When legislators return to Raleigh in May, their primary task involves adjusting the $23 billion General Fund budget for 2018-19. As they approach that task, the John Locke Foundation has compiled a new document that should help them place budget decisions in context. It’s dubbed the “North Carolina Budget in Pictures.” Senior Fellow Joseph Coletti explains how those pictures will help policymakers and the public make sense of a complex document. As the 2018 election season heats up, veteran political strategist Marc Rotterman is analyzing key factors that will shape the outcome of critical contests at ballot boxes across the country. The host of UNC-TV’s “Front Row with Marc Rotterman” confronts the prospect of a Democratic wave election, and he addresses the issue of whether 2018 elections will end up serving as a referendum on the first two years of the Trump administration. State agencies are offering some pushback after a legislative study recommended scaling back the number of supervisors throughout state government. The committee overseeing the General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division recently debated the issue. You’ll hear highlights. The word “liberal” has undergone massive transformation over the past 200 years. During a recent Hayek Lecture at Duke University, economist Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Illinois at Chicago urged a redefinition of “liberal.” McCloskey would like to see the word used to describe those who value liberty, not those who prefer government action in most public policy debates. The National Council on Teacher Quality has released its latest rankings of the top teacher-preparation programs in North Carolina. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, scours the rankings for clues about ways the University of North Carolina system can produce higher-quality teachers for classrooms across the state.