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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The leadership for the new North Carolina General Assembly session is now set.

The House convened at midday Wednesday and elected Rep. Thom Tillis of Cornelius as speaker for a second two-year term. There were no other candidates for the job. Rep. Paul Stam of Apex also was elected speaker pro tempore by a voice vote.

The Senate met earlier Wednesday and chose Sen. Phil Berger of Eden for another two years as Senate leader and Sen. Louis Pate of Mount Olive as deputy Senate leader.

New Gov. Pat McCrory sat in the gallery of each chamber to watch the proceedings.

The Legislature will adjourn its one-day organizational session and return Jan. 30 to begin the legislative year in earnest.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    read my initial post.

    I asked if the responses would be based on racial or crying.

    I made no reference to race as a reason one is unemployed.

    Nice try though.

    Maybe you can answer the question and offer the Feds some much needed advice.

    Do they pay the debt service to the ones they borrowed over $15 Billion?

    Or do they issue February social security checks and tax refunds for those who file early?

    Waiting for your much touted wisdom.

  • SurfCityTom

    show me where I used race as an issue. You won’t ever find a post I’ve made on this site which refers to race.

    But of course, you seek to color the post.

    The fact remains there are fiscal challenges facing this state and this nation.

    An article in the Washington Post, today, noted the debt ceiling will hit Washington on or about February 15. Then real decisions will need to be made.

    Will the Feds pay the Chinese and other nations which have loaned the US money?


    Will they pay February Social Security benefits and issue Federal Income Tax Refunds?

    That Sir, is a very real challenge facing our nation.

    Think about it.

    The Feds pay the debt service required; and social security recipients do not get their February check. They may not be able to buy groceries or required medications.

    AND, Federal Tax Refunds could be delayed until May which sticks it to the person filing, even online now, who might be expecting a refund by mid February.

    You can certainly choose to disagree. But, if someone is physically and mentally able to work, why should it take over 2 years to find employment. They might have to work 2 jobs. They might have to consider contract work where they are paid a fee for work performed with no benefits. That is becoming more prevelant; and when Obamacare hits, watch the employers who reduce hours to below 30 to avoid employee health care requirements.

    Sorry Army, but that is reality without rose colored glasses.

    And nowhere do I see a refernce to race, color, religion, or creed.

  • Tweety11

    Tom you must have forgotten what you wrote at the youi
    Did say race card or did I not read that

  • Vog46

    The governor has already given 8% pay increases to his cronies

    He’s promised to fix – STATE WIDE – the IT system

    He’s promised to fix state government buildings that are in disrepair.

    A couple of snippets:
    “McCrory also said that, after receiving an audit by State Auditor Beth Wood, he’s concerned about the shape of the state’s information technology system. He said the system is broken.
    “We need to fix it as quick as possible,” McCrory said. “The IT systems are broken in almost every department in which I’ve talked to my Cabinet secretaries. My major concern right now is especially the IT work in health and human services.”

    And this :
    “McCrory also said he has learned that a lot of state government buildings are in disrepair.

    “I’m concerned, frankly, that I’m going to get a call from the Raleigh mayor [asking] that [I] clean up state property … within the city of Raleigh,” McCrory said.

    Ross said that she agreed with McCrory on the technology and state building issues.

    “I agree that we need to improve the IT infrastructure,” Ross said. “And I agree that there has not been enough money put in the renovation and repair fund.”

    Yet he says no new monies are coming in.

    Is he posturing? Does he make promises he can’t keep?


  • Vog46

    If there’s no NEW money coming in why then did he give his cabinet 8% pay increases?


    That sure as heck doesn’t sound like working with what we have better.

    So where will the cuts come from to pay for the pay increases?


  • SurfCityTom

    Governor McCrory was in Charlotte yesterday and met with an array of over 100 area government leaders, folks such as Mayors, City and County Commissioners and so forth.

    During an hour long session, he sympathized with them over project funding.

    These are his words as quoted in the Cahrlotte Observer:

    “There is no new money that’s going to come out of the sky,” he repeated more than once. “We’ve got to work with what we have and do it better.”

    Does that make it any more clear?

    So why not apply that same principle locally?

    Hold the city and county governments accountable. Require them to “do it better”.

  • Vog46

    A bit touchy aren’t you?
    “Let’s do a fact check.”

    “Ole SurfCity was not consulted by the governor”…….

    “Ole SurfCity was not consulted by the legislature”…….

    “Ole SurfCity did read”……….

    Since when did YOU become the arbiter of fact and reality?
    The above statements can be said by you but we cannot determine their factuality.
    I believe that they are true but that does not make them so.

