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News State / Region

Gov. Pat McCrory released his first budget last week, proposing a balanced budget for fiscal years 2013-2015 on the premise of claiming to continue his administration’s focus on finding longterm solutions to fix North Carolina’s economy, transform education and make government more efficient.

The governor’s spending plan totals $20.6 billion over the next two years and states that “Governor McCrory’s fiscally responsible budget strengthens North Carolina's foundation for future generations and moves the state closer to fulfilling and even exceeding its potential.”

North Carolina House of Representative Democrat Joe Sam Queen and North Carolina State Senate Republican Jim Davis have differing views on the governor's budget. While certain aspects of the budget both Davis and Queen could not be further apart on such as education, the Western North Carolina representatives can agree on the budgets neglect of funding to the rural part of the state.


Library Legislative Day held March 26 in Raleigh

Governor Pat McCrory has released his proposed budget for 2013-15, and it calls for a cut of 4.8 percent in state spending on public libraries. Total state funding is currently at just over $13 million spread among all public libraries in North Carolina. Since 1998, per capita state funding has dropped steadily from $2.24 to less than $1.40 today. The proposed cut would drop it lower.

“Libraries throughout western North Carolina will be hard-hit by a nearly 5 percent reduction in state monies,” according to Karen Wallace, Director of Fontana Regional Library. Even before the proposed cuts were announced, the North Carolina Public Library Director’s Association was active in spear-heading a statewide effort to protect and promote library funding .


The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles began issuing driver licenses for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children as of Monday March, 25. The federal program that qualifies applicants, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, grants work permits that are valid for a limited period, usually for not more than two years.

Statute requires all temporary licenses to bear a distinguishing mark on the face. This design will allow for ease of implementation as we continue to work toward a next generation secure license for all North Carolina drivers.


League of Women Voters dissect proposed voter ID legislation

According to T.J. Leavell, a Voter I.D. bill will likely become law in North Carolina and will affect more than the four voters who attempted to cast fraudulent ballots last November. The League of Women Voters (LWV) hosted a Q & A forum last Thursday, Mar. 14 at their monthly meeting. The event focused on legislation that has been gaining ground in the last few years around the country, requiring voters to not only register to vote, but to have a photo identification card that matches the address on the registration form.


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