Wednesday, 04 September 2019 15:41

McInnis, Brewer give Richmond County Commissioners legislative update

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Sen. Tom McInnis updates the Richmond County Board of Commissioners on the budget battle between the General Assembly and the governor, as well as other legislative issues. Sen. Tom McInnis updates the Richmond County Board of Commissioners on the budget battle between the General Assembly and the governor, as well as other legislative issues. Chuck Thames - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Tuesday evening, the Richmond County Board of Commissioners heard from both state Rep. Scott Brewer and state Sen. Tom McInnis.  


Brewer is a former district court judge who was appointed in May of this year to complete the unexpired term of Ken Goodman. Goodman accepted an appointment from Gov. Roy Cooper to serve on the state Industrial Commission.  

Both Brewer and McInnis took the opportunity to inform the board on state-level preparations for potential impact of Hurricane Dorian, as well as other news of interest in the legislature.  

Brewer noted that 328 members of the National Guard have already been activated to assist with potential emergency needs, with an additional 1,600 members on standby to join forces as needed.   

“This is a potentially very dangerous hurricane because the steering winds are kind of haphazard at this point,” McInnis added.

McInnis said that the governor has vetoed the budget and attempts to override the veto have been unsuccessful to date. A veto override requires three-fifths of those present and voting in both chambers of the General Assembly and McInnis said “that has not come about.”  

“We’ve started a micro-budget, taking those pieces of the budget that pretty much everybody can agree on and running those bills through,” he said.

McInnis spoke in particular of raises for state employees and teachers noting “they will be retroactive.”   

Brewer said the budget impasse was likely to continue  and “that’s sort of going to take a backseat for the next couple of weeks, as a three-judge panel has ordered the House and Senate districts to be redrawn.”  

According to the website NC Policy Watch: 

“Lawmakers have two weeks, until Sept. 18, to draw new House and Senate districts in full public view without the use of election data. They must use traditional redistricting criteria, may not use the unconstitutional maps as a starting point and have to seek court approval if they want to retain anyone other than legislative employees to help with the drafting of the remedial maps, according to the ruling.”

McInnis also updated the group on the Interstate 73/74 project. Despite rumors of the project not moving forward this year, McInnis said, “I can bring you with certainty tonight that it will be let this year and will not be subject to any deficiencies of the Department of Transportation budget.” 

According to McInnnis, a separate funding source, Build NC, would be used if needed for the completion of this project. Build NC was established to ensure critical roadway work continues without interruption due to temporary budget shortfalls. 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 September 2019 16:33