    This is a public forum – an internet board/blog – you are neither King nor Serf – just one of the “guys”


  • SurfCityTom

    I look at the posts in response to mine; and I see the problem. Too many face away from reality and try to vent their frustrations and fears on ole SurfCityTom.

    Let’s do a fact check.

    Ole SurfCity was not consulted by Governor McCrory when he considered options to stem the financial bleeding in NC.

    Ole SurfCity was not consulted by the Legislature when they considered options to stem the financial bleeding in NC.

    Ole SurfCity did read the newspapers and commented on proposed legislation.

    Now respondents had one of three options.

    Option A — attack Ole SurfCity as they can not face the truth or reality of things to come.

    Option B — prepare an action plan for the legislation impact which will be effective 07/01/2013 and the upcoming impact of Obamacare.

    Option C — communicate with your Legislators and express your feelings and beliefs to those who have yet to vote and who have the authority and power to make changes in the proposed legislation.

    Based upon respondent posts, Option A is the overwhelming choice.

    And that is a sad statement.

  • Vog46

    Yes I have voiced my opinion about this to him (and to our local delegation as well). I have no problem contacting a legislator or the governor’s office (Knowing full well it’s read by someone) else.
    Which one is working for $1 year – I did not read that


    Oh and you DO KNOW why the 8% raise is so devastating don’t you?

  • SurfCityTom

    I’ve already emailed him concerning the poor judgement in giving members of the Council of State a raise.

    Have you?

    Did you notice one of them is working for $1 per year.

    That said a lot to me about her.

  • SurfCityTom

    Secretary of Health Services was offered the same salary increase; she chose to work for $1 per year.

    The 8% is devastating if for no other reason it was a stupid move politically. It sends tthe wrong message at a time the government should be looking to reduce spending.

  • SurfCityTom

    why not read the entire post; especially the first 2 paragraphs.

    What happened to civility?

  • SurfCityTom

    from what I’ve read in the Post, Charlotte Observer and Raleigh N&O, I think he got the message on tax cuts.

    It’s a nice thought; but not practical.

    Having said that, the current proposal, to be on the Floor for debate and a vote when the Legislature reconvenes, calls for a cut in benefit maximum to $350; an increase in the waiting period from 1 week to 2; and a cap for benefits at 20 weeks.

    Vog, sadly some of the former computer wizzes as well as financial brokers and bankers may need to reinvent themselves. Every indication reported notes job cuts across the country and not job growth. In case you missed it, 600 Charlotte bankers & finance wizards, working on the BOA & Wells Fargo mortgage re-evaluation hich led to the large settlement, were cut loose on Monday with no advance notice.

    And as I have noted, many employers large and small are planning to cut non-salaried employee hours below 30 per week to avoid the impact of employee health care under Obamacare.

    That’s reality.

  • SurfCityTom

    the next fiscal year commences 07/01/2013. The $700 Million in savings the first year is based on the application of the revised rules to the prior fiscal year payouts. At least that’s how I read it in the N&O.

    I gathered the priority will be to pay down that debt quickly; thus the 2015 fiscal year target date.

    It’s sad that too many posters do not get the message. Taxpayers are tired of carrying the permanently “entitled” who are physically and mentally able to work.

    Someone loses a job. That’s a shame. But the reality is you may have to reinvent yourself to maintain the current standard of living.

    If they think it’s bad now, wait until Obamacare really hits in. Already major employers are setting plans in place to reduce work hours for non-salaried employees to below 30 hours per week. Why? So they do not have to provide employee health insurance.

    What are those folks going to do? Whine and go on welfare; collect entitlements?

    Show me a document, other than a labor union negotiated contract, which gaurantees an employee does not have to work more than 40 hours to maintain the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.

    Show me a document, other than a labor union negotiated contract, which gaurantees retirement with an income level to allow one to maintain the exisiting lifestyle at retirement.

    What don’t people understand? The Post Office has an underfunded retiree health insurance deficit of $48 Billion. It has a daily net operating loss of $25 million.

    Bev and the Democrats were like the Pied Piper. Now the bag of hot air is gone and the new administration must make the tough choices.

    The policies on a state and national level were not conducive to small business growth.

    The bill is now due. It’s going to hurt many segments of the populace. They can whine or they can adapt and thrive.

