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State Government
Governor Cooper Makes Appointments PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 09:40
Governor Cooper announced new appointments to boards and commissions across North Carolina.
 
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Boxing Commission:
Valerie Dorsett of Charlotte as a member at-large and chair. Dorsett is a supervisory attorney at the Transportation Security Administration. She has been judging boxing matches since 1989 and served as vice-president of the International Boxing Federation. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council: 
Marty Foil of Huntersville as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Foil is the executive director of Hinds’ Feet Farm, which provides services to individuals with traumatic and acquired brain injuries. He is a certified brain injury specialist and has spoken before Congress on behalf of those with brain injuries. 
Carol Ornitz of Raleigh as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Orntiz is a retired occupational therapist. She is a parent and 24 hour caretaker of her son who is a survivor of traumatic brain injury. 
Pier Protz of Goldsboro as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Protz works at ReNu Life, a residential rehabilitation facility for persons that have survived brain injury. She previously served on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina. 
Jordan Slade of Clayton as a survivor of a brain injury. Slade sustained a brain injury and two strokes in a car accident on October 28, 2017. He now runs the WakeMed TBI support group meetings after attending them for two years. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Building Code Council:
The Honorable Victoria Watlington of Charlotte as a municipal elected official or city manager. Watlington is a licensed professional engineer, general contractor, and certified project management professional. She represents District 3 on the Charlotte city council. She also serves as the vice-chair of Charlotte’s Civil Service Board. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council:
Dr. Kristi Snuggs of Clayton as a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education. She is the interim director of the division and serves as the State Child Care Administrator of NC under the Federal Child Care and Development Fund. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Credit Union Commission:
Lafayette Jones of Winston-Salem as a public member. Jones is the president and chief executive officer for SMSi-Urban Call Marketing, Inc. He previously served as vice chairman of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 
Judy Cummings Stout of Pittsboro as a deaf person. Stout is a retired instructor from Gallaudet University. She is a consultant for the Intertribal Deaf Council, which serves hard of hearing and deaf American Indians and Alaska Natives. She also chairs the Guilford Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing board. 
Erika Gagnon of Hillsborough as a representative of an agency that performs cochlear implants. Gagnon is a pediatric cochlear implant audiologist at the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at the University of North Carolina. She is also a member of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance and the American Speech and Hearing Association. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities:
Marjorie Serralles-Russell of Charlotte as a parent of an individual with a developmental disability. Serralles-Russell is an independent consultant with Arbonne International. She is a founding board member for Autism Charlotte. 
Rhonda L. Cox of Candler as a representative of a non-governmental agency concerned with services to person with developmental disabilities. Cox is the chief population health officer at Vaya Health, where she was formerly the senior director of care coordination. She has more than 20 years of experience in managing behavioral health and IDD services. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Health Care Information and Communications Alliance, Inc.:
Christie Burris of Raleigh as a member at-large. Burris is the executive director for the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority. She is on the marketing committee of the Triangle Women in STEM and is a member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative. 
Dr. Karen Smith of Raeford as a member at-large. Smith is a private practice family physician and serves as the Hoke County Health System Medical Director. Additionally, she is an instructor in the family medicine departments at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. 
Dr. Ken Goldberg of Durham as a member at-large. Goldberg is the chief of staff for the Durham VA Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at Duke University. He is also a member of the Chief Medical Officers Group with the Association of American Medical Colleges.  
Brent Lamm of Raleigh as a member at-large. Lamm is the vice-president and deputy chief information officer for the UNC Health Care System. He previously served as the director of information technology at the NC Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute at UNC Chapel Hill. 
 
