Rep. Shelly Willingham Legislative Lane Thursday July 2, 2020

LEGISLATIVE LANE – Thursday July 2, 2020

The Honorable Shelly Willingham

..At YOUR Service!…..

300 N Salisbury Street

Legislative Office Building

Suite 513

Raleigh, NC 27603

shelly.willingham@ncleg.net

(919) 715-3024 (O)

(919) 754-3224 (F)



DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe & Martin


Governor Cooper Signs these Bills into Law

Governor Cooper shared this statement on HB 1096:

“Expanding the Teaching Fellows program will get North Carolina’s brightest students committed to teaching in our state’s classrooms. We should  include HBCUs in the expansion to improve diversity at the front of the classroom, which research shows can improve student performance.”

Governor Cooper shared this statement on SB 818:

“I signed this bill because it funds step increases for teachers that have already been promised, but it falls outrageously short on raises we need to give teachers and all school personnel like bus drivers and cafeteria workers. The Legislature must make educator pay a top priority when they come back in September.” 

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North Carolina Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced last week that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. 

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus.

Based on the metrics laid out in April, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to pause in Phase 2. 

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.
  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.
  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated. 
  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.

Businesses can download templates for signs on face coverings here.



Read Frequently Asked Questions about last week’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings. 


Legislators, Advocates Push for Needed Changes to NC’s Unemployment System

Long before the COVID-19 crisis, North Carolina had the worst unemployment system in the country for unemployed workers. Our system provided too little in compensation, for too short a period of time, to too few unemployed workers.

I am a strong supporter of House Bill 1075 to fix the unemployment system now so jobless workers can weather the current crisis and the next one. Federal pandemic assistance programs are set to expire at the end of July and December, leaving workers and businesses across our state with an inadequate system to stabilize the state’s economy through to a full recovery, particularly given the potential for a second wave of the virus in the fall.

House Bill 1075 would:

·        Lengthen the amount of time an unemployed worker could potentially receive compensation to 26 weeks (up from 13);

·        Increase the maximum potential weekly benefit to $450/week (up from a max of $350/week); and

·        Expand when a worker could receive unemployment such as when a spouse relocates for a job.

Democrats Propose Small Business Relief Grants to Businesses Closed Due to COVID-19

Last week House Democrats proposed a $50 million grant program to help small businesses like gyms forced to close due to COVID-19. Priority for the grants would be given to businesses with less than 100 employees and those who are not receiving federal small business assistance.

Republican leaders blocked consideration of the amendment, instead, putting in their own, similar amendment in a bill that is currently sitting in a legislative graveyard.

All of our businesses will continue to suffer until the public health situation improves and consumers grow confident enough to resume normal spending. Until then, we should stop partisan political games and provide our closed businesses with funding to help them survive.

Democrats Propose Requiring Agricultural Production Facilities to Better Protect Factor Workers as a Condition of Receiving COVID-19 Funding

North Carolina has more COVID-19 outbreaks at meat and poultry processing facilities than any other state. Despite voluntary guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and NC DHHS, more than 2,000 processing plant workers had tested positive for the virus by the end of May. These workers are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic, a major contributing factor as to the growing spread of the virus in these communities.

HB 1201 spends nearly $18 million to help small, independent meat processors to increase production. House Democrats put forward an amendment to require the processing plants to comply with safety guidance from federal and state health officials as a condition to receive funding. The amendment died on a tied vote with some Republicans joining Democrats in voting Yes.

After the amendment failed, a compromise amendment was adopted to require the grant recipients to submit to public health officials a plan detailing how they will protect employees from viral spread.


“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

— William Faulkner


STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!

PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:

1.      Wear a face covering

2.     Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time

3.     Wait 6 feet apart from other people 

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020


2020 House Committee Assignments

  • Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations-Transportation
  • Congressional Redistricting
  • Disaster Relief
  • Economic Development & Global Engagement
  • Elections and Ethics Law
  • House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via http://www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)



  • Insurance
  • Residential Planning and Permitting
  • Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House
  • State and Local Government

Rep. Shelly Willinghan Legislative Lane Friday June 26, 2020

LEGISLATIVE LANE – Friday June 26, 2020

The Honorable Shelly Willingham

..At YOUR Service!..

300 N Salisbury Street

Legislative Office Building

Suite 513

Raleigh, NC 27603

shelly.willingham@ncleg.net

(919) 715-3024 (O)

(919) 754-3224 (F)



DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe & Martin

 
 

State Investment in Water Rescue Equipment Pays off for Rocky Mount

ROCKY MOUNT: As floodwaters rose this week along the Tar River to levels not seen since Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, water rescue teams from the Rocky Mount Fire Department put some new state-provided equipment into action, rescuing people stranded in their homes and vehicles.

“We are grateful for our first responders who rescued people during these floods and brought them to safety,” said Governor Cooper. “Having the right equipment to do the job saves lives.”

More than $2 million in search and rescue funding was included in Governor Cooper’s 2019 budget and appropriated by the legislature. Last July, North Carolina Emergency Management distributed $1.4 million in new gear to water rescue teams across the state, including boats, motors, fuel tanks, life jackets, dry suits, paddles and maintenance supplies. 

The Rocky Mount Fire Department received two inflatable swift water rescue boats and motors valued at approximately $55,000. Rocky Mount Fire was one of 26 agencies that received new equipment last summer. 

“This investment in our local water rescue teams makes us stronger and more prepared as a state,” said Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “The Rocky Mount Fire Department was able to respond and assist its residents this week, and those of surrounding communities, without needing to wait for help from elsewhere.”

“The resources provided to our swiftwater team by the state of North Carolina have proven to be especially valuable over the past three days and have played a key role in the success of our team assisting our citizens,” said RMFD Battalion Chief of Operations and Swiftwater Emergency Rescue Team member Charles Bunn, III. “We are grateful for these resources that have allowed us to fulfill our mission of serving the City of Rocky Mount by protecting lives and property through quality and excellence in service.”

Using a combination of boats and high-clearance trucks, Rocky Mount firefighters were able to assist 92 people and four pets in evacuating 75 flooded homes. About 20 commercial buildings in town were also affected by floodwaters. The American Red Cross is assisting some of the flooded-out residents with temporary shelter.

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Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all ESRD (kidney failure) patients through education and advocacy. We are is a national, non-profit, patient-led organization located in Washington, DC with offices in Chicago, IL and Sacramento, CA.

Kidney failure patients are particularly vulnerable to viruses and infections, and the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting their lives. As I shared with you in April, we are providing our members with critical information they need to safely navigate through the pandemic since kidney patients must continue to dialyze as a matter of life and death.