  • Vog46

    The problem is that without jobs many who get reduced UI bennys will qualify for Welfare and Medicaid.
    Meaning that savings from UI will get eaten up by increased Medi/Wel/fare.
    One thing the Guv should concentrate on is jobs.
    Job growth generates increased revenues NOT TAX CUTS.
    If you cut off or reduce UI too soon you shoot yourself in the foot.
    As for small business growth that has everything to do with DEMAND for their products. Sure you could say that some thing impede this like some regulations but taxes? Sorry, Ike taxed the “rich” at over 65%. Clinton taxed them at 39% and they ranked #1 and #2 in job creation – and CLinton had the “almost” balanced budget. Now Ike did not have the handcuffs of the great society on him – that came later, but his job creation record was still impressive.
    I’m all for “pushing” people to work but there’s got to be work there – otherwise the state slides backwards even further. I would humbly suggest that he tread lightly during year 1.
    That said Mr T is also partially right that Pat may not have the complete cooperation of the right fringe which would be disappointing.
    But given the latest Rasmussen polls that show only 8% of the people consider themselves identified with tea party Pat may not have to worry about them.


  • Vog46

    What you fail to realize is that this was anticipated that employers would cut hours to escape healthcare.
    It will force the government to go single payer which was the Dems goal (and the GOP) all along.
    Nixons health care plan was single payer – the Dems didn’t like it (go figure).

    I just hope this legislature doesn’t go all abortion social legislation on us.
    There are serious issues out there.
    Fracking/wind/oil exploration would be a good first bill to propose.
    Government transparency is a good second bill.
    But to go full bore on unemployment before the rate is coming down MORE quickly would be an unmitigated disaster financially for this state.
    But I do think McCrory sees this – the question is does Berger?
    On the national level there’s a big fall off in tea party support as indicated by Rasmussen polling and the national GOP is losing support. The state GOP needs to take heed of this. Americans and North Carolinians want negotiation and compromise and discussion. If berger goes off of that track the legislature might get all topsy turvy on us. Not a bad thing as I favor term limits bit a misplaced mandate is a dangerous thing – go ask a Dem who served during the first two years of Obama’s presidency.


  • Vog46

    Re-invent themselves? As what? What is the future of NC’s job growth – where will it be?
    Health care is a safe bet with or without Obamacare
    Most manufacturing is out.
    Leaving agriculture………..or the government. Remember government has grown under both parties nationally. In NC a lot of government jobs (Non-teaching) have been reduced already.
    We are a right to work state – with very little union membership anywhere. What many people don’t realize is that the GOP has already got a LOT of what it’s ideology calls for and we’re STILL behind SC and other states in some ways.
    So what will Pats answer be? Will he dumb down NC to the level of SC and GA’s educational system – particularly at the college and university
    level? To me that sounds like political suicide at least in this state.
    It appears that at the national level the GOP got the Dems to accept a lot of GOP thoughts – Obamacare contained tax cuts as did the stimulus packages.
    Now the GOP claims they never paid for themselves – a direct contradiction of decades of supply side and trickle down economic theory.
    Unions? Less than 6% nationwide.
    Taxes – rates this low haven’t been seen since the 80s – which completely refutes McConnells thought that taxes stimulate the economy or that high taxes thwart job creation.
    Like other GOP governors I hope that McCrory can stand up to Berger and Tillis who seem to be trapped in an ideological time warp. I had hopes for Pat but his initial round of appointments was disappointing but I will hold off on judgement for some time to give him a fair chance. He deserves it. He worked well with Dems in Charlotte and reached out to them. If the House and senate toss them aside – they do so with a fair amount of risk.


  • SurfCityTom

    Our newly elected Governor and Legislature are wasting no time in undoing some of the fiscal damage inflicted on North Carolinians by the former Governor. Legislation coming out of committee for full consideration would address some of her Majesty’s false promises. Maximum Unemployment benefits would be reduced by 1/3. Maximum will now be around $350 weekly. Waiting period will increase from 1 week to 2. The maximum number of weeks will drop from 26 to a sliding scale of 12 to 20 weeks based on the state’s unemployment rate. There apparently will be an end to extended benefits funded through borrowing from the Feds.

    This should certainly force a significant number of people to get a job and quickly. Projected annual savings of $700 Million will allow North Carolina to repay the Feds for the $2.6 Billion, which was borrowed by our now departed Governor to allow unemployment benefits of up to 2 years, by the middle of 2015 which is way ahead of the 2018 due date and saves the state millions in interest charges. It’s great to have a Governor with some business experience and commonsense who understands fiscal responsibility.

    Now which will post first?

    Someone who will throw out the race card.

    Or someone who will talk about the injustice put upon those who do not want to work?

  • Vog46

    But if memory serves McCrory said the unemployment changes would take place in 2013/2014 budget which runs from July 1 to June 30 2014.
    That would mean savings of $700M starting in 2014 for a repayment time frame of 2018 (or in the 2017/2018 budget).