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the State Historical Records Advisory Board:
Katherine Cutshall of Asheville as a member at-large. Cutshall is a historian who currently works in the North Carolina collection room at the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville. 
Monika Rhue of Charlotte as a member at-large. She is the director of library services and curation at Johnson C. Smith University and launched “Digital Smith,” an online archive of the University’s collections. She is also the author of “Organizing and Preserving Family and Religious Records: A Step-by-Step Guide.” 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission:
Jennifer Haigwood of Raleigh as chair. Haigwood is the director of administration and governmental affairs at the N.C. Department of Labor. She also serves on the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs and the Governor’s Performance Management Advisory Committee. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Information Technology Strategy Board:
Jo Abernathy of Chapel Hill as a North Carolina citizen with a background in and familiarity with business system technology, information systems, or telecommunications. She is the Chief Information Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine:
Dr. Lori H. Byrd of Four Oaks as a member at-large. Byrd is the associate director of health sciences for the North Carolina Community College System. Previously, she was a nursing instructor at Barton College and Campbell University, and was recognized in 2016 as a top assistant professor of nursing by the International Nursing Association. 
Rev. Reuben Blackwell of Rocky Mount as a member at-large. Blackwell is the president and CEO of the Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. and pastors Cornerstone Community Christian Church. He previously served on the North Carolina Minority Health Advisory Council. 
Dr. Carrie Rosario of Greensboro as a member at-large. Rosario is an associate professor in UNC Greensboro’s Department of Public Health Education and is the associate chair of the department. She currently serves as a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Healthy North Carolina 2030 Task Force.  

