On June 30, the General Assembly adjourned the long session. We will return on August 3 for unfinished business and to consider any potential veto overrides (the governor has vetoed three bills so far since our adjournment). We accomplished quite a bit since January. In 2017, we:
· Cut taxes for low-income and middle class families by increasing the zero tax bracket and lowering the income tax rate for every North Carolinian;
· Passed opioid crisis legislation and appropriated $10 million toward statewide programs for substance abuse treatment and recovery programs;
· Increased teacher salaries by an average 9.6 percent over two years and raised principal and assistant principal salaries;
· Saved a record $1.8 billion in our rainy day reserve fund;
· Provided state employee raises and bonuses and a COLA for our state retirees;
· Increased public education spending by $700 million and restored the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program;
· Cut through more bureaucratic and unnecessary red tape, and
· Added more than 3,500 Pre-K slots.
During this session, I cast 907 votes, which is a tie for the most cast by a House member, and I introduced 19 bills. Of those 19 bills, five have become law and two have passed both chambers. Bills I introduced that have become law: · HB 155 – Omnibus Education Law Changes · HB 637 – Clarify Regional Water & Sewer Funds · HB 420 – Rockingham County Tourism Development · HB 478 – Required Experience for MH/DD/SAS QPs · HB 770* – Noncommercial Underground Storage Tanks/Rule-Making Report (language included in the State Budget)
Bills I introduced that have passed the House and Senate (conference committees have been appointed): · HB 770 – Amend Environmental Laws · HB 90 – Eliminate NC Final Exam
In addition, our office was able to secure some grant funding in the budget for the 91st District:
· The Town of Walnut Cove – $90,000 for downtown revitalization;
· The Town of Mayodan – $500,000 for the construction of a sewer line access bridge at Mayo River State Park;
· The City of King – $90,000 for downtown revitalization;
· Make A Difference In King, a 501(c)(3) organized by local citizens – a $170,000 grant to match the group’s private fundraising effort of $150,000 to construct a playground for special needs children.
It is an honor to represent Stokes and Rockingham Counties in the North Carolina House. If our office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at 919-733-5609. We also have a newsletter, which you can subscribe to by sending me an email at Kyle.Hall@ncleg.net.