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General Assembly Update
The General Assembly continued budget discussions last week. The House unanimously rejected the Senate’s budget, which means each body will appoint “conferees” to negotiate the state’s spending plan. With two days left before the fiscal year ends, neither body has appointed those negotiators and leadership in each body is now focused on passing a temporary funding bill (continuing resolution, in legislative language) to keep state government open.
Despite rumors that a continuing resolution might appear on Thursday, both bodies recessed for the weekend without considering such a bill. With school opening in just six weeks, each house wants to include their spending proposal on teacher assistants in the temporary measure so that local education authorities can plan for the upcoming school year. The Senate budget eliminated teacher assistant positions, while the House retained them.
Meanwhile, the House Finance committee, under the leadership of Senior Finance Chairman Bill Brawley, met twice last week to discuss the Senate’s tax plan which includes redistributing sales taxes from commercial centers to rural communities. Reps. Brawley, Jeter, Bishop, Bradford and Carney all spoke against the plan in committee. We are continuing to speak with legislators about the impact of this legislation, and I am convening a meeting of county managers from affected counties so that we can better coordinate our efforts.
MYEP Local Government 101 Session
On Thursday, July 9, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will jointly host #LocalGovt101 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. This session is designed to educate Mayor’s Youth Employment Program students who work for the city and County about local government and opportunities for civic engagement.
The session will include a presentation by the City and County Managers on the council-manager form of government, an activity led by local partner Generation Nation, and breakout sessions with city/county employees from all disciplines to introduce students to career possibilities in local government. A concurrent session will be held for the supervisors of MYEP students, designed to help them better engage with Millennials in the workplace.
A light breakfast for the students will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 267. The first presentations will being at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Chamber. City Council members and County Commissioners are invited to participate in the sessions at these times. Please contact Sarah Hazel at 704-336-6496, email@example.com or Steve Wood at 704-336-4161, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
County Hosts 80th Annual NACo Conference
Mecklenburg County will serve as the host site for the National Association of Counties 80th annual conference from July 10-13 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
The conference provides county officials with a great opportunity to vote on NACo’s policies related to federal legislation and regulation, elect officers, learn about innovative county programs, find out about issues affecting counties across the country and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors.
More than 160 County employees will volunteer their time and talents to help make the event a success.
Mecklenburg County last hosted the conference in 2000.
Do the Write Thing Essay Winners Head to Washington
I would like to congratulate Chioma Asiegbunam from the Military and Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis and Jason Woods from Coulwood Middle School on winning the 2015 Do the Write Thing Essay Challenge. This year’s assignment encouraged students to think about and share how youth violence and drug abuse have affected their lives. It also asked them to consider what they can do about it. This program creates an opportunity for our youth to shape solutions that can prevent violence.
These students will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., during National Recognition Week, July 11-15. Their winning essays will be featured in a display at the Library of Congress.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg was invited to join The Do the Write Thing Essay Challenge in 1998. The local program was launched as a pilot project in 1999 with participation from after-school programs. Community Support Services leads this effort and partners with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Department of Justice and the District Attorney’s Office.
To read this year's winning essays, visit the Do the Write Thing Web page at www.mecklenburgcountync.gov.