RALEIGH – We’re hearing a few interesting things on Jones and Blount streets. Here’s a round-up:
J&B right on CR…
Insiders are telling Jones & Blount that our prediction from Monday is likely to come true: the General Assembly will debate a one-week continuing resolution that will fund the state government from Aug. 31 until Sept. 7, giving legislators a little more time to wrap up budget negotiations.
UPDATE: Rep. David Lewis told radio station WPTF-AM Wednesday that the CR would run through “mid-September.”
It is unclear whether the CR would be debated Thursday or Monday (or both). Nothing budget-related appears on either chamber’s calendar for today.
Main Street comin’ at Jones Street…
Political consultant Brad Crone is the administrative lead for the NC Main Street Democrats, a group of business-friendly legislators who are making a push to be heard more in Raleigh. This week a Main Street Democrats news release takes aim at Republicans’ protracted budget negotiations, saying the GOP often “complained about the budget process and promised to improve things if the voters would put them in charge of the state legislature.”
“It’s unsettling that a super majority Republican General Assembly and a Republican governor cannot do their most important job, which is to provide a budget for state government,” Sen. Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg) said via the release. “The Republicans promised in 2010 that they would govern the state with predictability. We see now they are doing everything they criticized the Democrats for doing.”
Republicans have been defensive about the lack of a final budget, and we’ve seen a graphic floating around that shows how, well, it’s not that bad, really – if you look at how bad it’s been before, see?
We first saw the graphic on Rep. Chuck McGrady’s blog, “Legislative News from Representative Chuck McGrady,” but it’s unclear who created it, since the blog post on McGrady’s site refers to McGrady in the third person and the author claims to have been inspired to make the chart by – Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson County).
Lt. Dan releases another video…
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has released another one of his didactic YouTube videos, this one on tax policy. As with his first video on education funding, the latest spot praises all Repubilcans in Raleigh for their work. At least one politician is enjoying the praise, as Gov. Pat McCrory posted a link to the video on his Facebook page.
“Did you know,” Forest says as the video opens, “that when Republicans took control of the legislature, we inherited a nearly $3 billion deficit? The good news: the budget was balanced without a tax increase.”
Of course, Forest is being a little generous to himself by saying “we.” Republicans took over following the 2010 elections, but Forest – like McCrory – wasn’t elected until 2012.