Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren and Wilson Counties
District – 4
Senator Angela R. Bryant
Volume 15, Issue XII
October 11, 2016
NEWS FROM RALEIGH…
I always welcome your comments, project updates, suggestions, and visits. My office door and electronic door are always open to you! You are also invited to attend any and all Sessions and Committees. Visit the website for Session and Committee meeting times. As always, thank you for your support!
· SIDE NOTES: Senator Bryant’s 2015-2016 Standing Committees and Interim Oversight and Study Committees; Caucus and Commission Leadership Roles
Senator Bryant’s 2015-2016
Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee
Appropriations/Base Budget Committee
Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources Committee
Education/Higher Education Committee
Judiciary I Committee
Pensions & Retirement and Aging Committee
Workforce and Economic Development Committee
Senator Bryant’s Interim Oversight
& Study Committees:
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety
Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee
Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee
Joint Legislative Committee on Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources
Leg. Research Commission Study Committee on Homeless Youth, Foster Care and Dependency
Joint Subcommittee of the Justice and Public Safety Oversight Committee and Health and Human Services on Mental Health Oversight Committee
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice (Advisor)
Senator Bryant Caucus and Commission Leadership Roles:
Life Science Caucus
Deputy Leader, Senate Democratic Caucus
First Vice Chair, NC Legislative Black Caucus
NC Chair, Roanoke River Bi-State Commission
Melissa Elliott, City Council Member for Henderson (center), Appeared on the
Steve Harvey Show with Kim Whitley
Melissa Elliott appeared on the “Steve Harvey” show Wednesday night to talk about Gang Free Inc., the nonprofit organization she started in 2006. Gang Free is a place for Henderson’s at-risk youth to come and participate in programs and services that help steer them away from crime or drugs. “He told me, ‘We found your organization on Google,’ — I know it was God — ‘and we want to bring you to Chicago.’ He interviewed me for like 20 minutes and told me they were just elated about the things you’re doing over there in Henderson.” Elliott, also a Henderson city councilwoman, was to be honored by the show as a Game Changing Women in her community for what she has done with Gang Free Inc. http://www.hendersondispatch.com/news/gang-free-receives-from-steve-harvey-show/article_383d3661-c97c-55bd-8849-08c84ea397b4.html
Hispanic Heritage Month- Sept. 15th – Oct. 15th
Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation Greenville, NC- The 15th of September through the 15th of October is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. It is celebrated each year throughout our nation in recognition of the achievements, influence and contributions that the Hispanic and Latino have made to the country. During this period, the Hispanic and Latino culture is promoted, and the customs and traditions are celebrated through festivals, arts, parades and other events. Hispanics and Latinos comprise 8.4% of the N.C.’s population, an increase of 111.1% since the year 2000, making it the sixth largest increase in Hispanics in the US. Moreover, “the City of Greenville represents an economic and cultural hub for Eastern North Carolina, a region that is heavily influenced by the Hispanic population,” proclaims Mayor Thomas. To learn about events and volunteer opportunities within the Eastern NC Hispanic community, or get involved with AMEXCAN call (252) 757-3916 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
EVENTS AROUND THE DISTRICT AND MORE:
Kate B. Reynolds President Reception
Senator Bryant pictured Evangeline Grant,George Tillery,
and OIC President/CEO – Reuben Blackwell
o Homegrown Leaders: Wed. Oct. 12th at Southwestern Community College, Sylva, Wed. Nov. 16th at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, and Wed. Dec. 14th at Entegra Bank, Franklin the North Carolina Rural Center will host the Rural Economic Development Institute which takes a deeper approach into rural economic development and leadership development. For more information contact Sarah Thompson at email@example.com or Misty Herget at firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply, visit www.southwesterncc.edu/sbc.
o Henderson Chamber Networking Lunch Plan, Henderson Country Club, 300 Country Club Drive, Henderson, Thursday, October 13th from noon – 1pm, Cost for lunch will be $20 per person for members and $25 per person for non-members. If you have interest in the October event or would like to RSVP, please contact the Chamber at 252-438-8414 or by email at Annette@hendersonvance.org.
o Sylvan Heights Bird Park’s 10th Anniversary: Saturday, October 15th, Sylvan Heights Bird Park will celebrate a decade of ducks at 6 pm! There will be cocktails, food, entertainment, and an auction. Contact Brent Lubbock at 252-826-3186 ext. 227 or visit www.shwpark.com for full event details and ticket information.
o East Coast 15th Annual Hall of Fame 2016 Reunion: October 14th, 15th and 16th. Historic Downtown, Garnett Street, Henderson, NC 10:00am -3:00pm. Meet Drag Time Hall of Fame legends. Induction Ceremony from 12:30-3:00pm.Call 252438-2222 www. eastcoastdragtimeshalloffame.com or email@example.com
o Show, Shine, Shag & Dine: October 14th, 15th and 16th. Historic Downtown Henderson-Garnett St. For more information visit www.kerrlake-nc.com
o Adult Mental Health First Aid 8-hour (2-day) Course: Oct 19th and 20th, 8:30am-1:15pm. Greene County Tech Center, 402 SE 2nd Street, Snow Hill, NC 28580. To register, please email your name, phone number, email address, occupation/employer, and brief description of your reason for enrolling in the course, to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, call 252-407-2165 or email email@example.com
o Art Show Reception: Wednesday, October 19th, 5pm-7pm at Sylvan Heights Bird Park. FREE opening reception to kick off this year’s nature and wildlife art show! The artwork will be on display in the Visitor Center from October 17th-December 12th. Contact Brent Lubbok at 252-826-3186 ext. 227 or visit www.shwpark.com for full event details and ticket information.
