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Carolina Journal Radio No. 751: High Point proceeds with controversial baseball plan

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 9, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 751: High Point proceeds with controversial baseball plan

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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October 9, 2017 12:00 am

High Point plans to move forward with a taxpayer-funded downtown baseball stadium, despite concerns from some Guilford County commissioners. Julie Tisdale, John Locke Foundation city and county policy analyst, analyzes the latest developments in the debate over devoting tax dollars to baseball in the Triad city. Division and debate cropped up to a greater degree than normal in a recent meeting of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors. The fractious meeting had been sparked by concerns over the way board leaders and system President Margaret Spellings handled a controversy surrounding the Chapel Hill campus’s “Silent Sam” Confederate statue. Disgruntled board members put forward a series of resolutions creating new committees to study Spellings’ administrative team, a potential move of that team out of Chapel Hill, and the future of tuition and fees at UNC campuses. You’ll hear highlights from the discussion. Members of the N.C. House have been debating the possibility of redrawing judicial election maps across the state. Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, explains why he promotes the idea. You’ll also hear from Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, who wants to take more time to study the issue. As lawmakers consider the first statewide revision of judicial election districts in 60 years, judges are offering their own comments. District Court Judges Athena Brooks and Robert Stiehl and Superior Court Judge Joe Crosswhite offered public testimony during a recent hearing on judicial redistricting. You’ll hear highlights from their remarks. North Carolina’s state government collected more revenue than expected and spent less money than expected for the third year in a row. That’s great news. But Joseph Coletti, John Locke Foundation senior fellow for fiscal policy, explains why lawmakers need to shore up their support for spending restraint to avoid future problems.

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From charity to current 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 public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio why Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. Some members of the University of North Carolina system's board of governors want more input you hear what they said during a surprisingly confrontational recent board meeting. The general assembly is talking about redrawing election maps for North Carolina judges. It would be the first major overhaul of judicial election districts in decades.

You hear pros and cons about the idea. You'll also hear from judges themselves.

What do they think about the proposed changes bus will share the good news and a red flag connected to North Carolina's recent budget situation, the state has enjoyed recent budget surpluses are what North Carolina needs to do to maintain its sustainable fiscal path. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline will taxpayers be forced to help find a ballpark in High Point. The Guilford County Board of commissioners vote to table a decision on this project is casting doubt on the project's future. Still, the city of High Point counsel. There seems to be moving ahead. Our own Julie Tisdale who is the city and County policy analyst for the John Locke foundation has been following this story closely. She's here with an update.

Julie welcome back. So far, listeners less quickly summarize exactly what this project is and where absolutely High Point has been talking about building a ballpark for a while. Now they first started talking about in 2015 there been all kinds of developments but not really serious about this. It April when they allocated $15 million for land acquisition in downtown High Point. They found an area where they wanted to demolish the current buildings and build a ballpark to attract a minor league team to the area and that was in April they said at that point that they like to partner with the county really happened over the summer. I'm finally in September, the county voted to have a public hearing on it. Then later in September, High Point city Council had their own public hearing and approved moving forward with the project.

Toward the end of September, Guilford public meeting and voted to delay the whole thing by 60 to 90 days to there to meet again at some point later in the year, but it's not looking very good. Guilford County seems very reluctant to get on board with the project.

Despite that High Point voted on September 25 to develop an alternative financing plan and proceed with this project, regardless of whether the county chooses to partner with them or not, that's really interesting because clearly than the city Council in High Point wants this ballpark. Do they have any chance at all of actually attracting a team were taught by baseball here right minor league baseball right there is an agreement in place to attract team Dave. They're planning to move the team as part of the Atlantic league. That team would move from Bridgeport Connecticut at two High Point and would start play in 20 the stadium would be built in 20 x 20 19 on them actually move afoot at the stadium would be built in 2019.

I'm not sure where they would play an interim that team is part of the Atlantic league, which is not actually the official minor league baseball league at all so official teams in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, for example, are affiliated with major league club. So there's this pipeline players these for player development and players move up and down that system and there is a clear path to major league baseball for those players if they can achieve in a Heine performance so it is professional baseball. But it's at the the entry-level area outside the accepted system. Some of those people may go on to sign majorly contracts, but they're not affiliated with any team.

Now there's no clear path for that so is unlikely that very many of them will move on.

The city wants to go forward and as you said, they apparently want to go forward regardless of what the County does.

