McCrory focused on energy, Medicaid, IT in 2015

Posted December 18, 2014

— As he wraps up his second year in office, Gov. Pat McCrory reflected Thursday on what has gone right in 2014 and where the state and his administration can make improvements going forward.

McCrory was quick to praise his cabinet and state lawmakers for improvements in education, energy and the economy.

"We had one of the largest drops in unemployment in the nation," he said, noting "we're not even in the top 30 anymore" in terms of the jobless rate.

On the energy front, natural gas drilling is close to reality in the state, and he's now working with President Barack Obama's administration to accelerate offshore drilling as well. He heads a group of governors that lobbied U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to allow testing to determine what oil and gas deposits sit under the seabed off the state's coast

"I promised we'd get into the energy business, and we're finally at the first step after being on the sideline for 25 years," he said.

McCrory said he's frustrated with the lack of a consolidated health care system and with what he calls the unknowns of the Affordable Care Act. He said he wants the state, not the federal government, to take the lead.

"I'm going to come up with a North Carolina plan, not a D.C. plan," he said, adding that his proposal could include expanding the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The General Assembly's decision last year not to expand Medicaid to some 500,000 people as allowed under the federal health care law brought heated criticism of the governor and state lawmakers. It's something McCrory now appears to want to change in concert with the House and the Senate.

McCrory also wants to create a new cabinet level department of information technology to literally connect state government statewide and reduce duplication and costs. He is already talking with legislative leaders about it.

"I think we've really gotten off on the right foot. I've already had several conversations with talks with (Senate President Pro Tem) Phil Berger," he said.

"I think, like last time, we're going to agree on about 80 percent of things," he said. "I won't be afraid to fight my own party."


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  • Danny22 Dec 20, 2014

    I hope he won't increase the spending until he can get rid of all the welfare fraud.

  • Terry Lightfoot Dec 19, 2014
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    Some good 'stretch' goals...improving the IT efficiency across state departments will bring huge benefits, but it will be expensive if done right. Kudos on expanding Medicaid, that was the most mean spirited thing ( almost) that the legislature did in past session.
    On Energy - I'm of the mind...show me. I'm not convinced that NC will be a big player in Energy, and so far based on the paltry amount of shale we have, it's probably not worth all the trouble, it's more hype than real benefits.

  • Matt Wood Dec 19, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    Problem is, NC tends to have more votes cast for Democratic candidates, but gerrymandering results in a Republican majority. So we try to vote for Democrats, but the Republicans win, anyway.

  • raleighboy524 Dec 19, 2014

    Softball interview. Hope WRAL knows how embarrassing it is for them. LOL.

  • John McCray Dec 19, 2014
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    Improvements in education equals the mindless standardization of classroom performance reducing the overall talent of those that go through the system, and placing performance statistics over thinking ability.

  • tracmister Dec 19, 2014

    It's amazing how many people criticize McCrory for his agenda while voting for the same local representatives who put us there.

  • Eq Videri Dec 19, 2014
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    "McCrory focused on energy, Medicaid, IT in 2015"

    ...while obsessing about his news coverage.

  • cruzinlong Dec 19, 2014

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    I for one totally agree with HEELHAWK, he hit the nail on the head .

  • heelhawk Dec 19, 2014

    From my perspective, McCrory's 2015 initiatives seem to be 1. destroy the environment 2. poison the groundwater 3. reduce or eliminate taxes on corporations 4. shift that tax burden the lower and middle classes 5. block healthcare for NC Citizens 6. use cronyism vs merit for high level government jobs 7. pass legislation to profit Duke Energy or other companies where he may personally profit, 8. drag down education 9. push his theocratic agenda and 10. move NC to the bottom of every national ranking sheet.

  • Jay Tanenbaum Dec 19, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    You got that right. I still see all the Obama haters saying that the main reason that unemployment is going down are folks that are no longer being counted. Same argument holds true here.

    But, it does appear, unlike the Western part of the state, employment is doing better in NC.