o Founder’s Day Celebration: Thurs., October 20th, 10 am at the Dunn Center, North Carolina Wesleyan College will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the college’s founding. You are encouraged to attend and be a part of this historic occasion. Contact Mark Hinson at 252-985-5145.
o NC State College of Ag and Life Sciences -Microbiome: Unseen Opportunities for Agriculture and Health: Thurs. Oct. 20th at the McKimmon Center, Raleigh. Keynote Speaker: Jack Gilbert, director of Microbiome. Learn more at: cals.ncsu.edu/stewardsofthefuture. Register at: go.ncsu.edu/2016_stewards_of_the_future
o Celebration for Andrea Harris: Friday, October 21st, 6pm-10pm, Durham Convention Center, 301 W. Morgan St, Durham, NC. This is a celebration honoring Andrea Harris’ legacy of service, dedication and commitment to local, regional and national initiatives focused on increasing Minority Economic Development. To view the electronic invitation and to buy tickets, please visit http://andrea-harris-gala.eventbrite.com Please RSVP via Eventbrite by October 14th. For questions, contact Event Director, Linda Gunn at firstname.lastname@example.org
o Spooktacular Species: Saturday, Oct. 22nd at 11am-A fun Fall Saturday program at Sylvan Heights Bird Park! Education activity stations, reptiles, crafts, games, stories, and more. Contact Brent Lubbok at 252-826-3186 ext. 227 or visit www.shwpark.com for full event details and ticket information.
o Viva Sano! Fitness and Nutrition: The Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN) and the Pirates Promoting Community Wellness have partnered up to bring you “¡Viva Sano! Fitness and Nutrition”, a monthly class dedicated to developing healthy habits in a supportive community. The classes will be held on Saturdays from 9:30am to 12:00pm at the Boys and Girls Club located at 475 W. Belvoir Rd Greenville, NC 27834 starting September. The proceeding class dates are as follows: October 22nd , November 19th, December 3rd, January 28th, February 25th, March 25th and April 22nd For more information, follow PPCW on Instagram @ecuppcw, or search Pirates Promoting Community Wellness on Facebook. To contact AMEXCAN call (252) 757-3916 or email at email@example.com.
o The Small Business Center at Vance Granville Community College will
offer three seminars in downtown Henderson. The free seminars are open to anyone in the VGCC service area. To reserve your spot, contact the SBC at 252-738-3240. Wednesday, October 26th, 8am-10am, Holiday Display Windows, Location: Mainstreet Marketplace, 414 S. Garnett St.; Wednesday, November 9th, 8am-10am, How to Develop a Business Plan, Location: HV Chamber of Commerce, 414 S. Garnett St.
o Police Accountability Community Safety and Healing Initiative Meeting: Thurs. Oct. 27th, PACSHI will have its quarterly meeting on Thursday, October 27th at the Beloved Community Center, 417 Arlington Street beginning at 6:30 PM. For more information on PASCHI, please visit www.belovedcommunitycenter.com.
o Trick-or-Tweet: Monday, October 31st from 5pm-6pm-Costumed characters will be handing out candy at Sylvan Heights Bird Park during a family-friendly Halloween event. Contact Brent Lubbok at 252-826-3186 ext. 227 or visit www.shwpark.com for full even details and ticket information.
o Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: Mon. Feb. 13th, The Support Center will host Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business classes at Babson College, where you will be able to gain practical skills to help you take your business to the next level. To learn more or apply, please visit their website at www.10skbapply.com or call 617-238-3028 for more information. The deadline to apply is Wed. Oct. 5th.
o Reverse Raffle Event Set – Henderson Police Department and Chamber Partner to Benefit Local Children & Business, Saturday, November 5th at the Henderson Country Club, 300 Country Club Drive, Henderson. If you or your business would like to purchase tickets, donate items or get more information, contact the HPD, Chamber board members or the Chamber office at 252-438-8414.
o Fly for Five 5k & Fun Run: Saturday, Nov. 12th at 8am-The 1st Annual Sylvan Heights Bird Park Fly for D Run will wind through the park and surrounding area to provide a one of a kind race experience. After the 5k race there will be a non-competitive family fun run/walk. Contact Brent Lubbok at 252-826-3186 ext. 227 or visit www.shwpark.com for full even details and ticket information.
GRANT OPPORTUNITIES, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS:
Halifax Regional Receives Golden LEAF Grant
The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors voted to provide $200,000, the maximum amount feasible, to the Halifax Regional Medical Center for expenses related to expanding access for a medical home at the hospital.
