Category: General Assembly

Treasurer Folwell Applauds Rep. Jonathan Jordan’s Efforts to Recover Additional Public Pension Benefits Paid to Convicted Felons

(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that the N.C. Department of State Treasurer (DST) intends to pursue recovery of employer pension contributions from public officials who are convicted of job-related felonies.

Under North Carolina’s felony forfeiture law, the department can reduce or terminate payments from the state pension plan to employees who committed crimes while serving in public office. However, the law does not allow DST to recover contributions made by government employers, sometimes referred to as a “match”, towards benefits such as 401(k) accounts. Treasurer Folwell said the department will pursue legislation to change that.

“We have learned that local taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill for employer contributions made by local governments,” said Folwell. “Public officials who commit crimes related to their public service should not get to enjoy taxpayer-funded benefits that we can’t recover after they are convicted.”

Folwell added that DST would work with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, and the chairs of the House and Senate Pensions & Retirement committees, including Rep. Allen McNeill, Rep. Stephen Ross and Senator Andy Wells to expand the felony forfeiture law.

“Representative Jordan has been a leader in holding public officials accountable for crimes connected to their official duties,” said Folwell. “I look forward to working together in the legislature to make sure people who violate the public’s trust don’t get rewarded for their actions.”

The North Carolina Retirement Systems provides retirement benefits and savings for more than 900,000 members, including teachers, firefighters, police officers, state and local government employees and other public workers. For more information, visit www.nctreasurer.com

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N.C. has nearly doubled early voting hours under GOP

N.C. has nearly doubled early voting hours under GOP

New data from the State Board of Elections (and conveniently distributed by Gerry Cohen) shows that overall early voting hours have nearly doubled since 2010, the last election before Republicans took their majority.

Even compared with 2016 and 2012 — presidential election years that usually have more early voting hours — the 2018 plan goes far above and beyond.

Opponents claimed that the new law would force mass numbers of site closures and dramatically limited weekend voting hours. That clearly didn’t happen.

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North Carolina Education Budget Highlights 2017

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina’s 2017-2019 education budget includes a net increase of more than $818 million dollars and a fourth consecutive teacher salary increase by the state General Assembly.

2017-2018 2018-2019 

Education Net Appropriation $13.1 billion $13.5 billion 

Net Increase from FY 2016-17 $418,345,587 $818,345,587 

K-12 Education 

Every current teacher will see an increase in their pay, and starting teacher pay is $35,000. 

Teachers in North Carolina will receive salary increases averaging almost 10% by 2019 after the fourth consecutive teacher pay raise from the Republican-led General Assembly since 2014. 

Assistant principal salaries will increase an average of 13% and principal salaries will increase an average of 9% by 2019. 

 Teachers with 25+ years of experience will receive a bonus of $385 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. 

North Carolina had the fastest rising teacher pay in the nation since 2014. 

 North Carolina’s state-funded average teacher pay is increasing by 7.2% over the next biennium compared to the national average 2% increase. 

Non-certified and central office personnel will get a pay raise of $1,000 in the budget biennium. 

Funds teacher bonus, recruitment and retention programs: 

 Third Grade Read to Achieve Teacher Bonuses, AP/IB/Cambridge AICE Teacher Bonuses, Career and Technical Education Teacher Bonuses, Math & Reading Performance Bonuses, Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Program, Initial Teacher Licensing Fee Reimbursement, Teach for America, Salary Supplements for Highly Qualified Graduates and the N.C. Teaching Fellows program. 

The 2017-2019 budget adds $11.2 million of additional funds for textbooks and digital resources, and $2.4 million for the state’s digital learning plan. 

Streamlines spending to classrooms by reducing N.C. Department of Public Instruction costs 6.2% and 13.9% over the next 2 years, and reducing central office administration by 7.4% in first year and 11.6% in the second. 

Gives the Superintendent of Public Instruction $1,000,000 to audit his department and funds 10 new positions within his office. 

Establishes three competitive grant programs: 

 Provides $4.9 million to expand Career Technical Education programs to 6th and 7th grade students in select school systems. 

 Funds $6 million of the At Risk Allotment each year to support extended learning and integrated student support services for at-risk students. 

