Newsletter from the Office of Senator Angela R. Bryant


 

 

 

Volume 8, Issue I

February 26, 2014

 

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NEWS FROM RALEIGH…

I always welcome your comments, project updates, suggestions, and visits. My office door and electronic door are always open to you!  As always, thank you for your support!

 

 

NEWSLETTER INDEX

 

Ø Around the District and More

Ø Scholarships/Grants

Ø Legislative News & Legislative Report

Ø Because You Care – Thank you

—————————————————————————-

 

Senator Bryant shown with her Uncle, John Lucas Sr. of Durham (center),Governor Pat McCrory and

other family members at the Executive Mansion. Mr Lucas was honored as one of the

Recipients of the NC Award, the state’s highest honor The event was held on Nov. 21, 2013.

 

 

 

AROUND THE DISTRICT AND MORE

Ø  Eastpointe – February is Violence Awareness Month. “The Church Response to Domestic Violence. Thurs. Feb. 27, 2014 at Noon at Word Tabernacle Church, 820 Nashville, Rd. Rocky Mount. To register call Brooke Futrell at 252-407-2402 or send an email to bfutrell@eastpointe.net.

Ø  Brotherside Entertainment Presents – Breaking down Walls that Stand Between You and Your Dreams – Thurs. Feb. 27, from 12:30 – 1:30pm., Wilson Community College, DelMastro Auditorium. For more information contact, Wilson Community College Student Government Association Executive Council at 252-246-1231.

Ø  12 Annual Black History Month Celebration – Thurs. Feb. 27 at 6pm, Warren County Middle School Gymnasium, 118 Campus Dr Warrenton. For more information contact Debbie K. Scott at 252-257-0428

Ø  International Festival of Cultures– Sat. March 1, 12-4pm, Nash Community College Brown Auditorium. Admission is free. For more information, call 252-972-1181.

Ø  East Coast Talking Daytime Cable Talk Show presents Health Matters To You and Me – The show focuses on which focus on monthly health awareness concerns.  March 5, 2014 AT 10:00AM – 1:00PM AT Booker T. Theatre, 170 E. Thomas Street, Rocky Mount. For more information contact 252-210-2369.

Ø  Warren County Free Cinic Entertainment Fundraiser – Sat. March 8, from 6-8pm  at the Warren County High School, 149 Campus Drive, Warrenton, NC. Proceeds will benefit the Warren County Free Clinic.

Ø  NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund – Get Help to Save Your Home – The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps NC homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage.  For more information contact Wilson Community Improvement Association 252-206-1204 or visit www.wciainc.org.

Ø  11th Annual Shaw University Alumni Heritage Day Banquet – Fri. April 4th at Church of God of Deliverance, 140 East Goldleaf Street, Rocky Mount at 7pm.  For ticket information contact CAPE Center at 252-442-8008.

Ø  NC Public Charter Schools Association has opened its Call for Presentations for its 2014 North Carolina Charter Schools Conference.  The 2014 Conference will be at the Hilton Riverside in Wilmington, NC from July 30-August 1.  All presentation submissions must be received by February 28 in order to be considered.  If you have any questions, please contact Anthony Rodriguez at Anthony@ncpubliccharters.org.

 

 

     

Sen. Bryant pictured on the left at Foster Memorial Church. She was the keynote Speaker for the Black History program.   Pictured on the right Sen. Bryant and Rep. Nathan Baskerville with Seth Saeugling, teacher, and students from Warren County High School at the Rocky Mount Town Hall Meeting, November 14,  2013

 

 

and MORE…

 

HkonJ – Moral March News Report by DCMediaGroup; Bryant quoted in article and link to full interview.

The link to the published article:. http://www.dcmediagroup.us/2014/02/10/moral-march/;

Bryant Interview:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm8WOjn10-w  (make sure link is active?)

Awareness Regarding Phone and Email Scams Targeting Duke Energy Utility Customers

Duke Energy has recently received complaints from customers regarding illegal phone and email scams.  These scams have taken the form of contacting customers and reporting that the account is delinquent.  Duke Energy has taken a number of steps to generate awareness of the phone payment scam.  Duke Energy Customers please remember:

·       Duke Energy never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service disconnection.  Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail, or in person.

·       Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts also receive advance notice prior to electric service disconnection—never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.

·       The company urges customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these thieves to hang up and call local police, then Duke Energy using the customer service number located on a billing statement, to report the call and check the account balance.

