North Carolina Rep. Susan Fisher Will Retire From State House

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.

US Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up NCGA Request to Intervene in Voter ID Case

Today, the United States Supreme Court granted legislators’ petition for a writ of certiorari in the long-running federal voter ID litigation.
Previously, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied legislators’ motion to intervene in the case to defend North Carolina’s voter ID law. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments sometime between February and March.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “We look forward to taking this fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney General Josh Stein has repeatedly put his political position above the will of the voters and cannot be trusted to defend North Carolina’s constitutional voter ID law.”
He continued, “The people have spoken. A resounding majority of North Carolina voters have approved voter ID at the ballot box. We will ensure their voices are heard. We will mount a vigorous defense of the law on behalf of the citizens of North Carolina.” 

North Carolina Budget Brings New Projects to Cleveland County

The state budget was signed into law last week after passing both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly. The final budget included several items in Cleveland County, NC.
These projects include:
  • $59 million for a new Cleveland County Courthouse
  • $450,000 for a Mobile Unit for the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
  • $50,000 for the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Cleveland County
  • $1.5 million for the Cleveland County Community College Prison site
  • $585,000 for the Cleveland County Prison Education Center
  • $450,000 for the Cleveland County Law Enforcement training center
  • $698,277 to fund a new Public Defender in Cleveland County
  • Funding for a District Attorney Investigator Position
  • $20,000 to the Casar Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
  • $113,663 for the Cleveland County Lifesaving and Rescue Squad, Inc.
  • $420,000 to the Upper Cleveland Rescue Squad, Inc.
  • $250,000 for the Cleveland County Rescue Mission
  • $5 million for a health center in Cleveland County
  • $10 million for the Cleveland County Community College Student Center
  • $350,000 Cleveland County Vocational Industries
  • $200,000 for the Cleveland County Fair
  • $150,000 to the City of Shelby Recreation Department
  • $750,000 for the Kings Mountain YMCA
  • $4.9 million to Cleveland County Athletic Facilities
  • $2.2 million to the American Legion World Series in Cleveland County
  • $19 million for Cleveland County water and sewer projects
  • $7.4 million to the City of Shelby for water and sewer projects
  • $39 million for Kings Mountain water and sewer projects
  • $250,000 for Kings Mountain Lake Moss remediation
  • $50,000 to Kingstown
  • $100,000 to Kings Mountain
  • $10,000 to Casar                                         
  • $10,000 to Polkville
  • $10,000 to Fallston
  • $10,000 to Waco
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “The budget process and negotiations took months to get to a final product– a budget that is great for ALL of North Carolina, and particularly for Cleveland County. It has been my honor to represent Cleveland County these ten years and I believe this budget serves my constituents well.”

North Carolina General Assembly State Budget Signed by Governor Cooper

Today, shortly after the North Carolina House gave its final approval in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, Governor Cooper signed the North Carolina state budget (SB 105) into law.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Today is a great day for all of North Carolina. Finally, the citizens of North Carolina have a comprehensive spending package for the first time since 2018. Now that Governor Cooper has signed SB 105 into law, we have finally given our state a budget they can truly be proud of and one that meets the most critical needs of North Carolinians.”

North Carolina House Gives Final Approval to State Budget In Overwhelming Bipartisan Vote

Today, the North Carolina House of Representatives, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 101- 10, gave final passage to the most significant State Budget in a generation.
From infrastructure, health care, disaster relief, the programs supporting our military veterans and their families, historic education funding to pay raises for teachers and state employees, income tax cuts and PPP loan forgiveness for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, this budget is one in a generation. will make North Carolina even stronger as our state continues to grow. These investments ensure a brighter future for our citizens, keep our economy strong and the generations to come.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “For the first time since 2018, North Carolina will finally have comprehensive state budget. This is an historic day for our state and a great day for all North Carolinians.”
He continued, “The budget that has passed today and will be signed by Governor Cooper is the product of much time, hard work and the invaluable contributions from our Appropriations Chairs, Members of both Chambers, the Governor, stakeholders and staff. The significant investments made in this spending package demonstrate to all North Carolinians that we see these needs and are meeting them where they are at.”

