Under the Dome

Dome: McCrory tells MSNBC he's concerned about sequestration, GOP image

From Staff ReportsFebruary 24, 2013 

Gov. Pat McCrory has been in Washington the past few days attending meetings with other governors. He started his visit with an interview on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd, saying he is concerned about the effect of the federal budget sequestration on the state’s military bases.

“We don’t know what the real impact is going to be right now,” he said.

(An advocacy group warning about the cuts recently cited a U.S. Senate report from 2011 showing that it will cost the state $1.5 billion in defense contracts and 11,000 jobs, and non-defense cuts are expected to cost nearly 1 million jobs nationwide and reduce the state’s gross domestic product by as much as $2 billion.)

In the 6½-minute segment, McCrory suggested Congress needs to emulate him when it comes to budgeting. “I’ve been locked up in a room as governor for the past several weeks in a room with no curtains ... just doing work and that’s what I want the president and Congress to do,” he said. (McCrory is drafting his budget, but he’s surely left the room for good parts of the past few weeks, according to his public calendar.)

McCrory reaffirmed his decisions to cut unemployment benefits to pay down the state’s debt to the federal government sooner and block Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. For the state to expand the program, McCrory said the federal government would need to give the state more flexibility when it comes to how Medicaid is administered and the costs to the recipients.

As for the tone of Republican Party these days, McCrory agreed it needs to change. “I think sometimes we come across as too negative,” he said. “I think sometimes we come across as too strident.”

Bill targets sex traffickers

Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Republican from Wilmington, has introduced a bill cracking down on sex trafficking.

His SB122 would require convicted sex traffickers to report to law enforcement after they are released from prison and register as sex offenders. They would also have to wear GPS devices.

Goolsby contends North Carolina is one of the top 10 states for sex trafficking. He is planning a related follow-up bill, titled “Safe Harbor.”

“I was shocked when I learned that one in four runaways are involved in sex trafficking within 48 hours of being on the streets,” Goolsby said in a news release. “The war against sex trafficking has begun.”

Hagan launches iPhone app

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has an app.

The application for iPads, iPhones and Androids will help the folks back home keep track of what she’s doing, according to her office.

The free app is supposed to make it easier to contact her office and provide videos, photos and updates. Her office says she’s only one of a handful of senators with their own app.

To download, search “Senator Hagan.”

Legislators, Panthers talking

Amid consternation about giving the Carolina Panthers state money for stadium renovations, the House and Senate leaders issued a joint statement late last week:

“Conversations with the Carolina Panthers organization and local and legislative officials are ongoing and productive. The Panthers not only produce thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact, but are a source of pride for the Charlotte region and the entire state. We remain steadfast and committed to keeping the Panthers in North Carolina and will continue to work together to achieve that goal.”

Staff writers John Frank and Craig Jarvis

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