tough Top Gun amended his original plan, we are allowing a designated area, we felt it would be important to various camp can in fact be a to temporary tent so we describe all. More specifically, the temporary tent is, it was little bit extra for some folks that they didn't know this to continue indefinitely by the city so we got a hard closure that will occur either. October 31, 2020, or when the order.

Orders are lifted, whichever is later. God is targeting more than restaurants. This will allow the product club front of Moore's winery is still pretty much what the restaurants can do the same date effective date for be there these entities is job creators. A small business offer nor try to make a tough go in and meet your help and I thank you and I thank you in advance for your support. Changing the logs of potentially 350,000+ individuals in our state and the businesses that hire them.

Democratic Sen. Sam Searcy responded, I spoke with the mayors of Apex, Holly Springs, and Carrie just before this committee meeting and they are overwhelmingly in favor of this bill and getting people back to work. One question that was posed to me, and I assume pretty logical will will you be using plastic rather than glass. Obviously if it's outdoor facilities, or would that be something left of the municipalities. If I understand the restaurant and working tirelessly with DHHS and the health department and using their guidelines as it comes to best practices. Republican Sen. Jim Perry thanked God. I think you are correct. We have a lot of families and a lot of lives been disruptive in the cash flow of these restaurants is this just in a really precarious place and this is going to be very helpful.

So thank you for bringing this forth. Committee Chairman John Alexander reminded colleagues. The change will come too late for some read the other day that. Howard is really close in her orchard bar permanently. That said, she's just a great restaurant tour and and a citizen of our state you been listening to legislators discuss measures to help North Carolina restaurants and bars recovering from covert, 19 will return with more Carolina journal radio where doubling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet. And now get twice as much freedom when you also listen to our podcast headlock available on iTunes and@johnlock.org/podcast headlock is a little bit different. It's a no holds barred discussion that challenges softheaded ideas from the left and the right, like Carolina journal radio headlock is smart and timely but with headlock you hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time that's listen to Carolina journal radio each week and was locked to remember, you can listen to head back@johnlocke.org/podcast or subscriber download each week iTunes Carolina journal radio and headlock just what you need to stay informed and stay entertained both brought to you in the name of freedom by the John Locke foundation.

Welcome back Carolina journal radio why Mitch coca a couple of North Carolina congressmen are drawing national attention to the issue of sanctuary cities during a recent speech on Capitol Hill Republican representative Ted Budd of the 13th district explained his efforts to hold those cities accountable for their actions. Sanctuary city policies threaten the safety of American citizens want to commend the trump administration for its crackdown on safe sanctuary cities and I applaud the Rican. The recent Second Circuit of appeals decision allowing the Department of Justice to withhold funding from sanctuary cities back in June. Immigration and customs enforcement, released a list of criminal illegal aliens that were aliens that were allowed back into their sanctuary communities by local officials. One such criminal is Rosario Ramos Roma's is 100 citizen who was deported four times before authorities arrested him in Washington state in October 2017. Once notified of Rosario's arrest price issued a written detainer request asking the local authorities to imprison them for an additional 48 hours so they could decide whether or not to begin deportation proceedings. Instead, local authorities ignore the detainer request and where is released Rosario back into the community in January 2018.

He murdered his cousin and he hid the body in a dumpster in another instance, in 2015 Garcia Surette Zarate, an illegal immigrant from Mexico shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle very well known case the tragedy while she was walking with her father and her friend on Pier 14 in San Francisco prior to the shooting. Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was supposed to be deported for 1/6 time he'd been transferred to San Francisco services goes jail to serve a sentence for selling marijuana, but local authorities released him a few days later, despite the detainer request federal law enforcement. Situations like these are more common than they should be in our country and many local officials protect illegal immigrants and ignore federal immigration laws up to the point of leaving dangerous individuals and their communities. As you can see from these horrific examples, refusing to honor detainer request and frustrating local law enforcement has dire consequences.

Not only does it make our nation less safe.

It leaves no room for the victims of these offenders to obtain justice Budd has a response to the problem, so I introduced the justice for victims of sanctuary cities act, along with my colleague representative Bradley Byrd here in the house and my fellow North Carolinian Tom Tillis over in the Senate. This legislation would allow anyone who was a victim of murder rate for any felony to file a lawsuit and bring civil action against the state or the sanctuary city.

