Under the Dome

Civitas: Use that $10 mil on welfare recipients not teachers

Gov. Pat McCrory’s surprising announcement Wednesday that he would not execute a newly enacted law is drawing criticism from at least one conservative group.

The Civitas Institute began Tweeting and posted a clear message on its website: “Tell Governor McCrory to enforce the law.”

McCrory said he would not let his Department of Health and Human Services begin implementing a new law that allows drug testing of welfare applicants if social workers suspect there is a reason to. McCrory had vetoed that bill, but this week the General Assembly overrode him.

The governor said the General Assembly hadn’t come up with a way to pay for the drug testing. But there is $9 million in a budget reserve that can be used for pending legislation, and this program is estimated to cost $145,000 to get up and running.

The true costs won’t be known for about a year, after the testing details are worked out. But that has no impact on the current budget.

There's also the question of a governor's authority to ignore the constitution, which requires him to carry out the law.

Civitas suggests McCrory use the $10 million he “found” to pay for bonuses for teachers who earn masters degrees and instead use it to screen welfare recipients for drugs.


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Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

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