    The other thing that’s interesting is the concept of this making people get jobs.
    Like where?
    I’ve seen the comment that you could work two or 3 jobs.
    Nice thought but that infers that Her Majesty created those jobs and are there for the taking. That would be about 3 million jobs
    Want to give Bev credit for creating 3M jobs Tom?
    Of course not because she didn’t !!
    As stated the state has not recaptured jobs lost during the recession. They’re NOT there.
    But our new Gov is indeed wanting to fill state jobs with cronies from Duke and Progress energy company’s gee – I wonder why?
    Or put a person who runs a company with ties to DENHR contracts in charge of DEHNR?
    Or perhaps the gov will create jobs with his support of light rail transit?
    It will get interesting, that’s for sure but tax cuts he has proposed without the spending cuts to balance them out will result in more debt? That’s the reason why GOP Governors are treading lightly. They are now convinced that tax cuts do NOT generate increased revenues and never have – and now that DEBT has become such a hot button issue they are caught in their own ideology failures much the same as the Dems have been for years.


  • tweety11

    Tom you are a piece of work.Unemployment is no joke it has nothing to do with work or people that don’t want to work.Of course you will always find individuals that don’t want to work Black/White or otherwise.When the recession started people that have worked all there lives became unemployed some have found work others are still looking its a process.You can get that thought out of your head,yes i do work retired from the Army about to retire again.You might or you might not have friends or a friend that lost there job.Quite sure they were thankful for unemployment benefits.Now someone will give you a reason to show your true color throw out the race cardWhatever that is i guess its a saying started by a white person to make them selves feel better.

  • Guest CommonTater

    These are talented whiners here and I feel they will be able to incorporate BOTH in a single post!!!

  • labelsareforcans

    There but for the grace of God goeth I.
    It is official. We truly live in the stupid state.
    Let us see if the new Republican government focuses on average Joe or instead on Corporate interests.
    Did you know SurfCityTom that Art Pope was just appointed to our new Governors Cabinet by our new “Governor”?
    Do you know who Art Pope is? If not check him out and see who’s interests he has at heart. YOURS? I don’t think so. How about anyone else in the state? Hmmm… the only thing Art Pope cares about is the super rich and corporations. He BOUGHT our new governor. Watch.
    If there are no jobs out there-what do you expect people to do?
    My daughter has a Master’s degree, a full-time job and a young toddler. Her husband has a college degree, a full-time job and helps equally with their child. They are struggling to make it. There work weeks can range from 60-70 hours each.
    As I said: Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

  • Mr.T

    Attending the organizational session is a fine idea for the new Gov.
    Mr. Pat can develop relationships with members far beyond just the leadership and would be wise to do so. Mr. Pat as mayor of Charlotte would not have created his popularity had he not worked both sides of the fence to develop policies and procedures that were best for all. I fear things will be some what different in the Phil Berger led Senate and the Tom Tillis led House.
    In fact this hastily organized early session may have been an early attempt by Berger and others to upstage the incoming Gov. Mr. Pat for some reason had himself take the oath early in a rather strange fashion and even said he intended to be up and running before the House and Senate held their opening meeting. Mr. Pat will find Berger to be nothing but an obstruction to finding pathways where Dems and Repubs can work together to put NC workers back on the job. Berger hates the thought of being in the same room much less working on any compromise with anyone of a mind set other than a fanatic right wing agenda. This far right wing extreme position is not shared by most and Mr. Pat will succeed far better if he just moves forward and bypasses those who would waste time on issues that will not move our state forward.
    Good Luck Mr. Pat ! you will surely need it!!

  • Guest3130

    Jeez, you MUST be retired . . . or think you are some kind of amateur editor, you don’t miss commenting on ANYTHING . . . gets old after a while.

  • SurfCityTom

    as to me, hardly retired; too many opportunities today to retire and grow bored.

    Remember, you can choose not to read them.

  • SurfCityTom

    I got it in 1994; and rather than sit in a corner and cry big alligator tears, I took action.

    I started, and continue to operate 3 businesses. I went from employee to employer; and have great staisfaction in seeing those who work with me attaining their own success.

    Most of them, and I, work in excess of 50 hours per week. Let a hurricane make landfall anywhere on the southeastern or Gulf coast, and we work 18 hour days. 7 days per week; that’s over 120 hours per week and we can be on that schedule for 3 or 4 months without a break.

    We don’t cry.

    Yes, I do know who Art Pope is. We’ll see how he enjoys life in the Public Eye.

    Be thankful your daughter and her husband have jobs which allow them to be self supporting. If they are struggling, perhaps they need to make some lifestyle changes, even if only temporarily.

    I’m confident this will set you off; too bad you don’t dtrike me as one who can face reality.


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