Rep. Mike Clampitt Weekly Message, 5/18

  Mike’s Weekly Message

119th District, North Carolina House

16 Jones Street, Room 1420

Raleigh, NC 27601

Phone: (919) 715-3005

Email: mike.clampitt@ncleg.net

May 18, 2017

 

Moving Into Budget Season

This week, we have begun step six of what will be a nine or ten step process that began last September when state agencies began making their budget requests for the coming biennium. To recap, by the time budget requests are made, and revenues are forecast, the Governor’s office begins working on their proposal, which was made public in February.

Last week, in the Senate, the activity was all about the budget. All the necessary committees (Appropriations/Base Budget, Finance, Pensions and Retirement) met on Wednesday, and went through the budget with a “fine-tooth comb” and hearing six amendments.  Of the Senate floor Thursday, the budget was debated for several hours, with fourteen amendments added.

This year’s budget, as passed by the Senate, spends $22.88 billion, an increase of 3.8% factoring in inflation plus population growth. This part of the budget is the general fund, which can be broken down in the following areas: Education, Health and Human Services, Natural and Economic Resources, Justice and Public Safety, General Government, and Reserves and Debt Service.

General Fund Budget

Education

Education takes up 57% of the state budget, or nearly $13 billion. Education spending can be broken down into three categories: K-12, Community Colleges, and the UNC System (which encompasses all of the state universities in North Carolina). The K-12 budget, which runs through the Department of Public Instruction, is $9 billion. The University System budget is $2.886 billion.

Health and Human Services

The Health and Human Services budget is $5.23 billion, or 24% of the state budget. The chart below shows the breakdown of the budget.

Health and Human Services
Central Management and Support 124,254,579
Aging and Adult Services 45,106,213
Blind and Deaf / Hard of Hearing Services 8,418,832
Child Development and Early Education 268,984,429
Health Service Regulation 18,438,099
Medical Assistance 3,688,012,697
Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Sub. Abuse Services 684,418,672
NC Health Choice 459,077
Health Benefits 9,742,662
Public Health 151,257,798
Social Services 197,255,967
Vocational Rehabilitation 38,711,023
Total Health and Human Services 5,235,060,048

 Justice and Public Safety

The total outlay for this area totals $2.67 billion. There are four subcategories under Justice and Public Safety. They are public safety, judicial department, judicial (indigent defense), and justice. The outlay for public safety is $1.977 billion, which covers the prison system, the National Guard, law enforcement, and emergency management. The outlay for the Justice Department is $55.9 million, which covers items like administration, legal services, and the state crime lab. The outlay for indigent defense is $121 million. The outlay for the judicial branch, which covers the state courts, district attorneys, and independent commissions, is $516.5 million.

Agricultural, Natural, and Economic Resources

The Agriculture piece should be self-explanatory. Natural and economic resources cover subcategories such as commerce, environmental quality, natural and cultural resources (i.e. tourism, parks, etc.), labor, and wildlife resources. In order to continue to focus on maintaining a pro-growth and pro-job development climate, the biggest increase in this area is commerce, whose outlay is $77.9 million. The outlay for agriculture and consumer services is $126.5 million, environmental quality is $70.7 million, natural and cultural resources is $175.3 million, labor is $17.5 million, and the wildlife commission is $10.6 million.

General Government

This covers the Department of Administration, the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly, Department of Revenue, Secretary of State’s office, among other items.

General Government
Administration 62,265,447
Auditor 13,585,122
General Assembly 65,126,273
Governor 5,887,379
Governor – Special Projects 2,001,625
Housing Finance 10,660,000
Insurance 40,450,888
Lieutenant Governor 793,477
Military and Veterans Affairs 10,302,913
Office of Administrative Hearings 5,906,579
Revenue 84,702,526
Secretary of State 13,070,985
State Board of Elections 6,600,070
State Budget and Management 8,009,843
State Budget and Management– Special 2,000,000
State Controller 23,579,858
Treasurer – Operations 4,802,959
Fire Rescue National Guard Pensions & LDD Benefits 27,645,361
Total General Government 387,391,305

 Department of Information Technology

Information Technology is a stand-alone category in the general fund budget. The outlay for IT is $51.5 million.

