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Your Legislative Report
The NC Senate passed its version of a $22.23 billion budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year just after midnight on Friday, June 3, after giving the plan preliminary approval on Thursday. The votes to approve the plan broke down primarily along party lines and there were few amendments adopted to change details of the plan before it passed. Like the proposal passed earlier by the state House, the Senate’s version of a state spending plan for next year represents a 2.3 percent increase over the current year’s spending.
The Senate budget proposal would raise average teacher pay from $47,783 to $54,224 over two years (an average 6.5 percent increase), as compared to the House plan, which would bring the average salary over the same time period to $50,000 (an average 4.1 percent raise). The Senate would spend more on pilot programs to reward teachers for superior performance, including $10 million for third-grade reading teachers whose students make the most progress in standardized testing in each local district and statewide.
The Senate included no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for government retirees to boost their earned pension benefit, citing the high price tag to the retirement system(s) as the reason. The House provided a 1.6 percent COLA for retirees in its plan, which the Senate said would cost $700 million over time.
Other major differences in the two budget proposals from the House and Senate include funding of a reserve account and tax changes. The Senate chose to funnel $583 million to the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” boosting it to $1.7 billion, whereas the House added $300 million in its budget plan.
The Senate's passing of its budget gives the two chambers of the NC General Assembly about four weeks to work out their differences on a spending plan and send a compromise budget to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature before the end of the state’s current fiscal year on June 30. BOCC Newsletter Debuts in July
Beginning in July, Mecklenburg County will publish its first BOCC Newsletter. This will be a quarterly online publication that allows commissioners to post stories regarding their activities and districts. The newsletter will go to subscribers who request it through the County’s GovDelivery list on www.mecklenburgcountync.gov.
The newsletter will include news, photos and links about events and general district activities, not campaign information. News items can include pictures, video and links to commissioner’s social media accounts and websites.
Our Public Information Department will market this newsletter as part of regular awareness activities online and elsewhere.
Commissioners can submit their news items to LaShonda Hart at LaShonda.Hart@mecklenburgcountync.gov. U.S. Paralympic Team Trials Coming to Mecklenburg County
Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and Partners for Parks will welcome athletes from across the country for the 2016 Paralympic Team Trials from June 30 through July 2. A team naming ceremony will take place on July 3.
The trials will feature competition in swimming and track and field at venues around the area, including the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center and the Irwin Belk Complex at Johnson C. Smith University.
If you've never watched Paralympic athletes compete before, this is your chance to watch the nation's best Paralympians and Paralympic hopefuls up close and in action. Athletes will be competing to punch their tickets to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Paralympic Games are held two weeks after the Olympics. To learn more, visit http://www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics.