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Carolina Journal Radio No. 888: COVID-19 pandemic draws new attention to telemedicine

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2020 7:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 888: COVID-19 pandemic draws new attention to telemedicine

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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May 25, 2020 7:00 am

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated more attention for telemedicine. As more people access health care through their phones and computers, the John Locke Foundation and Brookings Institution have prepared a new telemedicine report. Co-author Jordan Roberts, JLF’s health care policy analyst, discusses the report’s key findings and recommendations. North Carolina has entered the first stage of Gov. Roy Cooper’s phased reopening of the state’s economy. Critics contend the state ought to be reopening more quickly. During a recent online forum sponsored by the John Locke Foundation, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, offered his ideas for moving North Carolina’s economy forward with proper safety precautions. North Carolina’s public schools are closed for the year. It’s unclear how schools will operate when students return in August. During a recent news conference, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson and State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis addressed challenges linked to reopening schools. Before the pandemic, one of the hot debates on college campuses involved the benefits and drawbacks of socialism. Freedom activist Andres Guilarte is warning college students about the dangers of turning toward socialism. He offers real-life examples from his home country of Venezuela. The N.C. Department of Transportation recently faced a scathing audit. It contends state DOT officials overspent their annual budget by $742 million. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes the audit’s key findings. He discusses potential implications for the cash-strapped DOT.


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 amateur coca during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state leaders North Carolina's House of Representatives would like to see quicker action on reopening the state's economy. He believes go to Roy Cooper's plan moves too slowly to hear his ideas top leaders of the state's public schools realized still face key challenges preparing to reopen school buildings at the end of the summer I'll share some of their concerns of Venezuelan freedom activist Joyce Spee offers a warning to young people who believe the United States should embrace socialism will delve into a scathing audit, North Carolina's state Department of Transportation DOT overspent nearly 3/4 of $1 billion. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us and she has the Carolina Journal headline, Gov. Roy Cooper's statewide shut down order has pushed North Carolinians to embrace virtual technology for all sorts of things. Everything from weddings and funerals to shopping to education and certainly healthcare. Could it be that this pandemic will usher in a new acceptance of what's known as telemedicine or more broadly telehealth issues. While a new paper co-authored by experts at the John Locke foundation and the Brookings Institution takes a look at the potential and the challenges for this innovation.

Jordan Roberts is a healthcare policy analyst at the John Locke foundation. He is a co-author of this report joins us now to talk about it Jordan, welcome back to the shelf excerpt from Grandview. So overall, give us a sense of how COBIT 19 has impacted the adoption of this digital technology when it comes to access to healthcare and medical treatment is to move things. First of all, as you mentioned, the state had a mortar zero people's access to their typical doctor's office or everything access may change so you know we saw people that know they might not feel comfortable going out may not want to go to the doctor's office for fear of contracting the disease so they chose opted to towards more virtual visits, and so a lot of people were talking to the doctors getting consultation Beltway. The other reason was that you think about fighting this disease want to keep her from run healthcare workers is is less susceptible to the diseases we can. And so if you're feeling under the weather you think you might have some the symptoms of coded checking with with Dr. over a virtual visit. First, may decrease the number of interactions you have with other people and make sure that if you truly have the virus then you can get proper directions on how to get to the hospital where to go what to do things like that and you know another thing is that a lot of healthcare professionals may be not high risk category of susceptibility to contracting the disease so keeping them separated, allowing them to still do their job, but over virtual meetings was one of the ways to decrease the amount of interactions that you might have a somebody so a lot of those were reasons why more people started to use it but also a lot of the regulations I will talk about one thing that I've noticed is Sam. It seems like what is different about it that that I have noticed during COBIT is what kind of use to the idea of communicating with someone virtually do it on your phone you can do it on your laptop and having a conversation but it seems now that we've taken a step further and more people have where you can actually be monitored.

Maybe you have a piece of equipment at your home with you where you can assist the medical professional. That's joining you virtually in monitoring whether it's your your blood pressure and heart beat, or your medication level or whatever. It seems we can add that layer to it during COBIT yeah absolutely that's one of the biggest things that you know we as we are resources. For this paper we were looking for ways to your how can we increase the adoption and in just a general level of comfortability with with the technology and people have generally gone to the doctor's office to get their care. Now you know accessing it over there their iPhone or through computer may feel a little unfamiliar not right in a sense, and so just near increasing.