Statewide Reserves and Debt Service

This involves interest on the state’s debt ($727 million), as well as Federal reimbursement ($1.6 million). That’s the debt service part.

The second part involves the statewide reserves. There are eleven accounts in this subcategory.

Contingency  and Emergency Fund 5,000,000
Other Operating Reserves 500,000
Classification and Compensation System 3,900,000
Statutory Pay Plan Reserve 20,365,642
Workers’ Compensation Settlement Reserve 2,000,000
Salary Adjustment Fund 5,000,000
University System Enrollment Reserve 46,571,112
Film and Entertainment Grant Fund 15,000,000
Supplemental Disaster Recovery Act 70,000,000
Matching Funds for Disaster Recovery 80,000,000
Enterprise Resource Planning 3,000,000
Total Statewide Reserves 251,336,754

 

Capital Improvements

 There is a capital improvements fund broken down in three categories this year. They are water resources development projects ($15.65 million), Veterans Memorial ($250,000), and the North Carolina Zoo Infrastructure Improvements ($5 million). All of those are non-recurring expenditures, which is generally the case with all capital improvements expenditures.

Transportation

The transportation budget is separate from the General Fund, which is funded mainly by motor vehicle taxes.

 

Department of Transportation
Administration 94,416,366
Division of Highways
Administration 34,782,224
Construction 76,100,000
Maintenance 1,389,482,939
OSHA Program 358,030
State Aid to Municipalities 147,500,000
Intermodal Divisions
Ferry 44,983,375
Public Transportation 92,527,592
Aviation 94,312,773
Rail 43,659,362
Bicycle and Pedestrian 724,032
Governor’s Highway Safety 255,367
Division of Motor Vehicles 127,257,318
Other State Agencies, Reserves, Transfers 33,270,363
Capital Improvements 9,616,700
Total Highway Fund Appropriations 2,191,246,441

Two Important Things

 First, it’s important to understand that what you are reading in this newsletter doesn’t tell the whole story. What I mean is that we are still only at the beginning on the legislative process. This week, the senior House appropriations chairs are meeting with the “subject matter” Appropriations Chairs working on their proposal.

There are three more steps to go before the budget goes to the House floor. During that process, there will be opportunities for the full membership of each committee (Appropriations, Finance, Pensions and Retirement) to vet the House proposal. During that time, the public can review what is being proposed, as well as hear the discussion in the committees. My estimate is that once the House proposal is unveiled, the final House proposal will not be debated on the House floor until after the Memorial Day weekend.

Furthermore, once the House passed its budget, it is more likely than not that differences will have to be reconciled with the Senate.

The second thing that must be understood is that while I have given you a rough breakdown of what came out of the Senate, it’s not the deep dive that will be done once the conference report is released, which I expect will happen next month. In that deep dive, I’ll be able to give more in-depth details as it relates to the tax side, and what specific line items as it relates to Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties.

In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to look at two links that I hope you’ll find helpful. They are the budget bill itself, and the “money report.”

Please remember that you can reach my office by phone and by email. My phone number is (919) 715-3005, and my email address is mike.clampitt@ncleg.net. Also, you can listen to the session, or most committee meetings by visiting ncleg.net,and clicking the audio tab.

A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF OUR PRESIDENT

A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF OUR PRESIDENT

Whereas: Donald J. Trump has been elected and duly inaugurated as President of the United States of America. And,

Whereas: President Trump’s inauguration followed a vigorous campaign with numerous public debates wherein Mr Trump made clear his priorities and offered the citizens of the states a clear choice between his plan and that of his opponent. And,

Whereas: Almost immediately after President Trump’s election, a cadre of disruptors and sore losers mounted a coordinated effort to undermine the people’s choice of President Trump. These disruptors strategy included a campaign to undermine President Trump’s ability to effectively serve as our president. Some of these efforts included:

  1. Dilatory “recounts” in key states that were ostensibly requested by candidates of political parties that could not win the election – even if they won all contested votes.
  2. Incitement by Leon Podesta, the former campaign chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, to harass members of the Electoral College and undermine the credibility of that institution.
  3. Incitement of Clinton Supporters to engage in uncivil behavior during the meetings of the Electoral College. And
  4. Incitement of Clinton supporters to engage in “protests” which were effectively riots in places like Washington DC and Berkley CA.
  5. Incitement by Hillary Clinton telling her supporters to “Resist Donald Trump.”
  6. Meddling by former president (and Clinton supporter) Barack Hussein Obama that included his meeting privately with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, in an effort to undermine President Trump’s ability to lead as our head of state.
  7. Sabotage by Mr. Obama by inciting government employees and bureaucrats to behave as “deep state” actors, undermining our duly elected president, “leaking” confidential information and opposing through their positions as bureaucrats, the policies of the Trump Administration that were set forth during his campaign and chosen by the legitimate electoral process. And,

Whereas: The cadre of disrupters and sore losers continue to pander to fears of “Russian Collusion” assisted by Clinton’s supporters in the media and in various other institutions, venues and locations. And

Whereas: Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Maxine Waters, and Democrat and Hillary Clinton Supporter Al Greene have publicly announced their stated intention to impeach the president for any grounds that can be presented against him. And,

Whereas: Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, Leon Podesta, is actively slandering President Trump calling the president “insane” and advocating for the president’s removal from office under the provisions of Amendment XXV. And,

Whereas: The level of sabotage to President Trump’s ability to serve as the duly elected president of the United States of America is unprecedented and unacceptable to the undersigned. And,

Whereas: it is obvious that the campaign to disrupt and disable our president and to smear his name and reputation is heavily promoted by Hillary Clinton and her campaign and supporters. And,

Whereas: The undersigned wish to express their utter dismay and disapproval of the campaign to disrupt, disable and smear our president. And,

Whereas: It has been obvious that since President Trump announced his candidacy, the main stream media has failed to cover him in an accurate, fair, and reasonable manner. The children of President Trump also have been maligned by the main stream media both in print and televised format which was not ever done to the family of former President Barack Hussein Obama. Also, obvious on election night, the American people spoke to elect a man firmly planted in the belief that he would speak FOR the people to bring greatness back to their country. We the people share his frustration with the media and desire he is heard without interference or misrepresentation from the media. And,

Therefore be it:

Resolved that the undersigned calls upon the public, civic leaders, elected members of congress and the media to decline any grant of aid and assistance to efforts from any source to disrupt, disable or smear the ability and reputation of our duly elected president. The undersigned further goes on record to publicly condemn Mrs. Clinton and her supporters for their unpatriotic and inappropriate efforts. Be it further;

Resolved that the undersigned requests of our elected officials that they also publicly re-affirm that the efforts of Mrs. Clinton and her collaborators are unpatriotic, inappropriate and harmful to the legitimacy of our government, our form of government and to the long term stability of America itself. Be it further;

Resolved that since President Trump speaks FOR the people, we the undersigned are asking for him to forego formal press conferences, where his words are being reported out of context, and instead have the old ‘fireside chats’ with and directly TO the American people so that there can be no misrepresentation of his comments and concerns for our country. Be it further;

Adopted this day _______________________ by action of the
______________ County Republican Party executive committee.

By:________________________________________Chairman

Attested to by ________________________________  Secretary
of the _____________________ County Republican Party as the official act of
said organization.

History of Memorial Day and Observance

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. –  Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

Observance

american-half-staff-flag
In traditional observance, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act adds the flying of the POW-MIA flag on all Federal and U.S. Military Installations on Memorial Day. The POW-MIA flag is to be half-staffed until noon along with the National flag.

Other traditional observances included wearing red poppies, visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes, and visiting memorials.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years and many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of the day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored or neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 1950s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.” Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=35

“OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES.” – PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN

Here’s a list of the agencies and programs Trump’s budget would defund entirely

Bostonglobe.com – What follows is a list of the major programs, agencies, and initiatives that President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for eliminating funding for entirely, and how much those cuts are estimated to save.

In many cases, the proposal calls for ending these efforts because the Trump administration believes they are wasteful, outdated, duplicative, their impact is unproven, or they handle matters that should be funded by states or private sources.

Some of the cuts below are similar to ones outlined in a previous, less-detailed budget proposal the administration released in March.

That previous blueprint only included proposals related to what’s known as discretionary spending, the portion of the federal budget that Congress must approve every year by passing specific spending legislation.

Click here to read more.