· The DPC Education Center website at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/ is dedicated to improving kidney patients’ quality of life and reducing the impact of ESRD through education and awareness of dialysis and kidney disease issues. While the website can be translated into multiple languages via Google Translation, we also offer a dedicated Spanish section (https://www.dpcedcenter.org/resources/spanish/) for those who prefer to read content in Spanish.

· The Kidney Citizen magazine provides timely information on a variety of topics. Distribution is via mail and electronically at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/the-kidney-citizen/ If you’d like to be added to the distribution list of this free publication, please reply to this email with your preferred mailing address.

As North Carolina focuses on the needs of vulnerable populations in light of COVID-19. Kidney failure is on the rise and disproportionately impacts communities of color that already experience many health disparities. Please keep ESRD patients in mind. They depend on state resources such as Medicaid, transportation services, chronic renal disease programs, access to Medigap coverage and increased access to living organ donation.

***SEE WEBINAR INFORMATION BELOW ***



Governor Cooper Signs 12 Bills, Vetoes One

Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law:

· House Bill 158: Covid-19 New Driver Response

· House Bill 472: NCSU/ NC A&T Matching Funds/ Umstead Act

· House Bill 1208: Funding for Workforce Housing Loan Program

· House Bill 1136: Funds for NCSSM – Morganton Campus

· House Bill 1071: Funds to DPI for ADM Growth

· Senate Bill 379: Retirement System Admin. Changes

· Senate Bill 562: The Second Chance Act

Governor Cooper shared this statement on SB 562:

“We can give people who make amends for past mistakes the opportunity to clear their records. This bill offers that opportunity and a path to good jobs and a brighter future.” 



· Senate Bill 720: GSC Conforming Amends./ 2019 Land-Use Changes

· Senate Bill 729: GSC Modernize Partition Laws

· Senate Bill 801: Military Presence Stabilization Fund/ Funding

· Senate Bill 806: Capital Appropriation – Western Carolina Univ.

· Senate Bill 836: State Operations/ Increase Federal Funds Use

Governor Cooper also vetoed the following bill:

House Bill 594: Temp Open Gyms/ Health Clubs/ Fitness Ctrs

Governor Cooper shared this statement on HB 594:

“Tying the hands of public health officials in times of pandemic is dangerous, especially when case counts and hospitalizations are rising. State and local officials must be able to take swift action during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge of patients from overwhelming hospitals and endangering the lives of North Carolinians. The bill could restrict leaders who need to respond quickly to outbreaks and protect public health and safety.”

###

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

— Frank Jackson

STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!

PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:

1.      Wear a face covering

2.     Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time

3.     Wait 6 feet apart from other people

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020

2020 House Committee Assignments

· Alcoholic Beverage Control

· Appropriations

· Appropriations-Transportation

· Congressional Redistricting

· Disaster Relief

· Economic Development & Global Engagement

· Elections and Ethics Law

· House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)



· Insurance

· Residential Planning and Permitting

· Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House

· State and Local Government

IT IS THE…

#Timeforwaitingisover
#Fearoftheshiftabsodamnlutely
#Sickandtiredofbeingsickandtired
#Blacklivesmatter #Iwatchedvideo
#Whereisthethreat
#
Icantbreathe8minutes46seconds
#Policebrutalitymurdertheytired

#1898WilmingtonRaceRiot
#1921TulsaBlackWallStreet
#Confederatemonumentstograveyard
#Tiredofsafenegroblackfolk
#Unstablepresident
#Iamnotok #Ibeenengagedbeforenow
#Coronavirusstayfocused #Stayhome

Curmilus Butch Dancy II 2020

Legislative Lane-COVID-19 Friday June 12, 2020

LEGISLATIVE LANE – COVID-19

Friday June 12, 2020

 

 

The Honorable Shelly Willingham

 

..At YOUR Service!..

300 N Salisbury Street

Legislative Office Building

Suite 513

Raleigh, NC 27603

shelly.willingham@ncleg.net

 

(919) 715-3024 (O)

(919) 754-3224 (F)



 

DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe & Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Chance Act (SB 562)

After 13 months of legislative inaction, the Second Chance Act (SB 562) passed the NC House yesterday on a unanimous vote. It had previously passed the NC Senate unanimously before leadership stalled the bill in the House.

 

The Second Chance Act is an important step in improving expunctions in North Carolina. Expunctions help people who committed crimes a long time ago to clear their records and improve their opportunities for jobs.

 

Here are some important improvements the bill makes:

–      Provides automatic record clearing for charges dismissed or disposed of as “not guilty.”

–      Allows expunctions for people whose convictions are treated as juvenile offenses under Raise the Age.

–      Expands eligibility for expunctions for people who have been convicted of multiple nonviolent misdemeanors.

 

House Democrats Stand Strong to Stop Re-Opening Bars

Last week the General Assembly passed HB 536 to re-open bars in North Carolina even while hospitalizations in our state hit a record-high. Governor Cooper vetoed it.

On Wednesday, the House Republican leadership scheduled the veto override vote. While much of our legislative work and votes can be done using remote means, the wording in our state constitution requires veto votes to be in person. So lawmakers in both parties who had been using remote technology had to come vote in person.

 

When it became apparent that the Democrats had all shown up and the Republican leadership would lose the veto vote, they cancelled the vote. So the bill to re-open bars remains blocked.

 

Re-Opening Bars (again), Gyms, and Taking Power Away from Public Health Officials

The veto of the bar bill prompted Republican leaders to try a different approach. They cobbled together a proposal to re-open bars and gyms into HB 594 (a bill that previously dealt with homeowners’ association bylaws). Included was a power play to take power away power from Governor Cooper’s public health team at the Department of Health and Human Services and give it to the Council of State. The Council of State are elected statewide politicians like the Commissioner of Agriculture and the State Auditor. They are all elected to do important jobs, none of which involve issues of public health. Stripping away the power of Governor Cooper’s public health team would limit their ability to respond to illegal mass gatherings and to respond to changing COVID-19 conditions.

 

The new bill never received a House committee hearing and no amendments or changes were allowed. Instead, it was rushed to the floor for a full vote.

 

Other News

House Democrats want Republicans to set aside differences to attack systemic racism

NC Policy Watch

House Democrats discuss how to respond to systemic racism

WRAL

NC House Democrats Highlight Crucial First Steps In Addressing Systemic Racism

Spectacular Magazine

 

 

 

***FOOD DISTRIBUTION***

Saturday June 13th – 9am 

Southeast Rocky Mount Community “Farm to Family” Project 2020 Food Distribution – 704 Arlington St. Rocky Mount, NC 27801 – drive through service.

