Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Short Session Winds Down

The General Assembly's 2012 short session has come to a close. Here are some updates...

Lawmakers Override Budget Veto

Governor Perdue recently vetoed the General Assembly's 2012-13 budget, arguing that legislative leaders didn't cooperate with her ideas. The budget plan keeps government spending under control, and it does not include a tax increase, which Governor Perdue called for. It also cuts and caps the gas tax, addresses problems with Medicaid, gives state employees and teachers a 1.2 percent pay raise, and provides additional funds for public education.

Lawmakers Override Veto of Fracking Bill

Another high-profile bill that was vetoed by Governor Perdue is the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act, which would allow hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to take place in North Carolina. Lawmakers were able to override the veto, which sets the stage for fracking to move forward. Although the practice has now become legal, fracking won't begin for more than two years because permits will not be granted until October 2014. This gives the state time to plan and prepare the proper regulations for the procedure.

Education Reforms Become Law

The new 2012 budget includes certain reforms for K-12 education. These reforms include the establishment of merit-based bonuses for teachers, the implementation of a system to grade the performance of K-12 schools, and methods to improve reading proficiency for third grade students. These are sound reforms, and we will certainly consider additional methods of improving K-12 education as we move forward.

Looking Toward Next Year

There are certainly some major issues to address in the long session next year, such as tax reform. But before we get there we need to focus on supporting conservative candidates across the state. We must work to ensure that we retain our conservative majority in the General Assembly, and we need to elect Pat McCrory as our next Governor. If we do this, I am confident that we can place North Carolina on the right economic track.

Happy 4th of July!

I will be participating in two parades tomorrow to commemorate our nation's independence. First, I will be in the Greensboro Fun Fourth Parade, which begins at 9:00 AM. Later in the day I will be participating in the Kirkwood Parade, which begins at 5:00 PM. You can look for me in a bright red Ford Mustang!

Campaign Raffle

We are doing a raffle to raise funds for our campaign. There are a total of 300 tickets, which we are selling for $100 each, and the winner will receive $5,000. The raffle will be held on September 19 at Forest Oaks Country Club, and each raffle ticket is good for two dinners. Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing a ticket.

Quote to Remember

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."
- Benjamin Franklin