The State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF) firmly believes that real government reform, innovative policy changes, and the big ideas that will solve America's problems are going to be found in state capitols and not Washington, D.C. As has been the case for several years, there is grid-lock in Washington, and Federal government spending and regulation are out of control, while our country's problems continue to be unaddressed by Washington.
Contrast this with the states, who are getting things done -- some better than others. America is at its most prosperous and productive when there is limited government, less spending, less taxes, less dictation from Washington, and less encroachment into the states.
SGLF will promote innovative reforms advocated by our conservative elected leaders and defend them when the special interest proponents of the status quo attack these elected leaders. SGLF is dedicated to educating policymakers and the public about the benefits of smaller government, lower taxes, balanced budgets, and efficiency in governing.
SGLF is a 501 (c)(4) social welfare organization and is a strategic partner to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) - home to the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association, Republican Attorneys General Association, Republican Legislative Campaign Committee, and the Republican Secretaries of State Committee.
Florida Lawmakers Approve Medical Malpractice Reform
Written by Michael Adams for The Insurance Journal on May 20, 2013Legal Reform
In a victory for medical
malpractice insurers and physicians, Florida lawmakers have approved a series
of tort reforms that among other things will require expert witnesses
testifying against physicians in a malpractice suit to be engaged in the same
The Florida House of
Representatives by a 77-38 margin approved the legislation (SB 1792), which
originated in the Senate Judiciary Committee. A priority of the Florida Medical
Association, the Florida Chamber Coalition for Legal Reform and the Florida
Justice Reform Institute, the bill addresses several areas of the law that
proponents said expose physicians to legal action and contribute to higher
medical malpractice costs.
FMA General Counsel Jeff Scott
said changes are needed so physicians can be assured they are granted adequate
legal rights as they practice medicine. “It is important that we promote the
highest standard of medical care our state has to offer by holding bad actors
responsible for their actions,” he said in a statement.
The Florida Chamber praised
lawmakers and the FMA on the bill’s passage. “We congratulate the FMA on this
victory,” said David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber.
“This bill aims to make Florida’s legal environment more friendly for
Supreme court will not order new Mississippi elections in NAACP case
NAACP challenged 2011 state elections over legislature's failure to draw new district lines according to 2010 census
Written by Associated Press for The Guardian on May 20, 2013Election Law
The US supreme court will not
order new legislative elections in Mississippi over complaints about the timing
of the state's redistricting, under one of several decisions that were handed
down on Monday. The Mississippi National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP) had challenged the state's 2011 state elections, because
the legislature did not immediately use the 2010 census to draw new district
lines in 2011. The state house and senate instead argued for several weeks
before ending their 2011 session, without adopting new maps. The NAACP had
asked for that election to be set aside and special elections to be held under
a court-ordered plan. It said that using the old maps violated the one-person,
one-vote principle by diluting African-American voting strength. Courts
affirmed a ruling that allowed state lawmakers to run in their old districts
that year. The Supreme Court justices, without comment, upheld the lower court
Arizona's limits on immigrant driver's licenses upheld
A federal judge rejects a challenge to Gov. Jan Brewer's denial of driver's licenses to youths who qualify for them under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
TUCSON — Young people granted immigration relief and work permits under
a new Obama administration program still won't be able to obtain driver's
licenses in Arizona, a federal judge has ruled.
Although the decision is a win for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who
issued the executive order denying driver's licenses to this particular group,
it's just the first battle in a case that will probably be argued on
U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell on Thursday turned down a request
for a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer's order but stated that the
plaintiffs — a contingent of immigrant rights groups — would probably prevail
on their claim that the governor's order violates guarantees of equal
protection under the U.S. Constitution.
Arizona lets some immigrants with work permits obtain driver's
licenses, the plaintiffs note, while denying the same benefits to other
immigrants protected by President Obama's program.
Campbell dismissed a separate argument by the plaintiffs that the
state's policy was preempted by federal law. Brewer applauded that decision.
AZ House speaker: Senate-approved Medicaid bill won't pass through house
Written by Howard Fischer for Capitol Media Services on May 18, 2013Health Care
The Medicaid expansion plan
approved by the Senate late Thursday is pretty much dead on arrival at across
the courtyard, House Speaker Andy Tobin said Friday.