North Carolina House Gives Wide Bipartisan Approval to State Budget

Today, following months of good-faith, bipartisan negotiations between Republican Leadership and Democrats, the General Assembly approved the most significant State Budget in a generation.
The 2021 Appropriations Act, SB 105, makes historic investments in four critical areas: education, healthcare, infrastructure, and savings. The plan also maps out a pro-growth tax policy for the balance of this decade. 
The State of North Carolina has:
Never invested more money in Education
Never invested more in Health & Human Services
Never invested more in Infrastructure & our Communities 
Never saved more for the Future and Returned More Money to hardworking taxpayers and families
Never invested more in our military and veterans and their families
Until now.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “The bipartisan passage of the 2021 Appropriations Act today marks an historic moment for our state. This budget makes historic investments to address some of the most crucial needs across our state, including historic education funding, a record $8 billion infrastructure plan, plans to address the healthcare needs brought to the forefront by the pandemic, all while cutting taxes and continuing to build back stronger than before. Never has the State of North Carolina been in a stronger position to serve its citizens, secure its future, and compete globally.”
He continued, “I grateful for the members of this General Assembly, particularly our Republican leadership, House Democratic Conferees, and the many citizens and stakeholders who contributed to this process. We look forward to this budget becoming law and are fully confident the future dividends will be enjoyed by all of North Carolina’s families for decades to come.”

Governor Cooper Says He Will Sign General Assembly Budget

Today Governor Cooper announced that he will sign the General Assembly state budget after passage, saying of this budget: “This time we got many things right.”
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “This budget represents months of hard work and good-faith negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, and our Governor. The result is a spending plan for the state that addresses the most critical needs of North Carolinians.”
He continued, “North Carolina has not had a budget since 2018, and I am encouraged that Governor Cooper has promised to sign this budget and we can finally give our state a budget they can truly be proud of and one that meets the most critical needs of North Carolinians.”

North Carolina General Assembly Unveils State Budget

Spending plan includes historic investments in Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure and Savings

Today the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate unveiled their state budget.
SB 105 makes historic investments in four critical areas: education, healthcare, infrastructure, and savings.
Following months of good-faith negotiations between Republican Leadership and Democrats who set out with a common cause— to create a budget designed to serve all of North Carolina, the General Assembly has released a spending plan that addresses the critical needs of all citizens. The Governor’s input is also clearly reflected in the bipartisan conference report.
Historic education investments include increases in early childhood services, teacher pay and professional development, community college staff and programs, digital learning at all levels, STEM programs, record investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and more.  Teachers will receive an average 6.7% over the biennium and up to $2800 in bonuses.  Non-certified school and community college personnel pay will increase to at least $15/hr. The NC Promise Program will be expanded to Fayetteville State University.
This budget addresses the top healthcare crisis in our State by increasing pay for the thousands of direct support personnel who provide daily care for our elderly and most medically fragile and disabled persons and their families.  An additional 1,000 Innovations Waiver slots are created to serve the intellectually and developmentally disabled. Postpartum Medicaid services for new moms will be extended to a full year, providing the support mothers and babies need to begin a healthy life. The General Assembly will also establish a joint committee to recommend legislation to study methods to address healthcare access and consider Medicaid expansion.
A record $8 billion infrastructure plan that addresses critical needs across North Carolina, including over $800 million for school construction supported by the lottery; a new Brody School of Medicine at ECU, critical projects at every University across the state; funds for community colleges, expanding broadband service, local water and sewer projects, airports, roads and rail; parks, trails and clean water conservation. This plan begins the most ambitious building program in state history.
Savings and Tax Cuts
The State of North Carolina will build its reserves even further by increasing the “Rainy Day” Savings Reserve Fund to $4.25 billion and appropriating $800 million for disaster relief projects and reserves, including Hurricane Fred relief funds.
Overall, the pro-growth tax policy in this budget puts North Carolina on the path of lowering the personal income tax to 3.99% and eliminating the corporate income tax rate. Furthermore, in recognition of their service to the safety and security of our State and Nation, the military pensions for our Veterans will now be tax-free. PPP loans will be tax-deductible, a key to help to the small businesses of this state who relied on these loans to survive the economic shutdowns of 2020. The Historic Preservation Tax Credit will be extended to 2031, a key priority for rural and small-town North Carolina’s economic development.
State employees will also receive a 5% raise plus bonuses for the biennium and retired state employees and teachers will receive 5% in bonuses over two years.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “This budget represents months of hard work and good-faith negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, and our Governor. Although we have many differences, we each had the common goal of coming together to create a spending plan for the state, one of the General Assembly’s most important constitutional obligations. In the end, I am confident that we have come together to design a budget that truly meets the most critical needs of all North Carolinians.”