Let's talk about the money and the relationship with the city and the county result could the city actually go ahead with this whole thing and if the county says no go. The money is where the starts to get really really interests always or absolutely any $30 million to build the stadium point probably could come up with a way to finance that is a lot of money. High Point, a small town, but they could probably do that and obviously it's easier if you get Guilford County on board there bigger. They have more resources on their plan is over there. The original plan that Guilford seeming very skeptical about is to designate 649 acres which would be the stadium itself in the area around the stadium and they wanted Guilford County to agree to forgo any additional taxes that would be raised in that area for the next 20 years and use that revenue instead to pay back the debt from building stadium is a little bit of an interesting arrangement.

There this is part of a larger project to though neither conveying who is the president of High Point University and an entrepreneur and very wealthy personally himself has been heading this project to find community partners so he has committed to raising the money for building a children's museum of heart educational event spaces all kinds of neat amenities around the ballpark. He's got investors who have committed to building a hotel apartments retail and office space. So because very mixed-use, interesting kind of development. The word PNA they raise about $50 million in philanthropy, and about $50 million in promises of private investments of about substantial money here, nobody seems to want to touch and to private money is the ballpark itself, which raises some red flags to be. It makes it seem like maybe that's the weak link in this project, so Julie, what is this mean for taxpayers. Whether it they're paying city taxes or county taxes would taxpayers then have to actually pay additional tax or special tax, or would it be a situation where the county for example would just not collect tax, and therefore not be taking in as much revenue from the special area around the stadium right so that the sort of system that they want to set up is one where they envision there being additional tax revenue generated by all this economic growth right and so the city are the county would forgo the additional revenue that would have been collected in that area and use it to pay down the debt that sounds great just kind of borrowing against future earnings, but it leaves a big? What if the whole thing fails. What if the team doesn't perform well what it never revisits the children's Museum.

What if the team decides to leave after five years. There's lots of questions about the numbers that are being presented and if this plan doesn't quite work out. There is no alternative but the taxpayers being left to fit the bill. So what would that mean then let's say worst-case scenario and certainly we don't want to write a project to fail and taxpayers to be on the hook but that's one of the scenarios you have to look at as you analyze whether this project should go forward and that's what you do here at the Locke foundation.

So what is the worst case scenario.

Worst-case scenario is an increase in property taxes for High Point taxpayers, which we don't want to see. I would love for this project to be wildly successful and have another baseball team in High Point think that this whole mixed-use development sounds really cool children's Museum in office and retail space in part, all of that sounds really cool and I'd love to see it be successful. But if taxpayers have funded it and the whole thing is not as successful as we'd hoped. Then they will be left footing the bill so private investment. The private investors take on the risk and I'm okay with that. Also, it is wildly successful. They make a profit out of, and that would be a great deal for the investors as well. It's good for the city is good for the investors. What I'm concerned about is taking the riskiest part of the project and funding that the taxpayer money. That's putting taxpayers at tremendous risk and Julie, it's not just in North Carolina.

We see this across the country where many many cities they want to attract some sort of a professional sports team and typically they get into questions of should we build a stadium and then usually beyond that they should start talking about hotels around the stadium and all that but the analysis is always the interesting point from your research. Are these projects successful economic research is actually pretty clear that they don't bring any economic benefit to the area and people would be surprised by that. They would they would but if you look at what happens to say per capita income for the basic measure of how a cities doing our incomes going up there or down. What we find is that stadiums do not bring up income for people again in the city where they're located. If anything, there might be a slight negative impact. So while sports are a lot of fun. You can make all kinds of arguments about quality of life. We look at the economics there's no real payoff for spending tons of money on a publicly funded stadium if you'd like to read about this this set potential of ballpark in High Point. You can check out John for Julie Tisdale's writings on it and also Carolina there's a new story. There is wealth Julie to think think you see with this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment. Are you wondering where our country is headed while so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, a living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John Locke with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history in Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I Michiko got a Confederate memorial statue at UNC Chapel Hill named silence Salem helped spark one of the light blue's debates and memory among the UNC Board of Governors majority of the board sent a letter to the board chairman at UNC Pres. Margaret spellings the letter criticize them for not seeking the full board's input about how to deal with demands to remove the soil, except that you new member Tom Fetzer discussed the letter at the next board meeting heard from some of you some of you took umbrage with the water all and pond about the public way in which these things were dressed a couple of you mentioned concerned about what social wanted to read you a definition of consensus from Bob. One of my heroes. One of the great political leaders of the 20th century lady Margaret Thatcher who said consensus process of abandoning always principles, values and policies in search of something which no one believed which no one objects process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved merely because you cannot get agreement on the way, what great call for one under the banner stand for consensus.

