McCrory: NC needs to 'be careful of' federal funding
Posted March 12, 2013
Updated March 13, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory told Fox Business News Chanel personality Neil Cavuto that North Carolina would strongly defend its status as a right-to-work state, to the point of being careful what money the state accepts from the federal government.
The governor's appearance on the show was prompted by MetLife's decision to move jobs from four Northeast states and California to North Carolina. During the interview, Cavuto repeatedly patted McCrory on the back for being a "low-tax state" governor, an assessment that runs counter to the assessment of many conservatives. For his part, McCrory talked about quality of life, available workforce and other factors that lured the insurer to the state.
McCrory didn't mention the $87 million incentives grant that the state gave MetLife. He said Monday that "There's no doubt that (incentives) was a factor in their decision-making. To what degree, I don't know." It didn't come up during the Cavuto interview.
But Cavuto did point out that North Carolina's unemployment rate was still stuck above 9 percent.
"What is the problem?" he asked the governor.
McCrory pinned the blame on tax increases authorized in the last five to 10 years and said the North Carolina was embarking on a tax reform effort that would lower the corporate and personal income taxes.
The conversation then turned to North Carolina's right-to-work status and how important that was in McCrory's estimation to luring jobs to the state. Such laws limit union organizing, prohibiting rules that require anyone to join a union.
McCrory pledged to work with other governors to protect state's right to determine their own right-to-work status.
"The other thing we have to be careful of, though, is not accept federal money, which often requires union work. Those are other things we have to fight," McCrory said.
Resisting the strings that come with federal funding is not a new idea. In fact, avoiding future federal orders and cost increases was a key reasons behind the bill McCrory's recently signed that turns down expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina.
But it's unclear what federal funding McCrory might have been referring to during his Fox Business News appearance. Emails to McCrory's communications director and press secretary weren't immediately returned Tuesday night.
However, its' worth noting that the state receives billions of dollars worth of federal funding in various ways every year. For example:
- $10.9 billion in federal Medicaid funding.
- $545 million in research grants for UNC Chapel Hill.
- $1.25 billion in federal highway funding