Inside Politics

McCrory will directly pick judges

Monday, January 07, 2013

Governor Pat McCrory held his first news conference since taking the oath of office Monday morning and said he'd already signed his first executive order.

McCrory said he was rescinding a judicial nominating commission put in place by former Governor Bev Perdue and would use his constitutional authority to pick judges directly.

McCrory promised to appoint jurists who will "impartially interpret the law."

The governor also reported he'd held his first cabinet meeting Monday morning. He said an immediate concern was a report put out last week by State Auditor Beth Wood on consolidating North Carolina's state agency computer networks.

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McCrory said the audit shows the system is broken and could have an effect on the Department of Health and Human Services and how it provides services like Medicaid food stamps as soon as July.

"We've bought some huge systems and they're just not working," said McCrory.

The Governor said his cabinet was looking at bringing in outside consulting help to fix the problem.

"This is our number one operational issue," said McCrory.

McCrory said the need to digitize and improve record keeping and state operations is a priority for him. He also said he was worried that some of the systems that have been purchased may not be adaptable to future needs, such as implementing the requirements of the new federal health insurance law.

On other topics, the governor also talked about problems with maintenance of state property around Raleigh. He said walking around near the Capitol that he saw buildings in obvious need of repair and said he was concerned he might get a call from the mayor about fixing up broken down properties owned by the state.

McCrory didn't point the finger at the Perdue administration for the problem, he said it was more to do with available funding in the poor economy and pledged to review how maintenance choices are made.

McCrory also said he's looked at the budget numbers and the state appears to be operating with a very slight surplus.

"We've given direction to our cabinet to watch their spending very closely," said McCrory.

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