 

 

Contract Extended Through 2023

 

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA Dr. Evan D. Duff has been named the eighth President of North Carolina Wesleyan College. The announcement came early this month from Dr. Dan Crocker, Chair of thDuff was appointed as Acting President by the Board of Trustees on June 10, 2019 and later accepted a two-year contract as Interim President. Following recent discussions with faculty and staff, a consensus decision was made by the Board of Trustees in their May 29 assembly to appoint Duff as President and extend his contract for an additional two years. The extension positions Duff as President for the College through May 31, 2023.

 

In his statement to faculty and staff, Dr. Crocker, Chair of the Board, noted “the remarkable manner in which Dr. Duff took the reins since last summer, leading both efficiently and effectively.” He also mentioned “the extraordinary financial turnaround [of the College] in just one year with Evan at the helm.”

 

Over the last year, Dr. Duff has worked diligently with the Provost and faculty to develop new academic programs, namely Wesleyan’s new RN to BSN Program, set to begin this fall. In collaboration with faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, he has been instrumental in developing a new vision, core values and a comprehensive strategic plan for the College, while providing significant leadership in the College’s efforts to finalize the educational space of Wesleyan’s new Indoor Sports and Education Facility, currently under construction.

 

The Executive Advisory Committee of the Board agreed to complete a yearly formal presidential assessment, which is currently in-process under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Stern, Chair of NC Wesleyan’s Faculty Council. Critiques from this assessment will be a valuable resource for both the Board of Trustees and Dr. Duff as he continues to lead the College.

 

“I am humbled by this opportunity that the Board has granted me, and I look forward to serving the faculty, staff, students, alumni, area churches and the community as we all continue to ensure the mission of the College is met. There is no greater time than the present to ensure our students are informed and educated citizens who are passionate about being positive change agents,” said Dr. Duff.

 

 

 

“Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment.”

— Stephen Covey

 

 

STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!

 

 

PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:

1.      Wear a face covering

2.     Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time

3.     Wait 6 feet apart from other people

 

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

 

 

REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020

 

 

2020 House Committee Assignments

 

·        Alcoholic Beverage Control

·        Appropriations

·        Appropriations-Transportation

 

·        Congressional Redistricting

 

·        Disaster Relief

 

·        Economic Development & Global Engagement

·        Elections and Ethics Law

 

·        House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via http://www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)



·        Insurance

 

·        Residential Planning and Permitting

·        Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House

 

·        State and Local Government

 

 

Rep. Shelly Willingham Newsletter May 29, 2020

LEGISLATIVE LANE – COVID-19

Friday May 29, 2020

The Honorable Shelly Willingham

..At YOUR Service!..

300 N Salisbury Street

Legislative Office Building

Suite 513

Raleigh, NC 27603

shelly.willingham@ncleg.net

(919) 715-3024 (O)

(919) 754-3224 (F)



DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe & Martin

 
 

COVID-19 Elections Bill Passes NC House

A compromise elections bill with good and bad provisions (and omissions) passed overwhelmingly in the NC House yesterday. I voted YES. HB 1169 now goes to the State Senate for its consideration.

COVID-19 illustrates the need for voters to have a number of safe options to cast a vote: a voter-friendly vote by mail system, in-person Early Voting with numerous sites and extended hours, and in-person Election Day voting that is not crowded.Here is a breakdown of what is in the bill and what is not.

What HB 1169 Does

·        Allows you to request an absentee ballot with your cell phone through a new online portal;

·        Lowers the witness requirement to cast an absentee ballot from two to one;

·        Invests funds for more and larger early voting sites, more weekend hours, and PPE for voting sites;

·        Makes it easier for counties to recruit poll workers;

·        Improves procedures for election officials and voters to track an absentee ballot;

·        Prevents the 2020 election from being a mail-in ballot ONLY election;

·        Allows the use of a public assistance photo ID (more on this below).



What HB 1169 Does Not Do

·        Make Election Day a holiday to encourage voting and poll worker volunteering;

·        Provide for postage-paid mail-in absentee ballots;

·        Make it harder to vote early or by mail-in ballot.

What’s the Deal with Photo ID?

North Carolina’s constitution requires a photo ID to vote, but the details are left to the legislature. Lame duck Republican legislators who lost in the 2018 election used a Christmas 2018 special session to push through laws that allowed some photo IDs to count, but prevented other photo IDs from being used for voting.

State and federal courts have stepped into say the legislature’s decision to bless some IDs and ban others was unconstitutional. So, right now, there is no requirement to show a photo ID for the 2020 election and that is highly unlikely to change before November.

Whenever the photo ID requirement is implemented, HB 1169 includes a provision to allow public assistance IDs to count for voting purposes. This was one of the issues fought about in court, but many other issues remain for the courts to resolve.

What Else Should We Do to Help Voters?

Protecting the right to vote and promoting voter participation are critical for our democracy. While the bill that passed this week is a good first step, there are other steps we can take such as the ones in HB 1184. HB 1184 was filed this week, but has yet to receive a hearing. It would make it easier to register to vote by extending the deadline by 14 days, expand options to submit absentee ballot request forms, provide pre-paid postage for absentee ballot forms, promote the counting of all absentee ballots, make 2020 Election Day a paid state holiday, and provide for drive-thru voting at early voting sites if necessary because of COVID-19 or another infectious disease outbreak.

Legislature Votes to Reopen Bars on NC’s Highest Day for Hospitalizations and Deaths

Legislative leaders used emergency rules to push through in one day HB 536, a bill that would override Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders and local rules to re-open bars across the state immediately. The bill passed 65 to 53 and I voted NO.

North Carolina recently entered the “Safer at Home” Phase Two of our COVID-19 response. Public health officials did not allow bars to open due to concerns about crowded conditions, alcohol and a lack of social distancing. HB 536 would override the judgment of public health officials, Governor Cooper and limit the ability of towns, cities, and counties to apply local restrictions. The bill now goes to Governor Cooper for a possible veto.

Update on COVID-19 Case Count

According to the Department of Health and Human Service’s official count as of May 29, North Carolina has 26,448 cases. There are 680 people hospitalized with COVID-19 with 859 confirmed deaths.

You can visit the state’s COVID-19 dashboard to see how we are doing on the important benchmarks we need to meet to ease stay-at-home restrictions and see demographic data, zip code counts, and other info:

https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc

Where You Can Get Tested for COVID-19

North Carolinians can now go online to find a testing site on the DHHS website. The list will be updated regularly as testing sites may shift in the coming weeks. There are more than 200 sample site locations in 54 North Carolina counties, some at no cost to the test taker. Doctors and clinicians may also do in-office testing.

STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!

PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:

1.      Wear a face covering

2.     Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time

3.     Wait 6 feet apart from other people

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

Austin Todd Matthews Named to Spring 2020 Dean’s List at Mars Hill University

Austin Todd Matthews of Rocky Mount is among 382 Mars Hill University students named on the Honor Roll of the Academic Dean at the end of the spring 2020 semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 on a minimum of 12 semester hours, and carry no grade below a C.

Luke Eichmann Named to Dean’s List at Bob Jones University

Luke Eichmann, a Freshman Culinary Arts major of Tarboro, was among over 850 Bob Jones University students named to the Spring 2020 Dean’s List. The Dean’s List recognizes students who earn a 3.00-3.74 grade point average during the semester.

                                

Jacqueline Routhier of Rocky Mount made the Slippery Rock University Dean’s List.

Slippery Rock University has announced its dean’s list for the spring 2020 semester. The dean’s list consists of SRU undergraduate students who earned an adjusted semester grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, based on a schedule of at least 12 newly attempted and earned credits.

Co-Sponsored Legislation



· H1178: Brake for Our Future Act of 2020.

· H1180: Sam’s Law.

· H1181: Certain Appropriations For Education/COVID.

· H1182: Funds For Educational Entities/COVID.

· H1184: Ensure Safer Voting for 2020 Elections.

· H1188: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Benefit Increase/COVID-19.

· H1190: UNC-TV/At-Home Learning Initiative.

· H1191: ECU Brody School of Medicine Funds.

· H1192: Student Health Collaborative Pilot.

· H1196: COVID-19 Tests and Personal Protective Equipment for Congregate Living/Funds.

· H1197: Appropriate Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Funds/2020 Elections.

· H1200: Foreclosure Prevention Grants/Rental and Utility Assistance.

· H1201: Local Meat Processors Grant Program.

· H1203: Ensure Healthy Schools/COVID-19.

· H1204: Statewide Telepsychiatry Program/Funds.

· H1205: Expedited State Leasing-Broadband.

· H1206: Student Mental Health Well-Being/COVID-19.

· H1207: Save Our Courts.

· H1208: Workforce Housing Loan Program/Funds.

· H1210: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funds for Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc. (TROSA).

· H1211: Tax Benefits for Paycheck Protection Program Loan – Internal Revenue Code

· H1212: NC Teacher Support Program Funds.

· H1213: DMV/Waive Road Test/Parent/Guardian Liability.

· H1214: Department of Health and Human Services Revisions.

· H1217: Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Historically Minority Serving Institution (HMSI) Funds/Doctoral Program/Teaching Fellows.

· H1218: The Voice Interoperability Plan for Emergency Responders (VIPER) Tower Hardware Upgrades (Fund).

· H1222: Various State Capital Appropriations.

· H1223: Additional Funds for Exceptional Children/COVID-19.

· H1224: Pandemic Emergency Assistance: Restaurants/Lodging.

· H1225: Education and Transportation Bond Act of 2020.

· H1227: Ensure Awareness of Assistance Programs/COVID.

· H1228: Satellite Broadband Grants.

· H1229: Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity/Temp. ABAWD Time Waivers.

REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020

2020 House Committee Assignments

· Alcoholic Beverage Control

· Appropriations

· Appropriations-Transportation

· Congressional Redistricting

· Disaster Relief

· Economic Development & Global Engagement

· Elections and Ethics Law

· House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)



· Insurance

· Residential Planning and Permitting

· Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House

· State and Local Government

Shelly Willingham Legislative Lane COVID-19

LEGISLATIVE LANE – COVID-19

Friday May 22, 2020

The Honorable Shelly Willingham

..At YOUR Service!..

300 N Salisbury Street

Legislative Office Building

Suite 513

Raleigh, NC 27603

shelly.willingham@ncleg.net

(919) 715-3024 (O)

(919) 754-3224 (F)



DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe & Martin

 
 

Andrea Harris, who spent decades helping to build businesses owned by women and minorities in North Carolina, died on Wednesday.

Harris, who was 72, co-founded the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development in 1986 and for years served as president of the Durham-based organization. She spent more than 25 years leading The Institute.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 20, 2020

Phone: 919-814-2100

Email: govpress@nc.gov



Governor Cooper’s Statement on Andrea Harris

On Wednesday, Governor Roy Cooper gave the following statement on the passing of Andrea Harris:

“Andrea Harris was a trailblazer who never stopped fighting for social and racial equity in our state. When doors were intentionally shut, she broke through for women and minority-owned businesses to succeed, modeled excellence in advocacy and mentored scores of freedom fighters. She left an indelible impact on North Carolina’s business and African American communities, and she will be missed. Kristin and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to her friends and loved ones.”

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Remembering Those Who Served and Fought For Our Country!

Monday May 25, 2020

STAY Home, Healthy and Hopeful!

PHASE II REMINDER: The virus is still circulating, and there’s no cure or vaccine yet, so people still need to be cautious. People should remember the 3 W’s when they leave home:

1.      Wear a face covering

2.     Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time

3.     Wait 6 feet apart from other people

Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)

Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. Read Executive Order No. 141.

After two weeks in Phase 1, the state’s overall key indicators remain stable but the continued increases in daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.

Here are the metrics North Carolina is monitoring:

· Syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing for over 14 days. This is a leading indicator of the disease’s trajectory.

· The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases is increasing. But the trajectory of the percentage of tests returning positive has been decreasing and is starting to level.

· Hospitalizations are level.

· NC has more than doubled its daily testing rates with more than 8,000 tests completed daily on average. More than 300 testing sites across North Carolina are posted on the DHHS testing information website.

· The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has already hired more than 150 new contact tracers adding to the 250 already working at our local health departments.

· Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply chains are improving.

What’s included in Safer At Home Phase 2?

Phase 2 lifts the Stay At Home order moving into a Safer At Home recommendation, especially for people at high risk for serious illness. Teleworking is also urged when possible. 

Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 will be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. These limits apply to the following: event venues, conference centers, stadiums and sports arenas, amphitheaters, and groups at parks or beaches. 

Some businesses will remain closed in Phase 2 including: bars, night clubs, gyms and indoor fitness facilities, indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, and bowling alleys. 

Certain businesses will be open at limited capacity with other requirements and recommendations including:

·        restaurants at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements;

·        personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements and mandatory face coverings.

·        pools at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. 

Childcare facilities, day camps and overnight camps will be open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements. Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level. 

Public health recommendations are provided for worship services to practice enhanced social distancing and other cleaning and hygiene practices.

The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through at least Friday, June 26.



CLASS of 2020!

Wishing you well in your future endeavors!

Governor Cooper’s Recent Appointments to Boards and Commissions

North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching:

David M. Farris of Rocky Mount as a representative from Educational Region 3.