The Washington Center Summer 2014 Internship Opportunity

The Washington Center is excited to announce summer 2014 internship opportunities available through the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative (previously the Competitive Government Program). If interested, students should apply by March 3, 2014 for paid positions with one of several federal agencies.   Selected students will intern for 10 weeks at offices within the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Archives and Records Administration or a similar agency. Positions may be available in Washington, D.C. and several regional locations.

Many available positions call for candidates from the fields of aviation, business, human resources, computer science, healthcare, statistics, communication, library science, environmental science, public administration and engineering – so applications from students pursuing these majors are encouraged. Additionally, TWC encourages students from many diverse backgrounds to apply – including women, minorities and students with disabilities.   Accepted interns will receive significant financial assistance, including a stipend, fully-furnished housing, and a travel allowance. Students will not be responsible for housing, program, or application fees.   For more information on the Federal Diversity Internship Initiative please visit: http://click.twc-email.org/?qs=0022537d6a55b33a57705d65f1af127d467ddfff6b58891c25addb69975a9656. Applications can be submitted at: http://click.twc-email.org/?qs=0022537d6a55b33a4119a341641a877f116f9f929d9150fd9b83cccfd39a0706

 

Citizens can Help NC DOT by Reporting Potholes

If you see a pothole on a state-maintained road, report it to NCDOT at 1-877-368-4968, or online at www.ncdot.gov/contact. Click on “County Contacts” on the left of your screen and then choose the county.

The email form will be sent to the local NCDOT office. To help their crews locate the pothole, be sure to provide as much information as possible about its location, including the city or county, road name, nearest intersection, which lane the pothole is in, and the size and depth of the pothole. You should contact your local municipality to report a pothole on a road that is not maintained by NCDOT.  If you have any questions, please contact us at 252.436.2040. Kerr-Tar Regional Transportation Planning Organization. www.ktrpo.com

 

From Job Service Bulletin -N.C. Department of Commerce – Roanoke Rapids, N.C.

In today’s highly competitive job market, applicants for jobs need to present as good of an image as possible to employers during job interviews.  Following are some tips on how to improve one’s image with employers:

·         Answer all the employer’s questions accurately, honestly, and promptly

·         Be able to give a continuous record of all jobs, dates of employment, wages received, job description, and reason for leaving

·         Be able to give the names of at least three reliable references

·         Be polite and courteous

·         Do not criticize others, including past employers or associates

 

Current job openings on file at the Halifax/Northampton DWS include the following areas:

Administrative Support Assistant, Assistant Retail Manager, Calibration Technician, Cashier, CNAs, Day Care Teacher, Food Service Manager, Herd Technician, HVAC Technician, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Retail Banker, Janitor, LPN, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance Electrician, Maintenance Worker Class C, Retail Manager, Manager of Warehouse Operations, Manufacturing Supervisor, Market Associate, Occupational Therapists, Operator Trainee, Town Administrator, Physical Therapist, Plant Controller, Plant Engineer, Property Manager, Rehabilitation Technician, Retail Wireless Consultant, Route Sales Representative, Telecommunicator, Termite Technician, Tractor Trailer Truck Drivers, and Waiter/Waitress.

For more information about these jobs and others, visit or call the Halifax-Northampton DWS Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Employers may call 537-4188 or fax 535-7943 to list job openings, or they may visit www.ncworks.gov to list job openings and find applicants. Applicants may inquire about jobs at www.ncworks.gov.   Contact Tommy McKnight, DWS Manager, at 537-4188 for more information.

 

 

Senator Bryant at the CADA Board Installation Ceremony on January 14, 2014. Sen. Bryant presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to retiring board Chairman Tyrone Williams who is retiring from both 30 years of state service and 20 years of Service on the CADA Board.

From left to right: Sen. Angela Bryant, Venus Spruill (Previous Long Leaf Pine 

Recipient & CADA Board 1st Vice-President from Northampton County), Tyrone

Williams (Halifax County and outgoing CADA board President), J.Wendell Hall

(Previous Long Leaf Pine Recipient & Newly elected CADA Board President

from Hertford County), and Vernon J. Bryant (Previous Long Leaf Pine Recipient

and Halifax County Commissioner)

 

 

 

SCHOLARSHIP/GRANTS AWARDS AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

Integrity Unlimited CDC Received the Let’s Play Community Construction Grant

Integrity Unlimited CDC IN Wilson County, was awarded a $15,000.00 Let’s Play Community Construction Grant from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and the non-profit KaBoom! early this month.  The building will start by the end of summer 2014 once matching funds are obtained.