Combined with other philanthropic support, this grant will help fund a community health center co-located with the hospital to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits. We expect that 21 positions will be hired and that an additional 2500 patients will be served.
GRANTS FOR New and Existing Businesses
The Henderson-Vance Downton Development Commission has an Incentive Package available to new business locating in downtown Henderson. Grant applications are available at the HVDDC’s website, hendersonncdownton.com. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-820-9785.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2016
FACT SHEET: Helping Working Americans Get Ahead by Expanding Paid Sick Leave and Fighting for Equal Pay
“A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too.”
— President Barack Obama, 2014 State of the Union Address
Today the White House is highlighting two new actions to further support working Americans. First, the Department of Labor is finalizing a rule to require employees of businesses doing work on federal contracts to earn up to seven paid sick days a year. Second, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is publishing its final and approved collection of summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity from businesses with 100 or more employees to improve enforcement of our nation’s equal pay laws.
Since taking office, President Obama has promoted policies to grow and strengthen the middle class by supporting working families. Despite tremendous changes that have transformed America and its families over the past 50 years, our workplaces have not kept pace. In most families today, both parents work and share in the responsibilities of caring for children or other family members. Recently released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that these efforts have resulted in strong progress for America’s working families. Today, a record share of private sector workers now have access to paid sick leave, increasing from 61 to 64 percent over the past year. Furthermore, this increase was driven almost entirely by increased access in low-wage jobs: in just one year, the share of workers in the lowest-paid quarter of occupations that had access to paid sick leave jumped from 31 to 39 percent. Since the President took office, the number of private sector workers with paid sick leave has grown by 10.6 million.
Despite this progress, millions of Americans still do not have access to even a single day of paid sick leave, so when workers get sick they may have to choose between caring for themselves or paying their bills. Too many parents must make the painful choice between staying home to take care of a sick child—and losing out on a day’s pay—or sending their child to school sick. For that reason, President Obama has repeatedly called on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act—which would guarantee most Americans the chance to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year—and urging states, cities, and businesses to act where Congress has not.
Similarly, despite a woman’s pay being just as critical for a family to make ends meet, women make less than their male peers. The President has fought to close that gap, and the first legislation he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an important step in ensuring that Americans can effectively challenge unequal pay in the courts. Since then, he has taken numerous other steps to advance equal pay, including issuing a 2014 Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who discuss their pay, and announcing a White House Equal Pay Pledge that has now been signed by more than 50 of America’s leading businesses.
Similar to the expansion of paid sick leave, progress has been made on the gender pay gap. In 2008, a typical woman working full-time earned only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a typical man; today, that has risen to 80 cents. That means that for a woman working full-time, the pay gap has shrunk by more than 10 percent, or about $1200, since the President took office.
Yet much work remains. Too many women and workers of color are still not paid equally for equal work, with African-American women earning 63 cents and Latina women earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic man. And 41 million private sector workers do not have access to even a single day of paid sick leave. Today’s actions mark critical progress to support the needs of working Americans and their families.
EXPANDING SICK LEAVE
Last September, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring federal contractors (and subcontractors) to allow their employees working on federal contracts to earn up to seven paid sick days each year. Today, the Department of Labor is finalizing its rule implementing the order. It takes into account extensive public comments from employers, business associations, small businesses, workers, unions, and worker advocates. The final rule, which goes into effect for new solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017, will:
· Give additional paid sick leave to 1.15 million people working on federal contracts, including nearly 600,000 employees who do not currently have even a single day of paid sick leave. Workers will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on (or in connection with) a covered federal contract, up to 56 hours in a year or at any point in time.
· Allow workers to use paid sick leave for their own illnesses, preventive care, or other health care needs; to care for a family member or loved one who is ill, seeking preventive care, or otherwise in need of care; and for absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Employers may not retaliate against employees for using paid sick leave or require them to find replacements in order to take it.
· Improve the health and performance of employees of federal contractors and bring benefits packages offered by federal contractors in line with leading firms, ensuring they remain competitive in the search for dedicated and talented employees.
· Protect public health by reducing the transmission of illnesses in the workplace from sick employees to coworkers or their customers.
· Respond to employers’ concerns by ensuring coordination with existing “paid time off” policies that give workers a flexible bank of leave; existing collective bargaining agreements; and multiemployer plans.
This action reflects leading practices by major employers, states, and localities throughout the country. Since the President’s call to action in 2014, four states and more than 25 cities and counties have taken action to expand paid sick leave in their community, and many businesses small and large have adopted similar policies. For example:
· Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota passed ordinances in May and September, respectively, requiring businesses to offer their workers an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Both ordinances go into effect on July 1, 2017 with phased implementation periods. The Twin Cities have a joint population of nearly 700,000 residents, though the ordinances cover anyone who does work within the respective city limits.
· Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), a nonprofit clean energy consulting company and federal contractor in Vermont, testified in support of Vermont’s new paid sick leave law, passed earlier this year. VEIC’s founder pointed to the monetary, physical, and cultural value of paid sick leave to employers.
