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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Battle of the Budgets Begins in Rancorous Week at NCGA

Perdue vetoes two more bills; GOP dares her to follow suit on a third

RALEIGH (By David N. Bass, Carolina Journal Online) —
Gov. Bev Perdue uncapped her veto pen again this week and struck down two Republican-backed bills that would have required state employees to pay a portion of their health premiums and allow community colleges to opt out of federal loan programs.

It was the exclamation point on a hot-and-heavy legislative week that also saw the first public steps in the budgeting process. On Tuesday, House subcommittees released preliminary cuts totaling $2 billion, eliciting howls of protest from public sector groups and liberal advocacy organizations.

The proposals would trim 15.5 percent from the public university system and 9 percent from public schools, in addition to deep cuts to other state agencies. Also impacted would be programs sacrosanct to the Democrats, including zeroing out Smart Start, the early childhood development program championed by former Gov. Jim Hunt.

The cuts run far deeper than those Perdue proposed in February.

House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said his chamber was about a week behind schedule on finishing the budget. But both chambers still are on track to have a spending plan passed by early June, he said.

“We expect most of the decisions for the House deliberations to be completed by the end of next week,” Tillis said.

Democrats decried the cuts at a press conference Thursday. “Teachers and faculty are the gardens of the landscape of the human race, and we are talking about throwing thousands of them out of work,” said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland.

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