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State Government
Drunk Boaters Targeted In New Law PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 27 June 2016 14:27
Raleigh - Governor Pat McCrory signed into law legislation that cracks down on boaters who operate their craft while drunk. 
 
The governor was joined by by students, teachers, elected officials and the family of Sheyenne Marshall.  House Bill 958 was named in honor of Sheyenne Marshall, a Concord teen and rising senior at Cox Mill killed by a drunk boater on Lake Norman last year over the Fourth of July weekend.
 
“This bill cannot bring Sheyenne back to us, but it can help save others by sending a strong message that drunk driving in a boat is just as dangerous as in a car,” Governor McCrory said. “With summer here and millions of people flocking to our state’s lakes and beaches, I want to remind everyone not to drink and drive.”
 
Sheyenne’s Law will strengthen penalties for causing death or serious injury by impaired boating from a misdemeanor to a felony.
 
In 2015, 25 people died due to boating-related accidents in North Carolina, and nearly half of those fatalities involved alcohol.
 
Veteran Homeless Numbers Plunge In NC PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 23 June 2016 14:49
Raleigh - The number of homeless veterans in North Carolina has reached a record low according to a new report by Governor Pat McCrory's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. North Carolina homeless veterans fell from 1,092 in 2015 to 888 in 2016, a 19 percent reduction over the year and a 37 percent reduction from 2012. Additionally, from 2015 to 2016, the number of chronically homeless veterans who experience enduring homelessness and have a disabling condition declined by 45 percent.
 
"Supporting our veterans has been a top priority, especially those facing homelessness," said Governor McCrory. "Through new initiatives and a revamped veterans resource guide, we have sought to connect those who have served our country and their families with health care, education, jobs and other services they deserve. These efforts are paying off by getting veterans off the streets and helping to cut the unemployment rate among veterans in half."
 
In June 2015, Governor McCrory announced a statewide strategy to end veteran homelessness in North Carolina. As part of meeting this goal, Governor McCrory's Working Group on Veterans and Their Families was presented with a report on North Carolina's efforts to combat veteran homelessness. The report, which was prepared by the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, shows that the governor's comprehensive strategy to end veteran homelessness in the state is producing significant results.
 
In addition to outlining the decline in homeless veterans, the report also recommended innovative efforts to identify homeless veterans, build community-wide collaboration, engage the local service system, offer affordable housing options, prioritize chronically homeless veterans, and provide veterans with the type of housing and services that are specific to their individual needs.
 
The report is part of the Rapid Results Veteran Boot Camp initiative, a first-of-its-kind statewide training event held in Raleigh in February. The two-day event brought together teams from across the state to meet targets for combating veteran homelessness in local communities in a 100-day time frame. Counties participating in the initiative included Brunswick, Buncombe, Cleveland, Durham, Gaston, Lincoln, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pender, Rowan and Wake Counties. The teams reconvened this week to present this report and share their successes and plans for sustainability. The initiative was guided by successful strategies implemented in Cumberland and Forsyth Counties, which were recognized in 2015 by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness for their work in ending veteran homelessness.
 
The Rapid Results initiative, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, is one of many programs the McCrory administration is coordinating through several departments and agencies to combat veteran homelessness.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 June 2016 14:50
 
Governor Unveils Statewide Broadband Plan PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 12:32
Governor Pat McCrory has released a new State Broadband Plan which outlines recommendations for the state to increase internet access, focus on lowering infrastructure construction costs and expanding access for K-12 students at home.
 
"We have made significant progress to improve North Carolina's broadband infrastructure and increase access for affordable high-speed internet, especially for small businesses and in our classrooms," Governor McCrory said in a statement. "This plan will build on our progress and further position North Carolina as a leader in ensuring that our infrastructure meets our growing demand."
 
Governor McCrory has made connecting classrooms to robust Wi-Fi internet a top priority. When he entered office, just 22 percent of North Carolina classrooms had robust Wi-Fi. Today, nearly 65 percent of classrooms are connected, and the governor has committed to connecting 100 percent of classrooms by 2018. The comprehensive State Broadband Plan announced today builds on that progress in targeted areas and also looks at ways to support new health care technologies and provide the necessary tools to public safety responders to ensure North Carolinians’ safety.
 
“This plan helps the state put in place the policies and tools needed to address the growing needs of our citizens,” said State Chief Information Officer Keith Werner. “Through the course of writing the plan, we found two common themes: active and engaged communities and their partnerships with private sector internet service providers are the biggest factors in bridging existing digital divides.”
 
The plan finds that new technologies, user demand, and greater reliance on internet access will require ongoing infrastructure upgrades within our state. Governments can ensure a healthier broadband ecosystem by encouraging competition through updated policies and laws. In areas where competition is lacking, policy makers must empower communities to form more equitable partnerships with service providers.
 
Developed by the Broadband Infrastructure Office within the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, the plan offers lawmakers and local officials specific recommendations to foster broadband deployment and adoption. A collaborative effort, the plan uses feedback gathered from more than a dozen stakeholder listening sessions, discussions with nearly 80 subject matter experts, and a survey of 3,500 local leaders.
 
Governor McCrory Signs Life-Saving Overdose Prevention Legislation PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 20 June 2016 13:41
Governor Pat McCrory joined law enforcement officers, first responders, legislators and health care officials today at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office to sign legislation making naloxone, a life-saving opioid reversal drug that has already saved 3,300 North Carolinians, more accessible. 
 
“Addressing mental health, substance use, underage drinking and drug overdose have been primary focuses of our team since day one,” said Governor McCrory, who prioritized these issues in his first State of the State address. “Signing this legislation builds on our success and will save lives throughout North Carolina. I want to thank our legislators for unanimously passing this bipartisan initiative.” 
 
The legislation represents an early accomplishment of the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use, which delivered a report to Governor McCrory in May recommending expanding capacity for opioid treatment services, medications and overdose prevention, such as naloxone
 
Beginning at 2 p.m. today, pharmacies in North Carolina will begin making naloxone available without a prescription. North Carolina is the third state in the country to issue a standing prescription order statewide for naloxone
 
“We listened and are aware of how many families will find hope and help from the wide availability of naloxone,” said DHHS Secretary Rick Brajer, who co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force. “This law is the catalyst we need to help protect people across our state.”
 
In North Carolina, more than 1,000 people die each year from prescription opioid and heroin overdoses. One out of four autopsies performed by state medical examiners are on those whose deaths are from drug overdose.
 
North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law, signed by Governor McCrory in 2013, cleared the way for law enforcement to carry and use naloxone. It is now carried by officers at more than 70 law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Guilford County Sheriff's Department which has administered more than 600 doses since 2014. In 2015, North Carolina reached a major milestone when the number of opioid overdose reversals from the use of naloxone exceeded the number of overdose deaths.
 
Authorizing the standing order for naloxone is the latest in a series of commitments by Governor McCrory to support those living with substance use disorders. In addition to the Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force co-chaired by Health and Human Services Secretary Rick Brajer and N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin, the governor also established the Crisis Solutions Initiative and the Governor’s Substance Abuse and Underage Drinking Prevention and Treatment Task Force which resulted in the statewide Talk It Out initiative.
 
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 911. For more information about available services and treatment options, go to crisissolutionsnc.org.
 
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