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Human Relations Commission: 
Vonta Leach of Lumberton as the 9th congressional district representative. Leach currently works in real estate. He is a former All-Pro fullback and spent eleven years in the NFL. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Internship Council: 
Shrikar Nunna of Raleigh as a former intern. Nunna is a legislative liaison for the Department of Environmental Quality, where he formerly interned. He also was a member of the Caldwell Fellows Program at North Carolina State University. 
Jamie L. Stamey of Concord as a representative of a college or university with less than 5,000 students. Stamey is the executive director of the David College Center for Career Development. She is the former Internship Coordinator for Belmont University College of Entertainment and Music Business in Nashville, Tennessee. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the State Judicial Council:
Sheriff Quentin E. Miller of Asheville as a non-attorney. Miller is the Buncombe County Sheriff. He worked for the Asheville Police Department from 1994 until he was elected sheriff in 2018. He also served 11 years in the U.S. Army, including two tours to Germany. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to serve on the License to Give Trust Fund Commission:
Christina Nixon of Charlotte as a representative of an organ, tissue, or eye recipient or a family member of a donor from the heartland. In 2014, she was a recipient of a small bowel transplant. She is a student at the UNC Charlotte and serves on Novant Health’s Patient Family Advocacy Committee. 
The Honorable Stephen Metcalf of Weaverville as a representative of an organ, tissue, and eye recipient or a family member of a donor from the mountains. He is the founder of The Policy Group, and previously served in the North Carolina Senate and under the administration of Governor Jim Hunt. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
Melinda Plue of Monroe as a developmental disabilities professional. Plue is the director of advocacy and chapter development with The Arc of North Carolina, Inc. and an adjunct professor at Winthrop University. She is a licensed clinical social worker. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Minority Health Advisory Council: 
Pastor Nate Davis, Jr. of Durham as a community-based organization representative. He is the senior pastor at Now Church NC. He has served as the Men’s Basketball Chaplain for North Carolina Central University where he also serves on the University College Board. 
Hattie Gawande of Raleigh as a human services agency representative. Gawande is a legislative liaison for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. She previously served as special assistant to the Secretary at the Department. 
Dr. Natasha Adams-Denny of Marvin as a health care provider. Adams-Denny has worked for Atrium Health Union Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2002, and currently serves as the medical director for Atrium Health Union OB/GYN in Monroe and Indian Trail.  
Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson of Winston-Salem as a health-related agency representative. Gunderson is the vice-president of FaithHealth with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He also is a professor of public health science in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and professor of the health of the public in the School of Divinity. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the NCWorks Commission:
David Miller of New Bern as a business representative. Miller is the vice president and general manager of the Kinston site of Spirit AeroSystems. He is also a recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award given by the state of Iowa, which recognizes individuals who work with local and governmental agencies to restore land in the state. 
Melanie Chernoff of Raleigh as a business representative. Chernoff is Red Hat's government and community affairs senior manager, through which she oversees Red Hat's worldwide charitable donations, matching gift program, volunteer activities, and local community relations efforts. Additionally, she serves on the advisory boards for NC Tech and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. 
Sherry Carpenter of Clemmons as a workforce representative. Carpenter is the vice-president of workforce development service for Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC, Inc. She also serves on the Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board and the North Carolina Employment and Training Association Board. 
Michael Okun of Raleigh as a workforce representative. Okun is a partner at Patterson & Harkavy, LLC where he specializes in employment and labor law. He also serves as general counsel to the North Carolina State AFL-CIO. 
Anita Bachmann of Greensboro as a business representative. She is the CEO of UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina and won the organization’s Community & State CEO Relationship Award in 2016. She also serves on several boards, including the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce executive board and the Greater Greensboro Community Foundation executive board. 
Suzanne Johnson of Smithfield as a business representative. Johnson serves as the senior director of human resources for Grifols North America. She has more than 20 years of experience working in human resources for biopharmaceutical companies including Bayer Healthcare. 
Steven Hunt of Pembroke as a workforce representative. Hunt is the vice-president of workforce development and continuing education at Robeson Community College. He is the former president and CEO of the Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Board of Trustees: 
The Honorable Ernestine Bazemore of Aulander as a member at-large. Bazemore is a commissioner in Bertie County. Previously, she worked for Bertie County Schools serving in a variety of roles, including In-School Suspension Coordinator. She is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Robeson Community College Board of Trustees:
Les Noble of Lumberton as a member at-large. Noble the owner and manager of Noble Self-Service Storage and co-owner of Riverwood Pre-Elementary School. Noble also serves on the ComTech Board of Directors and as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation:
Dr. Algie Gatewood of Burlington as a representative of the NC Community College System. He is the president of Alamance Community College. He is the former director of the health, education and welfare division of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. 
Claudia Walker of Greensboro as a representative of K-12 public education. Walker is a math impact teacher at Murphey Traditional Academy in Greensboro. She is a board member of the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Center and serves on the National Academy of Science’s Teacher Advisory Council. 
Alston Gardner of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. Gardner is the founder and managing partner of Fulcrum Ventures, which invests in technology companies. He also serves on the board of Higher Education Works. 
Pat Brown of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. She is the executive vice-president and chief legal officer for SAS, where she oversees their legal services and licensing operations globally. 
Dr. Michael Quillen of Concord as a member at-large. Quillen is the vice-president of academic programs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. He is a former member of the N.C. delegation of state policy leaders. 
Jason Botts of Raleigh as a member at-large. Botts is the senior business advisor for various organizations including Global Digital IT, Inc. He also serves on the Triangle Technology Executives Council. 
George Abercrombie of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. Abercrombie served as president and chief executive officer at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., and currently works as an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He serves on the board of directors of Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, Brickell Biotech, Hessian Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. 
Jeffrey Kaplan of Asheville as a representative of a private industry. He is the director of Venture Asheville and developed Asheville Entrepreneurship Week. He is also the vice-chair of the Mountain Capital Community Fund. 
Bill Brown of Durham as a representative of a private industry. Brown is the CEO of NET Power, LLC and the co-founder and CEO of 8 Rivers Capital, LLC. He also serves on the board of visitors for Duke Law School. 
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Utilities Commission:
Kimberly Duffley of Raleigh. Duffley is a senior staff attorney at the North Carolina Utilities Commission. She serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and is an advisory member of the North Carolina State Bar Utilities Law Specialization Committee. 
Jeff Hughes of Durham. Hughes is an associate professor and the Director of the Environmental Finance Center with the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, Hughes worked as a specialist on international utility finance at RTI International and as the Director of Public Works and Utilities for Chatham County. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service:
Brandon Heffinger of Raleigh as a representative of the military or veterans. He is the chief of staff at NET Power, LLC. He is a Major with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and founded and currently directs and lectures for the Veterans Legal Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law. He is also a Truman Defense Council Member with the Truman National Security Project. 
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Western North Carolina Public Lands Council: 
Richard Wilson of Sylva as a Jackson County resident. He is a retired dean of student services at Southwestern Community College. He is also a retired volunteer fireman. 
Jason Chambers of Murphy as a Cherokee County resident. Chambers is dean of research and planning and an early college liaison at Tri-County Community College. He is a former chair of the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition. 
Parker Platt of Brevard as a resident of a county adjacent to the Blueridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains National Park or Pisgah or Nantahala National Forests. Platt is a principal at Platt Architecture. He is a board member of the Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County and a founding member of the Transylvania Economic Alliance. 
Louis Watts of Sparta as a resident of a county adjacent to the Blueridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains National Park or Pisgah or Nantahala National Forests. He worked for an environmental engineering firm for 23 years before retirement. 
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina State Youth Advisory Council: 
Mayor Pro Tem Frederick A. Davis of Wadesboro as an adult member. Davis is the Mayor Pro Tem of the town of Wadesboro. Davis has been working for Anson County Schools since 1989 and is the current Principal of Wadesboro Primary School. He is a former football coach and athletic director at Anson High School. 
Victoria Garrett of High Point as a local youth council advisor. She is the Recreation Center Assistant Supervisor for the City of High Point’s Parks and Recreation Department. 

