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Carolina Journal Radio No. 905: Courtroom deal raises questions about N.C. school funding

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2020 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 905: Courtroom deal raises questions about N.C. school funding

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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September 21, 2020 8:00 am

A Union County judge has approved a deal calling on the state of North Carolina to boost education spending by more than $400 million a year. It’s the first stage of a plan that would lead to billions of dollars of new spending. The money is tied to the long-running Leandro lawsuit. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, analyzes the latest developments in the quarter-century-old Leandro case. The N.C. Association of Educators teachers union is leading a lawsuit designed to kill the state’s Opportunity Scholarship program. But three families are going to court to intervene in the case. They want to defend the scholarship vouchers. Grandparent Janet Nunn explains why she’s working with the Institute for Justice to protect the vouchers. North Carolina and the rest of the United States recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed women’s right to vote in elections. During a recent online forum, John Locke Foundation CEO Amy Cooke helped mark the anniversary. Cooke also shared her concerns about current political debates about women’s role in politics. COVID-19 has generated health care challenges across the country. During a recent online John Locke Foundation forum, North Carolinians heard expert analysis from Rea Hederman, vice president for policy at the Ohio-based Buckeye Institute. Hederman discussed state-level innovations that can lead to better health outcomes during the pandemic and afterward. The N.C. General Assembly recently approved a COVID-19 package totaling nearly $1 billion. They dubbed it the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0. Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow, explores the latest package’s pros and cons. He looks at the potential impact on the state’s long-term fiscal outlook.

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From Cherokee to current attack and the largest city to the smallest 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 what Michiko God.

During the next hour, Donna Martinez, I will explore some major issues affecting our state lawsuit is challenging North Carolina's opportunity scholarships to hear from one grandmother who's going to court to help protect the popular school vouchers North Carolinians and people across the country recently marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Insured women's right to vote. John Locke foundation CEO Amy Cook offers her thoughts about the milestone anniversary over 19 is presented.

Healthcare challenges across the country will hear some helpful ideas from a northern neighbor. Have a look at the potential fiscal impact of North Carolina's latest coronavirus relief package. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina Superior Court Judge has issued a consent order in a decades old North Carolina case about our states in public schools at issue in the Gendreau case is our state's constitutional requirement that every child must have the opportunity for sound basic education. The question of course is how indeed do we go about that and who makes the decisions. Dr. Terry stoops's vice president for research.

Also, the director of education studies here at the John Locke foundation. He has been following this case literally for years and years and years and Terry joins us now. Welcome back to the shelter.

Thank you so we know that it's decades old.

Just give us kind of the Reader's Digest version of what this case is about. It seems that some people were saying that there are some North Carolina kids in some counties who really were being left behind. Yeah, not that's absolutely right to 1994. Five school districts through the states, alleging that students in their district were not receiving an equal opportunity and equal education they were entitled to one of the North Carolina Constitution. Some school districts intervenes and together they went through the courts, and in 1997. The courts establish this idea of a sound basic education saying that the North Carolina Constitution guarantees North Carolina students an opportunity for sound basic education was remanded to a trial courts where there were various memoranda issued by Judge Howard Manning went back to the North Carolina Supreme Court said in 2004, there was another ruling, alleging that the state was a not doing enough for at risk kids it would go to the Supreme Court again with the prekindergarten issue that would happen a few years after that. Since 2016.

It has been under the watchful eye of Judge David Lee with Judge Howard Manning retiring from the bench and Judge Lee being appointed these Superior Court Judge that would oversee the implementation and compliance in the case. So that's where we are now with Judge David Lee in charge of overseeing the constitutional issues related to the Landro case near description here makes my my hair hurt frankly got a feel for these kids. They grown out of the system. At this point, the original kids that folks were were concerned about all these years Terry I mean is that an indication that we really frankly just can't figure out what the issue is what the problem we know what the problem is, but how to really solve it.

