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Crossover is our pre-determined, self-imposed deadline whereby all bills- with only a few exceptions, must pass from one chamber to the other for further consideration in the current biennium. To meet this year’s deadline of April 27, the Senate debated and voted on approximate 60 bills on the evening of April 26. This session was clearly the most exhilarating I have experienced during my short time as your Senator. For a complete list of the actions taken on this adrenaline-charged evening click here.

The Senate’s energy since that time is focused on finalizing the state budget to submit to the House for concurrence. My role in this process has been twofold:

 

We are so proud of Sheriff Mahoney’s recognition in the May 4th edition of the Transylvania Times! To read the complete story click here.

What an honor it was to have the heroic Buncombe County Fire Chiefs visit me in Raleigh. I am proud to have introduced S216 earlier this year which supports our firefighters. I valued the opportunity to discuss other measures important to them for consideration of our further support.

 

Last Saturday veteran political journalist Mark Binker passed away unexpectedly. I met him only a few times and he always reported fairly on my activity in the Senate. Many are saddened by the passing of Mark. Binker always called himself a “scruffy old reporter,” but his humility couldn't hide his sharp intellect – he was a policy wonk at heart who always did his homework.

I am told that because of his professionalism, Binker was both respected by and respectful of everyone he covered. Senator Berger told me the highest compliment he can pay Binker as a political reporter is that, through almost 15 years of regular interaction with him, he has no idea what his personal politics were. I want to extend my deepest condolences to his wife and sons.

 

This week in Raleigh the Senate passed another bill I was proud to cosponsor. The Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut provides tax relief to the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians. The most dramatic reductions will go to middle class families and small businesses. Under our bill, 99 percent of taxpayers will pay less or pay no state personal income taxes.

Instead of spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money, our proposal puts money back into the pockets of the hardworking families and small business owners who earned it while strengthening our tools for business recruitment and job creation.  

 

I have had thousands of inquiries, boos and cheers regarding the repeal of HB2.  There is MUCH more to the repeal than is seen on the surface. When you elected me it was because you trusted my moral character and intelligence to be able to look at many moving parts of issues in order to understand them and make sound decisions. I am confident through HB142 that I, and the others that voted for it, have done just that. This issue is complex and here are some of the headlines that you likely aren’t seeing in the press:

- Bathrooms are in fact protected. In NC it is ILLEGAL for a man to go into a women’s bathroom or locker room. There is no provision or exception to that for any gender or group.

- The illegal pandering of the NCAA, ACC, and NBA did not influence my decision. I fully support HB328 which calls for the investigation as to whether or not these actions have severed their nonprofit status by taking a political position.

- The 4th circuit court of appeals was scheduled to hear our HB2 case on May 10th. This is an Obama handpicked court that has ruled against conservative legislation on numerous occasions and I believe HB2 may have been over ruled. Had that taken place we would have NO bathroom protection in place and municipalities could pass whatever bathroom policy they wanted. This risk was too high and HB142 plainly states that they and others cannot implement such policy.