 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Zoological Park Council: 
Kyle Sonnenberg of Southern Pines as a member at-large. He is a public affairs columnist for The Pilot and worked in city management for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1974. 
Norfleet Pruden of Charlotte as a member at-large. He is a retired attorney, and prior to his retirement worked for K&L Gates LLP where he was recognized nationally for his work in corporate law. He is also a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission. 
Yazmin Garcia Rico of Mebane as a member at-large. She is the Healthy Communities program manager for Alamance Regional Medical Center and an instructor at Alamance Community College. She serves on several boards, including the North Carolina Farmworkers Health Program Governing Board. 
Elizabeth Clark of Raleigh as a member at-large. Clark is the program coordinator for SAFEChild’s primary child abuse prevention program, Funny Tummy Feelings. She also assists the organization with its’ fundraising and event planning.  
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 09:44
 
State Medical Examiner Determines Carbon Monoxide Was Not Cause Of Death for McDougle Terrance Infants PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 10 January 2020 09:58
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) typically does not release individual autopsy reports and information prior to the completion of the case. However, given the public health concerns surrounding the Durham Housing Authority’s McDougald Terrace location, DHHS is sharing information about the carbon monoxide laboratory results today related to three infant deaths in Durham County.
 
Preliminary and confirmatory testing were negative for carbon monoxide in all three cases. OCME pathologists have shared these results with the family or next of kin for each of the infants. Our deepest sympathies are extended to these families and OCME will continue to work to determine the cause of death. The NCDHHS Division of Public Health will continue to work with Durham County and others to provide technical assistance to local officials as they continue their investigation.
 
Secretary Of State Warns Of Australian Fire Recovery Scams PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 08 January 2020 12:09

As the world watches devastating wildfires blaze across Australia, there’s been an outpouring of donations to aid relief efforts.  NC Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall urges North Carolina’s giving public to be both generous and wise to make sure their donations do the most good possible.

“We’ve all been moved by the heartbreaking images coming out of Australia,” Secretary Marshall said on Wednesday. “North Carolinians know all too well the destruction and suffering that natural disasters can bring and we all want to reach out to help, but unfortunately natural disasters can also draw out scam artists preying on our goodwill. So please remember that a little research can assure that your contribution is helping those in need.”

 

Visit the NC Secretary of State’s Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division at  www.sosnc.gov/CSLto research charities registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. Charity Navigatorhas a page dedicated to the Australia bushfires with ratings for some of the organizations involved in relief efforts. 

 

You can also search Australia’s charity database at www.acnc.gov.au/charity.

Tips for wise giving:

  • Give to established charities with resources on the ground to help the affected regions.
  • Watch out for sound-alike charities mimicking the names of established charities.
  • Go directly to organizations’ official websites instead of clicking on links in unsolicited texts, emails, or social media posts.
  • Never give your credit card or bank account information over the phone or email.

“Please do your research when considering giving through a GoFundMe campaign,” advised Secretary Marshall. “Many may be well-intentioned, but not well-equipped to help in relief and recovery efforts across the effected region.”