· Cava Grill, a fast-casual national restaurant brand headquartered in Washington, DC, announced in July that it began offering paid sick and parental leave to its hourly workers, for whom it also raised its starting wage to $13 an hour. Employees will now receive up to six days a year of paid sick leave, up to four days of paid parental leave, and one day for community service.
· Microsoft, a federal contractor, took a similar step last year by announcing it would require suppliers with at least 50 employees doing business with the company to provide employees who handle its work with 15 days of paid leave annually (including 5 paid sick days). In announcing this change, Microsoft pointed to research showing that paid leave contributes to the health and well-being of workers and their families, strengthens family ties, increases productivity, improves retention, lowers health-care costs, and contributes to the health of colleagues.
ADVANCING EQUAL PAY
Today, the EEOC, in cooperation with the Department of Labor, is publishing its finalized revisions to its EEO-1 form, which for the first time will collect summary pay data, broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity, from all businesses with 100 or more employees. This data collection, which stems from a recommendation by the President’s Equal Pay Task Force and a Presidential Memorandum issued in 2014, is expected to cover roughly 63 million employees and 60,000 employers.
Today’s action will promote improved voluntary compliance by employers with existing equal pay laws. It will also help EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) better focus investigations on employers who are illegally shortchanging workers’ pay based on their gender, race, or ethnicity.
The data will be a tool not only for the federal government, but for employers as well. It will help employers evaluate their own pay practices to prevent pay discrimination in their workplaces. The EEOC will also compile and publish aggregate data that will help employers in assessing their pay practices relative to others in the same industry and geographic area.
Businesses have long used the EEO-1 form to report demographic information on their workforces. With the revised EEO-1, businesses also will report summary data on the range of compensation paid to employees of each demographic group. Businesses will not be required to disclose individual employees’ salaries.
Employers will first be required to submit pay data for 2017 by March 31, 2018, giving them 18 months to prepare for the change. This revision does not impact the 2016 EEO-1 report, which is due on September 30, 2016 and is unchanged. EEOC will be offering webinars and technical assistance to employers, payroll and human resource information system providers, and other stakeholders in preparation for the new submission requirements.
Today’s publication of the revised form comes after the EEOC approved this action by a vote of the Commission, and follows final approval by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The EEOC is an independent government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetic information.
BUILDING ON A RECORD OF SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES
Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have taken a number of actions to support working families and combat the pay gap, including:
· Publishing a final regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. The program provides subsidies to working families and last year provided services for roughly 1.4 million children aged 0-13, most of whom are younger than 5. The rule, which has not been comprehensively revised since 1998, will provide a roadmap to states on how to implement the new law and clarify ambiguities around provisions that deal with eligibility for services; health and safety requirements; and how best to support the needs of parents and providers as they transition to the new law. It also clarifies that worker organizations can provide professional development to child care workers and contribute to discussions around the rates states set for subsidies.
· Signing his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pair Act, in January 2009 making it easier for employees to challenge unfair pay practices.
· Creating the National Equal Pay Task Force in January 2010 to implement his pledge to crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which included representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Personnel Management. The Task Force has issued reports on its progress, including Fighting for Equal Pay in the Workforce, Keeping America’s Women Moving Forward, and Fifty Years After the Equal Pay Act. In addition, since the creation of the Equal Pay Task Force in 2010, the EEOC has received over 18,000 charges of sex-based pay discrimination, and through its independent enforcement efforts, the EEOC has obtained over $140 million in monetary relief for victims of pay discrimination on the basis of sex.
· Calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes in the defenses for equal pay violations, providing stronger remedies, and expanding protections against discrimination for employees who share or inquire about information about their compensation at work.
· Signing a Presidential Memorandum in May 2013 directing the Office of Personnel Management to develop a government-wide strategy to address the gender pay gap in the federal workforce, leading to a report in April 2014 and new guidance in July 2015—which cautioned against reliance on a candidate’s existing salary to set pay, as it can potentially adversely affect women who may have taken time off from their careers or propagate gaps due to discriminatory pay practices by previous employers.
· Issuing an Executive Order in April 2014 and publishing a Department of Labor rule in September 2015 prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who discuss or inquire about their compensation.
· Announcing a White House Equal Pay Pledge, with more than 50 leading businesses signing on to take action to advance equal pay. By signing the pledge, these companies are committing to conduct an annual company-wide gender pay analysis, review hiring and promotion processes, embed equal pay efforts in broader equity initiatives, and identify and promote best practices that will close the wage gap.
· Hosting a White House Summit on Working Families in June 2014, highlighting the issues that women and families face, setting the agenda for a 21st century workplace, and announcing of a number of steps to help working families thrive.
· Hosting the United State of Women Summit in June 2016, highlighting the progress that has been made over the course of this Administration and discussing public and private sector solutions to the challenges that still lie ahead.
· Signing a Presidential Memorandum in January 2015 directing federal agencies to advance six weeks of paid sick leave to federal employees with new children, calling on Congress to grant another six weeks of paid leave for federal employees, and calling on Congress to pass legislation that gives all American families access to paid family and medical leave.
· Publishing a final Department of Labor rule in May updating outdated overtime regulations, expanding overtime pay protections to 4.2 million additional Americans, boosting wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years, and allowing workers to better balance their work and family obligations.