Farris is the President and CEO of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Carolinas Gateway Partnership Executive Committee, NC East Alliance, Nash County Travel and Tourism and the Downtown Redevelopment.

He also served as the Past Chairman of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.  

Historic Murfreesboro Commission:

Jacquelyn Ruffin-Pittman of Macclesfield as a member at-large. Ruffin-Pittman currently works as a Media Specialist for two high schools, Northwest Collegiate and Technical Academy and Southeast Collegiate Prep Academy with Halifax County Public Schools. 

Co-Sponsored Legislation



· H1056: Workers’ Compensation/COVID-19/Cover Essential Workers.

· H1057: Workers’ Compensation/COVID-19 Front Line Coverage/Funds.

· H1113: Expand Local Option Sales Tax for Education.

· H1116: Enhancing Accessibility to Teacher Professional Development.

· H1117: Protect Child Care Workers/COVID-19 Pandemic.

· H1122: Provide Affordable Broadband Access to NC.

· H1124: Funding for NC Housing Trust Fund.

· H1129: Ensure a Sound Basic Education.

· H1131: Teacher Pipeline Development.

· H1134: Housing and Foreclosure Prevention Assistance.

· H1135: Housing and Utilities Assistance/COVID-19.

· H1137: Nonprofit Sales Tax Exemption.

· H1139: Local Boards of Education Budget Flexibility.

· H1148: Restore Master’s Pay for Certain Teachers.

· H1149: Police Notice of Person With Intellectual or Developmental Disability in Vehicle.

REMINDER TO COMPLETE CENSUS 2020

2020 House Committee Assignments

· Alcoholic Beverage Control

· Appropriations

· Appropriations-Transportation

· Congressional Redistricting

· Disaster Relief

· Economic Development & Global Engagement

· Elections and Ethics Law

· House Select Committee on COVID-19 (REMOTE ONLY with Public Access via www.ncleg.gov, Click Audio and Committee Room 1228 LB)



· Insurance

· Residential Planning and Permitting

· Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House

· State and Local Government

 

Beth Woods NC State Auditor Press Release In Response To Rep. Shelly Willingham Response To Rocky Mount City Council Audit Findings

imageNorth Carolina Office of the State Auditor 

The Office of the State Auditor Pledges to Investigate Allegations of Fraud, Waste and Abuse of COVID-19 Funds

#ncosa #ncstateauditor #Covid_19 #coronavirus

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Rocky Mount State Rep. Shelly Willingham Respond To State Auditor Beth Woods & The Special Cs White Supremacy Movement 

Rocky Mount NC – City shares information regarding the State of North Carolina Investigative Report

 

 

State auditor: Rocky Mount probe not racially motivated; ‘We have irrefutable evidence’ – The Wilson Times

By Lindell J. Kay | lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

One of North Carolina’s highest-ranking elected officials is pushing back against a lawmaker’s accusations of racism and collusion.

State Auditor Beth Wood said Monday evening that inflammatory statements made by state Rep. Shelly Willingham concerning her office’s audit of Rocky Mount city government are utter nonsense.

“Rep. Willingham said me and the mayor of Rocky Mount are working in collusion. Let me make it clear: I have never even spoken to the mayor until today,” Wood said. “I have spoken to Rep. Willingham twice. I have to say, the statement he made today doesn’t sound at all like the man I spoke to before.”

Willingham said the meritless attack on Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight, Councilman Reuben Blackwell and City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney is part of a pattern of character assassinations of black leaders.

Wood is white; Willingham is black. Knight, Blackwell and Small-Toney are black. All five officials are Democrats.

Wood’s report details Knight benefiting from write-offs of nearly $50,000 in unpaid utility bills, a nonprofit run by Blackwell inappropriately receiving city grant funding and Small-Toney spending taxpayer dollars on extravagant meals.

Wood said many of Willingham’s criticisms fall flat. (Read more)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Rocky Mount State Rep. Shelly Willingham Respond To State Auditor Beth Woods & The Special Cs White Supremacy Movement

The Political Agitator’s response: Thank you Rep. Willingham for responding to the audit and the Special Cs White Supremacy Movement. I have been actively engaged in Rocky Mount Politics and I know the whole truths behind all of this. This has nothing to do with audit findings and the recommendations because if it did Beth, Mayor Sandy Claus Roberson, Councilman Lige Daughtridge Community Council and other Special Cs would not be trying to use scare tactics.

The headlines in a recent edition of the Rocky Mount Telegram read “Local Leaders Lament the Results of the State Audit.” As a resident and NC State Representative who represents Rocky Mount, I consider myself a local leader; however, I was never contacted about the audit report. I too, am lamenting the audit report because it is supposed to be an independent, unbiased and professional assessment in the investigation of the City of Rocky Mount.

We are amidst a global pandemic, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is impacting racial and ethnic minority groups at a disproportional rate than others. As of the census of 2010, the racial makeup of the City of Rocky Mount was 61.3% African American, 32.4% White, 0.6% Native American, 1.0% Asian, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 3.7% of the population.

Now more than ever before, it is important that elected officials and government staff continue to work with all stakeholders in addressing the coronavirus crisis, by continuing every measure possible to ensure the well-being and safety of all citizens. Instead, after State Auditor Beth A. Wood put out her Investigative Report on the City of Rocky Mount, citizens are focusing on and have a number of questions as to why two black elected officials and a black female City Manager are being attacked, without merit.

One of the primary concerns is the possible collusion between Wood and City of Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson, who according to an on-line article posted by WRAL on May 15, 2020, “Roberson and Wood are meeting on Monday…” Also, on the same day, without validating, Roberson issued a press release misguiding the public by saying:
1) “There exists a tremendous mistrust of the City government by a large segment of our population that complained at levels to generate a State Audit.
2) The City has failed to provide adequate internal audit processes that would allow it to defend its position with confidence and factual evidence.
3) Governance in Rocky Mount has far too long dealt in a perceived secrecy and behind closed doors process.”
This in turn, raised additional questions. In the spirit of full transparency, constituents want answers to the following:
▪ What complaints were made?
▪ Who are the 213 complainants identified in the Investigative Report (which represents approximately .39 % of the total population)?
▪ If the complaints made led to an audit and no arrest has been made, why is there ongoing discussions between Wood and Roberson?
▪ How were the individuals,’ disclosed in the document, names made public?
▪ Why was only one account holder who received write-offs investigated and not others?
▪ Who are the other account holders who received write-offs and what were their amounts?
▪ Why is the current City Manager being implicated when she was not employed until 2017 and many of the allegations date back to 1999?
There appears to be a pattern of individual assassination of black individuals’ character and a personal attack made on black leadership who were duly elected by the citizens and justifiably appointed by the City Council. The City agreed to and has already begun to implement recommendations of the Investigative Report. After reading the State Auditor’s Final Investigative Report, including the City’s Response to the Auditor’s finding and the City of Rocky Mount pre-audit press release, one can only ascertain that there is a single reason behind this audit – to attack and discredit people of color.

