Today the North Carolina House approved the budget in a bipartisan vote of 84-28.
The $27.9 billion budget includes significant investments in school safety, teacher and state employee raises, infrastructure, economic development, and water and sewer.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “This is a good budget that keeps North Carolina on the same path of conservative spending that has put us on good footing ahead of a possible recession.”
He continued, “I’m encouraged that many of our colleagues across the aisle support this spending plan. I believe we have prioritized what North Carolinians need the most– more money in their pockets, investments where they are most needed, and savings for a secure future in these uncertain economic times.”
The budget can be read in full here.
On Thursday the United States Supreme Court agreed to review Moore v. Harper, a case seeking to confirm the constitutional authority of state legislatures to set the time, place and manner of elections.
North Carolina House Speaker Moore said, “This case is not only critical to election integrity in North Carolina, but has implications for the security of elections nationwide.”
He continued, “On the heels of another victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, I am confident that this court recognizes what our State Supreme Court failed to recognize— that the United States Constitution explicitly gives the General Assembly authority to draw districts and that authority must be recognized.”
Tomorrow, June 23, the House Health Committee will hear SB 408, the “Rural Healthcare Access and Savings Plan.”
Among other things, the bill would:
- Establish a Legislative Medicaid Rate Modernization and Savings Oversight Committee (“Oversight Committee”).
- Increase access to healthcare in rural areas of the State and help preserve hospitals in rural areas of North Carolina.
- Direct the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a Medicaid Modernization and Savings Plan (“Plan”) to be presented to the Oversight Committee for a vote on December 15, 2022.
- Give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the necessary authority to negotiate with the federal government to alter Medicaid eligibility, subject to a vote by the General Assembly, and would set certain guardrails to ensure no net cost to the state.
- If the Oversight Committee approves the Plan presented to committee for legislative approval, legislation implementing the Plan would be voted on by the General Assembly on or after December 16, 2022.
Benefits to the State include:
- Roughly $1.5 billion over 2 years in federal Medicaid receipts from the ARPA enhancement that will enable the State to re-direct General Fund dollars to other priorities. $1 billion of this total would be used to address substance abuse and mental health.
- As much as $3.1 billion in additional HASP reimbursements to support hospitals without spending additional General Fund dollars.
- Up to $60 million in additional gross premiums tax from the HASP reimbursements would go into the General Fund.
- An additional $4.5 – $5 billion annually in federal Medicaid receipts to support the new eligibility category.
Today, Vinfast, a Vietnamese automotive manufacturer introducing a full line of electric vehicles to the North American market, announced that the company will build its first manufacturing and final assembly plant in Chatham County, at the Triangle Innovation Point Megasite.
On the heels of today’s announcement North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore said, “The arrival of Vinfast to North Carolina is great news for our state and for the thousands of North Carolinians who will fill the new jobs created as a result. Today’s announcement marks significant investments in infrastructure, transportation, and workforce development.”
He continued, “North Carolina has distinguished itself as an attractive place for companies to land and continues to be recognized as a top state for businesses, thanks in large part to the hard work of the legislature that has resulted in lower taxes, fewer regulatory roadblocks, and a stronger workforce.”
Today, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the Free the Smiles Act. The bill would have given parents the right to opt out of student mask mandates for their children.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “I am disappointed that Governor Cooper has vetoed this common-sense bill. All health care decisions for our students belong with their parents, not with politicians or bureaucrats.”
He continued, “Actions speak louder than words, and the governor should do more than ‘encourage’ schools to lift their mask mandates. Return this decision back to parents.”
Today, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore announced a new bill that will give parents the right to opt out of student mask mandates for their children.
Although Governor Cooper said last week that the NC DHHS would be updating COVID guidelines for students, the only update to the toolkit was to contact tracing. Unfortunately, North Carolina students are still masked in the classroom.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Let me be clear: It’s parents, not politicians who should be making these decisions for their children. As other states across the country lift mask mandates and restrictions, North Carolina’s children will not be left behind.”
He continued, “Confusing guidance from politicians has kept student masking policies in place, despite the fact that children are the demographic with the lowest risk, cases are plummeting, and the data has shown the learning loss and delays that have resulted from ongoing restrictions. It is time to return this decision back to parents, where it belongs.”
Senate Bill 671 is scheduled to be heard tomorrow in House Education K-12 at 9:00 AM.
Today Toyota Motor North America announced they will be building a major-scale battery manufacturing plant to North Carolina, bringing 1,750 jobs to Greensboro, NC.
Toyota will invest $1.29 billion at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, which will initially produce batteries for Toyota’s hybrid electric vehicles and later produce batteries for battery electric vehicles in the long term.
Today, Representative Susan Fisher of Asheville announced that she will officially retire from her elected office effective December 31, 2021.
Representative Fisher has represented NC House District 114 for 18 years in the North Carolina House of Representatives, and she is is currently Minority Whip in the North Carolina House.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Representative Fisher joined the North Carolina House 18 years ago, and we have served together ever since. Over the years, I have witnessed firsthand her dedication to her district and her constituents there. It has been an honor to serve the people of North Carolina alongside Rep. Fisher, and I am thankful for her commitment to this body and to work tirelessly for those she represents.”
Representative Fisher will be leaving office on December 31, 2021.
Today in a vote of 60-41, House Bill 324, “Ensuring Dignity/ Nondiscrimination in Public Schools” received final approval in the North Carolina House of Representatives. The bill would prohibit public school units from officially promoting certain concepts that are contrary to the equality and rights of all persons, including critical race theory.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Our schools should be a place where our children are educated and inspired. However, some have hijacked our classrooms to instill their own hateful, anti-American values in our students, while any opposing viewpoints to this theory from students or other teachers are met with rebuke, even bullying.”
He continued, “Our schools should be safe havens of free thought and expression rather than camps for radical indoctrination. Using our classrooms to promote the lie that our children are inherently racist does more to divide than unite. This has no place in North Carolina schools.”
According to a recent survey, just 33 percent of voters agreed with the statement that “white Americans are inherently racist whether they know it or not because they benefit from the American culture of systematic racism and white privilege.”
Lt. Governor Mark Robinson extended his support for HB 324, saying, “North Carolina needs to take the lead in protecting our children from anti-American indoctrination. While we should know and understand the history of our country, we need to teach the next generation what lessons we learned from our past, how far we have come as a nation.”
He continued, “The F.A.C.T.S. Task Force and the Indoctrination in North Carolina Public Education Report produced by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor sheds light on a problem affecting public education in our state. It is time we return to teaching our children how to think, and not what to think.”
The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature.
House Speaker Tim Moore And Contingency of Members Visit the Aftermath of Flood Disaster to Meet With Constituents, First Responders
Today, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and a contingency of House members visited Western North Carolina to survey the aftermath of the flooding from Tropical Storm Fred as the search continues for survivors.
North Carolina House members on site with Speaker Moore included Representative Pless, Representative Clampitt, Representative Gillespie, and Representative Miller.
They met with local officials, disaster relief workers, and constituents who are still reeling from the devastation.
Following the visit, House Speaker Tim Moore said, “One can never be prepared to see devastation like this in person. The images of emergency personnel who are still searching for bodies, the stories of lives lost in a matter of minutes from a wall of water that swept away everything in its path, the victims bravely picking up the pieces of what was lost— these are images that will be seared in my memory forever.”
He continued, “The people of Western North Carolina are strong and will recover from this extraordinary natural disaster. We will do all we can to support them in the coming days and months as they rebuild.”