Senator Smith-Ingram’s Statement on Hurricane Matthew Funding

The Watch Dog response: Thank you Senator for standing with our Governor. I have been saying since Matthew that folk better recognize who was in office. I told them these Republicans ain’t gonna want to do anything and if they did it would be very little. I said and the next time around if they are still in control they will not get anything.

I am in agreement with Governor Roy Cooper’s sentiments. The Trump Administration and Congress’ measly funding for federal disaster for Hurricane Matthew were extremely disappointing. It’s less than 1 percent of what the state requested.

Governor Cooper requested more than $900 million in federal relief which is quite a conservative request in comparison to the damage done by Hurricane Matthew. Only $6.1 million in federal money was approved. This isn’t even enough to bring affected areas back to “prior fund damage” levels.

What I’d hoped for was exactly what our Governor requested for federal funding for:

▪ Housing repairs: $166 million for homeowners’ repairs, $63.7 million to repair rental housing, $15.2 million to repair public housing.

▪ Agriculture: $92.6 million to cover losses the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t cover, such as livestock, equipment and feed.

▪ Small business: $39 million to help close to 700 small businesses.

The above areas had the most impact in my District.

I call upon my Senate leaders to come up with additional funding, either through an immediate supplemental spending bill or in the next appropriations process to provide the much needed investment in recovery.

Being that North Carolina was underfunded at the federal level, it is unacceptable and shameful that the Senate budget fails North Carolinians affected by the storm. Hurricane Matthew was a catastrophic event that is best responded to outside of our biennium budget process. The appropriations should have never been included with the limitations of a $22.9 billion spending cap. We can do better than this. We are better than this. This budget does not reflect it!

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An Analysis of HB2 vs. HB 142

Erica Smith-Ingram

An Analysis of HB2 vs. HB 142

If something is 100% bad and you have an opportunity to remove 50 or 60% of the bad – what would you do?

Would you remove all portions that you could and commit your all to continued efforts to remove remaining bad? Or would you say forget it – leave 100% bad in place?

I chose the former……..

What did HB 2 do:

· It took away your right to sue in state court for discrimination – be it age, religion, race or gender.

· It took away local governments’ rights to impose workplace protections in its contracts with private businesses.

· It allowed for the exemption of protections for a class of people that need our support and protection.

What does HB 142 do:

· Removes HB2 restrictions on what bathroom a person can use

· Leaves in place local ordinances protecting LGBT rights

· Puts time limited moratorium on new local ordinances protecting LGBT rights or restricting LGBT rights

· Restores local governments’ authority to enact local minimum wage ordinances

· Restores a person’s right to recover through the state court system when they are fired based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or religion.

· Restores local governments’ authority to enact family leave policies, child welfare protections and similar polices

· Restores local governments’ authority to contract on terms that include protections for all communities

· Opens the door for NCAA, ACC, NBA tournaments and other sporting events in North Carolina

· Puts North Carolina back on the list for many business and job creators.

This is where we are:

· We can’t let perfect be the enemy of good. This bill is not perfect and it’s not all that we want for our state. With our extremely limited leverage, we had to act to stop the bleeding.

· We have to look at the reality of the political landscape in North Carolina. Republicans have a super majority in the House and the Senate. They have the power to pass whatever legislation they want without any Democratic input. Which means, they could have passed a RFRA bill in response to all this; they could have passed further discriminations; they could have passed further sanctions on cities and counties.

· Repealing HB 2 lifts economic sanctions, but it doesn’t restore human rights because they weren’t effectively in place to start with – and we take the blame for that. Make no mistake: this is not the end. We must not quit until we add LGBT protections across North Carolina. But this is a good start.

In Raleigh

· S447. Turning TAs Into Teachers. (Barefoot, McInnis, Smith-Ingram)

o Amends SL 2016-94, Section 8.29, pertaining to the Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Pilot Program. Expands the pilot program to include the local boards of education in Bertie County Schools, Duplin County Schools, Edenton-Chowan County Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Halifax County Schools, Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, Northampton County Schools, Tyrrell County Schools, Vance County Schools, and Washington County Schools, beginning with the 2017-18 fiscal year. Makes changes to clarify the existing specified local boards of education are participating in the pilot program beginning with the 2016-17 fiscal year. Adds a provision allowing for a teacher assistant to continue to receive salary and benefits while student teaching in the local school administrative unit in accordance with GS 115C-310 (teacher assistants engaged in student teaching).

o Directs all of the local boards of education participating in the pilot program to jointly report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2018, and every year thereafter, including the previous report specifications. Makes changes to clarify that the local boards of education participating in the pilot program for the 2016-17 fiscal year are to jointly report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2017.

o Appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction $225,000 in recurring funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year for expanding the number of local school administrative units participating in the pilot program.

· SB 483: NC Comprehensive School Accountability (Smith-Ingram, Clark)

Filed

o This bill would require comprehensive and uniform accountability through student testing for private schools receiving opportunity scholarship funds.

o Given that the state is providing public dollars to private schools for education opportunities, it is imperative that we hold these schools accountable and ensure they are being both good stewards of public dollars and effective educators.

· SB 484: PARTF Funding Conditions and Match. (Smith-Ingram)

Filed

o Sets the local governmental unit match at 50% for local park and recreation purposes other than projects described in below. Provides that the appraised value of land that is donated to a local government unite or public authority can by applied to the match required by this provision.

o Sets the local governmental unit match at 15% for tier one counties and 10% for tier two or three counties for land acquisition, including the acquisition of unbuildable lots for public recreational purposes. Requires at least 50% of the local match to be in cash, and allows up to 50% to be the value of in-kind donations by the local governmental unit.

o Sets the local governmental match at 25% in tier one counties and 10% in tier two and three counties for park and recreation site improvements. Requires at least 50% of the local match to be in cash, and allows up to 50% to be the value of in-kind donations by the local governmental unit.

Bills to Watch

· S314. Give Retirees 2% COLA/Funds. (Waddell, D. Davis, Smith-Ingram)

o Amends GS 135-5, concerning retirement benefits for teachers and state employees, adding new subsection (vvv), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.

o Amends GS 135-65, concerning retirement benefits for individuals in the consolidated judicial retirement system, adding new subsection (gg), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.

o Amends GS 120-4.22A, concerning retirement benefits for members of the legislative retirement system, adding new subsection (aa), providing for cost-of-living increases of 2%.

o Appropriates $88 million from the General Fund to the Reserve for Retiree Cost-of-Living Adjustments for the 2017-18 fiscal year and $88 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year to implement the cost-of-living adjustment authorized in this act.

· S467. North Carolina Retirement Reform. (Wells, Rabon, Rabin)

o An Act to reform the North Carolina retirement system by providing that certain persons hired by the state beginning July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan rather than the teachers’ and state employees’ retirement system or the consolidated judicial retirement system; to provide that members of the general assembly who first become members on or after July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan rather than the legislative retirement system; to provide that certain local governmental employees hired on or after July 1, 2018, shall participate in the North Carolina 401(k) plan or North Carolina 457 plan; to change state health plan eligibility for state retirees; and to make conforming changes.

Come Meet the Senator

· Northampton County Commissioners’ Meeting – Monday, April 3rd – 9am

· Washington County Commissioners’ Meeting – Monday, April 3rd – 6pm

· Tarboro High School – Monday, April 10th – 10am –

The Watch Dog response: I would love to see a Town Hall meeting to talk about these things so that the correct information can be communicated because some folk talk about the issue but I wonder do they know all the facts. I think that folk are getting bits and pieces and don’t know the whole story which would make them better able to talk about the issue. 

Women’s Day At Anderson Chapel Was Fabuloustastic Featuring Minister/Senator Erica Smith-Ingram, Traveling Gospelaires and Christopher Boone

imageMinister/Senator Erica Smith-Ingram gave a fabouloustastic message along with music by the Traveling Gospelaires. Smith-Ingram also presented recognition to Christopher Boone for saving some lives during a Pitt County fire.

Click on photo for more photos and to watch video.

Women’s Day Anderson Chapel MBC Sunday May 1st Featuring Senator Erica Smith-Ingram and The Traveling Gospelaires

The Women’s Day Committee, Pastor Malcom E. Lewis and the Anderson Chapel MBC Family invite you to join us as we celebrate Women’s Day 2016. Erica Smith-Ingram Minister/Senate District 3 Representative will be the messenger for the May 1st 11:00 AM celebration. The Traveling Gospelaires featuring Sis. Peggy Battle and Minister Juanita Green will sing songs of glory.

