Transparency

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    Governor’s pipeline negotiator had ties to Duke Energy

    Carolina Journal continues to report on unusual arrangements in the Cooper Administration related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the $57.8 million discretionary fund: Ken Eudy, Gov. Roy Cooper’s policy adviser, was the governor’s key negotiator with Duke Energy in developing a $57.8 discretionary Atlantic Coast Pipeline fund Duke…
    Anna Manning, January 23, 2019
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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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    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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    Political reporting in state capitals

    “For those who have an appetite for politics and the free time to pursue it, this is a journalistic Golden Age,” Alan Ehrenhalt, senior editor of Governing magazine, writes. “For the ordinary voter who thinks about politics only at election time, it is more like a Dark Age.” Ehrenhalt…
    Joseph Coletti, 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
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    CJ reports: Hospitals not transparent in pricing

    Carolina Journal reports on State Treasurer Dale Folwell pushing for price transparency in NC hospitals. State Treasurer Dale Folwell wants the U.S. Department of Justice to require all North Carolina hospitals to be transparent in their pricing and recover excessive charges hospitals made to the State Health Plan. He…
    Anna Manning, November 27, 2018
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    Local debt means future taxes

    A simple change to ballot language and another small change in ball could have huge impacts on local borrowing. Dan Way reported for Carolina Journal that “Debt fared better than taxes in local referendums.” Only one bond referendum failed. Wake County alone received permission from voters to issue $1.017 billion…
    Joseph Coletti, November 13, 2018
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    State employees and teachers can slow growth in health costs

    New ID cards from the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees made at least one teacher angry. What exactly do the cards and accompanying letter say? State government insures itself and contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to administer the program. Legislators have never…
    Joseph Coletti, November 7, 2018