I think that that that is a big part of its and there have been various plans and remedies that have been proposed by the Department of Public instruction. The state Board of Education and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about ways to address the issue with at risk kids not performing at grade level in the major subjects, especially reading and math, and there been various programs that have been proposed in some skepticism from Judge Manning not as much from Judge Lee about what can be done to remedy these issues in a large reason for that is that in in 2016 when Judge Lee took over the case, the plaintiffs and defendants decided to get together and to say let's stop fighting and let's get a consultants report to tell us what we needed to do so they they finally decided to do that and they contracted with a California based consultants by name of Wes Stead, etc. it's a company that has gone in various states, North Carolina being there latest to talk about what would be required to meet these constitutional requirements and West. Ed came into North Carolina. The did some limited research and they pitched a report so North Carolina courts and in 2019. They publish that report and so that really since the publishing of that report has form the basis of the strategy by which Judge Lee and the plaintiffs and defendants have gone forward to try to address this issue of low income kids and at risk kids not performing well, fast forward now to September 2020 and this is where we have this latest development in its really interesting because Judge Lee has now issued this consent order. I know talking with you.

I think we talked about it here on Carolina Journal radio you were concerned that the judge was going to issue an order that would require state legislators to spend a certain amount of additional money on public schools, which would set up a constitutional crisis because the courts aren't.

It's not the branch of government that actually spends the money that appropriates the money didn't happen in September. He issued an order, but he didn't issue a requirement tells about. That's right.

When the state Board of Education tried to get out of the lawsuit in their one of the defendants in the lawsuits. Judge Lee wrote an opinion where he basically talked about the fact that he would not be afraid to have a a consent order that would require the states to spend money now that was sort of a shot across the bow. He didn't do anything, but he indicated in that ruling that he would be open to such an idea.

Given how long that the constitutional requirement has not been met. So a lot of people believed at that point that this was judge Lee signaling to the plaintiffs as defendants and everyone else that he was willing to sign a consent order requiring the Gen. assembly to spend more money now.

The North Carolina Constitution is very clear about this is that the North Carolina Gen. assembly is the entity that collects taxes and appropriates tax funds and that the courts have limited ability to tell them how to spend this money Judge Manning when he was overseeing the case never came close to even suggesting that he was going to tell the Gen. assembly how to spend money, but judge Lee seem to be willing to do so and so many, including myself, suspected that this first order in the first year implementing the West and recommendations would have some sort of requirement.

The Gen. assembly, spend money, and in this case, a $427 million down payment on an $8 billion year plan while that didn't happen mostly because of the pandemic really taking a bite out of North Carolina tax revenue going in to this year going into 2020 North Carolina was in fantastic shape due to really great budget management having billions of dollars at its disposal. And so it would've been very easy to say for the judge to say we have the money.

Go ahead and spend it consistent with the Landro requirements, but we know that now we are hundreds of millions of dollars shorts and what we expected to have an tax revenue and and I think Judge Lee was worried that such a requirement of the Gen. assembly spend money that really doesn't have an is is borrowing from the federal government would would impair the states in a way carries it a fair characterization to say that with this order, the judge essentially said that, like these ideas in this Wes Stead report. Well, this is one of my big complaints about the West said report because I think the West End report fall short in many many different ways and Judge Lee basically signed off on it without having any hearings without bringing the West that technocrats into North Carolina putting them on the bench and asking them tough questions. As I said, Judge Manning, who oversaw the case for many years would have done that. He had no patience for so-called education experts who proclaim to have all the answers and tell the courts that they had all the answers them when they do their part referred programs were implemented only to find that risk. Kids were no better off than they were before.

These programs were implemented.

Instead, Judge Lee just said if the plaintiffs and the defendants agree on this report and I will to Dr. Terry stoops has been writing about this for years. You can read all of his work@johnlocke.org and Carolina Journal.com Terry, thanks for joining us. Thank you much more Carolina Journal radio become 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 at Carolina. Journal.com. You'll receive Carolina Journal newspaper in your mailbox each month.

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You 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 will connect Carolina Journal radio I Michiko guy the teachers union is leading efforts to kill North Carolina's opportunity scholarship program.

It's a program that provides up to $4200 a year to low income families money helps them send their kids to the private schools of their choice.

Some of the families are fighting back.

Working with the Institute for Justice. People like Janet Nunn are opposing the lawsuit. Janet is use the scholarship to help her granddaughter. Mariah got involved in this program. When my granddaughter was in the first great and we I realized that she was struggling she was in public school and she was struggling she was in the first grade she was reading below kindergarten level. I was frustrated I was paying the tutor to tutor her. However, I couldn't afford to send her to private school and speaking with a coworker. She directed me to one school and the school introduced me to the opportunity scholarship.

Once Janet Nunn secured an opportunity scholarship for her granddaughter. She helped change her school performance.

I had no right to repeat the first great because she wasn't ready to move forward to the second grade. So when Mariah went into the private school sector. She repeated the first great and and upon repeating the first grade. She was able to get those fundamentals that she needed to help her excel and move on. Full and now as a result of the opportunity scholarship program know why it is a rising sixth-grader.

She is average, sees a B average student. She is confident in herself.

She believes in herself.

Her reading skills has gotten way when Mo is so amazing that the transformation and seeing that transformation not only in higher education and where she's at but in heart character in herself in in and her confidence in herself and without OST I wouldn't of been able to provide that for her is an important factor for me to be able to provide her the education is unique. Do you think Mariah would be in the situation.

She is now. If she had no opportunity scholarship. No, I don't know Mariah was a child that began school and she was she was sick all the way in the back and I witnessed it because I was always a very up close. I volunteer at school and I'm speaking with the teachers and and I'm making sure that I'm doing my part at home and I realize that in kindergarten she was sitting in the back seat.

I had would be down.

She wasn't raising a hand very quietly as Mariah's grandmother Janet Nunn saw the need for extra help.

Mariah wasn't going to get that help moving forward with her public school classmate Lee asked her our legal guardian making the decisions regarding the education I didn't want her to go to the second because I knew she wasn't and I didn't want her to fall any further behind.

Will the school day and became concerned about it being a behavior issue because all of her friends in the first grade will move to the second grade NAC will be in the first great wood all the tinny gardeners and I might be there might be some behavioral issues and it was at that time that I decided that I needed to move and again without the scholarship. I don't think she would've florist as well as he has and continue to do what you think when you heard that there was this lawsuit its ridiculous irony. We live in a country that we say it is freight like weekly.

We supposedly we suppose be in a pursuit of happiness and of freedom and that pursuit is with education as well so I don't see was unconstitutional because because I'm low income is. Is that what makes it unconstitutional. I want to give my child opportunity and that is exactly what the scholarship opportunity for advancement in your life, and she has a right to that.

I don't see why that would be on constant.

We all have the right to pursue our happiness and if happiness is education and we start that we have right and I don't understand why everybody is so angry or upset unconstitutional because with limited.

It is not full that she comes from limited means is really not however is not our fault that she can't be provided a good education that is structured journey. How important is the opportunity scholarship to you why should be protected against this loss program is important to me because again it provides me the opportunity to provide Mariah with the education she needs. And when I say the education she needs. She's in a smaller classroom. She is one-on-one with her with her teacher. Even during these unprecedented times and learning from home if she had problems even myself with this new age map had problems could get on the zoom with her math teacher walk through it explain it to me that I would be able to help her with her going from a child that didn't want to go to school that nasties eager to go to school and she reads and she wasn't reading before and she reads and is so much better than what it was she that she's come a long way.

She has a little bit away, but she's come a long way and without this assistance. I would not have been able to provide that for I would not have been able to boost her confidence in the areas that she needed boosting and that and this is what the opportunity scholarship has done for me and my family.

It has provided me the means.

The financial means to send her to a school that is capable and and she enjoys the learning it's engaging she's not sitting in the back of the classroom.

She's not holding her head down. She's not saying that she's not as smart as classmate she's sitting raising I she's asking question. She's moving forward.

She wants to be the leader and I couldn't have done it by myself and I don't do getting emotional. I get really emotional because when you see the way she was to where she's at now. I am forever grateful. Ever grateful. Without this program I don't know where she would be because as I explained once before. Without this program I would have no choice but just enough back to public school public school would I send it. Do we start this process all over this. He sits back in the in the back of the classroom back into that introvert does she revert back into that child that did not want to go to school. Does she become a behavioral problem because she's not able to keep up with the other students of what's going on. That's Janet Nunn. She uses an opportunity scholarship to send her granddaughter Mariah to a private school in the Charlotte area. Janet and two other families are working with the Institute for Justice. The fighting a lawsuit that's trying to kill off an opportunity scholarship will return with North Carolina Journal in a moment. If you have 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.

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It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to smile.amazon.com today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will get back to Carolina journal radio why Muskoka, North Carolina and the United States recently marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment guaranteed women's right to vote in elections, the John Locke foundation honor the occasion with an online forum, including CEO Amy Cook. She tackled one of the downsides of current political debates about women whole victim mentality. Sort of tiresome and unappealing much word that we as women are Asian server and change in your sometimes there are circumstances I can't type it BD stop being condescending course too much like stopping, sending back to survive a Masters degree in American history. What I found really fascinating when you look at the history of women in particular. Think about this. It was women without the right to the women's Christian temperance that led the movement led the lead led the charge for prohibition.

Just wrap your mind around the fact that this group personally has zero power got to drink. Hillary Clinton will she's a woman to be the first female president. How much influence we have private spheres profession. Anybody was raising or raising a girl influence that we have on future generations can't be overstated. And sometimes that's quietly, rightly, and sometimes it's more publicly this this new progressive black feminist notion that it must be sure your I and it is not only is it not really terribly attractive, or you want to be a part of it, but I actually don't think it helps us.

I think it ends up hurting because what you do is you to some extent this this you go back to hashtag need to you almost start making women less attractive in the workplace.

If all you're going to do you.

If you're always been a look at yourself in some kind of a victim tiresome a little bit which I'm sure will solicit sent some kind of hateful response, but that's fine.

It would be the first time.

I just think women are in a position to be agents of their own change and thank God because you stand on the shoulders of giants who came before. That's John Locke foundation CEO Amy Cook featured speaker during a recent online forum. It marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, will return with more Carolina journal radio involvement 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@johnlocke.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'll hear more about the culture wars get some more humor as well. We guarantee great information and a good time double down with S. Listen to Carolina journal radio each week and listen to headlock to remember, you can listen to headlock@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 to Carolina journal radio why Muskoka covert, 19 is created healthcare challenges across the United States during a recent virtual town hall sponsored by the John Locke foundation North Carolinians learned some insights from a northern neighbor way header but is vice president of the Ohio-based guy Institute is really unique challenge for the healthcare system. The fact that is pretty unprecedented for the healthcare system to be shedding jobs and this is been a particular challenge for rural areas in Ohio's Colombian order along the West Virginia Kentucky border in different parts of southern measurement on all scenarios and so what happened is, these hospitals have been under declining pressure of population, so keeping providers, first responders, their social forces again and thinking through a new way of delivering care and so been very excited. I think that the state has basically made innovations such as telemedicine to allow people.

Providers may be located in Alternaria taking a look at also talk therapy, which is actually kind of remote counseling for mental health issues, something that's relatively new which I think is important to escape or facing mental health challenges. So taking a look at some of the barriers put in place and makes it harder to serve these rural populations have something that the state has been responsive to an Ohio and is the nicety trump administration.

You know by basically freeing up all of Medicaid and Medicare treat these patients as well able to deliver care to these areas suffer from the pot planning, population, or maybe even hospital closures and says it's important to allow innovation to continue across the nation.

A lot of these innovations in telemedicine data been enacted under the emergency orders so important that we make these reforms permanent going forward. People need to lock in these games in Ohio. I don't think were going to go back because patients like the idea.

No doc remotely dislodges. I think one important not just for rural people with elderly people in nursing homes right now. The ability for the safety of your house medical provider so important, so I really hope a lot of states can make these emergency orders permanent because were single. It helps both patients and contrived. I think the cost header and talked about the negative impact of government mandates during the covert, 19 pandemic when I see a lot of these mandates, no going through the government is trying to pick and choose industries when the being able to open your having a lot of collateral damage discotheque.

I think a long time to recover. And so I think you know, again letting people take precautionary measures taking a look at how things operate because we know things are different between rules in urban areas of rural area should of course be allowed to open more freely because fewer people. There's less chance of contagion spread and I think you know that with the lockdown that we seen from a lot of states handle it extremely poorly. I think it's gonna take on them a lot longer to recover from an Ohio, for example, we've had restaurants been allowed good using reasonable safety precautions and we see people refugees if you will, from Pennsylvania border station flowing into Ohio because their states have had worse lockdown. As a consequence, we know that things will be much tougher for businesses in some of those states. So again, letting people utilize common sense compared to county officials may be interpreting rules differently and so we need to be smart and thinking about how we can take care of each other and thinking about how the communities can react the base or sauce and how the nation can recover both in terms of public health and the economy going forward. Compared to some of the sweeping mandates to treat every business the same for every county the same in every person's that's way header been vice president of the Buckeye Institute in Ohio.

He speaking during a recent John lock foundation virtual town hall. The pandemic is helped expose one problem in healthcare barriers linked to state boundary lines. We know New York City was cut out the center of this crisis where you have fatalities increasing on a daily basis and at the height of the crisis you had medical responders coming in from around the nation. You know you started seeing pictures popping up on social media, Ohio's hamlets drivers you know paramedics you had a picture about doctors flying in from Colorado to New York and before the pandemic.