 

Golden LEAF Grant to Vance-Granville Community College

The Golden LEAF Foundation Board voted unanimously to provide $460,000 to Vance-Granville Community College for equipment related to manufacturing training in electrical motor controls, fluid power, PLC troubleshooting, electrical power systems, mechanical drive systems and industrial controls.   These counties already have large career and technical education programs in their high schools, with more enrollees than Wake and Mecklenburg combined.   The grant will provide $100,000 each in equipment to Franklin, Vance and Warren schools, $95,000 to Granville schools and $65,000 to the College.   The Duke grant provided far greater resources to the college itself.   This project represents a strong effort to build a pipeline for young people to be ready for job opportunities that are and that we hope to grow in the region.

 

$2500 Responsible Nutrient Management Scholarship Targets Students of Agriculture

Deadline for application is May 31, 2014

The Responsible Nutrient Management Foundation is pleased to offer scholarships in the amount of $2500; available to students attending an agriculture-related program at a post-secondary educational institution in the United States during the 2014-2015 school year.  This scholarship opportunity is the result of a cooperative commitment between Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, Ag PhD, No-Till Farmer Magazine, Capello USA, PNC Bank, and RFD-TV; and intended to further the education of students who demonstrate the ability to clearly articulate the importance of responsible nutrient management not only for the future of the agricultural industry, but also for our culture as a whole.  Interested students may access the scholarship application at:rnmf.org/scholarship.

 

National Endowment for the Arts Fiscal Year 2015 Grants for Arts Projects

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has just posted the guidelines and application materials for their Fiscal Year 2015 Grants for Arts Projects.  These grants are for projects anticipated to take place in 2015. Grants for Arts Projects consist of two programs, Art Works and Challenge America Fast-Track, and constitutes 75 percent of the NEA’s annual direct grantmaking.  More details can be found at http://arts.gov/

Nash & Edgecombe 2014-2015 JCPC

Request for Proposals NCDPS JCPC Continuation Funding FY 2014- 2015

Deadline Friday, February 28

 

Nash & Edgecombe 2014-2015 JCPC Request for Proposals are currently being accepted.  Please note the deadline for submitting proposals will be February 28, 2014 by 5:00 PM.  The Juvenile Crime Prevention Council having studied the needs of juveniles in the county hereby publishes this Request for Proposals.  The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) anticipated funds will be available for programs serving delinquent and at-risk youth for the state fiscal year:        beginning on or after July 1,      .  Local match rate for JCPC funds required:  10% for Edgecombe and 20% for Nash. For information contact, Lesa Walton at 252- 641-7827.

 

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

 

 

Sen. Bryant at White House Business Council briefing and discussion in Washington DC on Dec. 19th , to discuss the President’s economic priorities.  Sen. Bryant had the opportunity to share her advice and expertise with senior Administration officials and meet with fellow business leaders from around the country.

 

How The Tax Reform Bill, HB 998, S.L. 2013-316 Would Impact Retirement And Individuals On Social Security

 

There are three deductions in the current income tax law that relate to retirement income:

 

·       A deduction for social security income. That deduction remains the same  — social security income is fully deductible for State income tax purposes.

·       A deduction for governmental retirement benefits to the extent the amount is exempt from tax under a court order, namely the Bailey court case. It pertains to governmental retirees who vested in the federal, State, or local retirement system prior to August 1989. That deduction remains the same – Bailey pension income is fully deductible for State income tax purposes.

·       Lastly, there is a $4,000 deduction for governmental pension income received by governmental retirees who vested after August 1989 and a $2,000 deduction for private pension income. Both of these deductions have been eliminated, effective for the 2014 taxable year.

 

How these changes will impact a taxpayer will depend on the particular situation of each taxpayer. The tax rates under the tax reform bill have been reduced from a range of 6% to 7.75% to a flat 5.8% in 2014 and a flat 5.75% in 2015 and thereafter. In some instances, the lower rate, coupled with the other changes in the bill, may reduce a person’s tax liability. In some cases it may not – it all depends on the individual circumstances of the taxpayer.

