Capitol Comments

According to a recent article in the New York Times, stagnant salaries for judges and the growing pay gap between public and private legal salaries have led to increased turnover for judges – especially in New York. In that state, turnover has markedly increased over the last few years with almost 1 in 10 judges now leaving annually.  New York judges have not had a raise in 12 years and other legal professionals, including partners at top law firms, can earn 10 times as much as their judicial counterparts.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, marking the first time an appellate court has ruled on the question.  The three-judge circuit court panel dismissed the plaintiffs’ claim that the mandate exceeds Congress’ powers and further dismissed the argument that the provision amounts to “regulating inactivity.”  

According to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), state personal income grew in all 50 states in the first quarter of 2011, ranging from.7 percent in Iowa to a high of 6.9 percent in North Dakota.  Overall, state personal income grew by 1.8 percent, up from a 0.8 percentage growth rate the previous quarter.  Inflation grew alongside personal income, increasing to 0.9 percent in the first quarter from 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the second time in less than a week, a governor has vetoed their state’s budget. Following Governor Perdue’s veto of North Carolina’s budget earlier this week, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed yesterday what he called an "unrealistic" budget and called for extended tax hikes or deep spending cuts. 

For the first time in the state’s history, the budget has been vetoed by the governor. Democrat Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the GOP-authored $19.7 billion budget on Sunday, a move that Republican leaders have vowed to override. Following the veto, Gov. Perdue spoke in the Capitol's old Senate chamber saying, “I will not put my name on a plan that so blatantly ignores the values of North Carolina's people. I cannot support a budget that sends the message that North Carolina is moving backwards, when we have always been a state that led the nation.