These options have allowed people to see that. Can it can work it can supplement the normal delivery of care and as people get more comfortable with the just like new innovations all over becomes more widely accepted in just your people feel better about using it.

They think they can get that same level of care because a lot of times it can be provided over virtual meetings has also focuses a bit more. I think Jordan on the issue of required technology in order to do this and and have broadband if there are some places in North Carolina and across the country where people don't have access to higher speed, technology, etc., particularly people who are maybe at the modest end of the income scale or they live in a remote area where there might not be a private provider.

Write that down gives them access to a higher speed took a little bit about that challenge for telemedicine and telehealth so you know, one of the greatest things about her medicine is that it can connect people over great distances in really increase access to people who may not have the supplier in their area, but it's only as good as you know of your ability to connect to the other doctors and things like that so rural broadband and you know God just broadband access in general are huge issues because you know you can connect somebody without that.

So as we look towards the future. Yeah, we need to look, you know, how can we make sure that in these medically underserved communities of these medical deserts know that there's not enough healthcare supplied in that area, but in order to bridge that gap need to connect people so looking for ways to encourage you know private broadband companies to get out there that's it would be really important in the future and that's a big challenge because what what do you do if you have let's say I'm a broadband company owner and I know that there is a need somewhere North Carolina but I know that it's gonna cost me money that I will be to make money in order to do that so that's a really tough discussion we have to have with policymakers here about how we go about yeah absolutely near especially the state like North Carolina that we have a very very rural population, second-biggest Lord behind Texas so is a large part of our population that were to try, you know, we think that this technology can help and so is just part of the equation is like I said you know your access to doctors telemedicine is only good is your connectivity so the productivity one big issue, but in the report that you co-authored with the folks at the Brookings Institution, which by the way, is It's also an issue of connectivity to a medical professional. There are people who are highly skilled but is you detail in the report Jordan because of certain antiquated rules and things like that I can't get access to someone who maybe is the best person in the world who knows about that rash I've got on my arm.

But maybe that person doesn't technically practice in North Carolina right so you telehealth. I think you know restricts the problems with the way that we we use this licensure system in our country you most states you need a a medical license to practice in that state to treat patients in that state, but not every doctor wants to get a license for all 50 states. It just doesn't make sense. It's redundant more costs and everything so the big regulations that we saw wave during the cover 19 pandemic was a lot of these licensure requirements so you know, Gov. Cooper and a lot of other governors waive these these requirements so people in North Carolina can be seen by doctors from out of state because like we see you know there's a maldistribution of healthcare providers, and so is genius of telemedicine, allowing us to connect over distances over long distances.

These antiquated laws. As you said limit you to just the state borders and so that's really one of these these old regulations that just inhibits people from accessing telehealth and we should unleash it to allow it to allow patients to access it at the highest level possible.

It's curious, isn't it, Jordan, that in an emergency are policymakers so others the governor or legislators seem to just intuitively understand hey this rule is an impediment and we need to because were an emergency. Get rid of that thing so that we can take care of the problem that we have. Seems like common sense that once we make our way through the pandemic that they would all sit down across the table and say you know what that made sense then it makes sense now absolutely already rising. Organizations like ours at the John Locke foundation we been advocating for a lot of these policies and just the general theoretical principles of just your deregulation, then you know just no restrictive or protectionist policies for a long time and so going forward. I think there's no reason we should revert back to any of these restrictive policies. Jordan Roberts is the healthcare policy analyst for the John Locke foundation report that he co-authored with the folks at the Brookings Institution is Thank you.

Thank you.

Say with as much North 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 Carolina you'll receive Carolina journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine the light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot on the Carolina 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 daily email do that Carolina Carolina journal rigorous unrelenting old-school journalism. We hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio amateur coca.

