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General Assembly Update
The General Assembly greeted FY16 without having reached a full year spending agreement, opting instead to pass a six-week continuing resolution to keep state government operating while a full year plan is negotiated. The temporary measure continues funding at FY15 levels, but does provide $100 million additional for Average Daily Membership growth in public education and raises starting teacher salaries to $35,000.
Several non-budget items that we are closely following moved forward last week. H168 Exempt Builders’ Inventory, was heard in the Senate Commerce committee. The Senate again broadened the legislation, this time providing that commercially developed property is not taxable until building construction begins. As you may recall, this bill has seen many iterations, ranging from a broad property tax exclusion for all new development not yet sold to a narrower exemption on unsold residential construction. In partnership with the NCACC, we continue to stress to legislators our concerns about narrowing the property tax base and reducing the number of taxpayers who share in the cost of government.
Regulatory reform which could impact the operations of LUESA also proceeded in two separate bills last week. H255 Building Code Reg. Reform has been sent to the Governor after receiving overwhelming support in both houses. Initially, this legislation would have eliminated plan review, and required inspectors to create punch lists for builders when inspecting property that was not ready for inspection. As amended, the bill no longer eliminates plan review, and the full-inspection language was modified to be more acceptable. However, we remain concerned about several elements of the bill that will become law, including a provision that threatens inspectors with a charge of gross negligence based on subjective criteria and a provision that eliminates inspections for certain components of buildings that have been designed and inspected by a certified engineer.
The other regulatory reform effort is H765, which makes changes related to air quality, stormwater, and solid waste. The Senate’s 54 page amendment was introduced on Tuesday and passed by the Senate on Thursday. We will work with members of both bodies to maintain local authority as a final compromise is negotiated.
Finally, the General Assembly adjourned on Thursday for a summer break. They will reconvene on Monday July 13.
NACo Is Here
Not only are we hosting the National Association of Counties annual convention July 10-13, several Mecklenburg County programs and services will he highlighted during the workshops.
1) Sunday, July 12, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m., Mecklenburg’s Jail Diversion Continuum will part of a workshop about Reducing Mental Illness in the Jails2) Sunday, July 12, 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m., Mecklenburg County’s Cyber Security team will participate in a discussion about Cyber Security Compliance by Using Innovative Solutions3) Sunday, July 12, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Mecklenburg County’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team is part of a program about Improving County Response to Family Violence.4) Monday, July 13, 8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m., Mecklenburg County’s Pretrial Services team will participate in a discussion about how to collect Better Data for Improved Justice Outcomes.
In addition, Chairman Fuller will welcome the attendees at the Opening General Session July 11 at 3:30 p.m.
Also, as I told you a few weeks ago, Mecklenburg County won 10 NACo Achievement Awards this year. We will feature these programs during the August and September regular board meetings.
Mecklenburg’s winning programs include:
Child Support Enforcement Exceeds Targets in FY15
The Mecklenburg County Child Support Enforcement Department (CSE) exceeded the targets for each of its five performance measures in FY15 for the first time in the history of becoming a County department.
This marks a major accomplishment for CSE, the County and the customers served.
Congratulations to staff for a job well done.
County Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Park and Recreation Month
Parks and recreation have the power to strengthen communities, transform lives and protect the future. That’s why Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation will join other agencies across the country in celebrating the 30th anniversary of Park and Recreation Month — an annual event created by the National Recreation and Park Association and celebrated in July since 1985.
You can help us celebrate by enjoying all the great things that Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation has to offer, including parks and greenways, recreational and fitness programs and so much more. Details can be found here
In addition, Park and Recreation will be posting daily tips on Facebook on the benefits of recreation and fitness and ways that you can stay active.