So I just will suggest you like to hold the prism of the water from a slightly different angle and suggest you the divisions in this board if respectful will be very healthy all if we were all you know is we would need 28 of us.

We can know we could devote one of these meetings could be done along quickly and efficiently on raging internal conflict is a long-held American tradition. Nothing even the casual student history would have to agree with nothing great in this country occur without a raging raucous robust passionate debate member Joe not responded to Fetzer's comments appreciate your comments about vision and I completely concur we do not ever need to be to sacrifice principle for consensus or for anything else for that matter, we ought to have complete open, respectful, but that's what we're trying because we have university friend of my generation to know how to do the food we been filing a little bit teaching people how to have respectful debates. But I will not because I realize I of situations myself, but 224, a group of the board to sign the letter and send it to the president criticizing her without consulting the rest of us never saw the letter I had no opportunity to have any input into it enough to study the part but it struck me as sort of a public rebuke of before we do that we have to realize this is a University of North Carolina were talking about this is this is another situation that was here when George Washington was walking the earth of this institution but has been kept open and provided for by the people of North Carolina for hundreds of years through very difficult circumstances, wars and depressions divisions and political options and all sorts of things. This people North Carolina have love this institution it has come to us to be stewards of it. We should be very careful never to do damage to the discussion that opened up to other topics, from tuition to the size of the university's administration to the location of the administration office member Bill Webb raised concerns about policies such as the University's treatment of title IX complaints.

We have, as I understand people who investigate complaints which could result in expulsion or suspensions who receive very little training.

We have a hodgepodge. This is not a criticism it's a lack of guidance. I think because of the lack of discussion.

A hodgepodge of people who make decisions in the 14 years and the attorneys around the room full well understand that these are complex issues that often times intersect with law facts university policy and I think it would serve our board will to discuss these issues in a mature fashion doing today and I commend the chairman of the president for facilitating this and I would hold that we would find a way as we go forward to incorporating a lot more discussion of things that are transactional in nature, but impinge on policy and develop policy proposed task force on the future of UNC's general administration sparked this exchange between Joe Dodd and Board Chairman Lou Bissett trash his or her employees. Employees.

So we're undermining her strife and supervisory power over her own employees by the back door for communication and this is chaos and I would long term that is good for the health of the university system leverages know for sure, no original or anyone else on robust discussions like go board member Philip Byers explained why he and some colleagues decided to speak out became a very tough time and there wasn't a whole lot of trusts going around with this group because we were involved with the selection represent think we got this prison to Sapporo and our chairman, what I think we were pushed into a corner and when I asked simple questions like I like to see the top three candidates resumes. I like to know who the alto said don't be quiet little country boy sure my own still like to be told us about and so I thought it was just my goal might only be around the representative made a mistake.

This can the rest of the group and they were goodness, I'm fine.

We were involved so wall was built there was no trust between the administration and the new go. Today about Tom's letter. Tom's letter would've never existed, if we did on the phone calls they were sending the governor letter I read about it. We also have almost missed phone calls from Steve comes from this campus and I read about it in the governor of this institution will be better communicate less not just focus on my friend Tom Fletcher's letter, let's talk about reality, we send a letter to Gov. read about it on Tuesday and they don't use an observer Tom and Tom.

We were putting a letter to you and we were doing all these other things would not of been better to talk about this study and still smell the children start focus on lower tuition educated gives this study support to others around you because the answer is not best way we've always done it out of respect for Tom to change things way we've always been listening to highlights from one of the likeliest debates on record UNC Board of Governors North Carolina durable radio with a moment. Are you wondering where our country is headed.

Well, so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20.

Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John lock with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history in Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. 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. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else.

Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal did you know you can now advance freedom and free markets just by shopping with Amazon it's true online shopping is now a great way to support the John Locke foundation just shot using the Amazon smile program and designate us the work foundation to receive a portion of your purchase amount that's right you shop and Amazon donates money to us. The John Locke foundation.

So here's how it works lot on two Amazon smile. It's the same Amazon you know same products same prices is with better Amazon donates .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to pass the John Locke foundation to try it. Be sure to designate the Locke foundation is a nonprofit, you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you by. You'll also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation will go back Carolina journal radio amateur coca state lawmakers are debating whether to redraw maps for North Carolina judicial elections. There's been no major overhaul of those maps since the 1950s Republican representative Justin versus now is the time for change were simply 60 years like 60 years later looking to update to modernize to clean up those districts that have seen 60 years worth of piecemeal changes that if I created a really what I say to be a districts that are inefficient and resources that are in the in the wrong area that could be better utilized as was mentioned by a number of our committee members where we have limited dollars in the judicial branch to take those limited dollars we have and to make sure that they are spent and utilize as efficient as possible and the best interest of the taxpayers in the folks said I go for those in the judicial system and to make sure that we are being consistent so that urban counties in the state are all treated the same and have the same manner for electing their judges. Those rural counties is the same structure there as well for the rulers and to actually have that versus what we have today. Under the existing structure, which is very much piecemeal and and disjointed in a lot of areas, and in need of repairs. Democratic representative Rodney Moore isn't convinced that lawmakers should vote on any maps now he wants a more detailed thorough study most need the reconfiguration of these laws but we also have to do to go saloon methodically and with great thought, because this will talk about change of address to change Sherry and Noel, the three levels of government will know that we make the laws and noted executive branch exigent schools and we also know that this should interpret and will also have to be very, very sensitive very very mindful of the tests that were taking a moment of taking this process into the next legislative session will lose their lives working so short session because we need to get this right when talking about 60 a so we can talk about the major overhaul of all justice system was raining and I was configured in North Carolina as soon as this is not this is not a Mickey Mouse task you been listening to highlights from a recent debate involving election maps for district and Superior Court judges across North Carolina will return with more Carolina journal real influence.

You either have it or you don't and at the John Locke foundation. We do, and that's not bluster in a private survey of more than 250 North Carolina political insiders 87% said we influence them either a great deal a good amount. So while others talk and complain. We get to work providing research solutions and help 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. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse that is the envy of every other state are researchers actually help policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn.

Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities and improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future. The John Locke foundation were dedicated to making North Carolina first and freedom were dedicated to you. Welcome back Carolina journal radio amateur coca as state lawmakers discuss redrawing election maps for judges across North Carolina.

Their hearing ideas from those judges. District Court Judge Athena Brooks started her remarks during a recent hearing by referencing the work of the John Locke foundation.

Recently Becky Gray of the John lock foundation noted in her article in the Carolina journal entitled redrawing judicial districts make sure we get it rot. Changes to the judicial system that affect every North Carolinian deserve careful thought advice from experts thorough review tough scrutiny and thorough debate. As an aside, Ms. Gray points to the court's commission is the entity equipped to handle this task. Brooks went on to read from the official position adopted by the group that represents District Court judges across North Carolina. Although some realignment and redistricting in the courts might be needed. The process needs to be done in a transparent and orderly fashion, with input from Awad variety of citizen legislators and court officials. The maps is presented in House Bill 717 force turnover in a short period of time that will result in disruption to the bench and the administration of justice in several districts between 20 to 50% of the District Court judges will be replaced by 2020, either by double bunking or by having the positions eliminated.

These judges will be replaced without any regard to their fitness or job performance which will result in the loss of years of judicial experience.

The new districts which are drawn in these districts have few lawyers living in this districts their Republican leaning without me lawyers living as a result, there will be few candidates to choose from for these positions. Further, as I can tell you about from my own district when you split judicial district you tax the resources that are already in place. My district split in 2006 is split from five counties to two districts of three into we did not get new judicial assistance. We didn't get new clerks we can get you staff so for over 10 years for my four judges.

I've had one judicial system and she's had to manage about 2500 cases that civil that's not juvenile delinquency abuse electing dependency and criminal. That's only the civil case redistricting is a process which should be accomplished in a deliberate manner through a process which includes all judicial and legal stakeholders with the ultimate goal of the fair and impartial administration of law and justice always at the forefront of the process. Superior Court judge Joe Cross White recounted his colleagues initial reaction to the proposed shakeup at their election maps take a measure and collaborative approach for any changes in our districts and their vision and that is not change that continues to remain to be there continues is our policy to this Cross White says Superior Court judges realized that the general assembly can redraw judicial election maps. We all fully understand that it is the job of the Gen. assembly to establish judicial districts and visions and I think we all respect, this committee has a special skill set, but no judge could bring to this table.