Progressive Voices:
NC Tax Reform Package Burdens Students

By Dr. Hollis Phelps

To offset income tax decreases, the major tax reform package that the GOP-led legislature passed this past summer includes numerous sales tax changes that are set to go into effect on January 1, 2014. As numerous media outlets have pointed out, the new law puts into place a 6.75% tax on various admissions charges, including college and professional sporting events, movies, plays, concerts, and museums. The law also adds sales taxes to newspaper sales, electric utilities, and various service contracts, while eliminating tax rebates for energy efficient appliances and the annual tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping

One change in the law that has been less reported is the elimination of exemptions for meals sold at colleges and universities, meaning that board or meal plans are now subject to state and local sales taxes. Since meal plans are normally part of the total cost of attendance for resident students, the tax amounts to an increase for many in the overall cost of getting a degree. At my own institution, that could translate into a $150 – $200 increase for the next academic year.

In the grand scheme of higher education, a few hundred dollars may not sound like much-and it likely doesn’t to many in the legislature. For many students and their families, however, an extra few hundred dollars is a lot of money, money that they don’t necessarily have on hand. Many of my students and their families find it hard enough just to scrape by each month, let alone finance a college education. Many of my students have to take on a considerable amount of student loan debt to get the degree that, they’ve been told, guarantees them a secure and prosperous future. An added tax to the overall cost of going to school doesn’t provide much relief to those already at a financial disadvantage, especially when that future looks less and less certain.

Nevertheless, the effect that the changes in the tax will have on students and their families doesn’t seem to be of much concern to GOP lawmakers and the McCrory administration. Although supporters of the new law have portrayed them as a necessary updating of the system to reflect economic changes, the sales tax changes essentially offset a swath of income tax cuts, cuts that disproportionately favor the wealthy.

Sure, the income tax cuts mean that most in North Carolina-not just the wealthy-will see a bump in take-home pay. The GOP can thus tout its concern to put more money into the pockets of hard-working citizens. But with the elimination of various deductions and exemptions, including deductions for contributions to the NC529 Plan that helps parents save for college, it seems that many will end up paying more, despite the upfront cuts. Indeed, the Budget & Tax Center has estimated that, all things considered, the bottom 80% of NC taxpayers will be paying more come January 1. Add to that the increases in sales taxes, and the tax reform package looks more like an across-the-board tax increase for the majority of taxpayers. [Read more…]

North Carolina Legislative Interim Committee Reports – February 1-14, 2014 – (From  Moore Van Allen Newsletter)

The General Assembly has officially completed its business for the 2013 long session.  The 2014 short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  During the Interim, oversight and study committees review issues to plan or propose legislative action for the short session. Revenue Laws Study Committee

 

The Revenue Laws Study Committee took up the following issues:

  • The first substantive item taken up by the Committee was an update on the Department of Revenue’s decision to cancel a contract with CGI for the TIMS (Tax Information Management System) project.  TIMS was intended to be a complete overhaul of the Department’s internal IT system.  Members of the Committee expressed great concern over the fact that the State had spent roughly $69 million on a project that is currently capable of supporting only 28 of 34 tax schedules (which make up less than 10% of the Department’s workload). 
  • Next on the agenda was a proposal with respect to the applicability of the sales tax on performance contracts.  A subcommittee had been appointed to address the limited issue of how to treat retailer-contractors.  Retailer-contractors are persons who engage in a business that involves both a) selling building materials, supplies, equipment, and fixtures at retail and b) entering into real property improvement contracts with its customers. A bill draft was presented on this subject that would declare that a retailer-contractor that enters into a real property improvement contract with a customer is the consumer of the tangible personal property used in performing the contract and is liable for the tax.
  • Next the Committee heard from a representative of the NC Bar Association about the taxation of trusts and estates.  Currently, North Carolina is unique in imposing income taxes on trusts and estates based on the residency of beneficiaries.  The chair of the Committee asked staff to develop a proposal on this issue to present at a later meeting. 
  • Next on the agenda was a proposal with respect to local privilege license taxes.  Currently, cities have a great deal of leeway in imposing privilege license taxes (basically cities can impose privilege license taxes in their discretion except where specifically limited) whereas counties have only limited authority.  The draft proposal would repeal the authority of a county to levy a privilege license tax altogether and would repeal cities’ broad authority to levy privilege taxes and instead allow a city to levy an annual business tax of up to $100 on each business operating within the city.   
  • Next a proposal was presented with respect to compliance initiatives related to holders of ABC (alcoholic beverage control) permits.  The draft would make compliance with respect to State tax laws a precondition to the issuance of most ABC permits.  There were very few questions or concerns about this proposal.
  • Next up on the agenda was a request from the Department of Revenue with respect to the use of the proceeds of the collection assistance fee.  The Department asked for an increase in the amount of the proceeds of the fee that could be used for taxpayer locator services, which was supported by the Committee.  The Department also asked for the authority to use private collection agencies for the collection of tax debts from residents.  There was a great deal of discussion of the pros and cons of this second issue, but no determination was reached.
  • Next the Committee heard a presentation on the pros and cons of two items related to the apportionment of corporate income and franchise taxes.  Staff explained the basics of how the State’s apportionment formula works for income and franchise tax purposes for multistate corporations operating within the State.  Staff explained the arguments for and against moving to an apportionment formula based solely on the corporation’s sales within this State.  Staff next addressed the issue of how sales of services are sourced for purposes of computing the sales factor and explained the arguments for and against moving to a market-based sourcing methodology.  The Committee took no action with respect to the issues raised in the presentation.
  • Finally, staff gave an update with respect to some sales and use tax changes that will take effect July 1, 2014. 