One of the state's top lawmakers is going public with his desire for a quicker reopening of the North Carolina economy during an online presentation for the John Locke foundation state House Speaker Tim Moore reacted to Gov. Roy Cooper's lockdown orders for shut down. I was was supported because it was a lot of unknown unknowns out there and although modeling data that we had was really a very dire what very likely that and so we did shut down like a light Around most of the country. In fact, most of the world where we are now, though, in terms of most recent announcement is I don't I don't entirely agree with you because I do think for one. If you look at the faces that were discussed. There's really not much difference between where we are now in this phase will start own intimate and so I don't know that that really is is moving things down the road.

Additionally, if you look at what was going to be necessary to go to say from the phase launch of the face to face to face three. It was it was pretty ambiguous. Frankly, I my suggestion and I actually made the suggestion directly to her was what you want to do is to consult with all the experts we have in the state. We have an amazing School of Public Health do this is what they do every UNC research and get modeling number one is also real-time Those models came out four weeks ago. We also have the benefit of finding out what's happening out there and if you compare for example if you look at those models from four weeks weeks ago talking about what we needed to do in the shelter in place. Even if we follow those models.

They all predicted much more infection much more hospitalization and many more deaths than what we've actually sent something is safe to say that the that the disease, the virus is not spread and has not been as bad as it is, it was thought to be in the Molly's could've been bad but is not nearly like what it was what it was thought big speaker Tim Moore mentioned the need for more good data. We don't have. For example, real-time testing out there by great amount. We don't have very accurate tracking those are things that should been happening more already, the Gen. assembly. In fact, unilaterally murder myself agree to spend hundred thousand dollars of our discretionary funds to go over the study that she's testing for the presence of antibodies to see that that means that there folks you actually been exposed to were asymptomatic for the most part and have developed an immunity at least for now would allow all but at least taking all of that data is critical because there is no question that where we are right now in terms of the shutdown is having significant and dire circumstances not only for the economy can't overstate the but also for other health issues that people were facing me with when you stop elective procedures. When you stop things like mammograms when you stop things like colonoscopies and all these other things you sure you're not doing it right now, but at least other problems that folks are population have to deal with. Down the road. Cancer treatment heart, you name it. So that's why I think we really need to have accurate data because we were doing this under the under the auspices of protecting health but we we're having other health consequences by virtue. "That's state House Speaker Tim Moore speaking recently, online presentation for the John Locke foundation. Moore reminded his audience about the original reasoning for the economic shutdown.

Remember the whole way. The whole premise behind the shelter in place was never about just preventing people from getting sick. It was avoiding the spike. Remember that not want to see the sudden spot and so we would not sing this like we basically seen a plateau at this point so that does question I think the need for it as we go for for the can for the very strict and restrictive shelter in place we have right now so my suggestion would have been to move toward a phase like so many of our neighboring states to do a partial reopening of the state to do something sooner rather than later. What about a partial rear we don't need to go from 0 to 100. We don't do status okay, it's all over the restaurants back know what you can do is say 50% occupants guarantee that you have a certain amount of this sits between between patrons of different groups for different household require, for example, that the servers where mastiffs are be extra sterilization efforts for the premises as well for utensils in kitchen and everything you can do those things and you can safely start moving toward a reopening same. For example, with personal care services. So many things it can be done with precautions so this is not just a either turned off or turned on and I think that highlights part of the problem with government. Government can't usually think very nimbly like that. It's either all for all think the private sector.

If you look at our businesses that it remained open. They have adapted they have followed recommendations they put in place safeguards so that those functions can be safely done and that they can still more protected but that commerce can continue. So what does Moore think about Gov. Roy Cooper's current executive orders.

My position with the governor's directive so far as I hope you will revisit.

I hope he will look at incorporating more recent modeling data and be able to be a little more robust and moving those guidelines up and one other thing I mentioned is I do think it is appropriate to give the county's flexibility on this.