However, there is a lot of experience and a lot of wisdom in the field were judges live them and they know what is best for each individual district. For example, I'm from the six division which is in the middle of the study and I cannot begin as the president of this conference to address the concerns of the reader. In the first division boundaries or the vision which is out west.

They all have their unique concerns that can only be addressed by other people little there is no need to rush this process of think we just heard a little bit ago that the last major revision that we had our districts happened over 60 years ago. So our margin. This body just to take a measured approach to do your research together your flux and make a systematic, collaborative decision on what is going to be best for courses cost. White emphasized the importance of judicial stability and predictability in a recent poll, North Carolina Ct. system was ranked seventh in the country and its legal climate to the reason we write so because of our stability and predictability in the system that we offer. I really went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to include this last portion of my remarks in here but I decided I think several years ago I had the privilege to see a court system that did not have stability and did not have the ability it was in Afghanistan and was there as part of the military. My job in Afghanistan was to help establish the courts in the southern part of the country. I got invited to watch a murder trial in the Helmand province and they have been through multiple systems multiple changes in the last couple years. The defendant, as I indicated, was charged with murder. He had one witness that was his mother who came think that she could testify because she was a female she could not testify the judge without a jury heard about five minutes of evidence they convicted with a friend of a motor and the judge sentenced him. The defendant tried to talk to appeal, but the judge I think because of the other players. There was controversy the appearance of stability and he did not defendant's appeal and the current was executed four days after the we are privileged in this country and not till juries after every single jury trial and I'm been doing it for 10 years now.

We are blessed to have the best form of government in our courts anywhere in this country but we have that book calls we have stability and predictability.

Our citizens know what to expect and they know how to access justice.

There always room for improvement and I know that's what this is committee is attempting to do and I don't think we're in any position to try to trot block that, but we will just be a part of the conversation. We want to make sure this is a systematic and collaborative. We don't want anything to happen. That's going to cause this to be destabilized order calls us to go back. I guess the bottom line of my messages. We don't need to rush to make any changes. We have the top District Court Judge Robert steel reminded lawmakers of the last time North Carolina courts faced a major realignment of 1500 different types of courts that were in existence in 1955 with a hodgepodge of jurisdictions, how they collected their pay for the judicial officials while they traveled or not, simply was not working properly for the citizens and it took the Bell commission for years and they went to the legislature and it took the legislature in 59 and 61 and 63, and finally in 1966 adopting what we now say we haven't looked at things in the last 50 to 60 years and it's a time it was a deliberative concerted effort, and it has spanned three generations in success and I think that formula of looking backwards at history and looking forward to how we can best design. Our legal system commands that same method and attention listening to judges reactions to plans for regrowing state judicial election maps will return with more Carolina journal radio. Are you wondering where our country is headed. Well, so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John Locke with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history in Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez for the past several years, state lawmakers have kept state spending growth and check they put away record amounts of money into a savings account and they cut the overall tax burden for North Carolinians. That's all well and good since our next guest, but he also cautions that if we want to keep the state on a sound fiscal path we need to think very seriously about the spending decisions that are ahead. Joe Colletti is a senior fellow with the John Locke foundation. He's been writing about Joe welcome back. Okay, so things been pretty good in terms of fiscal decisions for the past several years, but you're still concerned why, but spending growth has been about 2 1/2% for the last two years up until last year is about 3.8% in the assurance looking about the same about an that sounds like it's all well well and good. It's within the what we normally look at as for inflation and population growth.

It stays within those bounds, but we have revenue growth is going to be much slower than expected in the five-year forecast revenue growth is staying at about that 2 1/2% rate. So spending continues at 3.8% and that's a problem and fiscal research division of the Gen. assembly says that spending is going to grow even faster.

So that's where the concern starts, so essentially you're saying okay, you've got to think you need to look at one is what you take in that certain your tax revenue your fees etc. and the other thing is what's going out the door. Watch what you're spending and you've been writing a Joe that damn spending is going to be increasing even though there has been a real effort to try to keep that under control so how's that possible kind of counterintuitive.

It is an when we when the Senate and the house were first looking at lowering tax rates in 2019 the session, the journalist Joe was always fiscal research division said this can be.

