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Morning Memo: Florida GOP governor takes N.C. Democrats approach

FLORIDA GOP GOV -- AN OBAMACARE HATER -- TAKES THE REP. INSKO APPROACH: That's right. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who first entered politics to fight the federal health care law, is proposing to take the money for Medicaid expansion for the first three years when Washington will pay the full cost. State Rep. Verla Insko, a Chapel Hill Democrat, proposed the same thing in North Carolina, but Republican lawmakers shot it down repeatedly. "That's just completely nonsensical and doesn't work," Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar said of Inkso's idea.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The House is taking it easy today. A skeletal session with no recorded votes -- none until Tuesday, in fact. The Senate will convene for action at noon. But most the action will take place in the Commerce Committee where the bill to speed up and incentivize fracking with get a hearing. Gov. Pat McCrory lists no public events on his schedule. He leaves this evening for Washington to attend the National Governors Association and Republican Governors Association winter meetings. Wonder if McCrory will talk to Scott and Ohio Gov. John Kasich about how their recent decisions to expand Medicaid?

***Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- more N.C. political news below.***

Perdue gets plenty of national TV time in Washington

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called North Carolina's Bev Perdue "one of the best governor's in the country" on MSNBC this morning.

Perdue appeared on "Morning Joe" to talk politics from Washington, where she is attending National Governors Association meetings. Rendell, a pundit on the program, made his remarks as he asked Perdue about President Barack Obama's chances in North Carolina this election season. "I think he can win the state," she replied. "He's resonating with middle class voters. ... They have a good shop on the ground. ... And there's just this sense of optimism about what his message is." 

Despite her lame duck status, Perdue was a hot commodity during her trip, appearing on at least three national cable TV news programs in four days. (Pictured with Republican Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno.) She appeared as chief Obama trumpeter and explain again and again her decision not to seek re-election. 

Perdue gets to talk jobs on national stage

Gov. Bev Perdue, who likes to call herself the jobs governor, will get to talk about jobs some more.

She has has been named to the National Governor's Association's Economic Development and Commerce Committee.

The committee is chaired by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback  and includes such governors as Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo among others.
    

Rating North Carolina's green economy

North Carolina is a national leader in "energy infrastructure," but the state's not doing so well in energy generation or energy storage.

Those are some of the findings in a new profile of North Carolina's green economy by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

The NGA prepared profiles on the green economy in all 50 states. It did not rank the states, instead opting to provide a report on each state.

The report on North Carolina describes the state as "a national leader in energy infrastructure, which includes consulting and management services and "cable and equipment." The report says 400 people in North Carolina are employed in energy infrastructure.

The report says that "recycling and waste," with 5,200 jobs, is the largest employment area in North Carolina's green economy.

But the report also shows that North Carolina lags far behind the national average in areas such as energy generation and energy storage.

Perdue in Washington again

Gov. Beverly Perdue is back in Washington.

Perdue will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House today as part of a group of governors talking about the economic stimulus package.

The governors are in town as part of the National Governors Association meeting.

Perdue's last visit to the greater D.C. area came at the beginning of the month, when she flew to Williamsburg, Va., to meet with other Democrats pushing for the stimulus.

Perdue releases schedule

She's back.

After a week of vacation, Gov. Beverly Perdue is back on the job. And she's willing to tell you what she'll be doing this week.

The governor's office has released Perdue's schedule for the week. It does not include the time and location for all of her meetings, but it does provide some details on who she's meeting with and what she's doing.

For example, Perdue is scheduled today to meet with representatives of the N.C. Association of Educators and the leaders of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.

On Wednesday, she has a senior staff meeting, budget meetings and plans to attend the N.C. State-UNC basketball game.

Later in the week, Perdue plans to speak to the AFL-CIO Legislative Conference in Raleigh, speak at the board meeting of the State Employees Association of N.C. and speak to a meeting of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

She's also scheduled for "ethics refresher training" on Friday, and to attend the National Governor's Association meeting in Washington this weekend.

During her campaign, Perdue pledged to bring more transparency to the operations of state government. Her predecessor, Mike Easley, rarely shared details of his schedule.

Perdue shares D.C. schedule

Gov. Beverly Perdue is being more open about her schedule.

She released a detailed schedule of her daylong trip to Washington today, noting the exact times she'll meet with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, the National Governors Association, the state's U.S. representatives, two senators and the Democratic Governors Association.

Perdue has also scheduled a 15-minute general media availability following her meeting with the Congressional delegation.

The trip is designed to highlight her request for an economic stimulus package to direct money to North Carolina and other states, so it is naturally high profile.

Still, her willingness to share the schedule with the media is a marked contrast to former Gov. Mike Easley, who only reluctantly conceded he was stopping in Washington only a few weeks ago and did not meet with members of the state press.

Easley's representatives cited "security reasons" for their refusal to discuss his travel plans.

Easley makes his case in Philly

Gov. Mike Easley made his case for foreclosure help in Philadelphia today.

During an economic summit with President-elect Barack Obama and other governors, Easley gave a short presentation on the state's foreclosure reduction program, which some would like to use as a model for federal legislation.

"It will help if we can get that program passed on the federal level because then we don't have 50 different rules that the banks have to figure out," he said in a statement to Dome. "If the federal government will pass what we have, then each governor could either opt in or opt out."

Easley said he discussed the issue with Obama during the summer. He said the National Governors Association will be promoting the legislation as well.

He also attended an informal governors get-together last night, eating across the table from Georgia's Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Perdue paying her own way to Philly

Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue is not using state money to meet with Barack Obama.

A spokesman for the governor-elect said she will be traveling to Philadelphia on a chartered plane paid for by her campaign account. 

Perdue will join a meeting of the nation's governors with the president-elect and vice president-elect Joe Biden to talk about the economic crisis. 

The 10 a.m. meeting tomorrow is sponsored by the National Governors Association. Perdue and other newly elected or incumbent governors will argue for a federal-state partnership to boost the economy.

North Carolina could face a state budget shortfall of as much as $3 billion next year, according to a Perdue press release.

House Speaker Joe Hackney joined a press conference co-sponsored by the National Governors Association on the same topic in Washington today. 

Hackney: Stimulus would help N.C.

Joe Hackney says federal stimulus would boost the North Carolina economy.

The speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives argued at a press conference in Washington, D.C., this morning that billions in spending on infrastructure projects, social welfare programs and renewable energy projects would keep the economic situation from worsening.

"We are doing the best we can to cope with our fiscal situation," he said. "Now it's time for Congress and our next administration to support our state efforts."

As current president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Hackney was also scheduled to speak with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by phone this afternoon. He sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama last month requesting more funding for states.

The National Governors Association has identified $136 billion in specific transportation projects it says could be ready to begin if funding is approved by Congress.

Hackney would not identify specific projects in North Carolina, though he said that replacing the Yadkin River Bridge, extending urban highway loops and improving mass transit systems would likely be included.

"I think every state has a list of ready-to-go projects, but it serves no useful purpose to run that out today," he said.

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