Jones Street scorecard | North Carolina | Indy Week
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Jones Street scorecard 

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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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