"I do not believe the
Senate plan, as passed, is going to be voted out,'' said Tobin, who has his own
alternative. He contends that, unlike the Senate, not enough Republicans are
willing to go counter to the wishes of the GOP majority -- and, more to the
point, the speaker himself -- to align with the Democrats to provide the
That, however, remains to be
Senate Majority Leader John
McComish, who put together the coalition of Republicans and Democrats that
pushed the bill through his chamber, said the ideal situation would be if Tobin
allows a vote on that plan. McComish said, though, he and the other four
Republicans who went against the wishes of the Senate GOP majority would not
have done so -- and exposed themselves to political risk -- if they thought the
plan would wind up in the House trash bin.
"I believe that it's not a
secret that there's a coalition (in the House) that has enough numbers to vote
that out,'' McComish said, just as they did in the Senate.
NM economic development official says tax package approved by lawmakers saved jobs
SANTA FE, New Mexico — A massive tax package passed by lawmakers in the
final days of the legislative session is having a positive effect on jobs, the
head of the New Mexico Economic Development Department told lawmakers this
week. Secretary Jon Barela said that in addition to saving roughly 1,500
jobs, about 200 jobs are expected to be created in the next several months in
response to the tax package. Barela made the comments Friday during a legislative hearing in Santa
Fe as debate over the measure simmers. "We need to get competitive from a tax standpoint," he told
the Albuquerque Journal following the hearing before the Legislative Finance
Committee. Barela declined to name the businesses that might have left New Mexico
if the tax package were not enacted.
Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, said he's skeptical of the job
retention claims. "I don't think that making public policy based on threats is a
good thing to do," he said. The legislation will gradually trim the state's corporate income tax
rate from 7.6 percent to 5.9 percent and will phase out the "hold
harmless" payments the state currently makes to cities and counties. It
also included an expansion of the film tax credit for qualifying television
shows filmed in New Mexico.
Georgia's jobless rate drops to 8.2 percent
ATLANTA (AP) — State labor officials say Georgia's seasonally adjusted
unemployment rate has dropped to 8.2 percent in April. That's down from 8.4
percent in March, and 9.1 percent a year ago. The Georgia Department of Labor
announced the new numbers Thursday morning. State Labor Commissioner Mark
Butler said Georgia's unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since
December 2008. He said Georgia employers created more than 31,000 jobs in
Water testing rules for Wyoming oil and natural gas drillers outlined
GILLETTE — A member of Gov.
Matt Mead’s staff laid out an early vision of Wyoming’s impending baseline
groundwater testing rules Wednesday, including glimpses into what oil and
natural gas drillers will be required to test for and where they might have to
In a report to the state
Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development committee,
Mead’s natural resources policy adviser, Jerimiah Rieman, said that staff
members are still working to finalize several aspects of the recently announced
baseline water testing rules.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas
Conservation Commission will enforce the policy and is expected to roll out a
draft at its June meeting.
Rieman told members of the
committee that many aspects of the rule are yet to be fully shaped but offered
a generalized vision of some aspects of the rule.
Among the parts of the rule
still undecided by the state are which specific oil and gas constituents drillers
would have to search for in the water, and which and how many water sources
each driller would have to test.
Rieman told the committee that
the state wants to make sure whatever they decide is “scientifically
“This is not intended to be a
gamestopper for the industry and add costs to it,” he said.
Gov. Deal signs order addressing Common Core standards
Written by Christina A. Cassidy for Associated Press on May 15, 2013Education Reform
ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday putting
in place restrictions on a set of academic standards adopted by the state that
have faced growing opposition in recent months by tea party and conservative
Under the order, the state will be prohibited from collecting certain
information on students and their families, including religious and political
affiliation and voting history. The move comes just days before Republicans
gather for their annual state convention in Athens, where the Common Core
academic standards are expected to be a big topic of debate.
Deal, a Republican, acknowledged in his remarks that the personal
information is not currently being collected, but said his order was designed
to ensure no one's rights are violated.