A lot of times, most states would not allow medical professionals, even the case emergency to practice across the state line. So even in a place where you had a desperate need for nurses to come in and be able to triage the other take people where you needed PR professionals to calm because the caseloads were overwhelming the resources to New York people prevented by some these regulations and Ohio one the first things we did was basically saying look, Cleveland, Cincinnati all of a sudden starts having no surge work in the blood medical also come in from other states to meet us in this case of emergencies and using so many states you to waive these restrictions as I look, you're not licensed professional from another state. We should be allowing you to practice some states are doing it for emergencies and some say something will do permanently. Does the type reforms again. Don't allow people to get access to care when they needed an emergency situation.

Federman offered an example of Ohio loosening restrictions that limit access to care. We basically set look at purest. Also military family room you recognize your license let's say for example you know if you're an Air Force and you gone your wife is a practicing nurse. She comes into Ohio because her husband. Or maybe the other spouse is been relocated to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. You would have to sit there and spend months going to the Ohio licensing process to become a registered nurse in Ohio will hire we just signed a law saying look, we should automatically recognize your practice of nursing, which are valid you cannot find a practice in Ohio's make it easier and it is important again to give people care to remove these barriers and these are the type of things that I think will go longer way to reducing the price of healthcare more affordable and more portly. Give people the access providers that nurse the doctor the Democratic politicians and their allies abused covert, 19 to push for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. Federman response Ohio expanded Medicaid and, you know, our experience was. We basically have four more people about twice as many people as richly projected know came into the program, which increased costs to the state and so Ohio still trying to figure out right now is population what the better alternatives because I think it's one thing to sit there and say laconically. Make sure given character.

The truly vulnerable use of the people in nursing homes that should be on Medicaid already is another thing to expand his protections to people who should be in the workforce because the Congressional Budget Office other economists are pretty clear. The Medicaid expansion reduces the incentive to work. We did a study about faceted and so this will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars of lifetime energy combined out right now which you with the boosted unemployment state. It really becomes a challenge.

I think getting people back into the labor market economy functioning and this ends up hurting people because they miss out on wage opportunities makes it harder for them to regain the workforce that is to be a concern that people going for this program, Federman counted other potential reform such as association health plans for insurance and increased price transparency to go shop for a car. You cars are going to cost. If you are trying to figure out now with a lot of people call savings account. You know how much the cost of things cost the hospital not giving out information so these type of tools that let people be able to know how much procedure may cost the hospital may drive them. Hopefully the evidence will suggest that they may sit there and so you know what this hospital will cost me $10,000. This hospital will cost me $7000 to go with the $7000 hospital with no difference in quality. This is good price transparency which will help benefit consumers. That's way header been vice president of the Buckeye Institute in Ohio.

He speaking during a recent virtual town hall sponsored by the John Locke foundation will return with North Carolina journal radio in a moment really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John lock foundation. We have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of 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.

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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 I'm Donna Martinez, $1 billion. That is the price tag of the latest coronavirus relief bill passed by the North Carolina Gen. assembly and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. So exactly what is in it.

Where's the money come from, and what is it mean to the fiscal situation for our state. For that we turn to Joe Colletti.

He is senior fellow with the John lock foundation. He joins us now to look back to the shelf. Okay, first of all, where does the $1 billion come from is at state money federal money. What this is federal money that was passed back in March as part of the cares active material are familiar with.

That's what led to the $1200 payments to per person and part of that was $150 billion to states and localities North Carolina sure that was $4 billion $3.6 billion of that came to the state. The rest of that was distributed to wake Mecklenburg you go for the largest counties in the state in the state was posted provide some of that $3.6 billion to local governments and the rest of it was just go all of it to go to expenses that were not expected related to covert and we were involved with some efforts to provide some flexibility to states for that wasn't clear that that was coming apparently to the legislators and the governor and in the legislators put forward competing plans about what to do with the remaining money that the state had that was unappropriated was appropriated expecting flexibility so this is all just new spending from the legislature of this federal money, and it all is related to covert, 19, and one way or another.

Because legally and technically they don't have the ability to do what you have recommended which is to for Congress to give legislators the flexibility to backfill on tax revenue that has come in because of because of COBIT right so let's talk about what is classified as a covert expense. What is in this bill.

