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The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, March 30, 1989, Page 4, Image 4

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4The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, March 30, 1989 to n seeiic ganmosimeo pub o c wages By JEFF LUTTRELL Staff Writer In an attempt to raise the ethical standards of state elected officials, a bill will be introduced in the N.C. House next week to allow the wages of state officials to be garnished to pay debts. V ' ' The bill, introduced by Rep. Robert Brawley, R-Iredell, would allow the courts to take a portion of any elected official's salary to pay any unpaid debts the official might have. Private citizens can have their wages garnished by the courts under current law, but state officials can only have them garnished to pay delinquent taxes and hospital bills, Brawley said. The bill would allow any unpaid bills of state officials to be paid if ' the courts ruled them delinquent. "I don't think state officials should have any special privileges over any other citizen," said Rep. Daniel Lilley, D-Lenoir. "They should have to pay their debts as well as any other citizen." Elected officials ' should have at least the same standards as everyone else, Brawley said. "I felt there was a strong need for (the bill), and that is why I introduced it." Senate majority leader Ted Kaplan, D-Forsyth, recommended the bill be introduced and said he felt officials should have higher standards than the public. He will introduce a similar bill to the Senate. The bill grew out of a discussion with Brawley about the need for the legislation, Kaplan said. He said public officials should ' be held accountable for their debts. The bill is one of many that will help raise the ethical standards of elected officials, he said. Kaplan wants to expand the standards to the judicial branch as well. "This type of bill has been in the working for many years, and some thing has finally been drawn up," Kaplan said. Some legislators speculated the bill was in response to Lt. Gov. James Gardner's financial problems in the 1970s, but Kaplan said the bill was not aimed at any party and was not a partisan issue. "The problem here goes across party lines," Kaplan said. "Basically, I don't think that the public will be affected by the bill," he said. "It's an inside issue." The bill would allow up to 40 percent of the wages of elected officials to be garnished for business debts or bad checks. . "Several years ago, a member of the legislature from Lincolnton had written bad checks. The judge ruled a judgment against him," Kaplan said. "This bill is in response to problems like this." The bill seems to have a great deal of support in the House, Brawley said. Kaplan said he feels optimistic the bill will pass in the Senate. State salaries fall below poverty leve By KAREN DUNN Assistant State and National Editor More than 1,000 state employees are not earning annual salaries of at least $11,612, the national poverty level for a family of four. Rep. Anne Barnes, D-Orange, has authored a $1.75 million bill to raise the salaries of 1,300. full-time state employees whose salaries don't meet the poverty level. "I think it's disgraceful for state employees in full-time positions to not make salaries above the federal poverty level," Barnes said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "They are valuable employees who provide the state with valuable functions. The state should be sensitive to the quality of life of its workers." The bill would be funded by $650,000 from the state's general fund and $220,000 from the highway fund, Barnes said. The same amounts would be taken from the following year's state budget. State employee officials are very supportive of the legislation. "We are very pleased with the proposal," said Kay Wijnberg, pres ident of the State Employees Asso ciation of North Carolina. "We're anxious to see (state employees) at or above the poverty level. We're working hard to see it adopted." Many of the state's below-poverty-level employees work in grounds, housekeeping or highway mainte nance, Wijnberg said. Others are food service employees in hospitals and institutions for the mentally and physically disabled. The low wages are not a new problem, said Tim Pittman, Gov. Jim Martin's press secretary. "It's a product of the years of pre Governor Martin," he said. "Gover nor Martin acknowledges there is a problem. He has .asked for investi gation of these historic inequities that have been there for years. It's a complicated process. Every salary class is getting review by the State Personnel Commission." State Personnel Director Richard Lee said the legislation would be difficult to regulate. "I don't know how you would regulate a pay system for if you're married or if you're not," Lee said. "I don't know how it would work." Unmarried people may not get the same pay as their family-supporting co-workers, he said. "Single people would be up in arms and say they're being discriminated against," Lee said. "You won't know what family responsibilities someone has unless you get pretty nosy." According to statistics released