This is a very different state for Manny Murphy. I can tell you that what may be necessary here in wake County is not necessarily what needs to be a place for Polk County really got a lot of rural counties have no case and so I think that it did what what what I would have the governor would do in these coming days is revisit that and take a more nuanced giving those County for flexibility, state House Speaker Tim Moore reminded his audience of the whole link to the covert, 19 pandemic shutdown part of the city North Carolina was enjoying some of the best economic times that it had in decades, unemployment was the lowest it had been in many decades. Taxes are the lowest during the lifetimes of anyone that's alive now and we had done a great job of really cutting a lot of red tape doing a lot of things to have the economy save. Well we know now that we need to continue doing those good things and get us where we where we need to be. We know that in the policies that we are that we are putting forth. For example, that we need to make sure that we are investing we need to invest but also doing things like teasing burdens, everything from white permitting license, your these things, like something simple present was your driver's license driver's license ascetics expired in this period time. You don't need to be crowded in the DMV office with 100 of your closest friends told her to shoulder, waiting to renew your license yet extending that out for some period of time whether snotty day six months whatever it is things like permit you if you got a permit to do something different to be able to get those extend the sale see a whole host of regular form that's designed to kick in and allow that to happen right now. Regulatory reform isn't the only issue North Carolina state government must address in response to covert, 19.

The other issue that we dealt with course was the taxes of the tax deadline to pay came in when April 15. We signaled and agreed that we built felt like that needed to be extended and so the taxes do not have to be filed or paid now until July. Think they'll be no penalties or interest for any of that. Those are some just some things we've done the kind of help from a regulatory and tax reduction standpoint built up of individuals and small businesses. That's state House Speaker Tim Moore Republican from Cleveland County recently delivered online presentation for the John Locke will return with more Carolina general 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 it's one stop shopping. North Carolina's freedom You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and let 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 that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Try it today. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute. Even 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.

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Be sure to designate us as the nonprofit you want to support. It's that easy. So now not only will you enjoy what you buy. You also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today, something nice and help defend freedom, help support the John Mott foundation will go back to Carolina journal radio why Mitch coca the covert, 19 pandemic shutdown public school buildings across North Carolina and it's not yet clear how public schools will operate when government officials allow them to reopen the top education officials recently offered an update on their plans. Mark Johnson is the state superintendent of public instruction this last month has brought challenges for parents and educators and our students unlike any we have ever faced. Like so many of you, Dr. Cohen and I are parents of young school-age children, your leaders standing here before you today are experiencing many of these same challenges we all had to switch to remote learning overnight. Many of our children, especially our younger children are working through the difficult whole of this emotional experience of this frightening time. We are all stuck at home every day all day. We commend our educators are school staff and parents across the state. As we have had to adapt immediately, but this will not be the new normal. This crisis has forced us to be reactive over the course of the last month we will finish this year as strong as we can, and plans for next year are already underway and will be proactive in the face of this crisis. This proactive work will be bipartisan and involve the governor of the state board the Gen. assembly local education leaders and parent teacher and student advisors.

Thank you all for your strength and resilience during these difficult times together. We will come out of this crisis stronger.

Eric Davis chairs the state Board of Education.

He offered his own assessment of the current state of North Carolina's public education we are now more than ever, resolute in our mission to forge ahead close equity gaps and advocate for every public school student in North Carolina be empowered to accept academic challenges prepared to pursue their chosen path.

After graduating from high school and equipped become lifelong learners, now more than ever, we will guard and maintain the right of a sound basic education for every child in our North Carolina public schools. This public health crisis is necessitated innovation and educators throughout North Carolina have without hesitation answered this call.

All of this leads to our much awaited reentry stage when we will welcome our students back to our schools.

Rest assured, we will operate our schools differently in the next school year because the safety and security of your child and your child's teacher in our eyes demands nothing less. That's Eric Davis, chairman of the state Board of Education.

You also heard from state superintendent of public instruction Mark Johnson. Both are addressing North Carolina public schools adaptation to life after the covert, 19 pandemic 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 headlock is a little bit different.

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Welcome back to Carolina journal radio why Mitch coca socialism is gained popularity in recent years within the Democratic Party and among young Americans. But our next guest has a warning for those who support socialism. Look what happened to my country and risky latte is a political activist for the freedom of Venezuela.

He recently spoke to students at North Carolina State University. If we really listen to or watch the news we get a sense that conditions in Venezuela are bad is it really that bad. Use just maybe show some stuff, but the reality sway wars and there is plenty of things that you will never imagine there happening over there. Unless you actually speak to someone that calls from all that you do a really deep research so is a subject that even though the people's in general what they see these think is better if they actually get to see what is going on inside the country that they will get verified what is going tell us more jumbo going outside you see coverage of the street go started to bleep the police services hopeful of garbage they will work. So there is plenty of overcorrection this week and 30s families.

