For the third time in a week, problems at the Department of Health and Human Services are causing headaches for Gov. Pat McCrory, who wanted to tout the state’s economic improvement this week. And the news that broke Thursday is significant.
From today’s story: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has threatened to sanction the state for failing to show it was addressing widespread problems with food stamp applications.
“The Dec. 11 warning letter came about two months after state Health and Human Services officials assured legislators that the department responded swiftly to problems with the computer software program called NC FAST. The software problems forced thousands of people to wait months for food assistance.” Read more here.
The letter adds to the pressure for Secretary Aldona Wos to resign, as more state lawmakers on Friday will call for her to step down.
Even Republicans are alarmed. “I was under the impression that it had stabilized and things were getting on track,” said Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, told WRAL. “That’s just embarrassing at a minimum. This is one we need to jump on.”
*** More fallout from the latest DHHS troubles below in the Dome Morning Memo.***
Gov. Pat McCrory will attend a National Guard armory tour and briefing in Morrisville at the same time.
Other government meetings: the UNC Board of Governors meets at 9 a.m. in Chapel Hill and a Mining and Energy Commission’s committee meets beginning at 8 a.m., ahead of Tuesday’s full board meeting.
“Rather than work with the governor and the rest of the General Assembly on finding ways to make state government more efficient, they are trying to score cheap political points under the banner of the N.C. Democrat Party,” Pope said. Read more here.
“The question North Carolinians are now asking is whether Kay Hagan will go out of her way to avoid the President, or whether she will publicly embrace the President and join him on the stage in Raleigh.”
Adams and other local leaders decried Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to hold a special election to fill the state’s 12th Congressional District seat on the same schedule as this year’s regular elections.
Ryan Tronovitch, a spokesman for the governor’s office, declined to comment on Adams’ proposal. Read more here.
Next month, the university system’s governing board will vote on a proposed freeze on tuition for students who are North Carolina residents, along with increases averaging 4.2 percent for most fees. If the proposals are approved, in-state undergraduates would pay $5,444 at N.C. Central University and $8,133 at both N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014-15. That includes tuition and fees, but not room, food, books and transportation. At the same time, out-of-state students could be looking at significantly larger tuition bills. Read more here.
Rand, a 74-year-old Democrat from Fayetteville, is the new associate vice president and career center manager for the Workforce Development office on Ray Avenue. His first day was Jan. 2, and his annual salary is $55,000.
“...Rand has had some recent health problems, and his voice has become raspy. He said he had several procedures done to his thyroid about 18 months ago, but his health has improved. Read more here.
Republican Sen. Bob Rucho’s latest Twitter fight – calls woman a “moron.” Read it here.
Greg Brannon dredges up scandals to bash Thom Tillis. Read more here.
N.C. high tech driver’s license project advances. Read more here.
Immigrant students pressure Cooper for in-state tuition. Read more here.
Mountain lawmakers faces challengers. Read more here.
WRAL has a preview of N.C. Spin’s pre-taped interview with Pat McCrory that will air Sunday. (Hint: No mention of the DHHS letter). Read more here.