The House and Senate coming to an agreement on a budget by the end of June was a remarkable accomplishment. Delving into some of the more contentious points with Mark is House Chief Budget Writer, Wake County Rep. Nelson Dollar. He explains there is a legitimate concern over the long-term ROI about funding the state’s pension fund. Mark asks what you do in a situation like this. Rep. Dollar says they consult with the Treasurer, the House had a special select committee to look at these issues, the committee consulted the chairs of the committees, and he says if candidate for Treasurer, Dale Folwell, wins the race, he thinks there will be more funds available for this fund. He adds he’s pleased they are reaching the 8% return which they’ve never reached before in the rainy day fund. They also talk about CON legislation and HB 3.
Next, Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles joins Mark. He tells Mark the town is really growing because of its proximity to Raleigh and other communities as well as WakeMed North and Wake Tech’s northern campus. He tells Mark when they build, they build with quality and that also attracts people. Mayor Eagles says their good schools help also bring people to the area – especially with their athletic program – one of the best in the county. He tells Mark Rolesville is more like a community than a town. Mark asks why he decided to get into politics. Mayor Eagles explains his family has been in the political game for a while. He said he got into the game the first time as a democrat working for Governor Jim Holshouser. He says he worked for the state for a while and got of politics then felt the call again, got on the town board and then ran for Mayor. Mayor Eagles says the town is so appealing because it’s a relaxed community with developments that aren’t obvious, plenty of jogging and walking trails, parks and charming shops and restaurants for residents and visitors.
In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Mark. They discuss biases, stereotypes, and last week being a bad week for law enforcement in America. Francis says the week started with the FBI director deciding not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton primarily because she is running for President, went on to two armed black men being shot by police officers though they hadn’t drawn their weapon and ending with the death of five police officers in Dallas. He says this doesn’t make a good impression of America. He goes on to explain getting rid of guns is not the answer. They continue to talk about the criticisms of the country that many have expressed since the shootings and the fact the writers wouldn’t have the ability to express those thoughts if they didn’t live in a free country.
Finally, Justin Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst for Defense Budgeting Policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security and Foreign Policy joins Mark to discuss cuts in defense spending. He tells Mark Senate Democrats don’t want defense to be funded if the rest of their agenda is not funded. Mark says he thought Republicans were in the majority. Justin explains they needed 60 votes to get the bill started, but they couldn’t get the support. Mark asks if it’s a good bill. Justin says it’s okay, it could be more robust considering spending has been cut by at least 25% in the last decade. He explains anytime there is a discussion over defense spending levels, Democrats and Republicans are split. Mark asks what will happen next. Justin says Senator Mitch McConnell will probably do a stopgap measure and put the bill in front of Congress again in a continuing resolution. Mark questions why we’re hearing so much about cuts in defense spending now when we didn’t hear about it even under a democratically-controlled Congress. Justin says it’s a new and very sad development we’ve seen in recent years where parties use these bills as leverage.
AFP State Donald Bryson, The Radiance Foundation Chief Creative Officer Ryan Bomberger and Heritage Foundation DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society Director Roger Severino join us tomorrow.