That city failed to honor a lawful immigration detainer request from the Department of Homeland Security, any individual who is injured or harmed by an illegal immigrant who benefited from Century City's policy will be able to sue the sanctuary city or state my bill also requires sanctuary cities to waive a criminal's immunity as a condition of receiving certain federal grants. If the jurisdiction doesn't agree to waive immunity, it will not be eligible for grants, public works, grant planning and administrative expenses and grants for training, research and technical assistance. Budd says the proposal has some high profile support. I'm extremely proud that Pres. Trump endorsed her bill during his 2020 state of the union address. It's time for Congress to force sanctuary cities to comply with federal law enforcement and to stop them from letting dangerous criminals remain on our streets is finally time to give victims of sanctuary city policies a legal pathway to justice Budd got a firsthand look at why his proposal is necessary during the trip to the southern border last year, I witnessed the humanitarian and security crisis up close and personal.

I saw the sorry state of some areas of our border so places that were only defended by thin barbed wire fences. These weak defenses allow practically anyone to break into our country and that includes dangerous members of drug cartels who fuel our country's devastating opioid crisis but has support for his idea from fellow Republican Dan Bishop. He represents North Carolina's ninth Congressional District from San Francisco to my district in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Cities across the country are declaring themselves sanctuary cities. The term sounds peaceful. But the results are exactly the opposite. North Carolina sheriffs and a few urban counties release over 500 illegal aliens last year who were convicted or accused of serious crimes including domestic violence indecency with a child, even rape and murder rather than hand over these vicious criminals to federal authorities, sanctuary cities and counties release them into your community to pray on you and your family.

Bishop doesn't understand why cities and counties take those actions. What is the purpose of this policy. Clearly it is not public safety, nor is it for the protection of immigrant communities. Indeed, they are the most victimized by these predators.

Rather, it is meant to serve national liberal agenda that prizes open borders over community safety across the nation. We were horrified to learn last year about a 92-year-old woman brutally raped and murdered at the hands of an individual who should have never been release who lies asked to hold so the increasing breakdown in the relationship between federal and local authorities isn't just theoretically dangerous sanctuary policies put dedicated law enforcement officers at risk Bishop explains what happens when local authorities refused to work with federal immigration officials. When criminals are released despite an ice detainer eyes have the statutory responsibility to collect rather than have a secure transfer ice must go into the community to track down the individual for noncontrolled arrest. Ironically, if the situation turns violent, the very local police who arrested the alien the first time will be there to back up ice Bishop explains his support for his colleague Ted Budd's proposal to hold these jurisdictions to account. I was proud to sign onto the justice for victims of sanctuary cities act, which would allow victims of crimes committed by individuals released under sanctuary city policies or their survivors to sue sanctuary jurisdictions. For example, in the New York City case, the woman's family would be able to sue the local government for allowing the release of her killer who should have been safely and ice custody often cities and towns claim immunity from being sued like this. Denying victims rights. The bill would allow communities to maintain that practice, but not at the expense of American taxpayers. Bishop response to critics I've heard across the aisle that sanctuary cities only release individuals who pose no community harm. If you believe that you should have no issue with this bill because those who are released won't endanger the community and no one would ever be enabled to sue.

I however believe we must take this threat seriously and impose concrete costs to communities refused to follow the law.

That's US representative Dan Bishop Republican from North Carolina's ninth district along with his 13th District colleague Ted, but he spoke recently on Capitol Hill in favor of the justice for victims of sanctuary cities that will return with North Carolina German radio really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms in the past decade here in North Carolina. So while others talk or complain or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse envy of every other state research is how policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you are.

Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio Martina's reckless and irresponsible. That is the description applied to Gov. Roy Cooper's plan for state spending. Despite the crushing impact of covert, 19 on North Carolinians who pay the taxes, thousands of whom have been put out of work by the Gov.'s statewide shutdown order. Joe Colletti is a senior fellow for the John Locke foundation. He authored the analysis of the governor's spending plan joins us now to talk about what is inside that plan Joe welcome back to the show. First of all, give us a sense of how covert, 19 has impacted the state in terms of revenues and services that the stated anticipated providing the first the first impact on why the governor needs to act on this is that it reduce the income tax that were able to receive in the sales and sales and use tax that the state receives the income tax because with the shutdown of activity both voluntary and then state-mandated people were losing jobs and and and then the you have the federal government to lay income tax deadlines and for tech filing and force for paying the state followed suit.

So instead of getting that money in April is now in July so that had a huge impact on on income taxes well in the sales tax so also as a result of the closures in the in the not going out for folks announced himself, and no sales or restaurants right and there's only so much you can buy off Amazon so personal to another ship. Those two things that the loss of sales tax revenue loss of income tax revenue per the state's bottom line, we still know what the full impact of that is.

