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Jones Street scorecard



Before the 2007 General Assembly session recedes from memory, here's the good, the bad and the other outcomes on the bills Indy writers were following (see "The progressive prescription"):

The good:

  • High-risk health insurance pool: Health was the big winner in this session, led by this necessary first step if we're ever going to get universal coverage in N.C.

  • Mental-health parity: Not a perfect bill (substance-abuse treatments not mandated), but a huge step forward.

  • Same-day voter registration: Not on Election Day, but you'll be able to register and vote at the same time at early voting sites through the prior Saturday.

  • Public campaign financing: Extended from judgeships to three of the lesser Council of State races, but still no pilot for legislative campaigns.

The good with the bad:

  • Tax burden: Tax cuts for the rich (bad) and the working poor (good), the latter via a refundable state earned income tax credit. Counties can now levy a 0.4 percent transfer tax on property sales if voters approve; it could help with schools in Wake and Durham.

  • Renewable energy: The utilities could reap huge subsidies for new nuclear reactors while solar, wind and conservation efforts get less.

  • Dorothea Dix campus: The General Assembly did nothing. It might've done something worse.

All bad:

  • Sex education: A bill to actually teach it went nowhere.

  • Anti-bullying: Looked great passing the House; the Senate turned it into mush. Now contains no requirement that schools protect gay kids from harassment or embrace equality regarding sexual orientation. The religious right is celebrating.

  • Juvenile justice: Reforms stalled.

  • Public access TV: Funding for PEG channels and rural broadband access also stalled.

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