What's getting a lot of from a lot of playing the media is a payment to parents of school-age kids. That's the biggest portion of the money that's $440 million that is going to parents with thoughts of families with with children who are school-age $335 I think is what the final amount that was estimated that we got that better be going out to families in its per family, not per child. But that that's a huge difference from what passed with bipartisan large bipartisan majorities compared to what the governor was looking for.

The governor was used, most of which music about half the money to pay teachers and community college professors and and UNC faculty and staff and and principles at schools always can use that for bonuses for them because his vetoes as you remember, meant that they didn't get a pay raise this year, at least not is not a large pay raise. Then Joanne seems like a real victory, then for the Republican legislator said look we want relief to go directly to North Carolinians who are on the front lines trying to keep their kids in school. Most of them virtual right now sorts of expenses go along with that yeah and so that seems like that the governor was really rebuffed on what he wanted to see if he'd lost badly on this one that he was looking to pay teachers and not and not provide much relief to families and legislators, bipartisan way said families are in for cooling pad spot right now that they're having to take her there to to adjust their work schedules and find other ways and and they're taking on additional expenses for nodes was one thing when it was the end of spring now are starting a new year and we don't know how longer to be home.

So we have to provide something to families and so that's the biggest part of it and that's it. And that was against everything the governor Cooper recommended. Similarly, the opportunity scholarships that governor Cooper in his proposal had was looking to take that money away for new new students continue it for existing students in the legislature said no were going to expand opportunity scholarships and make them more available to families with with slightly higher incomes and and and keep this program going because we see that parents are opting for private schools because the public schools are all online in the inner having a challenge with their kids, Joe.

We also know not not just education and families with school-age kids being affected by COBIT, but we got a lot of people unfortunately who are out of a job, whether it's because of the Cooper shut down there their business, their industry not allowed to open or simply just not not as much demand for an industry that is still open so is there any relief there for folks who are trying to make it on an unemployment check. Yeah, this is another area where the bill that passed was was an improvement over what governor Cooper and recommended that have under $35 million to match the federal money for which is $300 per person on unemployment, which is which is used to be $600 bonus now $300 bonus so it's not as much of it disincentive to to find work in the short term, its per week and that's per weekend there adding another $50 on top of that for everybody and Gov. Cooper's idea was to increase the maximum amount so that if you are a higher earning person and you are on unemployment. The maximum could be more. This says everybody on unemployment is going to get another $50 per week and so this is it's it's expensive but this is all federal money and their holding harmless the unemployment trust fund, which was another concern which is that the state if you remember during the last recession we built up a 2 1/2 billion dollars shortfall on that one debt that we had to pay back to the federal government run by $4 billion surplus at the beginning of January but with the extended, with the number of people were unemployed that surplus is been coming down and this this protects a little bit about Bell Joe, this is federal money from the cares act state finances. Some North Carolina fair to say were in a bad position but yet not as bad a position as a lot of other states. Yeah North Carolina came into this in really good shape with in part because of the last 10 years of good good spending and in part because the governor and the jump journalism, we can agree on what to spend last year so we had $1 billion over $1 billion in rainy day fund so that their savings are and there is about $1.7 billion coming into the year in unexpended punishment. Revenue from previous years. So that set the state up in good shape. Governor would've spent all that money to expand it with expansions with an expansion budget and the general assembly has not put forth the new budget yet waiting to hear from fiscal research about what the revenue picture actually looks like, and waiting to hear from Congress and if any more money is gonna come down but the states it, the state can get by with what we have that the that the revenue shortfall. To the extent that there is one should be in line with the spending that's already planned as long as they don't look to suit to expand spending much more Joe, here's the problem.

Fewer people working fewer people buying things so that means less income tax coming into the state less sales tax coming into the state. That's not a good stereo, it's not. But again, North Carolina is in better shape than most places in this is why the below spending as it is critically important that we had 23 point we respond less money than we had coming in in previous years. Last year were able to get by with that with lower spending that had been proposed by either the jealous and we are the governor so this year we should be in decent shape to be able to get by without having to dig too deep.

Joe Colletti is a senior fellow with the John Locke foundation. He writes about these issues@johnlock.org Jeff, thanks for joining us and give us all the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week. Thank you for listening Donna Martinez hope you join us next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke call 66 jail left 166534636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation, Carolina's free-market think tank and Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are solely those did not merely reflect the station. For more information about the show.

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