 

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services

Pam Kilpatrick, Assistant State Budget Officer with OSBM, and Rod Davis, DHHS CFO, gave a Medicaid budget update.  In regards to a budget overrun, DHHS said that $209 million is the best estimate at this point. 

Secretary Aldona Wos also informed lawmakers that North Carolina has met a federal deadline to clear a massive backlog of food stamp applications.  The Secretary also announced that Dr. Robin Cummings will serve as the new Medicaid director for the state. 

Deborah Landry with the NCGA Fiscal Research Division gave a presentation on Child Protective Services programs in other states.

Landry then gave an overview of Pre-K and Smart Start budget and children served.  Rob Kindsvatter, Director of the Division of Child Development and Early Education with DHHS, gave a child development and early education update.  Dr. Nancy Brown, Chair of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, gave the committee a presentation on Smart Start. 

After that presentation, Ryan Blackledge with the NCGA Legislative Drafting Division gave the committee a presentation on Medicaid eligibility extension related to MAGI.  Blackledge reviewed some of the legal and fiscal problems with the way DHHS obtained the wavier.  Several members of the committee expressed frustration that the General Assembly was never informed that DHHS was going to seek the wavier.  The Secretary apologized to the lawmakers and said that she was disappointed that proper process was not followed. 

David Rice with NCGA Fiscal Research Davison then gave a presentation on Medicaid accountable care organizations in other states. 

Sandy Terrell with DHHS gave the committee an update on the Medicaid Shared Savings plan.  She stated that they will have a report on Shared Savings Methodology ready for the committee on March 1st and that the Shared Savings Plan will be implemented on July 1st.  Terrell said that there are several challenges they have with this program.  Some of the challenges include reaching consensus around providers on benchmarks, an aggressive timeline for implementation, lack of clarity about incentives and difficulty of smaller provider incentives to achieve savings.  Terrell emphasized that provider input is very important moving forward in the process and that DMA will reach the deadlines set by law. 

Luke Hoff, Director, Property & Construction Division with DHHS, gave the committee a state update on the Broughton and Cherry Hospital construction projects. 

Chris Scarboro, President of NC Health Information Exchange, gave a state report to the committee on the Health Information Exchange.  During the presentation, Senator Ralph Hise asked about the high fees associated with the program and his concern that it may have an impact on rural hospitals.  Scarboro said that he expects to have the info sharing agreement in 30 days between DHHS and HIE.  Representative Nelson Dollar asked DHHS when they believe the sharing agreement will be complete.  DHHS is not as optimistic as HIE, but they are looking forward to meeting with hospitals next week to hear their concerns. 

Drexdal Pratt, Division Director of Health Service Regulation with DHHS gave the committee an update on the implementation of Transparency provisions (S.L. 2013-382).  After several stakeholder meetings and meetings with General Assembly members regarding guidance with the transparency provisions, DHHS said they are moving forward with rules for the fair billing provisions and the transparency provisions.  The next stakeholder meeting is March 7 and the target date for full implementation of the statutes is October. 

Mark Gogal and Secretary Wos addressed staffing issues at DHHS.  Gogal noted that there are 81 openings in DMA.  Chairman Burr stated that he will assist DHHS staffing issues by helping draft legislation that gives DHHS the flexibility to hire the best and brightest in the future. 