"Georgia has not been collecting that data, and Georgia will not
collect that data. To make the above clear and unambiguous, I have signed an
executive order and I will ask the Legislature to embrace the content of that
executive order in legislation during the next session of the General
Assembly," Deal said.
Virginia revenues up 2.2 percent in April
State revenue rose 2.2 percent in April compared with April 2012,
according to figures released by the McDonnell administration. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, total collections rose 4.1 percent
through April, ahead of the annual forecast of 3.6 percent growth.
Adjusting for the accelerated sales tax program, total revenue grew 3.8
percent through April, ahead of the adjusted forecast of 3.4 percent growth.
Over the next two months, the state must collect $3.6 billion to meet
the fiscal year estimate. Last year $3.5 billion was collected in the May and
June span. State officials say April is a significant month for collecting revenue. In addition to regular collections of withholding and sales taxes,
final payments for tax year 2012 and the first estimated payment for tax year
2013 were due from corporations on April 15.
Bill requiring consent to collect union dues goes to Nixon
Written by Jonathan Shorman for Springfield News-Leader on May 14, 2013Labor Reform
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon
must now decide whether to sign a bill requiring public employee unions to
obtain annual written permission from workers before taking dues out of
The House passed Senate Bill 29
Monday afternoon, legislation referred to as “Payecheck Protection” by
supporters — or “Paycheck Deception” by detractors. The bill sent to Nixon is
less sweeping than a bill championed by Springfield Republican Rep. Eric
Burlison earlier in the session.
The bill passed applies only to
public employees, such as state workers. Workers must also specify how much
money from their paycheck may be used for political purposes.
The bill passed narrowly,
85-69. Eighty-two votes are required to reach a majority, and nine
representatives did not vote. All Springfield representatives, except Democrat
Rep. Charlie Norr, voted yes.
Burlison handled the bill
during floor debate. He described the bill as a Senate compromise. His original
bill, House Bill 64, applied to all unionized workers.
“I don’t believe this bill goes
far enough. I think it should encompass literally every Missourian and protect
everybody’s individual right to contribute and associate with any organization
they so choose,” Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, said, adding that the bill
at least was progress.
Poll: 41% of small businesses are holding off on hiring because of Obamacare
Written by Michael R. Strain for AEI on May 14, 2013Health Care
Gallup surveyed 603
small-business owners last month. The topic was Obamacare. The results are in.
Forty-eight percent think that
Obamacare will be “bad for your business.”
Nine percent think it will be good for their business; 39 percent think
it will have no impact. Fifty-five percent think Obamacare will raise the
amount of money their business pays for healthcare. Thirty-seven percent think
it will have no impact; 5 percent think it will lower the amount of money their
business spends on healthcare.
These questions are about
perception, and present useful and interesting information. But the headline comes from a question not
about perception, but about action.
I quote from Gallup’s report:
“When asked if they had taken any of five specific actions in response to
[Obamacare], 41% of small-business owners say they have held off on hiring new
employees and 38% have pulled back on plans to grow their business. One in five
(19%) have reduced their number of employees and essentially the same number
(18%) have cut employee hours in response to the healthcare law. One in four
owners (24%) have thought about eliminating healthcare coverage for their
employees” (emphasis mine).
Starting in 2014, Obamacare
requires firms with an average of fifty or more full-time workers in the
previous calendar year – 2013; this year – to provide health insurance to their
employees or face penalties. This
creates what economists (and non-economists) describe as an incentive not to
hire a fiftieth worker. It may even
provide an incentive for firms to let a few workers go if doing so would get
them under fifty workers. These poll results suggest that both are happening.
Legislation would require consent for union member fee collections in Missouri
Written by JORDAN SHAPIRO for The Associated Press on May 13, 2013Labor Reform
JEFFERSON CITY — A measure that would significantly change how unions representing Missouri's public employees can collect and spend members' fees was sent to the governor Monday. Under the bill approved by the House, unions would need to get annual consent from members before they can automatically deduct fees from paychecks. It would also force unions to receive similar annual consent in order to spend fees on political activities, including campaign contributions.
