Under the Dome

Dome: DHHS budget director gets $30,660 raise

From Staff ReportsJune 4, 2013 

On March 8, Gov. Pat McCrory told state agencies to hold off giving raises because the state needed money to pay for Medicaid.

About five weeks later, the budget director at Department of Health and Human Services received a $30,660 raise.

Jim Slate’s salary jumped to $144,000 a year. The reason for the raise was “career progression.”

DHHS spokesman Ricky Diaz said Slate had taken on “additional budgetary responsibilities.” McCrory allowed for raises in cases of promotion or job reclassification, Diaz said.

Slate’s title used to be director of the Division of Budget and Analysis.

Diaz could not say whether Slate retains that title, but Slate was the guy who sent the department-wide memo telling people to cut their purchases and travel after McCrory told agencies to keep a lid on spending.

Charter board opposition grows

The N.C. Public Charter Schools Association board of advisers is adding its voice to the chorus opposing creation of a governing board for charter schools separate from the State Board of Education.

State Board Chairman Bill Cobey, one of Gov. Pat McCrory’s appointees, says he doesn’t want a separate board and questioned its constitutionality. Senate Bill 337 passed the Senate largely along party lines, with Democrats opposed, and now sits in the House.

The bill would set up a charter school board to review and accept charter applications and make sure the schools comply with standards.

The Charter Schools Association appears to be changing its position on the special board.

On April 3, the group sent out a press release thanking the bill sponsors, praising the legislation, and detailing more changes the association wanted. In an email Monday announcing the advisers’ vote said “The Association had said it initially supported ...”

But association executive director Eddie Goodall said the association never supported a separate charter board. “I don’t think I was saying that,” Goodall said. “It might have looked like that.”

Miller to join D.C. think tank

Former Rep. Brad Miller will join the Washington-based Center for American Progress as a senior fellow for economic policy.

Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, will work with the housing finance and policy team on foreclosure prevention, neighborhood stabilization, and housing-finance reform, as well as on broader financial-services issues and systemic risk concerns.

“His vast experience shaping the policy debate will play a valuable role in our efforts to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy by ensuring that more Americans have access to stable and affordable housing,” said Neera Tanden, the center’s president and a former staffer in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

The center is a liberal think tank formed in 2003 to be a counterweight to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Subhead

The White House revealed more details Monday about President Barack Obama’s visit to North Carolina. He’ll go to Mooresville Middle School on Thursday to see what the White House calls “the school’s cutting edge curriculum that maximizes the benefits of technology and digital learning.”

Mooresville is known nationally for its digital learning. Every child from grade 4 through high school gets a MacBook for use at school and at home, and the laptops are collected at the end of the year.

Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Rob Christensen and Renee Schoof of McClatchy Washington Bureau

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