#ncga: House leaders put anti-Folwell bill on fast track
As it turns out, the House Insurance committee will not get a crack at HB 184, a bill drafted by hospital lobbyists to hobble treasurer Dale Folwell’s efforts at transparency and cost-control with the state employees health plan. The bill got rammed through the House committee on Health on Tuesday by voice vote, and was initially intended to make its next stop at the Insurance Committee.
Now, the plan is to send it directly to the House Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. David Lewis — Speaker Tim Moore’s top confidant and ally, and arguably the second most powerful member of the House. If House leaders want something done, it WILL make it through the Rules Committee.
The word is that Rules will act on the bill this coming Monday. After Rules, the next stop is the House floor.
This is amazing. We have the alleged conservative party cramming tax increases, increased insurance premiums, and $240 million to $600 million in added costs down the throats of taxpayers, state employees, and state retirees. All in return for keeping that hospital PAC money flowing to the campaign funds. (What a bunch of shameful, dirty whores.)
You can keep kidding yourself. But this is crystal clear evidence that “fiscal responsibility” and “spending constraint” are DEAD among the elected class in the Republican Party. It’s getting easier and easier to keep lying to the low-information majority among the electorate while bending over backwards to service the special interest lobbyists.
4 thoughts on “#ncga: House leaders put anti-Folwell bill on fast track”
What is in place is the Marc Basnight / Jim Black system. Instead of PAC’s giving money to individual candidates, they buy the legislature wholesale by sending most or all of their money to the leadership. The leadership then uses that money to keep the individual legislators in line to do the bidding of the special interests. The leadership also uses the system to keep themselves in power. It is a sick and corrupt system that the Democrats invented. It is appalling that we have Republicans now using it and making our legislature a whore house for the special interests.
The solution is to term limit the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. We had a century long unwritten tradition in North Carolina of limiting the House Speaker to one term, That was lost in the 1970s when Carl Stewart (D-Gaston) decided he needed a second term as Speaker to position himself for a run at statewide office and succeeded in breaking tradition. His successor, Liston Ramsey (D-Madison) then decided he would be Speaker for Life. A bi-partisan coalition took him down in 1985, but the one term tradition was not restored.
In the Senate, power was more dispersed since many legislative powers were held under Senate rules by the Lieutenant Governor. That ended in 1989 after Jim Gardiner was elected as a GOP Lt. Governor and Democrats changed the rules to concentrate power in the hands of the Senate President after stripping the powers of the Lt. Governor.
What is needed is Constitutional amendments to term limit the House Speaker to break up the concentration of power and to either term limit the Senate president or to redistribute some of the power back to the Lieutenant Governor. Of course, those in power will never go along with that. The only shot is for someone to run for these leadership positions the next time there is a vacancy on that platform.
The swamp in Raleigh is getting more dismal that the one in Washington, and it needs to be drained by breaking up the concentrations of power.l
Will the political calculus be different in the Senate?
Phil Berger has ambitions to run for statewide office, and his son is already running for statewide office. For most voters, if they see Phil Berger on the ballot, they do not know the difference between Senior and Junior. First, there are the GOP activists that Berger would piss off by ramming this through the Senate, which could be a problem in a primary. He is already on thin ice with many conservative primary voters over the HB2 repeal.
Then there are the legions of rank and file career state employees, active and retired, a great many of whom are not political Democrats. They are very focused on this issue, and they trust Folwell, not the hospital administrators. Kicking them in the teeth to go with a special interest bill for an interest hostile to theirs is a risky political strategy. Someone ought to tell these “leaders” that actual voters matter, too, not just contributors.
The leadership blew it on their HB2 calculus. In 2016, they stood by HB2, and the Christian conservatives flocked to the polls to support Republicans, and the super majorities were preserved. Then the leadership stabbed them in the back and pushed through a repeal of HB2 to placate liberals and corporations. Christian conservatives were not so motivated to go to the polls in 2018, and that helped cost the GOP the super majorities. There is an old saying in politics that you do not piss on your base.
But then with out of touch progressives like Brent Woodcox advising Berger, who knows what will happen.
I don’t have the background knowledge GUWonder has, but I know a bad bill and corruption when I see it.
HB-184 needs to die. It hurts EVERYONE in NC EXCEPT the moneyed medical people who are pushing it and the legislators they’ve bought.
The General Assembly “leadership” needs to lose a lot of power. If one calls a spade a spade, they use bribery and blackmail to keep the rank and file members in line (with money, committee chairmanship assignments, office assignments, committee assignments, allowing/not allowing the members’ bills to be heard, etc.)
Both things are obscene and need to be stopped.
Dale Folwell will be speaking on this very subject, the attempts to derail his proposals to save the State Health Plan, in the heart of the 3rd Congressional District. The event is sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association and the John Locke Foundation, and will be held at Stanley Hall Ballroom, 249 Craven Street, New Bern, on Tuesday April 16 at 6:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to hear what is really happening.
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