The 85-69 vote in the Republican-led House was three greater than the minimum number needed to pass legislation and 24 votes short of a two-thirds majority that would be needed for a veto override, should Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon reject the bill. The Senate passed the same version of the bill earlier this year. Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, said the bill would protect the rights of individual union members. Other supporters argued that giving members a choice to opt-in to automatic paycheck deductions allows them to play a more active role in the organization's political activities.
U.S. Senators Block Committee Vote of EPA Administrator Nominee
"A few weeks ago, four state attorneys general asked that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Gina McCarthy show transparency and answer a number of important questions regarding the EPA and her tenure at the agency. Yesterday, in light of her continued intransigence, U.S. senators boycotted a vote on her nomination. We hope that rather than further refusal to cooperate, Ms. McCarthy will provide answers to the questions being asked by both state and federal officeholders." - SGLF Executive Director Chris Jankowski
RI House panel to consider proposed manufacturing jobs incentive program
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The House Finance Committee will consider Chairman Helio Melo's bill creating a new incentive program for local manufacturers at a Thursday hearing.
The proposed "Manufacturing Industry Revitalization Act" is a key piece of House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Democrats' economic development package. Under the proposal, companies would have to invest at least $10 million in real estate, building, equipment or other capital purchases and create at least 100 new full-time jobs in order to qualify. They would receive an annual reimbursement of $500 per each new worker, so long as the positions earn at least 200 percent of the state minimum wage and work a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Electric Boat, a submarine maker with a manufacturing facility at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, has said it is supportive of the measure, even though it is not expected to testify Thursday. "We support this bill based on the effect it would have on our efforts to control costs for our customer, the United States Navy, as well as the effect it would have on economic development and job creation in Rhode Island," Robert A. Hamilton, Electric Boat's communications director, said in a statement.
Party line votes on Senate panel to change voter ID, registration laws
Published in The New Hampshire Union Leader on May 08, 2013Election Law
CONCORD -- Along party lines, a Senate committee on Wednesday supported on a 3-2 vote changing the current state voter identification law by removing its clear statutory reference to student IDs as an acceptable form of voter ID. Also Wednesday, the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted -- again along partisan lines -- to recommend passage of legislation that addresses the requirements that one needs to meet to register to vote.
Committee Chairman David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said although the specific reference to a student ID is removed under his voter ID amendment, it would allow state university system student IDs to be used under a broad requirement that the would-be voters produce "a nondriver's identification card issued by" a "department, agency or office of any state." Boutin said he believed the state university system is an agency of the state under the bill. Private student college IDs, such as for Dartmouth College, would also likely be allowed under his amendment, he said, but the decision would be at the discretion of the local elected officials at the polling place. Leaving clear reference to students IDs in the law, he said, "might cause concern" among some Senate Republicans. "It's the art of compromise," he said. "I'm confident moderators will do the right thing." As recommended by the committee Wednesday, the bill would repeal the moderators' discretion to authorize forms of identification they deem "legitimate" on Sept. 1, 2015 and revert to a strict, four-item list. But Boutin said that provision was an oversight and he will introduce a floor amendment when the bill goes to the Senate to make the moderators' discretionary authority permanent.
GOP: ObamaCare compliance burden nears 190 million hours
Written by Sam Baker for The Hill on May 07, 2013Health Care
Complying with President Obama's healthcare law will take nearly 190 million hours per year, according to a new tally released by House Republicans. The GOP reached that total by adding together the compliance burden in each regulation implementing part of the healthcare law. They said the annual burden to comply with ObamaCare is enough time to build Mount Rushmore more than 1,500 times over, or to build the Empire State Building 27 times.
"Every hour and dollar spent complying with the Democrats’ health care law are time and resources being taken from spending time with family, growing a business and creating jobs, or caring for patients," House Republicans said in a release. Some of the 190 million hours will fall to insurance companies, some to doctors and hospitals, and some to individuals — the total represents all of the work required under all of the regulations implementing some part of ObamaCare. Some of the most burdensome provisions include changes to Medicaid eligibility, mandatory calorie labeling on restaurant menus and tax credits to help small businesses pay for health insurance.
