Up & Coming Weekly

December 07, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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4 UCW DECEMBER 8-14, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR Emily Sussman editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com PRODUCTION MANAGER/ GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITER Elaina J. Martin REPORTER Jeff Thompson MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Margaret Dickson, John Hood COVER Design by Dylan Hooker Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: 910-484-6200- FAX: 910-484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Army Airfield, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2020 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. PUBLISHER'S PEN 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU DEC 09 FRI DEC 10 SAT DEC 11 SUN DEC 12 MON DEC 13 TUE DEC 14 65 47 66 49 69 51 68 46 65 43 64 41 Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Showers Mostly Sunny Association of Community Publishers When then-Congressman Jim Mar- tin ran for governor in 1984, he sought to combine Reagan-era thinking about free markets with the practical ap- proach to government he'd learned two decades earlier as commission chairman of North Carolina's most- populous county, Mecklenburg. Like many other southerners of his generation, Martin had switched from Democrat to Republican because of his belief that Washington was doing too many things that the Constitution had properly reserved to states, locali- ties and the people themselves — and that, not coincidentally, Washing- ton was making a mess of them. But simply opposing federal encroach- ment in such areas as education and transportation wasn't sufficient, he knew. Republicans needed a vision for how states and localities could deliver these services effectively. A victorious Martin would eventu- ally call his philosophy "constructive conservatism." I think that's as good a label as any to affix to the state bud- get just passed by the Republican- led General Assembly and signed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. e conservative elements are un- mistakable. State spending will, once again, grow no faster than the com- bined rates of inflation and population increase. e budget initiates another round of pro-growth tax cuts that, when fully implemented, will reduce our tax rate on personal income to 3.99%, down from 5.25%, and elimi- nate our corporate tax altogether. at's the overall architecture of the new budget, and it counts as a signifi- cant conservative victory. So does the budget's expansion of the Opportu- nity Scholarship program for families choosing private schools for their children. Regarding the constitutional separation of powers, the bill clarifies that the governor does not possess the unilateral power to declare perpetual emergencies. After 30 days, an emer- gency declaration goes away unless extended by a vote of the Council of State. e bill also clarifies that the attorney general cannot encroach on legislative prerogatives by purporting to "settle" lawsuits against the General Assembly to achieve a policy outcome that the attorney general may like but lawmakers do not. At the same time, North Carolina's new spending plan directs money to high-priority functions and agencies of state government. Public employ- ees truly needed raises, of course, and some of the biggest increases went to areas where recruitment and reten- tion problems pose grave risks to the public, including probation, parole and corrections officers. Several years ago, the legislature created the NC Promise program to foster enrollment growth at Western Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University and University of North Carolina-Pembroke by capping tuition at $1,000 a year for in-state students and $5,000 for out-of-state students. e concept resembled an idea championed years before by the aptly named James G. Martin Cen- ter for Academic Renewal: creating tuition tiers to distribute students and programs more efficiently and equi- tably across the UNC system. e new 2021-22 budget adds a fourth campus, Fayetteville State University, to NC Promise. Perhaps the most "constructive" part of the new spending plan is how it makes use of billions of dollars in one-time money — federal dollars, re- verted funds and revenue collections — that a less-responsible General Assembly might have used to fund the ongoing operations of government. When you pay for recurring expenses with a windfall, you guarantee either an imperiled program or a tax in- crease. Instead, the legislature put $6 billion over the next two years into the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) as well as directly funding hundreds of millions of dollars in additional projects. Lawmakers also added $3.1 billion to the state's rainy-day fund, $800 million to a separate reserve for emergencies and natural disasters and $50 million to a savings account for future health-plan expenses. While I'm not sold on all the capital projects fund by the new budget, most appear to fund the construction or renovation of valuable infrastructure. Practitioners of constructive conser- vatism have always recognized the importance of investing in capital as- sets that move people, freight, energy and information or that facilitate the delivery of critical services. Monopoly, waste and excessive debt are what such conservatives oppose. e new budget reflects their values. JOHN HOOD, Chairman of the John Locke Foundation. Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200 Parent Melissa Mitchell speaks during a news conference on Opportunity Scholar- ships, April 28. (Photo courtesy of Parents for Educational Freedom in N.C.) New budget applies constructive conservatism by JOHN HOOD

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