After grilling leaders at the state Department of Health and Human Services for about nine hours on Tuesday about flawed programs and high salaries, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed frustration.
Legislators didn’t get a firm date for when a Medicaid claims payment system that’s frustrating hospitals, doctors and medical equipment companies will work as advertised. Nor were some happy with DHHS Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos’ explanation that she followed state rules when paying two 24-year-olds $85,000 and $87,500 respectively. Read the full story here.
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The agreement comes six weeks after news reports about Haley and two campaign staffers riding in a state-issued SUV being involved in a minor wreck at a Greensboro event for a political group with ties to Republican N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. Republican Haley collected more than $35,000 from N.C. donors in the days around the June event. The wreck raised questions about the governor's use of a state vehicle for what appeared to be a campaign event. Read more here.
“I know the American people are tired of it,” Obama said at a White House news conference. “I apologize that you have to go through this stuff every three months, it seems like. And Lord knows I’m tired of it.”
The president again urged Republicans in the House of Representatives to pass bills immediately to reopen the government and increase the nation’s borrowing limit, even while continuing to call them irresponsible hostage takers. Read more here.
The state announced Tuesday that it had discontinued issuing food and nutrition benefits to women, infants and young children in the state because the shutdown in Washington had dried up federal funding. Because 80 percent of those eligible have already received their benefits for October, the shutdown will not immediately affect most recipients. In North Carolina, 264,000 women, infants and young children are enrolled in the program. Read more here.
That’s because North Carolina requires employers with 25 or more permanent employees to use E-Verify, a federal Internet-based system, to check within three days of a hire whether a new worker is eligible to work in the United States. Read more here.
Republican Reps. Robert Pittenger and Richard Hudson said Tuesday that some Charlotte-area constituents tell them they want the shutdown ended, but even more say stopping the Affordable Care Act and cutting federal spending are more important.
But Democratic Rep. Mel Watt said he’s hearing from constituents who just want the shutdown to end and aren’t interested in debating the health-care law. Read more here.
Jones cited the example of a car dealer in his district who told him hadn’t had a customer in the past six days. “He’s saying people are just beginning now to get concerned if y’all are going to able to fix it or not,” Jones recalled. “He said [the shutdown] does impact people. Maybe they don’t work for the federal government, but it’s all beginning to become a psychological issue now.” Read more here.
The N.C. Republican Party, with financial help from the national party, has provided five field organizers for Republican mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock, who faces Democrat Patrick Cannon in November. “It’s all about turning out the vote,” said Todd Poole, executive director of the N.C. GOP. “We’ve ID’d voters, which will certainly be helpful in 2014. We’ve recruited volunteers. There are lots of benefits to getting an early start.”
Turning out the vote for Peacock could boost Republicans when their candidate faces Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014. And the GOP needs help in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Read more here.
Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a bill in August raising limits on investments in alternatives to stocks and bonds. The Tar Heel state’s $3.4 billion private-equity portfolio has returned about 7 percent over 10 years, almost 4 percentage points below the pension’s benchmark. Real estate investments returned 2.6 percentage points below target.
“We’re behaving like a losing gambler right now,” said Ardis Watkins, legislative-affairs director for North Carolina’s State Employees Association, the state’s second-biggest public-worker union. “We’re chasing money.” Read more here.