Iowa Senate rejects voter ID proposal
Written by William Petroski for The Des Moines Register on May 07, 2013Election Law
The Iowa Senate Tuesday night rejected a Republican-sponsored amendment to require Iowa voters to show a photo identification when they are voting. The effort failed on a 26-24 vote with Democrats against and Republicans in support. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, proposed the amendment to the so-called standings bill, one of the final appropriations bills usually approved as adjournment nears. She suggested that if someone doesn’t have a voter ID, her measure would allow another voter with a photo ID to vouch for them at the polls.
Sen. Robert Dvorsky, D-Coralville, strongly objected to the amendment. “This is a vote suppression bill, clear and simple,” Dvorsky said, criticizing Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz for his efforts to detect voter fraud. “This does nothing to move voting forward in Iowa. … I think it is one of the worst, cynical things that you could run.” Ernst disagreed with Dvorsky, saying her proposal was not aimed at voter suppression. “There have been cases of voter fraud in Iowa, not many, but those cases of voter fraud can determine an election. What we don’t know is how many cases of voter fraud go undetected because we are not using voter identification,” Ernst said.
Bill would loosen cap on Mass. charter schools
BOSTON (AP) — Supporters of legislation to lift the cap on charter schools in the state’s lowest performing school districts will be making their case before lawmakers. The proposal will be heard on Tuesday by the Legislature’s Education Committee. It has the support of the Massachusetts Public Charter School Association, which points to a waiting list of 25,000 students trying to get into one of Boston’s 22 charter schools. The bill would also give the state Department of Education more power to intervene in underperforming school districts and enforce turnaround plans for those schools. The committee on Tuesday will also hear testimony on a bill that would allow school districts to adopt longer school days with more classroom time.
Medicaid expansion remains big question mark as Michigan budget debate continues
Written by Jonathan Oosting for Michigan Live on May 06, 2013Health Care
LANSING, MI -- Michigan lawmakers have worked quickly on budget bills for next fiscal year, with one notable exception: The Senate has yet to consider the Department of Community Health budget, which leaves open the question of whether the state will accept and appropriate federal funds to expand Medicaid, as proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Advancing a bill without funds for expansion, as the House has done, could derail the proposal, while inclusion could set up a point of debate between the chambers to be ironed out in coming weeks. Snyder is among a handful of Republican governors across the country who have backed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which seeks to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
Report: Fracking would boost income levels upstate
A new report from a conservative think tank says income levels would grow more rapidly upstate if New York allows hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale. The report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy found New York counties sitting within the gas-rich formation could see their per-capita income increase by 15 percent by 2015 if the state gives shale-gas drillers the green light. That figure would represent a 6 percentage point increase over the counties’ current trends.
“By our count, there are immediate and concrete benefits in hydrofracturing wells: more money in the pockets of the people, more tax revenue for the state,” the report reads. “These data deserve close attention and consideration as New York State confronts its decision.” The Empire Center is the state-centric branch of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a business-backed think tank. The report examines Pennsylvania economic data from 2007 through 2011 and extrapolates it to New York, finding generally that the counties that saw the most high-volume wells saw the most rapid income growth. Those counties are mostly in the northeast and southwest corners of Pennsylvania.
Report: Fracking would boost income levels upstate
A new report from a conservative think tank says income levels would grow more rapidly upstate if New York allows hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale.
The report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy found New York counties sitting within the gas-rich formation could see their per-capita income increase by 15 percent by 2015 if the state gives shale-gas drillers the green light.
That figure would represent a 6 percentage point increase over the counties’ current trends.
“By our count, there are immediate and concrete benefits in hydrofracturing wells: more money in the pockets of the people, more tax revenue for the state,” the report reads. “These data deserve close attention and consideration as New York State confronts its decision.”
The Empire Center is the state-centric branch of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a business-backed think tank. The report examines Pennsylvania economic data from 2007 through 2011 and extrapolates it to New York, finding generally that the counties that saw the most high-volume wells saw the most rapid income growth. Those counties are mostly in the northeast and southwest corners of Pennsylvania.
2 bills in N.C. House would bolster charter schools
Written by Chris Kardish for The Associated Press on May 06, 2013Education Reform
RALEIGH — Local school boards would have the authority to create charter schools and form more flexible arrangements with district-run schools under a pair of bills in the North Carolina House. The bills, sponsored by a Republican lawmaker and supported by Democrats, are intended to help bridge the divide between public and charter schools, which even critics acknowledge are a fixture of the education landscape that’s here to stay.