Even without coverage under the sun is directly make schedules so they wait to the restaurants get get out of they think Elder garbage so they can get a piece of the garbage. That's one of the examples you may seem like a horror movie known thing from grinder to smoking as you have is when you actually can get a meal even if just one per day because those people that don't know me for 23 days in Minnesota you have to be really thankful that you have some people are going to say this is Venezuela, Hugo Chavez was bad.

Nicholas Maduro's bad you think it's more than just a couple of bad guys, any government doesn't matter how wealthy Luke's. He can go down in the second leg Minnesota. The having the 70s.

Minnesota was the richest country in Latin America and in the process what he was going to be one of the richest in the world upcoming years.

We used to be calling Davies to sell the Minnesota Lake Saudi Arabia. This Minnesota Salida, as they say in Spanish because we have so many so much money is from oil revenue that it was insane. Now you see what is going on in this place gives grace and that fills you that it also might not matter how much how rich you are, you got me so like for example Singapore will have the same resource that Minnesota has, but they have plenty of more will in their value for for students is that we have because that's the actual socket that switch will be learned from Minnesota. You say Chavez in some ways was a response to bad policies of previous governments Chevy's voice just they were sold about policies before them both out concept goes for growing that people has to be dependent on the government. They also alter other factors. For example, building those years they didn't they pay too much attention to the military factor so I was used to be.

I mean I'm unitary when he made it cool but also face that fails, and in the government that all realtors sold. There is a number of factors that led to China's popular. A lot of people keep officially here in the US. They think that made you we just wake up and chose what's was there and socially severe and everything went down wince out military police service sold off a series of for effects for him in Venice Wellington 90s. People actually say used to save something is going to happen if we allow this guy to lift up our something happen.

So if other countries can take the same lesson and try to see this stuff before he happens you can avoid the Minnesota we used to say we are not going to be like in queue at the used to say were not going to be like any other country like the URS or any other country to fill in the socialism.

If you think that you are immune to that evil immune to that cancer that he socialism. That is about policy studies.

Given too much power to the government and into a more unproduced rep for prep resting the believer. These two are going to be in the way wars the word you're saying you're not, you have to pay attention to your surroundings to your contacts and non-thankfully foregrounded clearly were just I do have right now because if you allow them to be thinking for you. You and I end up like us where we are struggling every single day to maybe try to fight them back.

Chatting with Andres Kellogg today activist from Venezuela. I'm sure some people say to you, but we don't want Venezuela socialism. We want socialism like the kind they have been Sweden, Norway, the Nordic model ethical question the presentations like okay that's the Minnesota socialism this would happen over there with work were trying to do here you Nordic model since Nordic socialism, but the wind you actually read and find what how the Lord countries are warfare today legal stuff of welfare state policies that they have whereafter listen to for the Soviet Union, they just start a free market policies engaged ending the wealth of the hiring out so they out that allow them to have a net safe net, which is the welfare state, which is way different than what is going on in Minnesota so and that is a lot of things for partnership in those Nordic countries is nothing Minnesota socialism and for partnership is leg just taken away from it for a note from the options because does not allowing socialism. So when something was to sail Nordic model of selling to like you, we say Minnesota so you rabbits instead of how to sell you Minnesota not selling you Norway you're not going to end up like Norway.

If you follow the Minnesota policies. You think there's a right way and a wrong way to combat socialism the wrong way is to think that the longer must underestimate socialism underestimated up my work. We are not going to pay too much attention to that in the Primus with a setting the 70s and 80s and the 90s. Socialism was really far popular in the universities to have a lot of features to work at Dorothy dagger in the Marcy's way of thinking and I see that that's happening here in the in the US to a lot of the college to have a lot of these teachers that are trying to push forwarding these ideas and if you don't pay attention to that. Those are the generations are going to molding the fold in the future.