March 12, UNC employs 246 workers who earn less than poverty-level wages, said Jack Gunnells, University personnel director. Proposed primary move draws slim backio By CHUCK WILLIAMS Staff Writer A proposed bill which would make North Carolina's presidential prim ary the first in the nation drew little support in a House subcommittee meeting Tuesday. The bili was proposed by Rep. Steve Wood, R-Guilford, who said he thinks an early primary would give North Carolina more political and economic clout. . The earliest primary is now held in New Hampshire on the second Tuesday in March. Iowa holds a caucus even earlier in the year. "The bill w ould provide a political and economic bonanza for North. Carolina," Wood said. Estimates of revenue collected during the Iowa caucuses range from $150 to $250 million because of the media generated interest in the event. Wood also proposed making North Carolina's the first primary in the South if his original proposal was rejected by the subcommittee. He said holding the first primary in the South would still accomplish 85 percent of the purpose of the bill. In the 1988 presidential election, North Carolina held its primary on Super Tuesday along with most other Southern states in an unsuccessful move to bring the South more leverage in presidential politics. Opponents of the bill believe New Hampshire would be angered and could respond by moving their primary even further back. Others believe the action could cause North Carolina to lose some of .its political respectability. man of the Judiciary Subcommittee Competing with New Hampshire on Election Laws and Constitutional for the benefits of holding the first Amendments which is considering the primary could hurt North Carolina's proposal. tourism industry and reputation, said Jones said putting the bill aside for Rep. Beverly Perdue, D-Craven. now was not an effort to kill the Perdue said something as important proposal. Discussion will be taken up again in a few weeks, and the subcommittee will vote after further discussion, he said. as a presidential primary shouldn t enter into competition for tourism between the two states. Nursing shorta prompts efforts to yp recruitment By GLENN O'NEAL Staff Writer In response to a statewide nursing shortage, the Legislative Study Commission on Nursing has introduced a series of bills to aid in the recruitment and reten tion of nurses. The state is about 12 percent below in the number of nurses it needs, said Cindy Barker, a lob byist for the North Carolina Nurses Association. "There are many hospitals that have had to close wings because there are not enough nurses," she said. Barker said many nurses have had to work extra shifts due to the shortage. There are 50 nursing positions at North Carolina Memorial Hospital filled by traveling nurses who are fully trained and quali fied, said Jon Ross, spokesman for NCMH. "We are recruiting now to fill those vacancies," he said. "There is a measurable increase in the number of nursing applicants from last year to this year." The starting salary for a nurse is about $24,000, Barker said. The main complaint with nurses' salar ies occurs after seven years when a nurse has reached his or her maximum earning capability. The N.C. Nurses Association formed the N.C. Council on the Nursing Shortage two years ago, Barker said. The council's recom mendations on combating the nursing shortage went to state legislators working on the issue. One of the bills introduced to the state Senate would establish a Nursing Scholars Program similar to the Teaching Fellows Program, said Sen. Marvin Ward, D-Forsyth, co-chairman of the Legislative Study Commission on Nursing. The program will provide 100 $5,000-scholarships for four-year nursing students, 300 $3,000 scholarships for students in two year programs, 25 $3,000-; scholarships for juniors andJ seniors already in baccalaureate nursing programs and 52 $2,500 scholarships for nurses who wish to get their bachelor's degrees in nursing, he said. The other bills introduced in the Senate would provide positive exposure to the nursing profes sion, Ward said. The legislature was faced with, the nursing shortage last Aprif when the Government Operations Committee noted a serious prob lem at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, said Rep. Martin Nes bitt, D-Buncombe, the other co-J chairman of the Legislative Study Commission. As a short-ternv, solution, the legislature allotted $3,500,000 of the state's budget during the last summer session to increase nurses' salaries, Nesbitt said. : A subcommittee from the com-, mission was organized to come ur with long-term solutions, he said. "We knew then that raising salaries was not going to solve everything," Nesbitt said. Ross said attracting qualified nurses was complicated. "It involves education and training, it involves recruiting, and it involves salaries." Ninety-five percent of all nurses in the state are employed by non state agencies, Nesbitt said. "There are as many nurses (in North Carolina) as school teachers . .t the difference is we control teachers' salaries, but we cannot control the salaries of nurses because so few of them work fop the state." - Daily "We should consider this action only to serve what the people of North Carolina want done, not just to be first in the South or first in the country," she said. The bill has been set aside for now and will be discussed at a later time after subcommittee members study the proposal individually, said Rep. By SANDY WALL Walter Jones, D-Pitt. Jones is chair- jjaiiy passenger passenger ' train service u may tie IRa to (Limar otte V X KM3MG55ra( A.M.I, is an international company that's ex panding in the southeast. They have numerous job openings in Georgia, Florida and North Caro lina. No experience necessary, full training in all areas. Your duties would involve assisting in advertis ing, promotion and marketing for several major manufacturing companies. You would be work ing with young single adults in your home county or approved area. You must be pleasant, follow instructions well and be able to work without constant supervision. Full Time - No Sundays - No door to door Valuable working experience for all majors Complete training - No investment ruvi Fji1 Onrtjos (BsgjDtD scsd CSSscei? 4a20& Cto&3B3Dto (Stags Staff Writer railroad service between Raleigh and Charlotte may soon become a reality, according to state officials. The Governor's Rail Passenger Task Force, appointed by Gov. Jim Martin, has been studying the pos- . 10 p.m., Grabarek said first train and would continue from options as to how the service would Raleigh to Rocky Mount, he said. be run, including having Amtrak; A third train would leave Raleigh Norfolk-Southern or private contrac1 sibility ot establishing passenger trains within the state, said Bob Grabarek, a spokesman for the Public Transportation Division of the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). The task force has recently sub mitted an interim report to Martin, Grabarek said. The report contains preliminary recommendations for four daily trains, he said. The first train would leave Rocky Mount in the early afternoon and arrive in Raleigh around 5:30 p.m. The train would then continue, stopping in Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis and would arrive in Charlotte around 9:30 p.m., Gra barek said. The second train would leave Charlotte at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Raleigh around 12:30 p.m. This train would stop in the same cities as the tors run it, Grabarek said lhereJart several options we, would have to explore," he said. ' ; Grabarek said Duke University professor Eric Pas has been con tr acted by the state to study the The railroad line between Raleigh possible patronage of this service and and Charlotte roughly parallels the fare scales to be used. at 8 a.m., stop at the same cities and arrive in Charlotte at noon, he said. The fourth train recommended by the Task Force would leave Charlotte at 6 p.m. and arrive in Raleigh at Pas, an associate professor with Duke's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said he had been working with a colleague from the Duke Business School to supply figures to the DOT. His preliminary report could be ready by the end of this week, Pas said. Grabarek said some, preliminary predictions have indicated the service would need a subsidy of around; $3 million a year. .'! "I don't think it's wise to undertake (the service) with the idea it's going Grabarek said the passenger service to be self-supportive," he said. would provide travelers with a choice. Money from the N.C. General "The trains are really seen as an Assembly would be needed, Gra- alternative," he said. "They are barek said. He said he wasn't sure tailored to suit the needs and wishes whether a proposal could be presj- ot North Carolina. ented to the General Assembly bet ore The state is exploring several the end of the term. Interstate 85, and the state currently owns 75 percent of the railroad line's stock, Grabarek said. The line is leased by the Norfolk Southern Corp., which operates freight service on it, he said. The Norfolk-Southern lease will expire in 1994. "We are now waiting for the governor to comment on the (Task Force's) interim report," Grabarek said. Jeff Merritt, a press assistant to the governor, said Martin could com ment as early as this Friday. I i li fe u oil "li T t W n fi The Yackety Yack Offers You A Night To Remember. Win a free dinner for two at the Pyewacket Restaurant or Colonel Chutney's Restaurant plus Free tickets for two to the ArtsCenter. (A $45 Value!) Order a 1989 Yackety Yack this week! I surs cri Fn cTnTorm I Name ' Permanent Address ' I City State Zip money order j cash check c: men . Fall 1989 Returning Students $25.00 Cl I I Non-Returning, Graduating $28.00 Out-of-Town Subscribers (shipping) . Send check or money order (payable 1989 Yackety Yack) to 1989 YACKETY YACK. I I Box 50, Carolina Union, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 n I Salesperson Date I I kt J You must pick up your Yackety Yack within 4 weeks of the books' delivery to campus. ' The 1989 Yackety Yack is delivered during the 1989 fall semester and its delivery will be Sights and Insights 1 -M-,-"-7 1 O o No Purchase Necessary to Enter 4 t

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