The budget for this biennium calls for $23.5 billion in the first year and $24 billion in the second year. This represents about 3% spending growth which is within the definition of contained spending growth by most analysts. This budget compromise between the Senate and House was vetoed by the governor on the basis it did not go far enough to fund NC priorities. His budget called for $1 billion in additional spending. The veto was quickly overridden and the budget has become law. Below are some key highlights of the budget. You should be the judge if whether or not we were successful to help our citizens keep more of their hard-earned money, continue to fund our priorities, and contain spending growth.
The following six blog articles highlight the different areas affected by our state budget:
Many Asheville residents have come to me with questions and concerns regarding the S285 Equal Representation for Asheville which passed earlier this year. Many citizens are confused because the bill was passed, yet the city is insisting on putting a similar referendum on their November 7th ballot. Senate Bill 285 was passed in April of this year. It provides that the City of Asheville must amend its Election Charter creating six single member voting districts for city council elections, meaning that there will be one city councilman from each of the six different voting areas creating in the voting map. This change to the Charter is to be completed by November 1, 2017. In addition to the change in the Election Charter, the City Council has until November 15, 2017 to provide the General Assembly with a copy of the Charter changes and the proposed map of the districts.
The City Council, all along, has resisted this movement. Apparently for the reason that they do not believe that each of their citizens deserve to be represented fairly based on geographic location. The most recent actions of their resistance is their determination to place a referendum on the November ballot, in which citizens will be asked to either choose to obey the law by changing to the single-member districts or maintain the status quo. It is apparent through their actions and statements to the media, that the addition of this referendum is nothing more than an attempt to challenge the General Assembly in court in an effort to maintain status quo.
I believe the law should prevail. The courts are likely to agree with me and uphold this legislation, but we cannot ever be certain what they may decide. The single best thing that could happen in order for the citizens of Asheville to get the equal representation that they deserve, is for this referendum to pass.
If the referendum fails I believe the City of Asheville is prepared to spend their tax payers’ dollars to avoid following the law passed by the General Assembly. Additionally it will almost certainly delay the required districted elections in 2019.
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Regardless of one’s political views, excellence in education for the benefit of our children I believe is one of our most common and highest priorities. The Henderson County School System exemplifies this excellence. Please join me in congratulating Henderson County Public Schools Superintendent Bo Caldwell, the Henderson County School Board, and all the diligent and dedicated educators in our community for their recent monumental result. 20 of 23 Henderson County Schools metor exceeded their target for growth for the 2016-17 school year. This achievement is the 6th best in NC out of 115 LEAs.
Here’s an example of the work ethic we see from Bo Caldwell; When I called him last night to offer my personal congratulations well after hours, he was still at his office preparing for meetings with his staff to discuss how they could do even better next year. Thank you Bo. He is pictured with me here at a recent football field ribbon cutting for my alma mater, West Henderson High School.
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I remain humbled and honored that the citizens of NC's 48th Senate District selected me to apply my business experience, compassion for people, and sense of community service to help continue the positive work of our General Assembly...
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Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson, Transylvania and Buncombe) announced today that he has been appointed member to four (4) Senate Interim Committees by Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).
Sen. Chuck Edwards has been appointed to the following committees: Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee, Joint Legislative Study Commission on Efficiency and Cost-Savings in State Government, Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology and Revenue Laws Study Committee.
“I eagerly accept the additional responsibilities and workload as these assignments closely align with my business background and experience,” said Senator Edwards. “With these positions, I can have even a greater positive influence for District 48 and for our entire state.”