Budgets (page 7)

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    Your tax dollars at work: Gardening and self-esteem edition

    Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon explores another dubious use of taxpayer funding. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending a quarter of a million dollars on an effort to boost the self-esteem of teenagers by teaching them how to garden. Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.,…
    Mitch Kokai, December 18, 2018
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    GoDurham buses losing money; but the train is coming

    Durham’s transit agency, GoDurham, is cutting routes and changing others as management tries to reduce a budget shortfall over the next five years. Plans for a  $2.47 billion light rail system to connect Durham and Chapel Hill continue to advance. How does that happen? The city started bus routes…
    Joseph Coletti, December 14, 2018
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    Bringing back congressional earmarks

    With Democrats set to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner reports on their plan to revive a discarded piece of past federal budgets. House Democrats are eager to revive the notorious earmark, which is any provision that allocates cash to…
    Mitch Kokai, December 14, 2018
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    More fiscal notes, please

    We’ve been generally supportive of the General Assembly’s approach to budgeting, even as we’ve cautioned against overspending and continued to seek reforms in the process. Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene highlight North Carolina in their summary of a useful report from the left-of-center Center for Budget and Policy Priorities on…
    Joseph Coletti, December 13, 2018
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    Shining light on budget differences

    Unlike many of their media peers, editors at the Washington Examiner issue no complaints about this week’s televised shouting match featuring President Trump, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer, and House counterpart Nancy Pelosi. Unfortunately, Pelosi didn’t seem to be enjoying the show she had done as much as…
    Mitch Kokai, December 13, 2018
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    Recession ahead?

    Governing magazine’s Liz Farmer finds economists are increasingly worried about the possibility of a recession. She writes that S&P sees slower growth as a more likely scenario than outright contraction, but budget timelines are not as simple. Agencies have already begun planning their budgets through June 2021—the governor will…
    Joseph Coletti, December 10, 2018
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    Your tax dollars at work: Veterinary diversity edition

    Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon documents another questionable use of nearly a quarter-million taxpayer dollars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending over $200,000 on “enhancing diversity” of veterinarians. A grant was awarded earlier this year to Tuskegee University in Alabama, which will host workshops and…
    Mitch Kokai, December 6, 2018
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    What if we monitored hurricane relief distribution?

    Before Hurricane Florence hit, Republican legislators had criticized Gov. Roy Cooper for the slow pace of distributing relief funds after 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. Research in India points to the potential for follow-up phone calls to make sure people get the help they have been promised. Just telling randomly selected…
    Joseph Coletti, November 28, 2018