From Ima Ghast in Washington
Incoming freshman legislators of all parties stunned their leadership by unanimously petitioning for revisions in the federal employee’s pension system as applied to members of Congress. Rand Paul, Senator-elect from Kentucky, said “if we’re going to look at raising the retirement age for Social Security and reducing benefits, Congress needs to share in that pain.”
Paul was apparently referring to the fact that Congress gets special treatment with members having to only serve five years and reach age 60 before being able to draw their pension. He also stated that members of Congress should have to apply more than 1% of their earnings towards funding the lucrative plan. Rand himself said he would forego his own pension and that the many multi-millionaire members of Congress should do the same to show their commitment to reducing the deficit and sharing their constituent’s pain. An unnamed source said eliminating the free Navy Physician staffed free health care clinics for Congress were also being challenged. In an unusual news item, staffers are reporting all six of the House and Senate Office Buildings experienced simultaneous toilet overflows.
From Fairley Sertin (State and Local)
Governor Bev Perdue responded quickly to outgoing Senator Julia Boseman’s letter asking Purdue to protect citizens of North Carolina by ensuring we recruit environmentally safe industry as we seek to bring more jobs to North Carolina. Perdue said in a news conference that she agreed with Boseman. She further stated it was absurd that government would use tax-payer’s monies to incentivize polluting, low paying, or energy intensive industries to North Carolina. Asked about both Titan Cement and the newly proposed Martin-Marietta limestone quarry, Perdue said: “Within the legitimate bounds of my authority, I will do what I can to discourage this activity.”
In New Hanover County, commissioners announced today they would stop using red light cameras to help enforce traffic laws. Chairman Jason Thompson said the camera’s are effective in discouraging violations, protecting the public, and reduce police manpower requirements. He indicated law requiring ticket proceeds go to the school system unfortunately makes the ongoing operation and maintenance of the system unaffordable. Thompson said ”In a time when tax-payers are already over-burdened it seems unfair to make our citizens pay $700,000+ a year to maintain a system that could and should be self-supporting.”