So what one of the mistake of the columns before Chavez noticed able to handle enough economy eventually if you handle bad economy people is going to find out try to find something else on your options when people just fall off the trust of that system useless seek for the outsider. We select what Chavez and chose you stupid opportunity in that moment. You also think it's a bad idea to try to shout down socialists.

Older people go to university campuses and they tried to, you know, try to fight back the ideas but I think they are doing the wrong way because when you just show up at University shouting facts to people is not going to just learn because you show some facts again you lest you need to understand, and you need to speak with him respectfully and maybe fit out, but I agree with you taken singly at the moment but after you speak with and you can find common spots. I think that that's one of the problem here in the in the West that college students are loving her and their problems so they just seek the most opposite idea of the system which is socialism and that some something new that it shall be learned from Venezuela. You have to almost underestimate underestimate dispute.

These people just try to speak with and how they can see the flaws office Easton and try to work with that what you think when you hear politicians say such great things about socialism. I'm trying not to speak directly about politicians because I'm not a US citizen so I cannot tell and the regular citizen to help used to writes about what what were doing is just another worse the same because weren't showing what he socialism so under under messages like normal people was doing the same stuff with doubly so when I hear some politicians say the name flickers were asking directly like learning all that way you will see we ship with learning is to say, like minutes. Chavez was a role model in 2009 he used to sing like Minnesota should be the moral mobile W default mutual. Following the US when you hear something like that and you are been a swelling or if your Q1 we treat we are like rollers against this evil is like it you can just just as they extend out you have to say like wait a minute I'm from there. And this is what happened and when you say something like that. You can see that the companies in social media. Simple addition for just undermine what you're saying and that's where the company said okay but that what you're going to unfollow into the Nordic model and oldies on that. But in the end you have to fight I can step two, but it is really easily painful to see that they are trying to use oral countries as a role model. When we are believing that all countries do it to everyone. We can see people immigrating to Venice little tricky when you see people leaving those countries.

That's Andres Kellogg take a freedom activist from Venezuela and a recent speaker at North Carolina State University will return with North Carolina journal radio moment really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott 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. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the 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 time. Donna Martinez going over budget failing to pay attention to expanding not a good recipe for running your own household or for the North Carolina Department of Transportation but indeed that is the conclusion about DOT by NC State auditor Beth Wood here to discuss at the recent audit released by the auditor's office is Rick Henderson, editor-in-chief of Carolina journal Carolina journal reporting on the story back to the shelving stuff.

So how bad are the finances over at the Department of Transportation very bad, and the best thing that's that was particularly eye-opening about the audit report was that some of these issues have been had I have been out there for close to year that the department was improperly spending its budget that it was basically had not allowed for recombinant reimbursing landowners under the map act when the state Supreme Court had ruled some time ago that the state actually has to do this if the state takes someone's property for the purposes of building a highway doesn't allow them the use of that property, even if the highway is never built states that I give you some money for at some point, especially if you're supposed to pay property taxes on it so you had this legal ruling and they never even put into their budget the money that was gonna be required to pay these property owners. So that was a factor in all this, then we actually they just didn't pay attention to spending a construction project that there's a thing that the DOT as it gets to some extent it is self funded through things like fuel taxes and and registration fees. All that is still the actual allocation of the money comes from general symbol in so there different pots of money that the DOT receives but still Gen. assembly decides okay. This amount of money needs to go for what say maintenance and repairs the sum of money goes to construction. Do you need us to borrow money for project okay so let us know then will you see if the local authorities would be better if we need to do it at the statewide level but whether there are any sort of decision, the Gen. assembly makes an DOT essentially hasn't been abiding by. And so that's cause some problems as well so they apparently had them projects that they were just continuing to work on maintaining roads building some different things and the money was flowing out but it was a matching up with the money flowing and how it now it's at close to what about three quarters of $1 billion or so.

It's a pretty significant amount of money that's about right.