Weekly Update – Friday, September 25, 2015 – Senator Erica Smith-Ingram

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In Raleigh…

McCrory signs Medicaid privatization bill (Raleigh News & Observer) — Gov. Pat McCrory signed a major overhaul of the state’s Medicaid system into law Wednesday.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article36309216.html

Jobs incentives bill heads to McCrory (Raleigh News & Observer) — The N.C. House took a final 78-24 vote Wednesday to replenish the state’s main incentives fund to recruit jobs, sending the measure to Gov. Pat McCrory.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article36275760.html

Pending bills will mean big changes for NC voters (WRAL-TV) — North Carolina primaries will be moved to a March 15 under a bill previewed by lawmakers Wednesday. A separate bill would label all judicial candidates on a ballot with their partisan affiliation, although elections would remain nonpartisan.
http://www.wral.com/pending-bills-will-mean-big-changes-for-north-carolina-voters/14921521/

N.C. judge allows voter ID lawsuit to continue (AP) — A judge on Wednesday declined to dismiss a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s photo identification requirement to vote that starts next year, even though lawmakers recently eased the mandate for some without IDs wishing to cast ballots.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/north-carolina-judge-allows-voter-id-lawsuit-continue-2990675

Leaders tout economic impact of gas pipeline (Rocky Mount Telegram) — An interstate natural gas pipeline running beneath Nash County would be an economic boon to the area, according to local and state officials.
http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/leaders-tout-economic-impact-gas-pipeline-2990527

NCC brewing program launches with new instructor (Rocky Mount Telegram) — With the launch of Nash Community College’s Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation Associate Degree program this semester, students are enrolled in classes such as BDF 111 Sanitation and Safety and BDF 114 Craft Beer Brewing.
http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/community/roll-call/ncc-brewing-program-launches-new-instructor-2984129

Learn Like a Girl (EdNC) — The North Carolina Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for United Nations Women held its second annual learning and engagement luncheon yesterday at the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh. The event, “Learn Like a Girl: Gender, Education, Empowerment,” covered a wide-range of issues and challenges facing young women, both locally and globally, from human trafficking to online sexual harassment.
https://www.ednc.org/2015/09/23/learn-like-a-girl/

Report: N.C. Minority-Owned Businesses Bouncing Back from Recession (Public News Service) — Minority-owned businesses are rebounding following the Great Recession, according to a new report by The Institute, an organization that aims to expand and diversify North Carolina’s business base.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-09-21/livable-wages-working-families/report-minority-owned-businesses-bouncing-back-from-recession/a48199-1

Stein steps into 2016 AG race (WRAL-TV) — A day before a series of appearances across the state, state Sen. Josh Stein announced Sunday via an email to supporters that he’s running for attorney general in 2016.
http://www.wral.com/stein-steps-into-2016-ag-race/14914006/

Obama has vastly changed the face of the federal bureaucracy (Washington Post) — Women, minorities and gay Americans are now occupy top posts in record numbers.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-has-vastly-changed-the-face-of-the-federal-bureaucracy/2015/09/20/73ef803a-5631-11e5-abe9-27d53f250b11_story.html

Contact Information

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NC Senate District 3

Serving

Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell and Washington Counties

919-715-3040 (O); 919-754-3344 (F)

Email: Erica.Smith-Ingram@ncleg.net

 

Senator Erica Smith-Ingram Outlines the 2015-17 Budget Plan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday — September 22, 2015
Senator Erica Smith-Ingram Outlines the 2015-17 Budget Plan

Raleigh, NC – On Friday, by a vote of 118–36, the NC General Assembly (the Senate and House combined) voted on the biennial budget. With any budget, there are good appropriations and not enough attention to some issues. The ratified budget was made available on yesterday, and I am reaching out to you today to share with you some highlights and targets for future work.  As your Senator, I voted for this budget because it is a progressive plan that will move District 3 and the State of North Carolina forward. While I didn’t like the $750 one-time bonus for state employees and teachers, the only other option was nothing at all.  Main Street Democrats will work diligently during the short-session in May to dedicate budget surplus revenues to fund a significant pay raise for teachers and state employees. While it is not a perfect budget, I sincerely believe that northeastern North Carolina is better served with this budget than the previous version. I am particularly proud of the State Broadband, Driver’s Education funding, NCWorks and the portions of the budget in which I was most directly involved.

District Benefits

· Broadband – The bill that I introduced, S615 – Rural Broadband Infrastructure that tasks the state CIO, through its Office of Digital Infrastructure, and with the assistance of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Administration, the Department of Commerce, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was placed in this year’s budget. This portion of the bill will develop a State broadband plan that ensures all citizens of North Carolina access to broadband capability.  It further develops a statewide strategic plan that promotes a robust broadband infrastructure.  Additionally, $14 million over the biennium is being invested to insure connectivity in all of our schools.

