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State Government
Senate Passes $3 Billion Road and Bridge Building Bill PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 08 June 2018 09:18
A unanimous North Carolina Senate on Wednesday passed the Build N.C. Act that will accelerate the construction of hundreds of road and bridge projects across North Carolina, especially in the state’s rural areas.
 
Senate Bill 758 – sponsored by Sens. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston) and Jim Davis (R-Macon) – will allow the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to use a new financing tool to access up to $300 million each year over the next ten years in order to complete smaller road projects that otherwise would be constructed much later. Those dollars will be repaid using revenues from the state’s Highway Trust Fund – at no additional cost to taxpayers.
 
Under the bill, DOT must use the additional funding to build projects for which there is the greatest need, based on the data-driven formula in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) that measures factors such as congestion, benefit/cost, safety, accessibility and freight/military along with local support. The data-driven approach is expected to deliver hundreds of roads and bridges in rural communities and throughout North Carolina.
 
The legislation is modeled after a similar federal program and contains safeguards – including prior approval from the state treasurer – to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the entire process.
 
“With more people moving to North Carolina every year and more cars on our roads, our state’s transportation needs are growing,” said the bill’s sponsors in a joint statement. “The Build N.C. initiative will help ensure that more North Carolinians have access sooner to roads and bridges that safely connect them to their jobs and families, and we are pleased it received unanimous bipartisan support.”
 
North Carolina’s state-maintained transportation system is the second largest in the entire country, after Texas. 
 
 
Senate Overrides Cooper’s Veto of State Budget PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 08 June 2018 08:13
The North Carolina Senate voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto 
If the House of Representatives overrides the governor’s veto, the spending p
lan will become law.
 
The final budget controls the growth of government spending with a roughly four percent overall increase and, among other highlights:
 
•         Invests close to $700 million additional dollars in public education.
•         Provides an average 6.5 percent pay raise for teachers and a 6.9 percent increase to the principal salary schedule. 
•         Includes new initiatives to help keep students safe in North Carolina classrooms.
•         Sets aside $241 million in lottery funding to build or upgrade school facilities.
•         Directs more than $200 million toward compensation increases to state employees, including a two percent permanent pay raise for most state workers and larger increases for State Highway Patrol troopers and correctional officers.
•         Delivers a $1.5 billion tax cut that will result in 99 percent of taxpayers either paying less or paying no state personal income taxes at all.
•         Allocates an additional $60 million to help victims of Hurricane Matthew rebuild.
•         Establishes the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program to address broadband needs in the state's rural areas.
•         Includes funding to help ensure access to clean water for North Carolinians affected by GenX pollution.
•         Makes key changes to economic development programs that are expected to secure thousands of new jobs and billions in new investment to the state.
•         Adds $161 million to the state’s rainy day fund, which lawmakers have built to a historic high of $2 billion to ensure North Carolina is well-prepared for the next natural disaster or economic downturn.
 
Lawmakers Vow To Overturn Governor's State Budget Veto PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 07 June 2018 10:02
House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger released a statement on Wednesday regarding the budget veto by Gov. Roy Cooper:: 
 
“Gov. Cooper has once again shown that he is more concerned about scoring political points than helping North Carolinians. Let’s be clear about what the governor has done. He has opposed a 6.5 percent teacher pay raise, he has opposed an 8 percent state trooper raise, he has opposed a new living wage of $31,200 for state employees, and he has opposed tax cuts that would result in 99 percent of families and small businesses having reduced or no state income tax. The people of North Carolina deserve better and they will get it when we override his veto.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2018 10:09
 
Cooper Vetos State Budget PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 07 June 2018 09:59
Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed the state budget presented him by the North Carolina General Assembly.
 
“The Republican legislature’s budget keeps income tax breaks for corporations and families making over $200,000 a year instead of investing in education,” Governor Cooper said.
 
Among the reasons cited by the governor for his veto: 
 
New protections for clean drinking water were rolled back 
Legislation was added protecting the I-77 toll lanes contract, prohibiting changes without legislative approval
$50 million in federal funding for early childhood education was redirected 
No funding for the state’s Suicide Prevention Hotline 
The Infant Screening Fee, a birth tax on new mothers, was tripled
New funding for school supplies was provided to districts with Republicans at risk of losing their elections instead of to teachers across the state in the form of a school supply stipend
Opportunities for transformative light rail transportation projects that would help with economic development were squashed
A plan to expand Medicaid and close the health care coverage gap at no additional cost to the state was rejected
A measure that was included would allow cities to raise taxes to establish charter schools 
 
“This budget has the wrong priorities and is irresponsible. It values tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of public education not only this year, but for years to come,” Gov. Cooper said.
 
 
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