Provides over $6 million to raise the funding cap for students with disabilities. 

 Creates an Education Savings Account program for students with disabilities to receive up to $9,000 in scholarships. 

 Appropriates additional $30 million to Opportunity Scholarships for low-income students. 

 Provides all Cooperative and Innovative High Schools with supplemental funding. 

 Adds 3,525 additional Pre-K slots. 

 Changes the Achievement School District’s name to the Innovative School District (ISD). 

Adds $3 million to expand the NC Works Career Coaches Program to help high schools partner with local community colleges 

 Creates Joint Legislative Task Force on education funding reform, to complete a report with proposed legislation by Oct. 1, 2018, and forms a task force to study additional school choice accountability. 

 Funds the New Teacher Support Program and the Future Teachers of NC to provide professional development to new teachers and high school educators. 

Increases the net appropriation for NC Promise by $11 million to support additional enrollment at participating universities offering $500/semester tuition in North Carolina. 

University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings called the budget “a good day for the University” that “signals greater investment in 

and strong support for the University and furthers many of the goals of the UNC Strategic Plan – including accessibility, affordability, efficiency, and student success.” 

“And by increasing salaries for our faculty and staff and making a greater investment in our Faculty Retention Fund, we will be able to reward and retain the top talent so critical to our enterprise,” Spellings continued. 

 Transfers North Carolina’s apprenticeship program to the community college system to promote career technical education and job placement. 

 Reserves $46.6 million to meet UNC system enrollment growth this fall. 

 Pays for 800 additional full-time equivalent students in the state community college system this fiscal year: $4.9 million. 

Provides the UNC system with $10 million to support modernized data collection and integration projects that support student success, accessibility, retention and graduation rates. 

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N.C. House Fulfills Job Growth Agenda, Adjourns

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina House of Representatives adjourned the 2017 long legislative session of the state General Assembly on Friday after enacting a historic state budget, providing more middle class tax relief and fulfilling a job growth agenda that has produced record savings, revenue surpluses and rapid economic growth. 

“We’re here to help North Carolina’s economy grow by being good stewards of public dollars, offering students an excellent education system and providing middle class tax relief wherever we can,” said House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland). “The House agenda is focused on the prosperity of our people – North Carolina natives and new arrivals alike – and making the tough choices and key reforms necessary to improve state government and secure a successful future for our citizens.” 

“Thanks to the hard work of the Republican-led General Assembly, North Carolina families can have confidence that they live in one of 

the best states to build a high quality of life – one with sound financial footing, low taxes and record savings that prepare us for emergencies. Republicans’ pro-growth tax relief, education investments and economic reforms allow small businesses to invest with the assurance that North Carolina offers a well-trained workforce and top-tier opportunities for job creation.” 

“I appreciate the hard work of every House member this session, all the legislative staff and each citizen of North Carolina who we are so proud to serve statewide.” 

In 2017 North Carolina House Republicans: 

 Directed disaster relief funds to regions hit by Hurricane Matthew, tropical storms and wildfires. 

 Cut taxes for low-income and middle class families by increasing the zero tax bracket and lowering the income tax rate for every North Carolinian, removing 95,000 working people from any state income tax liability. 

 Passed opioid crisis legislation and appropriated $10 million toward statewide programs for substance abuse treatment and recovery programs. 

 Saved energy ratepayers millions through comprehensive energy solutions legislation that encourages diverse power sources while protecting consumers through competition and free market reforms. 

 Passed a fourth consecutive teacher pay raise that provides an average 9.6 percent increase over two years, and raised principal pay as well. 

 Saved a record $1.8 billion rainy day reserve fund, the highest total dollar amount and percentage of the state budget in North Carolina history. 

 Provided state employee raises and bonuses and funded a cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees. 

 Increased public education spending by $700 million over two years, fully funded classroom enrollment growth, supported new school construction and provided incentives to attract teachers through a new N.C. Teaching Fellows program, Teach for America, Salary Supplements for Highly Qualified Graduates and a Teacher Assistant Tuition Reimbursement Program. 

 Increased funding for the Strategic Transportation Investments Program (STIP) by over $320 million over two years, generating 100 new highway projects over a 10-year period, and appropriating $241 million for structurally deficient bridges, $100 million for immediate construction needs and millions more to reduce congestion, increase road mobility and ensure safety. 