· Issuing an Executive Order in February 2014 requiring federal contractors to raise their minimum wage initially to $10.10 an hour, indexing it, and lifting the tipped minimum wage (which disproportionately impacts women)—and urging Congress, states, cities, and businesses to do the same.
· Issuing an Executive Order in July 2014 and publishing a Department of Labor rule in December 2014 prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
· Directing the Office of Personnel Management and federal agencies to enhance workplace flexibility for federal employees to the maximum extent practicable, including enshrining a right to request flexible work arrangements.
· Signing into law the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, which requires agencies to support and establish policies for telework by eligible employees.
· Calling on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers who have limitations from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer). The legislation would also prohibit employers from forcing pregnant employees to take paid or unpaid leave if a reasonable accommodation would allow them to work.
· Finalizing a Department of Labor rule updating its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors for the first time since 1978, to align with current law and address barriers to equal opportunity and pay, such as pay discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, a lack of workplace accommodations for pregnant women, and gender identity and family caregiving discrimination.
· Increasing investments to expand access to high-quality early care and education, including efforts under the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge program, Preschool Development Grants, Head Start and Early Head Start, and a landmark proposal that helps all eligible working families with young children afford high-quality child care.
· Announcing the Department of Labor’s award of $54 million in “Strengthening Working Families” grants to help low- to middle-skilled parents access the affordable, quality child care they need to earn an education, participate in training programs, and compete for better-paying jobs in emergency industries.
· Expanding access for women to higher-paying jobs through a proposed rule updating equal employment opportunity requirements in registered apprenticeships and through a Mega-Construction Projects (MCP) Initiative at the Department of Labor.
Engaging Campuses To Help Americans #Getcovered
SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 AT 9:45 AM ET BY DENIS MCDONOUGH
At our first-ever Affordable Care Act Millennial Outreach and Enrollment Summit, we are excited to launch the White House Healthy Campus Challenge.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 20 million more Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. At the same time, we have seen the slowest growth in the price of health care in 50 years. Access to affordable, quality health care is critically important for young people as they reach adulthood and enter the job market. It gives them peace of mind that allows them to focus on their studies, helps them stay healthy as they join the workforce, and is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Since the ACA was enacted, over 6 million young adults have gained coverage.
As the President’s Chief of Staff, I have spent a lot of time working on health care, and especially on reaching out to young folks. During past open enrollment periods, I dedicated many hours to calling into sports radio shows in the hopes of connecting with young men, who all too often have something of an invincibility complex and don’t get covered. I know something about that because I felt the same way when I played football at St. John’s University.
While we’ve made tremendous strides, we have more work to do, given that the remaining uninsured are disproportionately young. And we know, anecdotally and through research, that the perceived lack of affordability may hinder them from buying health insurance. Millennials may not realize they can probably get a Marketplace plan for $75 a month or less – cheaper than their cell phone bill.
Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is just five weeks away, starting on November 1 and running through January 31. Ahead of that, today at our first-ever Affordable Care Act Millennial Outreach and Enrollment Summit, we are excited to launch the White House Healthy Campus Challenge.
A joint effort between the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education, the Challenge will engage college and university campuses in enrollment efforts nationwide. We will work with administrators, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local community leaders and elected officials to reach the uninsured both on campus and in the surrounding community, sharing best practices with them that have worked during prior open enrollment periods.
This Challenge asks campus organizations to commit to by November 1 and act on by December 15 a set of enrollment best practices, such as hosting open-enrollment activities on campus and sending reminder emails to students and others around deadlines. And if campuses do so, they will be recognized by the President as a Healthy Campus and will be entered into a lottery for a chance to attend Healthy Campus Day at the White House in January in our final push towards the January 31st open enrollment deadline.
While we will work with all types of colleges and universities, we will focus our attention on community colleges, since community college students may not be able to get covered through their college or may not have access to coverage through parents’ plan.
More broadly, the Healthy Campus Challenge is a natural fit with the work President Obama and this Administration has done to expand access to educational opportunities for young adults, including by championing free community college. After all, access to a high-quality education and affordable health care are the foundation of the path to the middle class. So we are hopeful that this Challenge will succeed in empowering campuses across the country to enroll young Americans not just for the semesters ahead, but for years to come.
Today, no millennial has to learn the hard way what can happen without health insurance. Millennials have boundless opportunities before them. They’re more educated and more diverse than any other generation. They’re technologically savvy and highly innovative. And thanks to the ACA, they have better health insurance options than their parents did when they were young – options that are accessible, affordable, and high quality.
Sales and Use Tax Division
This form includes an overview of many changes enacted by the 2016 Session of the General Assembly to the taxes administered by the Sales and Use Tax Division. The annual Tax Law Changes publication produced by the Department will be available on the Department’s website, www.dornc.com, and will contain detailed explanations of the 2016 legislative changes. To receive information by email including forthcoming information on many of the items contained herein, subscribe to the Department of Revenue Tax Updates Email List (“eAlerts”) at http://www.dornc.com/electronic/ taxupdates.html. Legislative changes may supersede any information previously set forth in the Sales and Use Tax Administrative Rules, Technical Bulletins, Notices, Directives, Private Letter Rulings, or other information published by the Department relating to any subject matter of the legislation.