The first bill would allow local school boards to approve charters and convert their own schools to a charter format. Under existing law, local boards can grant preliminary approval, but ultimate authority lies with the State Board of Education. The program would start on a trial run of up to 10 districts that would maintain oversight of the charters. The second bill would allow districts to create schools operating under special curricula, budgets and admissions criteria. That’s currently possible only with failing district schools. The so-called satellite schools would be able to experiment with different pay models, and districts could petition the State Board to waive the requirement that at least 50 percent of the school’s staff hold instructional certifications.
Alabama's private schools don't want state involvement (update)
Written by Phillip Rawls for The Montgomery Advertiser on May 06, 2013Education Reform
MONTGOMERY — Private and parochial schools want to make sure Alabama's new tax credits and scholarships for private school attendance don't lead to the state government having a role in their operations. J. Robin Mears, executive director Alabama Christian Education Association, said the concept of the new law is sound, but proposed changes raise concern about state involvement. "What we are looking at is what is in it that could eventually hurt us?" he said. Randy Skipper, executive director of the Alabama Independent School Association, said he expects many of his 55 member schools to decline to participate if the tax credits and scholarships come with state government involvement. "The whole point is they are independent schools," he said.
The Legislature passed the Alabama Accountability Act on Feb. 28. It provides tax credits to parents who chose to send their children to a private school or non-failing public school rather than a public school rated as failing. It also gives tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to organizations that will provide scholarships for children from low-income families who can't afford private school tuition even though their children qualify to move from failing public schools. Bills have been offered in the legislative session to clear up some questions about the new law. One of the architects of the new law, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, has written a bill to make several changes. One provision that he said he put in to assure quality has raised concerns among private school organizations. It says private schools accepting scholarships would have to administer state achievement tests or nationally recognized tests to measure learning in math and language arts by participating students.
Budget deal cuts some Louisiana tax exemptions by $329 million, calls for $106 million in cuts
A $329 million cut in two dozen tax exemptions and a $106 million reduction in spending feature prominently in a bipartisan deal to strip $525 million in one-time money from Louisiana's budget. The plan would use about half the money taken out of the $24.7 billion budget to fund non-recurring expenses in state government, including road construction, coastal protection and paying down the debt in the state's pension system. The details of the proposal, which were circulated to members of the media after Republicans and Democrats separately caucused on the plan, lay out a plan that would boost state revenues by shrinking state tax credits by 15 percent and rely on a increase in existing projections of state tax revenue to balance the budget. The plan would also cut the amount retailers receive for collecting sales taxes and cut other deductions and exemptions.
The $100 million in state budget cuts would come from specific areas: about $9.4 million would be saved by curtailing out-of-state travel for conferences and a reduction in spending on office supplies; $18.6 million would be taken out of the budget for positions that are now vacant; $25.3 million would come from a 10 percent reduction in state contracts and about $52.4 million would come from new spending proposed in the governor's budget above what was spent in the current year.
Senate plan would expand sales tax, lower North Carolina rates
RALEIGH — Senate Republicans rolled out Monday evening the frame of their tax overhaul plan for North Carolina that they say will cut income tax rates while expanding the scope of the sales tax. Senate leader Phil Berger, a Rockingham County attorney, announced the release of a video and website in which he lays out some of the highlights of the plan. The video was designed as a preview as Berger and leaders of the chamber’s tax committee scheduled a news conference today to talk more about the details.
The unveiling of the chamber’s plan is a key moment in this year’s session because House and Senate Republican leaders and new GOP Gov. Pat McCrory have made tax reform a leading priority. Berger labeled the “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act of 2013” as the “largest tax cut in state history” at more than $1 billion. But expanding the sales tax will mean many residents would have to pay more in sales taxes. Democratic lawmakers and governors have talked over the past two decades about reworking the tax code to capture more consumer transactions and services while lowering income tax rates. But their efforts failed because they couldn’t work out details or interest groups put up roadblocks. Berger said he’s committed to making changes.