 Guaranteed $500 tuition per semester at three North Carolina universities through the N.C. Promise Program, making higher education more affordable and accessible to thousands of in-state students. 

 Continued reforming bad regulations by simplifying, consolidating and eliminating unnecessary rules and reporting requirements on local governments, agencies, businesses and individuals to cut through red tape and encourage job creation and economic expansion. 

 Added more than 3,500 Pre-K slots and eliminated 75 percent of the waitlist for at-risk children. 

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2017 Legislative Overview

House Bill 608 – Family/Child Protection and Accountability Act. Representative Jordan, Chairman of the House Homelessness, Foster Care and Dependency Committee, along with House Rules Chairman Lewis, Speaker Pro Tempore Stevens, Senior Appropriations Chairman Dollar introduced House Bill 608 the Family/Child Protection and Accountability Act.

The current child welfare system is insufficient and cannot meet its responsibilities because there is no consistent model of care across a fragmented system of 100 county social services agencies, complicating state oversight.

House Bill 39 – Amend Appointments/UNC Bd of Governors. The North Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 39, a bill spearheaded by Representative Jordan, to improve the state’s higher education system by streamlining the UNC Board of Governors’ oversight of services for students and faculty.

Jonathan C Jordan 2017 Legislative Bill Update

Notable House Bills and Recent Updates:

North Carolina’s Teacher Salaries Rising Faster than Any State Since 2014. North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore noted that North Carolina’s teacher income is rising faster than any state in the country since 2014, according to available data.

Over the combined period of 2014, 2015 and 2016 budget years, North Carolina gave the largest percentage salary increase to teachers in the United States, according to the data currently available.

House Bill 450 – Future Ready Student Act. The legislation allows high school students to receive academic credit for pursuing career certifications and/or credentials required by either an industry or the state. Currently, high school students can only receive academic credit towards a career technical education certificate or diploma.

House Bill 243 – Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP Act). Key provisions of the STOP Act require prescribers to check the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS), limit the initial quantity of opioid prescriptions for acute pain, and reduce the diversion of drugs by tightening oversight of supervising prescribers.

Senate Bill 131 – Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-17. Among other deregulation, SB 131 would streamline mortgage notice requirements, allow agencies to fulfill public records requests online, eliminate redundant reports from North Carolina’s bureaucracy, exempt basic landscaping materials from stringent stormwater control regulations and seek flexibility for the state from excessive stream mitigation requirements.

North Carolina House Elects Six Members to UNC Board of Governors.

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Rep. Jordan Supports HB37 – April 2017

HB37: Protect Law Enforcement Officers

Edited comments on the House floor, April 27, 2017.

Rep. Jordan of Ashe:

This bill is about our front-line law enforcement officers.

This bill is designed to provide some protection for our front-line officers who are out there everyday protecting us, looking for crimes, catching the bad guys, but if they see something wrong and speak up, they could actually be fired – for speaking up against what is wrong.

Not in every place, and that is good, because there are locations with binding ordinances in place, but that speaks directly to why we need the bill. We need to replace the current piecemeal system with a statewide policy to give some basic protections to those officers who speak up against corruption.

That is what this bill is, a straightforward, common-sense way to give our front-line officers some basic protections when otherwise not offered.

Click Here to View the Bill Summary

Rep. Jordan Supports Middle Fork Greenway

October 27 ,2016

Scott Fogelman
Town Manager
Town of Blowing Rock
P.O. Box 47
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Dear Scott:

It is my pleasure to provide this letter supporting the Town of Blowing Rock’s application for an EFLAP grant to finance section 1 of the Middle Fork Greenway.

I am a supporter of the Middle Fork Greenway, recognizing the multiple benefits of having a greenway that connects the Towns of Blowing Rock and Boone and the Blue Ridge Parkway: increased tourism, reputation enhancement in the outdoor recreation area; health and quality of life benefits for both residents and visitors, specifically traffic mitigation and safety among others.

If I can be of further assistance, please contact my office.

Best Regards,

Jonathan Jordan
NC State Representative, 93rd District

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