This can lead to billion-dollar deficits because they take a look at what current spending is projected out for inflation, population growth and you run into much faster spending growth than what the general summary has been doing so that's where the best for the different starts to come in is that the general assembly has been showing restraint if you don't do anything and you end up with rapid group what you got up with more rapid growth and so it just means that they have to continue making difficult decisions on what they spend and where they spend it in order to keep spending in line and in order and the need to keep spreading in line because I mentioned that economic growth is slow and so that means revenue growth will be slow when you're out in the tax cut on top of that, that brings you back to 2.5% growth rate and so you really have to get spending in line to be able to maintain that and keep balanced budgets such allowing play devils advocate here for those who have not been on board with the decisions that the Gen. assembly have has made over the last several years. They can be listing to us and they I say wealthy I told you so it's all that you know the tax rate reductions reducing the overall tax burden.

That's the problem but actually you write that that's not the problem at all that the problem is that we have slow growth.

We have slow economic growth and so when you have slow economic growth. That means that your tax revenues are to be slow and that rate of growth is less than the projected rate of spending growth. If we keep everything on autopilot so regardless of what we did with taxes. Where were starting spending now projected out leads to some imbalances. Regardless of what happens. Let's talk about some of those areas where the growth is projected first about Medicaid what's happening there but Medicaid's Medicaid is always expensive and it grows fast. It's yet you have projected increases in and population who use Medicaid and Medicare and health sit and health spending increases in so that leads to Medicaid spending projected at about 27% over the next five years, and people may not realize what a huge chunk of the state budget that Medicaid takes up a big appropriation. It's the second largest thing behind K-12 education. So it's about three 3 1/2 $4 billion out of our 20, $23 billion general fund and yet federal spending on top about and it becomes astronomical, but it's it's the second largest thing and it grows faster than anything else and that's why there's been such an effort over the past a few years to try to rein in some of the administrative cost to make sure that people are getting quality care. But it's the care they need and not unnecessary tests and things like that.

Yeah, the move to managed care and setting up the reserve fund for Medicaid. Those are some of the steps because there's no that that this growth will happen if we don't get it under control. That's were managed-care and some of the other steps in the continued reform of Medicaid will commit.

You also write about the UNC system. What's ahead.

There was spending UNC.

It's mostly population growth are enrollment growth and inflation is about the same rate as everything else, but there's projection that enrollment in the UNC system will be much faster than than what will continue at a rapid pace. This does not necessarily include what happens when you have $500 tuition at some of these places and how you offset that with with with appropriations, but this is this goes to some of the reforms that are happening at the UNC system that we seen from the board of governors there that they're looking at. How do we keep spending in line. How do we what we do with our funding formula. How is it that we reform the UNC system itself within the system so that we don't have this kind about that, but we don't have this kind rapid growth we know as well Joe, that damn state treasurer Dale Falwell and others have been looking at the issue of what happens with employee benefits that have been promised and yet money has been set aside those so-called unfunded liabilities. You've also taken a look at employee benefits and compensation. What you find. Those are things that are organ have to set aside more money for. And so that's makes finding reductions in the rest of the state budget even more important to two other areas savings reserve capital spending were things that were done, off budget, before you start spending, appropriations and moving on budget, and so those will continue ghost those three things retiree benefits, capital and savings will eat up more of what the potential appropriations which means that we have to really find savings and other places. So Joe, I'm sure that people would when they read your piece that John their listing to us talk about it Medicaid the UNC system state employee benefits and compensation capital expenditures hate those are all important things so what is your recommendation to legislators have to be the ones to really put the pencil to the paper. All of these areas. They just have to continue what they've been doing which is looking for ways to save money. Looking at one of the programs that we need that we can stop doing and doing a great job of it. The last few years, given the spending of just 2.5%. The need to continue doing that and take an even harder look at every program that's out there so that we can reduce that spending so that we can keep it in line with revenues to put you on the spot in our remaining moments here. If you are the person who had to make the decisions. Which of these areas, would you look at first to try to rein in spending first place would be Medicaid because the largest in this agreement is growing the fastest and you have the most room there, especially with affirming administration in Washington to be able to get some waivers and get that program and reform the program in a positive way.

It's really important decisions that are coming up for state to policymakers here in our guest Joe Colletti has been writing about this. In fact, you can read his piece on The headline saving now for a better state budget tomorrow.

Joe Colletti is a senior fellow for the Locke foundation. Thank you Jeff. That's all the time that we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez hope you'll join us again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the John Locke foundation including donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development. John 166 GLS 166-553-4637 journal radio, nation, airline is running all opinions expressed on this program nearly mentioned about the show or other programs foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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