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McCrory says tax reform does not equal tax cuts

Gov. Pat McCrory is redefining what he wants to see in a much-debated bill to overhaul the state's tax system and it appears he's moving in a different direction than state lawmakers.

Speaking with reporters Monday, he said he wants to limit the plan's scope to 2015 because he doesn't believe revenue forecasts after that date. From there, McCrory said, lawmakers can re-examine the issue based on the state' s economic situation.

The line that Gov. McCrory left out of his State of the State address

Gov. Pat McCrory's office never released a copy of his Feb. 18 State of the State speech at the time. But it recently posted a transcript to the governor's official website.

The move not to release a copy of the address before or immediately after -- as is typical with most major political addresses, including McCrory's inauguration speech -- suggested that the governor would work loosely from notes and that no text existed. But anyone who watched saw he read much of it from a binder.

What's interesting about the newly posted transcript is that it includes a line about his legislative agenda that McCrory forgot to say in his speech.

McCrory seeks to break out of the Raleigh bubble

A dispatch from Clayton News-Star's Amanda James: Wearing a Carhartt jacket and hiking shoes, Gov. Pat McCrory ate Tuesday at Jones' Lunch, a historic diner in downtown Clayton. "I need a hot dog, a red hot dog," McCrory shouted as he walked into the 54-year-old restaurant.

The visit to Clayton was the first visit to a "Main Street," after McCrory's State of the State address Monday night when he told North Carolinians that he wanted to help revitalize small towns across the state. 

The governor said the reason he visited Clayton is because he told his scheduler on Monday that he wanted to visit a Main Street the next day. The scheduler chose her hometown for the visit. 

McCrory detoured to visit injured trooper after State of the State address

After giving his first State of the State address to a packed General Assembly Monday night, Gov. Pat McCrory took a detour on his way back to the governor's mansion. McCrory went to Duke University Hospital in Durham and visited Highway Patrol officer

Michael Potts, an 11-year veteran who'd been shot during a routine traffic stop Monday, just an hour before McCrory delivered his speech. He spent time with the officer's family while Potts underwent surgery.

Potts was listed in fair condition Tuesday. Police later charged a prison parolee from Vermont with his shooting. McCrory's visit was unannounced and unpublicized. A spokesman for the governor confirmed it to the Observer.

Morning Memo: Who is McCrory? We still don't know

McCRORY REITERATES CAMPAIGN THEMES: In his first State of the State address, Gov. Pat McCrory, who has been in office six weeks, offered the broad outline of a legislative agenda that includes lower income tax rates, a revamped education system that uses technology in the classroom and a streamlined government that makes customer service its mission. “Achieving these goals will not be easy. ... But we will do it. We must do it,” said McCrory, who entered through the 11-foot golden doors into the House chamber. Republican lawmakers gathered for the joint legislative session frequently interrupted the 45-minute speech – the first by a GOP governor in 20 years – with applause and even hoots and hollers, giving the speech a pep rally feel at moments.

WHO IS McCRORY? WE STILL DON'T KNOW: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s public image has yet to come into sharp focus during his first weeks in office, even as he presented his program Monday night to a joint session of the legislature, columnist Rob Christensen writes. Is he Charlotte Pat, the centrist mayor of North Carolina’s largest city who campaigned as someone able to work across party lines? Or is he more in line with the deep-seated conservatism that dominates the legislature and much of the Southern GOP? “The public hasn’t formed a really hard impression of Gov. McCrory yet,” said Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at N.C. State University. “He certainly campaigned as a moderate, pragmatic-oriented, problem-solving executive-type who understands the importance of government-business partnerships.

Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo -- the State of the State edition. More analysis of the governor's speech below and a preview of today in politics.

Democratic chairman decries GOP 'war on the poor'

Before the State of the State address, Democrats sought to link Gov. Pat McCrory, the de facto head of the state Republican Party, to the legislation the GOP is quickly moving through the legislature, such as measures to block health insurance coverage, curtail jobless benefits and eliminate a tax credit for low-income payers.

“This is a war on the poor and a war on the hardworking taxpayers of this state,” said Randy Voller, the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party.

Voller put the pressure on McCrory to govern from a moderate stance amid Republican legislative proposals to universally fire Democratic members of state boards and revamp the tax code and make it more regressive. “The question becomes at what point does Gov. McCrory stand up to this radical reactionary legislature,” Voller said.

Morning Memo: What voters want to hear McCrory say in State of State

McCRORY TO SIGN FIRST BILL, GIVE STATE OF STATE ADDRESS: As expected, Gov. Pat McCrory is making the most of an education bill that hit his desk last week, as opposed to another that will cut unemployment benefits. From AP: McCrory planned to put his signature on a law Monday morning in Asheboro that requires the State Board of Education develop by the fall of 2014 new diplomas that make clear a student is ready for college, ready a vocational career, or both. The bill received final approval from the General Assembly last week. McCrory was scheduled to visit Randolph Community College's industrial center for the bill signing. The bill's primary sponsor is from Randolph County.

The bill also tells the state board to look at ways to make it easier to license vocational and technical teachers. The new law fits well into McCrory's campaign platform about public schools preparing students for the work world.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Apologies for Dome's technical difficulties last week. The blog back in shape now. Click below for more North Carolina political news.

Response from GOP chairman Robin Hayes

State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes released the following statement in response to Gov. Beverly Perdue's State of the State address:

“ With a $2.7 billion budget shortfall and an unemployment rate near 10 percent, the state of North Carolina does not need to reinvent or reset itself but it needs to spend less, tax less, and regulate business less. Republicans in the legislature are working to restore these conservative principles and restore trust that our elected officials will be moral and ethical leaders who will get North Carolina back to work. It is now up to Gov. Perdue to work with them.”

VIDEO: Perdue on Business

Gov. Bev Perdue proposed cutting the state's corporate tax rate from 6.9 percent to 4.9 percent during her 2011 State of the State address.

Response from Sen. Martin Nesbitt

No surprisingly, the top Democrat in the state Senate liked a lot of what he heard from Gov. Bev Perdue during her State of the State address.

“Tonight, Gov. Perdue committed to protecting every teacher’s job in North Carolina," said Senate Democratic Leader Martin Nesbitt, according to a written release. "I agree with that commitment. Not only is a quality education the foundation for our children’s future, but it attracts new jobs and new investment to North Carolina. In the tough budget debate to come, Senate Democrats will stand up to prevent teacher layoffs and protect our children’s education. Our state’s economic growth depends on it.”

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