@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

McCrory: Snowstorm to dent NC economy

Posted February 14

— This week's double-dose of snow and ice across much of North Carolina likely will put a crimp in the state economy, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday.

In providing an update to the state's response efforts, McCrory also said his administration plans review policies and procedures, ranging from flexibility in making up lost school days to policies regarding state employees getting to work in bad weather to how abandoned cars are moved during a storm.

"I hoped the storm was going to underwhelm us. It did not," he said. "It met our expectations and even exceeded our expectations."

Two days of snow, sleet and freezing rain left many roads impassable, and state officials urged people to stay home. As a result, retailers closed up shop and thousands of hourly workers lost wages, which the governor said would cut into sales tax and income tax collections, respectively.

"We anticipate a negative impact on revenue coming into the state coffers over the next several months," McCrory said. "That could have a long-term budget impact on North Carolina."

State employees were some of those workers who stayed home during the storm, and the governor said he wants to look at state personnel policies to take the onus off the workers in deciding when to try to go to the office.

He called the policies "extremely bureaucratic and also punitive" and said decisions on who should go to work and who should stay home during and after inclement weather should be more centralized.

Another bureaucratic point McCrory said he wants to address is how vehicles abandoned during a storm are moved from state roads. Drivers left scores of cars and trucks on the side of highways and streets across the Triangle Wednesday during the height of the storm, and many were later towed.

He said the state policy of when to tow abandoned vehicles doesn't always match up with policies in cities and counties, and more coordination is needed.

Another storm-related budget impact McCrory noted was possibly needing to shift money from the state reserve to help the state Department of Transportation cover any shortfalls in its recovery budget through the end of June. The DOT has already burned through $36 million to $38 million of its $40 million annual budget for storm response, some of which was spent following heavy rains in western North Carolina last summer and in earlier snowstorms.

The governor said he plans to meet with State Board of Education members and Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson next week to see if the state can grant school districts any flexibility in making up days lost to snowstorms. Schools are required to have 180 days or 1,025 hours of class each year, and many districts have lost a week or more of class time in the past month because of bad weather.

In Wake County, students at year-round schools will have their first makeup day Saturday, while traditional- and modified-calendar schools will have class Monday to make up one day. The Wake County Board of Education will meet next week to work out more makeup dates.

Durham Public Schools administrators haven't yet decided when their makeup days will be.

McCrory also criticized high school and college athletic conferences for trying to squeeze in games during the storm, noting some Coastal Carolina players were stuck on a bus Thursday night. Also, decision to postpone a Wednesday night game between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was delayed for hours as the storm raged.

At one point, McCrory's news conference veered off a discussion of storm response when reporters began questioning the governor about a coal ash spill in the Dan River from a shuttered Duke Energy power plant and his ties to Duke, where he worked for nearly three decades.

McCrory tried to shift the questions to state Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials before angrily cutting them off and returning to weather-related questions.

"Listen, I'm concerned about the public safety right now," he said.

41 Comments

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  • 42 Feb 17, 4:43 p.m.

    "We anticipate a negative impact on revenue coming into the state coffers over the next several months," McCrory said. "That could have a long-term budget impact on North Carolina."

    Looking for new excuses Pat? One and Done McCrory.

    Now tell us more about that coal ash spill. It took 10 day before you tell us we can't even touch the water.

  • miseem Feb 16, 6:35 p.m.

    Hey Guv- Dan River is the public safety- ya think? Oh that's right- mercury and arsenic in the... View More

    — Posted by borealbob1952

    the only thing that has fallen since Bev Perdue got the boot is the unemployment rate. THANKS... View More

    — Posted by arfamr1009

    Oh please, it was falling before McCrory took office.

    — Posted by balog

    The unemployment rate has fallen. The number of people actually having jobs in NC has barely moved since McCrory became Governor. Check the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics for detail. For some reason, WRAL has always blocked any posts I have made on the actual numbers

  • mistyoakley Feb 16, 11:26 a.m.

    Impact shouldn't be that severe since North Carolina as of February 1st will now received taxes from Amazon.com purchases made by citizens of this state. Just another woe is us so he can cut beneficial programs.

  • greg69innc Feb 15, 8:40 p.m.

    "McCrory tried to shift the questions to state Department of Environment and Natural Resources... View More

    — Posted by JustOneGodLessThanUU

    Give it a rest he was referring to the safety of people due to the storm. He will address the problem with the river at a more appropiate time. Everything this man says is so misconstrued and spun that there is no way NC will ever get it self together. Democrat or Republican doesn't matter but what does is that NC has got to come together and fix the problems it currently has.

  • JustOneGodLessThanUU Feb 14, 6:12 p.m.

    "McCrory tried to shift the questions to state Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials before angrily cutting them off and returning to weather-related questions.

    "Listen, I'm concerned about the public safety right now," he said."

    But Gov McCrory, a polluted river is about public safety.

    McCrory is not a bright guy.

  • sunshine1040 Feb 14, 5:55 p.m.

    Gee and who do you think will get to pay for the coal ash spill. All employees at the top will still get paid and all cost are passed to the consumer. As for the storm The governor had as much control over the storm as the president and folks every one of you had access to the news you could have shut down your computers and walked to your cars before the storm hit.

  • offdegrid Feb 14, 4:41 p.m.

    The Republican Posse. Is she signing like gangs do? The Repubs are a gang worth watching and voting out!

  • balog Feb 14, 4:38 p.m.

    Hey Guv- Dan River is the public safety- ya think? Oh that's right- mercury and arsenic in the... View More

    — Posted by borealbob1952

    the only thing that has fallen since Bev Perdue got the boot is the unemployment rate. THANKS... View More

    — Posted by arfamr1009

    Oh please, it was falling before McCrory took office.

  • WolfPackAlum Feb 14, 4:27 p.m.

    >>"the only thing that has fallen since Bev Perdue got the boot is the unemployment rate. THANKS PAT!!!"-ARFAMR1009

    Are you really thanking McCrory for people dropping out of the labor force?

    Hint: Only 5000 more people became employed statewide in NC during all of 2013. This is different than most other states, which saw drops in unemployment primarily due to more people actually getting jobs.

  • andyasumtneer Feb 14, 4:16 p.m.

    Read between the lines everyone. This means no raises for veteran teachers (you know, the ones who actually know what they are doing, not fresh out of college), or state employees (you know, the ones who were told to work from home during and immediately after the storm, but are not allowed that opportunity). This governor is completely clueless about state government. And all those millionaire tax reductions are going to send this state back into the red in a BIG way.

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