 

The next committee meeting will take place on March 11. 

Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee

The Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee met on Thursday, February 6.  The Committee began by hearing several updates on the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Inc. – the public-private partnership formed by the Department of Commerce to manage parts of the State’s business recruitment and marketing efforts.  Legislative staff gave updates to the Committee on the Department’s current plans as submitted to the Office of State Budget and Management, the status of Senate Bill 127 (a bill that ultimately was not enacted in 2013, but that has been used as a guide by the Department in the creation of the public-private partnership), and best practices learned from other states’ experiences with public-private partnerships for economic development.  Next, the Committee heard from the Secretary of Commerce and Richard Lindenmuth, the CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, with respect to their efforts in getting the Partnership up and running.  After these presentations, the Committee heard from John Lassiter, the Chair of the Economic Development Board, on the economic development strategic plan developed by the Board.  The plan is the first comprehensive plan the State has had for economic development in a decade.  Finally, the Committee heard from Pat Mitchell, the Director of the Rural Economic Development Division within the Department of Commerce, on the Division’s continued efforts with respect to programs formerly administered by the Rural Economic Development Center.

 

Joint Legislative Committee on Information Technology

The committee heard a report on IT business cases from Budget Director Art Pope and DHHS Chief Information Officer Chris Estesan gave an update on the NC Tracks outage. The Committee also heard reports on moving towards a statewide IT plan, the tax information management system, a study to establish State requirements to safeguard personal citizen data collected by branches of State government, shared service rates and resource planning activities.

 

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee 

The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee held its fourth meeting of the interim on Tuesday, February 4. After introductions, Steve Brooks with the State Education Assistance Authority presented a proposal on centralizing residency determination for college applicants. Rebecca Troutman, NC Association of County Commissioners, followed to discuss local funding for NC school systems.  The meeting wrapped up with a presentation on draft rules for DPI’s three residential programs and an update on the state’s virtual academies.  The committee will hold its next meeting on March 4 in Raleigh.

 

oint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee

The Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee met on Tuesday, February 4.  The Committee began by hearing an update on some items raised at previous meetings.  Specifically, the Committee had questions about whether required reports had been received from certain licensing boards and the contents of those reports.  Of particular concern to the Committee were licensing boards that had not submitted either of the required reports (the North Carolina Board of Examiners of Fee-Based Practicing Pastoral Counselors and the North Carolina Board of Recreational Therapy Licensure).  The Committee also expressed concern about several licensing boards that had either very low (or negative) fund balances and those with very high fund balances and requested further information.  Next the Committee heard from four State entities that enjoy either a partial or complete exemption from the rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedure Act.  These entities (the Department of Commerce, The University of North Carolina, the State Board of Community Colleges, and the State Board of Education) each gave a justification for the full or partial exemption from rulemaking enjoyed by the entity.

 

Joint Legislative Workforce Development System Reform Oversight Committee

The Joint Legislative Workforce Development System Reform Oversight Committee met on Tuesday, February 4.  The Committee heard a review of the Commission on Workforce Development’s report, “Measuring the Performance of North Carolina’s Workforce Development System: A First Look.”  The Commission on Workforce Development had been directed by the General Assembly in 2012 to develop and continuously improve performance measures to assess the effectiveness of workforce training and employment.  The Commission and staff from the Department of Commerce gave a presentation.  The Department presented on the performance measures that had been developed to date, the results of some initial evaluations of the system based on those measures, and some data limitations that hampered efforts to fully evaluate the system.  The Department then outlined the next steps to be taken in the ongoing review.  Next, Roger Shackleford, Director of the Division of Workforce Solutions, answered some specific questions from Committee members about efforts of the Division in meeting requirements for the Division to meet with applicants for unemployment insurance benefits.

 

Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy

The Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy met on Tuesday, February 4.  Senator Bob Rucho presided over the commission meeting. 

Bruce McKay, Managing Director for Federal Affairs with Dominion, and Bill Cooper, President of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, gave presentations that provided the committee with an overview of liquefied natural gas facilities and exports. 

Jim Womack, Chairman of the Mining and Energy Commission, gave the committee an update on MEC activities, milestones and scheduling regarding the rules development process for the management of natural gas fracturing.  Each MEC committee working on the rules process then gave an update on each specific issue area.   Womack also gave an update on Water/Wastewater Management and Environmental Standards Committee.  Charles Holbrook gave the update for the Administration of Oil and Gas Committee. 

