The LONG session begins
Legislators were sworn in en masse Jan 11, then returned Jan 25 for the official start of legislative business. The odd-year legislative session (aka the long session) typically starts in late Jan and ends in July. Legislative sessions have been anything but typical for several years and it’s anyone’s guess when we’ll approve the biennial budget—our most important business—and adjourn. Expect a monthly newsletter from me until we go home!
Early bills I support
HB 2, Provide Certain Property Tax Relief, adds a property tax exclusion for the surviving spouse of an emergency personnel officer killed in the line of duty who is also a North Carolina resident and who has not remarried. Referred to State & Local Government.
HB13 Class Size Requirement Changes, fixes class size restrictions included in last year’s budget but not accompanied by funding flexibility. Although an unintended consequence, this lack of flexibility threatens arts and physical education budgets in schools across the state. Class size restrictions in early grades are crucial to students’ success, but must include adequate funding for teachers and give counties sufficient time to build the necessary classrooms. When the bill was filed, I contacted WCPSS Superintendent Jim Merrill and several WCPSS Board members for their input. They shared the devastating financial impacts to WCPSS that would occur if the bill did not pass. HB 13 is also supported by NCAE and the NC Association of School Boards. I co-sponsored HB 13, spoke on the House floor in support of the bill, and urged members to vote for it. It passed the House unanimously Feb 16 and is now in the Senate.
HB 55 Cary/Apex/Police Assistance on School Grounds, allows the Apex school resource officer (SRO) to continue to serve Apex High School students and staff during their relocation to Cary while Apex High is demolished and rebuilt. I am a primary sponsor along with Reps Linda Hunt Williams, Nelson Dollar and Duane Hall (each of us represents Cary and/or Apex). Referred to State & Local Government.
Health; General Government Appropriations; IT Appropriations; Full Appropriations; Homeland Security, Veterans and Military Affairs; Wildlife Resources
A small move
I’m one office down from my previous location. The new office number is 1213, in the main Legislative Building that faces Jones Street, and my phone number is the same. Please come by and say hello when you visit the General Assembly.
Please stay in touch
Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-733-5602. I’m fortunate to have Suzanne Smith continuing as my Legislative Assistant. Suzanne is the smiling face in our office and the friendly voice on the phone. If we miss your call please leave a message.