If you believe that you have been contacted by a fake charity, take a screen shot of the solicitation or write down the information you remember from the call as soon as possible and immediately contact the Secretary of State’s Office or local authorities. You can reach our Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division at 1-888-830-4989 or file a complaint online.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2020 12:28
 
Speaker Moore's Office Details Top 10 Legislative Accomplishments of Past Decade PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 06 January 2020 14:22

The 2010s produced a remarkable turnaround for North Carolina’s economy and education systems under Republican leadership in the General Assembly, as the state earned three consecutive ‘Best State for Business’ rankings from Forbes and made historic education accomplishments like providing the third-fastest rising teacher pay in the nation according to the National Education Association.   

 
These are ten key reforms of the 2010s benefiting families and businesses in North Carolina:
 
1. Tax Relief for Families and Businesses Makes North Carolina CNBC’s #1 State Economy, Forbes’ ‘Best State for Business’ 2019
In the 2000s, By 2019, 1.5 million working North Carolinians were exempt from state income tax – mostly low-income earners amounting to nearly 30% of all returns – after a higher zero-tax bracket was consistently approved by the Republican-led General Assembly.  The zero-tax bracket, or ‘standard deduction,’ was raised again by the legislature in 2019 and has more than tripled for married families in North Carolina under Republican leadership.
 
The successful economic results of personal income and corporate tax relief are driving the state’s powerful job and population growth, with top-tier national rankings reflecting North Carolina’s economic resurgence this decade. 
 
The state was named CNBC’s Best State Economy in 2019, has finished top-two in Site Selection Magazine’s Business Climate rankings each of the last 5 five years, boasts unanimous AAA credit ratings, and was named the Best State for Business by Forbes three years in a row.
 
Today, more people are working in North Carolina than at any time in the state’s history with the lowest taxes in recent memory. 
 
2. Major Pay Raises for Teachers, State Employees, and Law Enforcement Officers Approved Since 2014  
 
North Carolina leaped 18 states in national teacher pay rankings since 2014 as the General Assembly approved a salary increase for educators each of the last six years.  Data from the left-leaning National Education Association shows North Carolina had the third fastest rising teacher pay in the nation from 2014 to 2018.  
 
Most state employees received salary increases each of the last five years, with the 2018 increase called “a plan that will make North Carolina a leader in terms of living wages for public employees” by the President of the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC).  
 
Significant salary increases for State Highway Patrol troopers, State Bureau of Investigation agents, Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) officials, and correctional officers have also been a focus of recent General Assembly budgets. 
 
3. New Transportation Formula and Funding 
Prior to Republican control of the General Assembly in the 2010s, road funding in North Carolina was allocated much differently than it is today for decades by Democrats.  Projects were generally selected directly by interested lawmakers during the budget process prior to Republican control, leading to a political system of road funding. 
 
But in 2013 the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) program was put in place by Republicans to take politics out of mobility funding and replace it with an algorithmic formula.  STI helps the state prioritize taxpayer dollars where we need them most. 
 
Governor Cooper’s transportation secretary recently praised the Republican reforms, saying “transportation decision-making became data-driven and transparent for the first time in our state’s history and proved to be a national model.”  He also noted “we are experiencing more growth than new York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan combined.”
 
The state is not only benefitting from critical road infrastructure reforms – North Carolina’s ports, airports, and rail are doing exceptionally well following landmark investments from the state legislature.  Wilmington’s port was recently named the fastest growing in the nation, setting records for container traffic following tens-of-millions of dollars in taxpayer investments in new cranes, larger turnaround basins, and improved capability.  
The North Carolina legislature has also extended innovative Build N.C. Bonds to proactively finance new road construction to support the state’s rapid population growth, and had available funds to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in additional direct appropriations to DOT this November after overspending left the department with a cash flow shortfall. 
 
4. Justice Reinvestment: Raised the Juvenile Age, Funded the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog and Streamlined Agencies
 
One of the first major reforms by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2010s was the consolidation of three law enforcement agencies into one Department of Public Safety.  The Justice Reinvestment Act provided immediate administrative and financial reform to one of state government’s largest sectors, improving law enforcement both for the brave officers serving in the line of duty and the citizens they protect. 
 
