Last month, Brunswick County’s Commissioners joined voting delegates from counties throughout the state to determine the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) legislative priorities for the 2019-2020 biennium session of the North Carolina General Assembly. Governor Roy Cooper delivered keynote remarks and thanked county commissioners for their commitment to public service.
Brunswick County Commissioners Chair Frank Williams, who also serves as NCACC’s Second Vice President, and Brunswick County Commissioners Vice Chair Randy Thompson, who also serves as NCACC’s Environment Steering Committee Chair, participated at the conference in their respective roles with NCACC. Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes attended the conference as the voting delegate representing Brunswick County. Commissioners Marty Cooke and Mike Forte also attended the conference.
Kevin Austin, NCACC President Elect and Yadkin County Commissioner, presided over the two-day Legislative Goals Conference, which was held January 10-11. Commissioner Sykes joined voting delegates from the other 99 counties to debate, amend, offer new proposals and cast votes on the Association’s guiding principles and legislative priorities, which guide advocacy efforts at the General Assembly.
“While every county in North Carolina is unique, we all face a number of common challenges and issues,” said Brunswick Board Chair Williams. “The N.C. Association of County Commissioners is our united voice on issues that impact counties’ ability to do our jobs. The NCACC’s Legislative Goals process ensures that every County, whether large or small, rural or urban, has a voice. I am proud of Brunswick County’s active participation throughout the legislative goals process.”
The conference is the final step in a comprehensive process, which gives each county a voice in shaping NCACC’s legislative agenda. NCACC President Elect Austin explained this inclusive approach.
“Our process offers an opportunity for all our counties to participate. These goals come from counties all across the state and have been vetted by their boards before they come to the Association. It’s a grassroots effort, which involves all 100 counties,” NCACC President Elect Austin said.
Below is the list of NCACC’s top five legislative goals for 2019-2020 as determined at the Legislative Goals Conference; visit www.ncacc.org/legislativegoals to access the full list of goals for the biennium.
NCACC’s Top Five Priority Goals for 2019-2020
- Seek legislation, funding, and other efforts to expand digital infrastructure/broadband capability to the unserved and under-served areas and residents of the state.
- Seek additional revenue sources, including a statewide bond and lottery proceeds, to equitably address statewide public school and community college capital challenges.
- Support efforts to preserve and expand the existing local revenue base of counties and authorize local option revenue sources already given to any other jurisdiction to all counties. Oppose efforts to divert to the state, fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties or to erode existing county revenue streams.
- Support provision of state resources to ensure county ability to provide essential public health, behavioral health and social services, with specific consideration to the challenges of incarcerated persons, the continued county role in behavioral health governance, and programs addressing substance use disorder, throughout Medicaid transformation.
- Seek legislation to repeal the statutory authority under N.C. Gen. Stat. 115C-431(c) that allows a local school board to file suit against a county board of commissioners over appropriations to the local board of education’s capital outlay fund.
About the NCACC: The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of advocacy, research, risk management and education and leadership training.