Public Policy Update

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May 2, 2016

2016 Short Session is Underway 

The North Carolina General Assembly is officially back in Raleigh, convening the 2016 short session last Monday evening. The legislature hit the ground running, filing 144 bills within the first week covering a wide array of topics. It remains unclear as to whether any parts of HB2: Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which passed during the March special session, will be amended during the short session. Legislative leaders continue to state that they will listen to Governor McCrory’s concerns about portions of the bill, but that any changes to the bathroom portion of the bill are unlikely. A house bill calling for a full repeal of HB2 was introduced on the first day of session by a group of Democrats. There will be intense lobbying efforts by groups on both sides of the issue throughout the legislative session.

To for a complete overview of the first week of the short session, click here.

Charlotte Chamber Members Meet With North Carolina Legislators

Charlotte Chamber members are headed to Raleigh Wednesday on the annual Advocacy Bus Trip. This day-long trip is a great opportunity to meet with legislators and key leaders of the general assembly, as well as help advocate for the Charlotte Chamber's policy priorities. Transportation and attendance to the 2016 North Carolina Chamber's Government Affairs Conference and subsequent reception with North Carolina legislators is included.

For additional information and to register, click here.

County Manager Working to Develop FY17 Budget Recommendations

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio will present her recommended budget to the public Thursday, May 26. Manager Diorio’s recommended budget will include targeted investments in the County’s new three-year department strategic business plans. The strategic business plans have been presented to and supported by the board of county commissioners. Investing in education and literacy remains a priority for the county. The board of county commissioners instructed Manager Diorio to develop public school funding scenarios for the district, and the board of education will learn more about those scenarios this week. Total projected general fund revenue growth for the county is estimated around $25 million for next fiscal year. The board of county commissioners has asked the county manager to stabilize the tax rate and not recommend any tax rate increases in her budget. A public hearing on the county budget will be held Thursday, June 2 at the Government Center.

To learn more about the county budget process, click here.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent 2016-17 Budget Recommendation

Superintendent Ann Clark has recommended her 2016-2017 Operating Budget and Capital Plan for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The district, which educates more than 146,000 students, faces increased challenges with current fiscal realities. As a large, diverse district with a growing student population and facilities footprint, CMS has many needs. Superintendent Clark outlines six goals to meet those needs and maximize academic achievement for every child in her budget recommendation roadmap and 2018 strategic plan. Those goals include personalized 21st century learning environments, recruiting and retaining a premier workforce, cultivating partnerships, promoting a system-wide culture of safety, optimizing district performance and accountability, and inspiring learning creativity and innovation through technology and strategic school redesign.

To view the superintendent’s full budget recommendation, click here.

City of Charlotte Budget Developments - Public Hearing May 9

The Charlotte City Council Budget Committee held a series of budget workshops over the last couple of months to hear funding requests for the fiscal year 2017 budget. Public safety continues to remain a focus areas for staff and members of the council. The public safety goals, along with other city budget funding priorities, require an in-depth look at all the city’s departments in continuing to make Charlotte an excellent place to live, work and play for all residents. On Monday, May 9, the city will hold a budget public hearing at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

To read more, click here

Upcoming Events

Workforce Development and Education Committee Meeting

'Addressing The Talent Gap With Experiential Learning: How Internships and Co-Op Programs Are Making A Difference' will be the topic of our next Workforce Development and Education Committee meeting Wednesday, May 11, at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Cheryl Richards of Northeastern University will moderate our panel of community leaders, including Carol Hardison, CEO of Crisis Assistance; Mark Gibbs, President of David Weekley Homes; David Julian, EVP of Wells Fargo; and Nick Wharton, COO of Urban League. Join the conversation as we explore how businesses across the community are developing new ideas to close the talent gap.

To register click here.

Health Care Summit 2016, May 20 

Policy and innovation in health care will intersect at the Charlotte Chamber’s 2016 Health Care Summit as we focus on "Impacts of Policy on Our Health." Precision medicine, healthy living, economics of health care and policy impacts on cost will be explored by national industry experts and business leaders through lively panel discussions and presentations. There will be a keynote conversation on policy in health care with CEOs Gene Woods of Carolinas HealthCare System, Carl Armato of Novant Health and Susan Devore of Premier Inc.and the Carolinas HealthCare System Healthy Charlotte Awards will also be announced. Several sponsorship opportunities still remain. 

To register to attend, click here.

Other News

Transportation Committee Meeting Update 

The Transportation Committee met last week at Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte's W.S. Lee College of Engineering. The briefing included an introduction to EPIC's new Transportation Research Cluster and energy-focused curricula. Said Committee Chair Greg Boulanger, HNTB, “I am encouraged and excited to hear how UNC Charlotte is focusing their efforts on building a transportation energy program that will create a much needed workforce talent pool in this emerging market in the Charlotte region.” 

 Light-Rail Service Closures

Charlotte light-rail trains will stop running during two upcoming weekends, as the Charlotte Area Transit System continues work on the Blue Line Extension and other projects. The service will shut down May 7-8.

For additional information, click here