The legislature also committed significant financial resources to key reforms like Raising the Age of Juvenile Justice, a long-term accomplishment of the Republican-led General Assembly that is currently being implemented.  Additional funding to relinquish the sexual assault kit backlog and support other critical law enforcement services were also successfully prioritized by the legislature in the 2010s. 
 
5. Better Budgeting by the State Legislature Leads to Record Emergency Savings Reserve and Massive Revenue Surpluses that Support Over $1 Billion in State Hurricane Aid Since 2016  
 
North Carolina is one of only a few states with unanimous AAA credit ratings in 2019 after Republicans improved a deeply flawed state budget process that drove the state into debt and revenue deficits under Democratic leadership last decade. 
 
As a result, North Carolina collected a nearly $900 million surplus and built a record savings reserve that peaked at $1.9 billion this decade, providing immense emergency relief to victims of three major hurricanes and other natural disasters since 2016.  The state General Assembly further instituted a new budget requirement to refer some revenue surpluses to the savings reserve.  
 
The state General Assembly has appropriated more than $1 billion to hurricane relief the last three years without raising taxes while maintaining a sizable reserve for future uncertainties.  By contrast, the state had little savings, large debt and deficits under Democrat control last decade and Gov. Cooper opposed the state’s large rainy day fund in 2016, saying the emergency relief funds should be immediately invested instead of reserved. 
 
Other critical policy adjustments that improved North Carolina’s budget process, helped repay Democratic debt, and reverse deficits into surpluses, include a landmark unemployment insurance reform passed in 2013, and more recent implementation of the Unfunded Liability Solvency Reserve and creation of the State Capital Infrastructure Fund to prioritize major construction projects. 
 
6. Regulatory Reforms Create Jobs, Drive Investment, Protect Environment and Attract Growth in Urban and Rural Counties  
 
Burdensome, bureaucratic red tape has been reduced across North Carolina by the Republican-led General Assembly this decade, producing an economic turnaround drawing cutting-edge technology industries to the state while bringing manufacturing back to create jobs in the counties where we need them most.  The free-market reforms range from major energy regulatory transformations to allowing outdoor grills at restaurants.
 
The North Carolina legislature passed a comprehensive regulatory reform measure nearly every session this decade.  Once again, Gov. Cooper’s vetoes are threatening reform and its successful results of a boom decade of business and job growth in North Carolina recognized in top-tier national economic rankings from CNBC and Forbes. 
 
Manufacturing is on a comeback across rural North Carolina counties, not only in new cutting-edge industries but also from flagship offerings of our state like furniture, as recognized by the Wall Street Journal this month.  New rural broadband initiatives passed by the General Assembly are also successfully connecting underserved communities with innovative grant programs. 
 
Environmental regulatory reforms added further protections to the state’s natural resources, addressing emerging issues like coal ash and PFAS contaminants with cutting-edge responses. North Carolina’s Coal Ash Management Act passed this decade was the first of its kind in the United States, while the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory was recently formed with a substantial appropriation “focused on how scientists and policymakers can work together to reduce potential harm from the (PFAS) substances.”   
 
7. A New Era for Education: Capital Construction Funding, School Choice, Lower Class Sizes, School Safety Priorities, Improved Testing, Broadband in Every Classroom, and Much, Much More.  
 
The 2010s were truly a transformational decade for education systems in North Carolina that put the priorities of families first with critical reforms like lower tuition, safer learning environments, school choice, better testing, and lower class sizes. 
 
North Carolina had not approved a statewide education bond since 2000 until the 2016 ConnectNC bond approved by the Republican-led General Assembly injected $2 billion into higher education capital projects for universities and community colleges across the state.  Today, many of those campus projects are nearing completion. 
 
The General Assembly’s 2019 state budget provided another $1.9 billion capital infrastructure fund for universities, community colleges, and school systems in every county.  Unfortunately, the legislature’s 2019 education capital fund was vetoed by the Governor in the state budget and legislative Democrats refuse to override his veto, stalling these funds indefinitely.  
 