As of October 1, 2016, the total general State, local, and transit rates of sales and use tax applicable to the sales price of tangible personal property, certain digital products, and certain services is 6.75% in sixty-eight (68) counties; 7.00% in Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cherokee, Cumberland, Davidson, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Hertford, Jackson, Lee, Martin, Montgomery, New Hanover, Onslow, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Surry, and Wilkes Counties; 7.25% in Mecklenburg County; and 7.50% in Durham and Orange Counties.
The combined general rate of tax applicable to the sales price of or the gross receipts derived from telecommunications service and ancillary service, video programming, piped natural gas, electricity, spirituous liquor, aviation gasoline and jet fuel continues to be 7.00% in all one hundred (100) counties.
Cedar Grove Elementary’s Constitution Day
Senator Bryant (seated in the center) shares information, with the students and staff, and took their questions about the US Constitution and about how representative democracy works at the federal, state and local levels. She also stressed the importance of getting to meet with your representative and that children also have an important voice in government.
Vance County Schools Luncheon – Sept. 28th
Senator Bryant visits with Superintendent Anthony Jackson,
Vance County Schools and School Board Chair, Gloria White
VGCC students awarded Golden LEAF Scholarships
“Golden LEAF News”
A group of ten students from Vance-Granville Community College recently received scholarships through the Golden LEAF Scholarship program for the North Carolina Community College System. The scholarship program, designed to help North Carolinians attend the state’s community colleges, is funded through a $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The VGCC students who were awarded Golden LEAF scholarships for the summer 2016 term (with their respective programs of study) include: Tanita Canty of Kittrell (Early Childhood Education); Jalisa Carter of Littleton (Medical Billing & Coding); Daylon Duke of Hurdle Mills (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse); Kevin Greear of Franklinton (Mechatronics Engineering Technology); Stacey Grissom of Henderson (Culinary Arts); Tonya Henderson of Henderson (Medical Assisting); Kimberly Kerr of Oxford (Biowork Process Technician); Iesha Solomon of Spring Hope (Business Administration); Angelique Taylor of Macon (Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse); and Tiffany Williams of Henderson (Culinary Arts).
Warren County High Students Create Pantry to Give Back
Warren Chamber of Commerce
Some Warren County High School students are meeting the needs of their peers where they are with a new Philanthropy and Community Service Club. Their first project: a pantry stocked with free school supplies for students.
While many high school students spent their summer at home, seniors Regine Palmer, Jeffrey Hayes, and Malik Williams were at Warren County High transforming an old wooden podium into a pantry. Once they painted the pantry their school colors, donations filled its shelves.
“I am very proud of these students,” said Simonae Williams, WCHS work study instructor. “They are all very involved, conscientious young adults who are working very hard to raise morale and school pride among the student body. They want to see their high school once again become the flagship of the district.”
The club members said they didn’t want their peers to feel any embarrassment or be subjected to unwanted questions in order to get supplies they need to be successful in class. “I just wanted to make a difference, raise student morale, and help in renewing a sense of school spirit among my peers,” Jeffrey said.
Anyone interested in making a donation to the Warren County High School supplies pantry should contact Simonae Williams at 252-257-4413 for more information.
Sept. 27, 2016
NC Students Make Gains on SAT, AP Exams
North Carolina high school students saw performance gains last year on key measures of college readiness – the SAT college admissions exam and on Advanced Placement tests, according to results released today by The College Board, which administers the national exams.
North Carolina’s average SAT scores for 2016 high school graduates from all schools increased by 1 point each on the critical reading (502) and math (508) portions of the exam. State gains on both parts of the test outpaced gains nationally, which showed a 3-point drop on the critical reading section (494) and a 4-point decline on the math portion (508).
State Superintendent June Atkinson said the latest results track with other recent data showing that students in North Carolina’s public schools are making steady progress, even with higher standards and expectations.
“We continue to see improvement on multiple measures of performance and growth, including the SAT and AP exams,” she said.
Among public school students in North Carolina, the state’s total average scores were also up by 1 point on each of the two portions of the exam (to 496 in critical reading; 504 in math). By comparison, the national average score in critical reading was 487 and in math, 494. Average scores on the writing portion of the test declined by 5 points both for North Carolina (468) and the nation as a whole (472).
In all, 56,468 North Carolina students who graduated from all schools in 2016 took the SAT, compared to 56,947 in 2015.
Because a new version of the SAT was administered beginning in March, The College Board excluded from its analysis of 2016 graduates the scores of 1,805 students who took the exam for the first time after January 2016.
Year-to-year comparisons are between graduating students who took the test no later than January and those in the class of 2015 who also took the test no later than January 2015. In other words, only scores on the old SAT are included in the results. The new SAT data cannot be compared to that of previous years because the redesigned SAT is a different assessment from the old SAT. Performance on the new SAT will be reported for the first time in 2017.