Joint Statement from Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore

Raleigh, N.C. – Union County Judge David Lee today ordered executive branch leaders to withdraw $1.7 billion from the General Fund and spend it on his and Gov. Roy Cooper’s preferred policy items. The order is part of the 27-year old education funding lawsuit commonly referred to as “Leandro.”
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) issued the following statement:
“This case has devolved into an attempt by politically allied lawyers and the Governor to enact the Governor’s preferred budget plan via court order, cutting out the legislature from its proper and constitutional role.
“If Judge Lee’s orders are followed, the legislature’s core duty is usurped by an unelected county-level trial judge and an out-of-state consultancy funded by the Governor and his political allies.
“Thankfully, executive branch officials swear an oath to the Constitution, not to an unelected county-level trial judge. A judge does not have the legal or constitutional authority to order a withdrawal from the state’s General Fund [see below].
“The only rebuttal to this clear precedent is an absurd theory developed by Attorney General Josh Stein, which argues that the Constitution, in 1868, ordered a specific funding level for the education budget in the year 2021, and that only an out-of-state consultancy called WestEd can divine the precise funding level the 1868 Constitution ordered.
“It’s a circus.”
The Constitution confirms budgeting is the legislature’s exclusive prerogative: “No money shall be drawn from the State treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” (Article V, Section 7.)
The North Carolina Court of Appeals confirms budgeting is the legislature’s exclusive prerogative: “Appropriating money from the State treasury is a power vested exclusively in the legislative branch and no money shall be drawn from the State treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. Because the State constitution vests the authority to appropriate money solely in the legislative branch, the Separation of Powers Clause prohibits the judiciary from taking public monies without statutory authorization.” (Richmond Cty. Bd. of Educ. v. Cowell.)
The North Carolina Supreme Court confirms budgeting is the legislature’s exclusive prerogative: “The power of the purse is the exclusive prerogative of the General Assembly, with the origin of the appropriations clause dating back to the time that the original state constitution was ratified in 1776.” (Cooper v. Berger.)

Rogue Judge Signals Intent to Circumvent NC General Assembly, Force Unconstitutional Appropriation of Funds

Special Superior Court Judge David Lee has signaled his intent to circumvent the authority of the General Assembly by ordering the transfer of funds outside the appropriations process. Judge Lee’s actions would be a clear violation of the North Carolina constitution. 
Instead of defending the State as our constitution requires, Attorney General Josh Stein has opened the door to a violation of the separation of powers by a rogue judge.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Attorney General Josh Stein, who only considers the North Carolina Constitution a suggestion on how to perform his duties, now sees a mandate where none exists. The North Carolina Constitution gives the General Assembly the exclusive authority to appropriate funds. Any attempt to circumvent the legislature in this regard would amount to judicial misconduct and will be met with the strongest possible response.”
He continued, “The legislative branch is the closest to the people. And the people were loud and clear when they elected their representatives in the General Assembly to do their job as outlined in our constitution. How many times will the courts tell North Carolinians their vote doesn’t matter?”