Economic progress and development is occurring at an unprecedented rate in Rocky Mount. All sectors of our City are growing and prospering, even in a COVID-19 pandemic environment. While persisting inequities and disparities cannot be changed in a few years, downtown is seeing more diverse small businesses open, on both Edgecombe and Nash sides of Rocky Mount. Life is being brought back to buildings built in the late 1800s and early 1900s that have not been fully operational since the 1960s. Retail sales are up double digits in Edgecombe County and east Rocky Mount. New and renovated housing developments are evident throughout the entire City. Private and public developers are investing in Downtown Rocky Mount and building new housing for all citizens to enjoy. This is good news and much of the development is a result of collaboration with all people for the benefit of everyone in our entire region.

This audit process and report has been a major distraction from moving our City forward when people are contracting a disease that has killed tens of thousands of people in America and even more across the world. The Audit has been finalized and we would like the questions answered and request that the State Auditor’s Office bring a speedy end to their interference with Rocky Mount’s economic, social and political well-being. Further, we request that the $60 million hotel and parking garage development project be placed for consideration on the next Local Government Commission’s agenda so that we can continue to grow our City.

As a member of The House State and Local Government Committee, I will seek advice on my concerns about the State Auditor’s Office might be addressed.
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Edgecombe County – Visit Rep. Shelly Willingham Webpage For Updates

#Princeville NC, first incorporated town established by former slaves in the US, now under water from flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Rep. Shelly Willingham, Congressman GK Butterfield, Tarboro Fire Chief , Edgecombe County Commissioner Viola Harris.

Erica Smith-Ingram's photo.

Erica Smith-Ingram's photo.

Erica Smith-Ingram's photo.

Erica Smith-Ingram's photo.

Erica Smith-Ingram's photo.

Law Enforcement Officials and the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus met in Raleigh on Tuesday August 16, 2016 to discuss the most effective practices in law enforcement training

 

 

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Shelly Willingham

N.C. House of Representatives

300 N Salisbury Street, #501

Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

(919) 715-3024

(919) 754-3224 (fax)

shellyw@ncleg.net

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Representative Shelly Willingham

        Dedicated to District 23

August 18,2016

 

DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe

Martin

 

COMMITTEES

Agriculture

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Appropriations

Appropriations –   Information Technology

Banking

Education-Universities

Elections

Judiciary IV

 

The audio legislative session is available at http://www.ncleg.net.  Select “Audio and then House or Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room

 

 

 

DISTRICT DISPATCH

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RALEIGH & THE STATE

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North Carolina Communities Receive

$127 Million for Water Projects

govpress@nc.gov

 

Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory’s environmental agency awarded $127 million in loans and grants today that will help North Carolina towns pay for 70 drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.  Since January 2014, the state has provided more than $695 million for similar projects.  Additionally, more than $300 million will be awarded through the Connect NC bond.

 

“Reliable infrastructure is crucial to protecting public health, improving quality of life, and providing economic opportunities in all of our communities,” said Governor McCrory. “These projects will enhance water quality and pave the way for economic growth in towns across the state.”

 

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Law Enforcement Officials and the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus met in Raleigh on Tuesday August 16, 2016 to discuss the most effective practices in law enforcement training.  More here: http://www.wral.com/north-carolina-cops-accountability-trust-improve-relations/15934647/#rCZyTaOhcP3yv8MR.99

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From The Office Of Representative Shelly Willingham

 

 

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Shelly Willingham

N.C. House of Representatives

300 N Salisbury Street, #501

Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

(919) 715-3024

(919) 754-3224 (fax)

shellyw@ncleg.net

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Representative Shelly Willingham

        Dedicated to District 23

May 12, 2016

 

DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe

Martin

 

COMMITTEES

Agriculture

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Appropriations

Appropriations –   Information Technology

Banking

Education-Universities

Elections

Judiciary IV

 

The audio legislative session is available at http://www.ncleg.net.  Select “Audio and then House or Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room

 

 

 

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 23

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REPRESENTATIVE WILLINGHAM on receiving the GREEN TIE clip_image006Award on May 11, 2016.  The GREEN TIE Award recognizes rising stars at the General Assembly.  These rising stars are voices that North Carolina citizens can count on to ensure the environment is a priority, particularly when there are difficult decisions and conflicting interests.

 

RALEIGH & THE STATE

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REPORT: HB2 Could Cost $5B a Year

North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 could cost the state almost $5 billion a year, according to a report Wednesday from the Williams Institute, a UCLA School of Law think tank that focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Most of the economic hit would come from the loss of federal funding, since the U.S. government has said HB2 is a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX. The report, however, also took into account the loss of business investment, reduced travel and tourism, the costs of litigation and enforcement, as well as costs associated with high school dropouts, workplace discrimination, health disparities, productivity loss, retention and recruitment.  Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article76997927.html

NC, US Justice Department File Dueling HB2 Lawsuits

North Carolina and the Justice Department announced dueling lawsuits Monday over the state’s “bathroom bill,” which has become the epicenter of a larger fight over transgender rights. The two complaints, filed several hours apart, took opposing sides in the debate over the law, which bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates. While the state said its law does not discriminate against transgender people or treat transgender employees differently from non-transgender employees, the Justice Department’s civil rights office said the measure is discriminatory and violates civil rights.  Read more here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/05/09/north-carolina-justice-dept-face-monday-deadline-for-bathroom-bill/

 

Lobbyists: NCGOP Pressuring Us to Be Quiet on HB2

While Republican state leaders have complained about being “bullied” by the federal government over House Bill 2, lobbyists in Raleigh tell WRAL News they and the businesses they represent are being bullied by state lawmakers seeking to silence business opposition to the new law.  Lobbyists say they’ve been told – either directly by legislative leaders or by lawmakers’ staff – that, if they or the businesses they represent speak out publicly against House Bill 2, they can expect retribution from House and Senate leaders. Legislation they want won’t move, and other bills could actually target them. WRAL News spoke with 11 lobbyists who have experienced or are aware of such actions, but none would speak on the record for fear they would lose business or be targeted for retribution. One has already lost business. One long-time lobbyist called the pressure a “gross abuse of power.” Another veteran lobbyist labeled it “vicious,” adding, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”  Read more here: http://www.wral.com/lobbyists-lawmakers-seek-to-quiet-hb2-opponents/15698344/