Fewer public school students in North Carolina are taking the exam, now that the state requires and pays the cost for all 11th graders to take the ACT college-readiness exam, a measure also widely used for college admissions decisions. According to College Board data, the percentage of students graduating in 2016 who took the SAT was 58.2 percent (all schools), down from 63.2 percent in 2015 and 67.3 percent in 2012, when the state first included the ACT as part of its READY accountability program.
North Carolina’s combined average critical reading and math score was 1,000 for public schools – accounting for 88.4 percent of test takers in the state through January 2016, compared to the combined national average score of 981 for the same period. For all students, including those in private and home schools (11.6 percent of test takers), North Carolina’s combined average score was 1,010, compared to 1,002 for the nation.
The state’s participation and performance continue to increase on Advanced Placement exams, which can help students earn transferrable college credit and save on college costs. In addition, research shows that students who take AP classes are more likely to persist in college and graduate in four years.
Nearly 70,000 students (69,957) took at least one AP exam in 2015-16, up from 67,451 in the previous year, an increase of about 3.7 percent. Of those, 37,839 students achieved a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an exam, an increase of 3.9 percent from the year before. Students who earn a 3 or better on the exams, which are scored on a five-point scale, can qualify for college credit, although policies vary by institution.
The numbers of tests taken by North Carolina students were also up by similar rates, reaching nearly 130,000 (129,538) from about 125,000 in 2014-15. Of tests taken last year, scores of 3, 4, 5 increased by 4.6 percent to 66,646.
State education leaders and lawmakers in recent years have made a priority of broadening access to college-level courses for qualified students. During the last two years, lawmakers provided funding to pay the cost of AP exams for all students and appropriated funding for professional development of teachers through the NC AP Partnership.
Comparative results disaggregated by race and across years are unavailable in this year’s report because The College Board revised its data reporting guidelines to reflect those followed by the U.S. Department of Education. The College Board is now counting and reporting students identified as “two-or-more races,” many of whom were previously counted among individual racial or ethnic groups.
Early College High Schools: Model Policy Components
As projected workforce needs continue to change, states are responding by implementing educational programs designed to help ensure students graduate high school with the skills and credentials necessary for future success. Although many existing programs provide students with the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school, some states have developed early college high schools, a model aimed at traditionally underserved students and specifically designed to allow students to complete both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, technical certification or enough postsecondary credits to enter a four-year institution as a junior.
A new Policy Analysis from Education Commission of the States, Early College High Schools: Model policy components, defines early college high schools, clarifies how they differ from traditional dual enrollment programs, provides an overview of the structure and impact of early college high schools and, most importantly, outlines key model policy components to enhance high school and postsecondary outcomes for traditionally underrepresented students.
“Early college high schools are a potential game-changer in terms of increasing college-going among traditionally underrepresented students, but relatively few states have policies in place to provide appropriate supports for these programs,” said Jennifer Zinth, director of High School and STEM at Education Commission of the States. “The key policy components outlined in this report can help to increase the scalability of these programs across an individual state and allow states to support successful outcomes for their students, while also focusing on their workforce development goals.”
For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Director Amy Skinner at email@example.com or (303) 299.3609.
CDC Announces Re-Designed STRYVE Online: Start your youth violence prevention plan today
CDC invites you to visit STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere): an online space with everything practitioners and their team members need to create, edit, and save a customized youth violence prevention plan.
Spread the Word
Invite others in your network who are working to help prevent youth violence to explore STRYVE with these social media messages.
Lunch & Learn Webinar Series:
Help Your Students
GET SMART ABOUT CREDIT
The American Bankers Association promotes October 20, 2016 as Get Smart About Credit Day. Let us help you bring in a guest speaker to help your students understand Credit and Credit Scores. Our partners have volunteers standing by to deliver credit lessons to your students. While October 20 is the official day, we can offer guest speakers from Oct 3-November 15. Use this link to register to have a speaker come to your classes. If you have more than two class periods that will require a speaker, you will need to register more than once. Learn more and sign up here.
These speaking events were made possible by the following partners in financial literacy:
IN THE NEWS:
District 4 News
· A free workshop for caregivers and professionals working with people who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias will be held Friday, Oct. 7, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Granville County Senior Services, 107 Lanier St., Oxford.
· Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in Hollister, a public charter school, has been awarded a $3,000 grant by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support youth literacy.
· The Warren County Democratic Party is forming a Young Democrats branch here and is seeking 18- to 35-year-old young adult leaders to participate. There will be an organizational pizza party at the local Democratic Party headquarters on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. Pizza and beverages will be served, and door prizes given.
· With the arrival of fall, it will soon be time for the annual Harvest Market Festival, presented by the Warrenton Revitalization Committee. This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, on Courthouse Square on historic downtown Warrenton’s Main Street.
The 95th Squadron Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Club will hold its Annual Fall Fun Fly-In at its field in Gaston on Saturday, Oct. 8. Flying will start at about 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day. For more information, contact Contest Director Doug Hughes at 252-308-6840 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the 95th Squadron, visit its website at 95thsquadronrc.com. http://www.warrenrecord.com/arts_entertainment/article_e7e929d6-803e-11e6-8c85-5b2959b8bade.html
· Ronald Grant said he will know when it’s time to retire. But for now, the 81-year-old is content working three days a week getting his hands dirty at White’s Tractor and Truck Companies. Grant was 17 years old in May of 1953 when he showed up at what was then called Dr. L.J. Herring Implement Company — located on Barnes Street in downtown Wilson.