· Distribution Sales Tax for Economic Development – All of the counties in District 3 receive additional sales tax revenue: a combined total of at minimum $10 million for District 3.

· Historic Preservation Tax Credit – Restored and appropriated $8 million to invest in revitalization especially in our rural areas.

  • Elizabeth City State University – $3 million is appropriated per year for stabilization funds to Elizabeth City State University.
  • Grassroots Science Program – Funds appropriated to the Department of Commerce for Tier 1 counties awarding grants to science museums located in economically distressed areas.

· Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Lake Maintenance Fund – This will be a significant step in addressing the hydrilla and dredging issues in several counties of our District.

Statewide Benefits

· Department of Military and Veterans Affairs – Providing the necessary tools and resources for veterans who have served our country and protected our freedom. Appropriations for the biennium is $17,343,249.

· Deleted Harmful Provision Ending Retirement Health Benefits for State Employees Hired After January 1, 2016 – The previous version

· NCWorks – NC Works Career Coach Program to place community college career coaches in high schools to assist students with determining career goals and identifying community college programs that would enable students to achieve these goals

· Eugenics Compensation Payments – Qualified recipients will receive compensation. (added this)

· $300 million for economic development grants – Implemented through various provisions including restored appropriations for minority and small-businesses and Community Development Block Grants.

Criminal Justice

· State Highway Patrol Beginning July 1, 2015, the salaries of all sworn members of the State Highway Patrol were increased by three percent (3%) as well as the starting pay for an entry-level position in the State Highway Patrol is increased by three percent (3%).

· Body-Worn Cameras – Provides $2.5 million for matching grants to local and county law enforcement agencies to purchase and place into service body-worn video cameras and for training and related expenses

· Budget funds mental health reforms in some prisons – A projected $12 million over the next two years is appropriated to expand the mental health facility at Central Prison in Raleigh and create eight treatment units at maximum-security prisons across the state. This funding will provide for 218 new positions within these new facilities, with hiring divided roughly in half between 2015 and 2016.

Education

· Teacher Pay – Allocation of approximately $313 million for compensation increases to State employees including a $750 bonus for all state employees and step increases to teachers, assistant principals, principals, State Highway Patrol Troopers, clerks and magistrates. I will work diligently during the short-session in May to dedicate budget surplus revenues to fund a more significant and comprehensive pay raise for teachers and state employees.

· Driver’s Education Funding – I sponsored a Driver’s Education bill, S515, and am proud to see that part of this budget includes my bill. It funds driver’s education programs to all physically and mentally qualified persons who are older than 14 years and six months, are approved by the principal of the school, are enrolled in public, private or homeschooled high school within the State and have not previously enrolled in the program.

· Teacher Assistant Allotments – I worked tirelessly in advocating for Teacher Assistants to remain in our budget. I am especially proud that my and other legislators’ efforts were successful. The budget provides local school administrative units the dollar equivalent of teacher assistant positions.

· Nonpermanent Retirees Returning May Retain Their Coverage – retirees returning to work for the State may retain their coverage options under the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees

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Contact Information

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NC Senate District 3

Serving

Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell and Washington Counties

919-715-3040 (O); 919-754-3344 (F)

Email: Erica.Smith-Ingram@ncleg.net

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P. Angelicia Simmons, Legislative Assistant
Office of Senator Erica Smith-Ingram

Room 1118, State Legislative Building
NC Senate  – District 3
16 W. Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
smith-ingramla@ncleg.net

Angelicia.Simmons@ncleg.net
919-715-3040 (p)

919-754-3344 (f)

www.ncleg.net

Subscribe to Senator Erica Smith-Ingram’s newsletter by clicking here

St. Paul MBC Tarboro NC – Senator Erica Smith-Ingram Will Be The Messenger For Women’s Day Sunday July 12, 2015

imageSenator Erica Smith-Ingram District 3 will be the messenger for their annual Women’s Day Celebration St. Paul MBC Church 900 Lloyd Street Tarboro NC on Sunday July 12, 2015 11:00 AM.

Photo: Senator was speaker for the Dr. Martin L. King Breakfast in January 2015 at the Administration Bldg. Tarboro NC. Click on photo for more photos.