But we know that March, April and May have been significantly down as a result, because you have the additional need and more people are losing are out of work and with school shutdown you have increasing expenses for K-12 schools and four universities about making with making the transition to distance-learning you have other medic more Medicaid potential spending and more healthcare potential spending and with outbreaks in nursing homes and prisons you have more spending going in those directions to there's a lot of additional money that needs to go that needs to be spent and so you're doing that at a time that revenues are falling and it only makes sense for the governor to start reeling back the spending that is is already is already happening and it took him a long time to start doing Joe. It sounds like a really ugly fiscal picture.

Frankly, in Ellen and the whole the medical aspect of covert, 19 aside will talk about that in in this interview, but fiscally this is just really ugly. So as you mention, one would think, based on all of this you don't increasing demands for needs less revenue that will be coming in that the chief executive, the state would be putting together a plan that would be raining and spending paring back exactly what it is that the state can do. Apparently that's not what Gov. Cooper is doing, no, no, not nearly to the extent that other governors have done in the past so it took from the time that he issued the stay-at-home order on March 17 on on St. Patrick's Day until the end of April to say this were to take some steps to start peeling back, spending the first of those is, that was a travel freeze both that made sense as kind already happening) has no reason to go out of your house so but put a limit on hiring put a limit on salary extent increases, and on and on contracts that were already in place of reducing purchases and most of all art, all makes sense, but Gov. Gov. Perdue and Gov. Easley 10 years ago and 20 years ago when faced with similar large revenue shortfalls that there were anticipating this time in 6.6% this year, 9.9% next year. So total of $4.2 billion between the two. The two fiscal years when they had similar reductions in revenue governor, but they both said they both told agencies send back money. Those are called reversions.

We at the end of the year.

We need to have some money back from you.

They told them to implement savings plans and looking for 5 to 7% set spending reductions.

In addition to freezes on hiring on stun salaries on travel on other purchases and hasn't done that has not done that and that's that's where the where you start to guess where he gets a reckless and irresponsible is that there the state started off in relatively good shape because the governor was asking for way too much wanted to. There is capital that both he and the general assembly wanted.

He wanted a higher teacher raises than the general assembly wanted and and because they couldn't come to an agreement on those things that money has not been spent, and so were fortunate to have that available. But even with the money that's unspent and attached to the savings or that's merely going to get us through the anticipated revenue shortfall for the next year and that that doesn't even count the potential for a major storm in the area which is the last one cost of $750 million out of the rainy day fund and doesn't count the spending that's been going on at NC DOT that has raised that that that that is raised to the condemnation of the state auditor Jill with this situation looming. One would think that unusual steps is very serious. Steps would have to be taken because it's such an unusual situation.

We've also heard the phrase share the pain banding about a lot by the governor's administration and understandably so unprecedented times we all understand that.

But is there any way that we can reasonably expect to go forward knowing where in the situation that we were in without making some serious cuts at the very least, to spending growth, if not actual spending on is not what share the pain is all about state government having to buy into that as well. That's usually what should rebut everybody is is part of the sharing and in one of the things that that governor both Perdue and Easley did was they said when you're making these reductions make them long-term.

Look for recurring reductions so they were looking for. How do you change the way state government operates, so that state government can be stronger on the other side of it that it was coming into it and when you're doing the temporary reductions that that Gov. Cooper is asking for and not asking for those significant savings. Not only are you raising the likelihood that you're going to have to go back to the states citizens and raise what is likely to be the sales tax because that's what get you revenue quickly.

This is this is that it is not good budgeting and is not wise budgeting. If we are going to follow the governor's course on this then doesn't that simply require tax increases at whether to sales tax or income tax and politically with that mean the governor would have to hope for a very good news for Democrats and in the fall election. What about the impact on individual North Carolinians, many of whom are out of a job.

Some people working part time because there old job is still mandated out of existence. I mean it just seems like you know it. A terrible concoction to go forward in the governor is waiting for and hoping that by by putting these things off and eventually we will get a second round of federal money for the state and for local governments. That's what the news and Observer and Charlotte Observer both asked for in their editorials earlier this week and that's what is his statements in the memo sent to agencies of centers that were little weight for federal certainty which means light both flexibility which we called for and more money on top of that, so that's that's a danger that is of course federal tax dollars come from the very same people in North Carolina who also pay state tax dollars. So that doesn't seem like much of a solution that's a bad it's a bad situation that were neither higher taxes in our hearts, and higher taxes later because the federal government is taking on additional deficits.Joe Colletti thanks so much for joining. Thank you all the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week Donna Martines join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email development John Locke call 1866166554636 Carolina journal radio is the timeline foundation Carolina think tank Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are so clearly with more information about the show other programs as the timeline foundation toll-free at 868 JL would like to thank our wonderful radio affiliates across Carolina Carolina journal radio. Thank you for listening. Please join us again next week


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