And so the problems are that there not been safeguards in place for the longest time, the members of the Gen. assembly. Normally speaking, tend not to be really critical of these sorts of things because it's this you have highway projects, military bases, you always wonder district you want things you want projects to increase mobility to be sure because that's the purpose of having this done at the statewide level but also with same time, there may be a bypass that you want or something like that that may not necessarily improve mobility all that much with it may be something you hang your hat on and sale of bottle ribbon-cutting we have the spiffy new bridge or whatever and so the, the, the, for the non-glamorous stuff like the repairs and maintenance essence that those are the sorts of things been shortchanged out. DOT also said that we've had several massive hurricanes hit North Carolina over the past three or four years and we've allocated for the normal level of hurricane impact, but we got socks several times with bigger ones and were expected and so we actually had to funnel some money or at least you're what some projects they'll hold other things to take.

Take care of this disaster relief is legitimate point. But then again, the general symbol is when allocating money for disaster relief, or is reallocating the duties of budget for that and so there's still the audit still said that things were quite copacetic. What's the consequence of this, I mean in my household if I were to do something like this I'd have to shut off the cable or not go out and buy the fancy meat maybe buy hamburger for dinner. I make In other words, you don't spend as much well are they just not like to spend as much or are they asking for additional money. Whether asking for them. They are asking for some additional money would also have laid off some contract employees as well and so some of the rebuilders and other folks like that. Some of projects have just been delayed and those folks been laid off although again the audit service that will you know if you'd actually done your job right. You would need to do this now there's another issue and that the DOT headquarters is going up supposed to be moved from Raleigh to Rocky Mount and that's been delayed by code 19 and it's there's some for the question about how fast that's going to take place. Officials both the DOT and some all lawmakers have been looking at this and said everything is on schedule is going to happen, but if this remains to be seen if you get make that happen is that supposed to take place sometime in 2020. That's supposed to be underway that that sort of transfer supposed to be in the works right now and that's been waylaid a little bit by code 19. Presumably that cost money as well move. People change, operations, etc. that was sort of thing that was a big controversy all the time it happened.

Then again, there are a number of folks in which things happen at the federal level, the just not every agency needs to be in the capital city and the thought was by moving the DOT headquarters to Rocky Mount for one thing you might have be able to take advantage of the workforce that might not demand the same number of the same level of wages and benefits is what say people in Raleigh would you might be able to attract higher quality of employee for lower money if you go to the outside of Raleigh and so that's one reason for the book Rick what was the reaction of the Department of Transportation's leadership it to this really searing audit out of state auditor Beth Woods office. They accepted all the findings.

They did say Eric Boyette who's the transportation secretary said your base said to evaluate. We don't really quibble with the findings but that they cited again cited the high spending for disaster relief and the fact that they did have to make these map back payments are supposed to but they still said well you had a paper map back also said that they needed to have more money available for maintenance, repairs that needed to be part of a higher appropriation for that so that they didn't need to do since basically said that they could make sure that they could rebuild that budget. Typically, when we have had recessions or economic downturns. One of the things it suffers a lot is transportation spending, especially for projects with maintenance repairs because people so all you know we don't have to were not replacing a bridge that's that's that's out were simply not going to repair this bridge right now.

I'll be okay and that of those things build up you have some serious problems down the road you got of spend that money. Eventually, are they in line for any federal money. We've seen several different packages come out of the federal government during COBIT 19 will they get any cash infusion may be in the future and future spending package is possible that you will see some of that in the US possibly see some of that in the existing legislation you of our CEO here. Amy Cook got together with plan Institute, Nebraska, and has asked Congress for some flexibility to allow states to backfill budget somewhere they had basically were expecting to get money in that all the sudden tax collections dropped off to zero and so there's I think $300 million or something like that in the in the package.

The Gen. assembly passed test the contingent on Congress giving them that flexibility so the monies going to become the other going to get some relief. This is the question. Basically, of how soon is it going to be from something that's already been appropriated by Congress, or if it's gonna be some new funny money coming in from Washington exactly. And of course as you mentioned a part of their funding mechanism is gas taxes airline eternal has been reporting on the audit that was issued by Beth Woods office Rick Anderson thinking. Thank you all the time we have for the program this week.

I'm Donna Martinez. Join us again next week for more Carolina journal radium Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Lund foundation to learn more about the John Locke foundation donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke done call 1866 Jayla 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio is the John line foundation airline is maintaining an Carolina broadcasting system, Inc. all opinions expressed on this program are so clearly with plan for the station.

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