Other landmark education reforms in North Carolina this decade include a historic expansion of school choice for families, a lower class size mandate, tens of millions of dollars in new funding for school safety, reduced testing and state-funded AP exam fees, and becoming the first state to offer a broadband internet connection in every K-12 classroom.
 
By 2018-19, North Carolina’s total K-12 education budget was nearly $2 billion larger than in 2011-2012, as Republicans increased public school spending year-after-year by an average of 3.3% over the last decade. 
 
8. Smarter Healthcare Policy: Medicaid Transformation and Non-Expansion, Association Health Plans, Innovative Policy 
 
At the end of last decade’s Democratic control, North Carolina’s Medicaid system was an unmitigated bureaucratic disaster. The program faced massive cost overruns that drew hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds from other critical public sectors like education and public safety. 
 
Patients needed cost-effective healthcare that was customer-focused, while taxpayers needed relief from increasingly burdensome costs of the entitlement. 
 
A solvent and streamlined Medicaid program is critical to the sustainability of our public programs and protecting taxpayers.  By declining to expand Medicaid and instead closing its budget gaps and improving its efficiency with better managed care reforms, the General Assembly saved constituents hundreds of millions more in unexpected liabilities and cost overruns like those New York is facing right now. 
 
The source of Medicaid’s expensive and unpredictable cost overages was a fee-for-service reimbursement system that rewarded the volume, not quality, of healthcare performed by providers.  Transformation of behavioral health services in Medicaid have successfully reduced cost overruns for taxpayers in North Carolina.  
 
The legislature’s healthcare reforms include expanded services for eligible Medicaid populations, more in-home services for the elderly and disabled, and the transformation of behavioral health services for Medicaid. The 2019 budget also included an additional 1,000 waivers for North Carolinians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but those critical services for families remain blocked by the Governor’s budget veto. 
 
North Carolina was moving all Medicaid services to managed care to improve outcomes, until Gov. Cooper’s Health and Human Services Secretary halted this landmark Medicaid transformation – half a decade in the making - unexpectedly in 2019. 
 
The General Assembly will maintain its commitment to taking taxpayers off the hook for unpredictable, expensive Medicaid costs and replacing the failed system with a streamlined approach to providing poor families a helping hand.
 
The state legislature also approved a landmark healthcare reform in 2019, allowing the small businesses as well as the large employers to offer association health plans through the Small Business Healthcare Act. 
 
9. Major Election Reforms Add Voter ID and Early Voting Hours, Strengthen Absentee Ballot Rules to Improve Democratic Process 
 
The North Carolina General Assembly kept a steadfast commitment to implementing a voter ID law this decade, and statewide voters approved a ballot referendum in 2018 to add the commonsense election integrity measure to the state constitution. 
 
Though activist judges continue to obstruct voter ID in North Carolina, 34 states already have voter ID and the requirement polls with broad bipartisan support across the country.
  
By 2018, North Carolina Republicans also nearly doubled the number of early voting hours compared to those offered by a Democrat-led General Assembly in 2010.  Republicans also tripled Sunday voting hours and increased weekend voting hours by 66% over that period.  Evening hours of early voting were also up 235%. 
 
Following revelations of absentee ballot irregularities in the 9th Congressional District, the North Carolina General Assembly also took significant steps to strengthen laws against fraud in the absentee process. 
 
10. Other Critical Reforms Driving North Carolina’s Successful Turnaround Under Republican Leadership this Decade After Inheriting Debt, Deficits, High Taxes from Democrats in 2011.  
 
The 2010s marked a historic decade of reform for North Carolina as new legislative leadership built a state government that truly serves its citizens, and not the other way around.  
 
While embarking on a new era for our economy and education systems, the state’s traditional bedrock industries also thrived.  The legislature’s success drove record tourism, a shrinking achievement gap in graduation rates, and a record low infant mortality rate.  The General Assembly defended family farms, prioritized the military and veterans’ families, and worked to protect brave first responders and law enforcement officers from harm.  
 
Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2020 14:25
 
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