 

Legislative Leaders Set Budget Target

The House and Senate haven’t yet announced details about their budget plans. House budget subcommittees have been meeting this week, and Dollar has said he hopes to have his chamber’s proposal ready in the coming weeks. Agreeing on a spending target early in the process could help avoid the lengthy budget impasse lawmakers faced last year, when the final budget wasn’t approved until nearly three months after the fiscal year began. In 2015, the House passed a budget that increased spending by 5 percent, while the Senate’s budget bill had a 2 percent spending increase. It took weeks of negotiations to arrive at a $21.74 billion budget target, which was a 3.1 percent increase. This year’s budget will bring a smaller increase in state spending, and the decision drew praise from the conservative Americans For Prosperity.  Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article75653822.html

 

NC House Raises Penalties for Drunk Boating

The House voted unanimously Thursday to increase the penalty for impaired boat operators who seriously injure or kill someone. House Bill 958 is named after Sheyenne Marshall, a Cabarrus County teenager who was killed on Lake Norman on July 4, 2015. “Sheyenne Marshall was a very beautiful 17-year-old young lady with a love for life and a lot going for her,” said bill sponsor Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus. “She was on a kneeboard, and a boater who was drunk nearly hit the boat. He swerved to miss the boat but ran over her and killed her.  “The sentencing for this act is way out of proportion to if the same thing had been done with a car. What’s the difference?” Pittman asked. Under current law, boating while impaired is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Read more here: http://www.wral.com/house-raises-penalties-for-drunk-boating-/15699882/

 

 

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Rep. Shelly Willingham Newsletter – Thursday May 28, 2015

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Rep. Shelly Willingham

N.C. House of Representatives

501 N Salisbury Street, #501

Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

(919) 715-3024

(919) 754-3224 (fax)

shellyw@ncleg.net

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Representative Shelly Willingham

Dedicated to District 23

May 28, 2015

DISTRICT 23

Edgecombe

Martin

COMMITTEES

Agriculture

Alcoholic Beverage Control

Appropriations

Appropriations –   Information Technology

Banking

Education-Universities

Elections

Judiciary IV

HOUSE & SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS & SESSION INFO:

www.ncleg.net

HOUSE BUDGET SUMMARY

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13 of 18 Democratic Amendments Adopted Mitigate Damage in House Budget

RALEIGH, NC – House Democrats successfully added the majority of their amendments, that made it to a vote on the House budget.   Democrats offered 18 amendments that were voted on and 13 of the 18 were adopted.

“We were able to mitigate some of the damage in this budget through our amendments that passed on the floor.  The budget should have reflected the priorities of the people of North Carolina yet it fails to retain our best teachers.    Sadly, it fails to raise incomes for middle-class families, fails to recruit new jobs, and – after losing Volvo to South Carolina – fails to make North Carolina competitive,” said Democratic Leader Larry Hall.

“The budget does not address the needs of the majority of the people in this state.   Republicans made devastating cuts in the last several budgets and this budget does not repair that damage. Contrary to claims of support for education, this budget failed to put teacher assistants back into our classrooms.   These micro increases that do not completely restore or surpass support levels prior to Republican cuts do not materially support education, our economy, or the needs of the people.”

Adopted Democratic Floor Amendments:

· Lottery Funds to supplement, not supplant, public education funding

· Disclosure on Use of Lottery Proceeds

· Corner Store Initiative – “Healthy Food Small Retailers”

· $200k of UNC funds to be used for repairs to World War Memorial Stadium at NC A&T State University

· Repeal Closing of Department of Revenue Rocky Mount Call Center

· Joint Study of Justice and Public Safety and Behavioral Health

· Targeted Case Management Services Pilot Program

· Report of Hospice Residential Beds

· Residential Hospice Funds used for non-profit and publicly funded hospice related care facilities

· Grants for Body-Worn Video Cameras for Law Enforcement Agencies

· Collaboration with State Board of Education with Regional Education Service Alliances

· Workers’ Compensation Claims

· DOT funds allocated to each county based on pavement condition scores

House Budget Faces Uncertain Future

McCrory proposed a $21.5 billion General Fund budget for 2015-16, and $22.2 billion for 2016-17. The House budget is set at $22.2 billion the first year and $22.4 billion the second. The chamber’s plan is a 6.3 percent increase for the biennium over the 2014-15 budget.  Asked for a reaction to the House proposal, McCrory spokesman Rick Martinez responded, “The governor stands by his budget.” “I would imagine [Senate leader Phil] Berger, and the leadership of many of our senators, want to maintain what we have accomplished with tax reform, and actually move it in the direction of less credits, less deductions and exemptions, and continue lowering the rates,” said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. 

Read More: www.carolinajournal.com.

HOUSE PASSES BILL ALLOWING MAGISTRATES TO OPT OUT OF SAME SEX MARRIAGES

The N.C. House voted 65-45 Wednesday to allow magistrates to opt out of performing weddings – legislation that stems from the legalization of same-sex marriages in North Carolina last year.  Because the House made no changes to the legislation already approved by the Senate, it will go directly to Gov. Pat McCrory.  In March, McCrory voiced concerns about the bill and said he won’t sign it. He stopped short; however, of saying he would veto it.  The governor can allow bills to become law without his signature. Senate Bill 2 would allow magistrates and register of deeds employees to be exempt from performing weddings if they have a religious objection. 

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article22486821.html

FEDS: NC FOOD STAMP APPROVAL TIME AMONG SLOWEST IN THE NATION

The federal government is again threatening to withdraw operational funding for North Carolina’s food stamp program – this time over the speed at which health officials are approving applications. In a letter to the state’s health agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said North Carolina social services workers failed to approve applications within the required 30-day window, or one week for emergency applications. In 2013, the state processed those applications an average of 75 percent of the time, ranking fifth from the bottom when compared to the rest of the country. This means North Carolina lags behind neighbors Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina and even territories such as the Virgin Islands and Guam. 

Read more here: http://www.wral.com/feds-nc-food-stamp-approval-among-slowest-in-nation/14670357/

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Black leaders oppose proposal to split school district – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Political Agitator response: In response to a comment by someone hiding behind a code name.

You will agree with Rep. Collins just to disagree with Councilman Knight and Rep. Willingham so that is nothing new.

I didn’t read where Rep. Collins said what happened 25-30 years ago is not relevant for today? What I read was Rep. Collins said, “However, N.C. Rep. Jeff Collins, R-Nash, said that the comparison between events now and in the past are not as simple as Willingham states.

“We are not going back to the same three school system formula as we were before,” Collins told the Telegram. “So I am not sure how you can compare what is going on now with what happened then.”