· The Government Finance Officers Association has awarded a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting to the Wilson County government. County commissioners officially recognized county financial services staff at the Sept. 12 commissioners’ meeting. The award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management, according to the association.
Henderson Daily Dispatch
· Vance County Schools Superintendent Tony Jackson opened up a dialogue with district stakeholders at the first of three events laying out where the school system is and where it needs to go. During the State of Our Schools address, Jackson emphasized that everyone — teachers, administrators, students, business owners, civic leaders and more — needed to work together. “I’m not going to do anything,” he said. “We’re going to do it together, or it’s not going to get done.” The event was co-hosted by the Henderson Rotary Club. Before Jackson addressed the crowd with a presentation, several people spoke, including Vance County Board of Education Chairwoman Gloria White.
· Melissa Elliott appeared on the “Steve Harvey” show Wednesday night to talk about Gang Free Inc., the nonprofit organization she started in 2006. Gang Free is a place for Henderson’s at-risk youth to come and participate in programs and services that help steer them away from crime or drugs. Melissa’s nonprofit organization was awarded $10,000.
Rocky Mount Telegram
· The Down East Partnership for Children recently received a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support its Play to Learn Project, a program designed to use fun activities like puppet shows to help children learn.
· The Harrison Family YMCA will sponsor a fall family event open to the community from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22. All parents and their children are encouraged to come out and participate in the fun-filled carnival and Halloween-style event this night. This event is open to all families and will not have any event fee or registration required.
YOUR KIND WORDS ARE APPRECIATED:
I am reaching out to you as a member of the North Carolina Second Chance Alliance and to voice my support for second chances. Thank you for supporting Senate Bill 570 Expand Certificate of Relief and Expunction, which would restore opportunities for thousands of North Carolinians with criminal records to be productive and law-abiding citizens—thereby reducing recidivism, preserving state resources, strengthening families, and making communities safe and more prosperous. Please continue to support legal reforms that eliminate unnecessary barriers to reentry and increase access to reentry-focused resources. I hope our efforts at will result in legislative reform during the 2017 Session. Thank you for your time.
Dear Senator Bryant:
I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your staff for taking the time to talk to me regarding the Rocky Mount Senior Center’s visit to the White House. I know you are very busy and I am truly grateful for your assistance. It was a tense waiting period, but I want you to know, I never stopped believing.
The White House visit was an exceptional experience that will last a lifetime, everyone thoroughly enjoyed. On our visit to the Capital, we had the opportunity to see Vice-President Biden as he walked through. Two of our seniors had the privilege of shaking his hand.
Thank you for your services to Nash County, and your publication of the newsletter, which keeps us knowledgeable of issues that affect our daily lives.
Again, thank you and if the Rocky Mount Senior Center can be of assistance to you in any way please let us know.
Sylvia S. Sharpe
Rocky Mount Senior Center
Dear Senator Bryant:
The Warren County Arts Council would like to humbly thank you and your office for your continued support for arts programs in Warren County, its neighboring counties and environs. The Council continuously endeavors to bring awareness of the arts to the citizens of Warren County; without the support of legislators like you and your colleagues, this endeavor would fail before ever given the chance to make a difference, which has been both appreciable and beneficial to entities such as the Lakeland Cultural Arts Center, Working Landscapes and the Haliwa-Saponi Native American tribal organization, all of whom are recipients of the NC State Legislature’s largesse by way of the North Carolina and Warren County Arts Schools.
Without the public funding, arts programs for the people of North Carolina would suffer severely. We at the Warren County Arts Council pattern ourselves after the North Carolina Arts Council, which strives to build community by providing funds to aid citizens of North Carolina in their arts program participation. Funds allocated to community arts programs are a much-appreciated investment essential for building and maintaining healthy North Carolina communities. We heartily thank you for your continued interest and support.
Best Regards, Anita L. Williams,
Board Member Warren County Arts Council
Dear Senator Bryant:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Roanoke Valley Adult Day Center and all of those who benefit directly and indirectly from our services, I thank you for your most generous contribution and support of our recent fundraiser.
Since 1984, Roanoke Valley Adult Day Center has provided a safe and secure environment for mentally and/or physically impaired adults, frail elders, and veterans who should not be left along at home during the day. In addition, our program enables full-time caregivers the opportunity to maintain employment outside of the home. Through the services provided by our dedicated staff, family members and caregivers are assured that their loved one receive the highest level of care.
Again, thank you for your generosity. Our participants and their caregivers are positively affected by your kindness.
Dear Senator Angela Bryant,
Thank you so much for the letter of comfort sent during the passing of my son, Edward Dwight Fields. It meant so much to me. I appreciate not only your condolences but also extending your continued assistance as needed.
Many thank and God Bless,
Mrs. Mattie Fields
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