Amy Pickle gave an update for the Rules Committee.  Dr. Ray Covington gave the update on the issue of pooling.  Dr. Ken Taylor with DENR gave an update on the Coordinated Permitting Study Group findings and conclusions. 

Jennifer McGinnis, Commission Counsel, gave an overview of the member and staff trip to Arkansas.  Several members also made comments about the trip and how they thought it was very helpful with a variety of issues they are working on in North Carolina. 

Robbie Ferris, CEO/President of SfL+A Architects, and Steven Hunt, CEO and General Manager, Lumbee River EMC gave presentations on net-zero energy schools. 

The next committee meeting will take place at 1 p.m. on March 4.

 

2014 CANDIDATE FILINGS

North Carolina’s 2014 campaign season officially opened Monday, February 10. The filing period will end Friday, February 28. The North Carolina Board of Elections’ most recent list of candidates can be found here. (PDF)

 

CALENDAR
Mon, February 24, 2014

10:00 AM

3:00 PM

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, Mental Health Subcommittee

643 LOB

10:00 AM

Intentional Death Health Committee

1027/1128 LB

1:00 PM

House Committee on Food Desert Zones (LRC)(2013) — CORRECTED

544 LOB

 

Tue, February 25, 2014

10:00 AM

North Carolina Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force

643 LOB


Wed, February 26, 2014

9:00 AM

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, ex. Subcommittee on Public Guardianship

643 LOB

2:00 PM

House Committee on Funeral and Cemetery Regulation (LRC)(2013)

Catawba Valley Community College – Hickory, NC


Thu, February 27, 2014

9:00 AM

House Committee on Wetland and Stream Mitigation (LRC)(2013)

544 LOB

1:00 PM

House Committee on Land Development (LRC)(2013)

Magnolia Place Subdivision Clubhouse


Mon, March 03, 2014

8:30 AM

House Committee on Property Owner Protection and Rights (LRC)(2013)

1027/1128 LB

1:00 PM

House Committee on Public Enterprise Systems and Use of Funds (LRC)(2013)

1027/1128 LB

Tue, March 04, 2014

10:00 AM

Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee

544 LOB

10:00 AM

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

643 LOB

Mon, March 10, 2014

10:00 AM

Unintentional Death Committee

1027/1128 LB

Thu, March 13, 2014

9:00 AM

Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee

544 LOB

 

Thu, March 20, 2014

9:30 AM

Committee on the Assessment of Regulated and Non-Regulated Industry Utility Fees (LRC)(2013)

544 LOB

1:00 PM

Committee on Cultural and Natural Resources (LRC)(2013)

643 LOB

 

Wed, March 26, 2014

10:00 AM

Child Fatality Taskforce – Perinatal Health Committee

1027/1128 LB


Thu, March 27, 2014

9:00 AM

Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations

643 LOB


Mon, April 07, 2014

10:00 AM

Child Fatality Task Force

1027/1128 LB


Wed, May 14, 2014

12:00 PM

Session Convenes (House)

House

12:00 PM

Session Convenes (Senate)

Senate

Thu, May 22, 2014

8:00 AM

Skin Cancer Screening

1124/1224 LB

 

 

 

BECAUSE YOU CARE – WE THANK YOU

Sen. Bryant:

Thank you so much for spending your valuable time with us on Nov. 2nd. We are getting very positive feedback from our participants and appreciate the role you played in that.  Your remarks are always so inspiring to our Corps Members – we look forward to seeing what action you inspired this time.  We look forward to continuing to work alongside you to fight educational inequity in North Carolina.  All the Best, Elizabeth, Teach for America.

 

Dear Sen. Bryant,

The staff and faculty of Belmont Elementary School would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for the support you have shown our school by providing the Honor Roll certificates for our students the first quarter.  The education of our students is a community effort, and we do not take for granted your contribution.  Thank you for your continued support in our endeavor to educate the future of our city, state and county. Sincerely, Kelvin Edwards, Sr. Principal.

 


Contact:  Senator Angela R. Bryant, North Carolina Senate • District 4•

North Carolina General Assembly • State Legislative Office Building • 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 520, Raleigh, NC  27603 • 919-733-5878-P • 919-754-3289-F •Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net or

Karon Hardy, Legislative Assistant at  bryantla@ncleg.net.