So what part of the following picture do you and Rep. Collins don’t get because it is clear to me, “Willingham said Nash County “is again reneging on its settlement of this lawsuit and pushing actions to render Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount a racial and economic wasteland.”

“Whether it’s their overt intention or not, they are using the justification of disparities in capital funding and county wealth as a basis to re-segregate the system and re-draw the lines to exclude the predominantly black and lower wealth families of Edgecombe-Rocky Mount along the railroad boundary that they know brings a history of friction that signifies both racial and economic differences,” Willingham said.”

Yep that is the problem if it were more white students I wonder would Robbie Davis be pushing this discussion?

You say have a black Superintendent. Hell some didn’t want him then and some don’t want him now and that is a major issue as well that is being left out of the equation but just last month it was a force trying to fire him.

The whole thing is RACIAL and that is okay for me. What ain’t okay is when folks want to deny it’s racial overtones.

The Nash County Commissioners under the leadership of Robbie Davis is pushing the issue as financial. Well Rep. Collins made some sense when he said, “Collins said that he does see the need for the current system to change.”

“I am in favor of each county paying for the cost of educating the students from their own county,” he said.

“I think that is only fair. I just am not sure if splitting the system along the county line will be necessary to do this,” Collins said. “I think we need to find a way for Edgecombe County to start paying their share of the cost of educating their students. I am just not sure what it is going to take to make this happen.”

But the problem with that is Nash County Commissioners said, “Nash County commissioners have said their main reasons for asking for the county line split of the school system are the inequities in current funding formula and a desire to see Rocky Mount removed from the funding formula because of the strain this causes on utilities costs.”

In other words Nash Commissioners are trying to remove Rocky Mount City Council out of the equation trying to say there are inequities in current funding formula and to use the utilities because that is something that has been a hot issue over the years. Well damn so they don’t want the Rocky Mount City Council to pay anything and the main thing is using the citizens of Rocky Mount against each other.

If Nash County Commissioners are on to something and can prove there are funding inequities then deal with that but why do there need to be a school split? Just makes no damn sense to me but that is just my ignant opinion.

Black leaders oppose proposal to split school district

N.C. Rep. Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe, and Andre Knight, president of the Rocky Mount branch of the NAACP, both recently spoke out against using county lines to split schools in Rocky Mount.

Knight said the Rocky Mount branch of the NAACP plans to hold a special meeting on Thursday to discuss the request of the Nash County commissioners to divide the Nash-Rocky Public Schools district along county lines. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m at the OIC Auditorium in Rocky Mount. (Source: Read more)

Press Release from Rep. Shelly Willingham, NC House District 23: Some Nash County Commissioners’ Actions Will Re-Segregate Local Schools

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2015

Some Nash County Commissioners’ Actions Will Re-Segregate Local Schools

By Rep. Shelly Willingham, NC House District 23; Plaintiff in the lawsuit leading to the merger, member of the Rocky Mount City School Board during the merger and member of Merger Plan Task Force.

“Nash County Commissioners conveniently fail to mention that the merger of the Nash Rocky Mount Schools was a part of the settlement of a 1989 federal court school desegregation lawsuit”, emphasizes Rep. Shelly Willingham, one of the plaintiffs in The Rocky Mount City Board of Education, Shelly Willingham, Merland Wright (on behalf of their children), et. al. (class action- Citizens for Equality and Educational Justice) vs. the Nash County Board of Education and the Rocky Mount City Board of Education (89-336-CIV-5-F) in the US District Court for the Eastern District of NC- Raleigh Division in 1989. According to Rep. Willingham, the suit was filed because of the increasing segregation of the Rocky Mount City School System, the refusal by the Nash County School system after desegregation to release its White students to attend Rocky Mount City Schools, the longstanding controversy over school district and city boundaries since the 1970’s and Nash County decisions regarding capital expenditures and school locations designed to increase White flight from the Rocky Mount City Schools.

“The lawsuit included charges that Nash County never fully desegregated its schools in the 1970’s leaving historically Black schools with many empty seats while building new schools and adding new classrooms in predominantly White areas; as Rocky Mount desegregated its schools in the 1970’s, Nash county changed its previous policy of releasing city annexed areas into the Rocky Mount School system which effectively froze the City of Rocky School lines and supported the strategy of White flight of Rocky Mount citizens from the City of Rocky Mount Schools to the county schools while they still lived within the city limits causing increased segregation in the Rocky Mount Schools” , says Rep. Willingham.

Willingham who was on the Merger Task Force shares that the merger proposal that became the centerpiece of the settlement through SB612 (1992) was entitled “Together by Choice” – a commitment to quality education, qualify of life and economic development in Rocky Mount and both counties. Willingham emphasizes: “It is notable that the proponents of dismantling the Nash Rocky Mount School System have not mentioned the lawsuit and the merger as the settlement. Whether it’s their overt intention or not, they are using the justification of disparities in capital funding and county wealth as a basis to re-segregate the system and re-draw the lines to exclude the predominantly Black and lower wealth families of Edgecombe/Rocky Mount along the railroad boundary that they know brings a history of friction that signifies both racial and economic differences. In addition, they are attempting to de-legitimize the role of Rocky Mount citizens in funding education as if our city school system was not the major party in this merger. Rocky Mount citizens, Edgecombe and Nash, have always been in the education business — the leading advocates for and funders of quality education in this region for generations.”

According to Rep. Willingham, Nash County is again reneging on its settlement of this lawsuit and pushing actions to render Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount a racial and economic wasteland. He poses these critical questions: “What families will want to move to or remain in Edgecombe Rocky Mount when their children cannot go to high school in their own city or to the best school facilities and programs? How is it fair for Nash County to benefit from the generations of investment Edgecombe County/Rocky Mount citizens have made in the school facilities that they will retain and that have helped build up their wealth and the sales taxes and city tax benefits and amenities they enjoy from the City of Rocky Mount that Edgecombe County citizens equally contribute to? How is it just that they can just banish these Edgecombe families from their own public investments to the adjoining county system as if they were selling slaves on a plantation?”

“There is no discussion of the impact of this forced racial and geographical re-stigmatization on the quality of education and life in both counties – affecting every one of all races and locations. This re-packaging of “county-line merger” is the same old re-segregation and divisiveness dressed up in new clothes. They are not just splitting a school system but the entire City of Rocky Mount. As a responsible public official throughout my career, I am willing to work to address any legitimate public education issues that need to be resolved; however, I will fight this county-line merger/re-segregation proposal with all my might. It time for us to bring back the Citizens for Equality and Educational Justice and the “Together by Choice” Movement from 1990.” : says Willingham.

 

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