REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAGER:
Representative Mike Hager has been elected as the House Republican Majority Leader for the 2015 Legislative Session.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGH BLACKWELL:
North Carolina’s total state tax collections for the fiscal year ending June 30 are presently running somewhat over $190 million dollars behind what was budgeted when the budget was adopted last year. Of course, final results will depend on collections between now and June 30, especially those coming in on April 15. Our staff experts tell us that, while unemployment numbers are improving for the state, job growth has not increased to the point to cause wages to increase. It is an increase in the general level of wages that they believe will eventually cause personal income tax collections to rise. At this point in time, our legislative staff is suggesting possible growth of 2.2% in revenues for the fiscal year that will begin July 1st.
New Salary Schedules for Teachers
After the budget was adopted last year, lots of charges and claims were made about pay cuts for teachers. I have been assured by our fiscal staff on more than one occasion that no teacher should have received any reduction in pay over the amount they made last school year, including both their base and longevity pay. Indeed, the assurances given me are that all teachers should have received some raise, though some indeed smaller than others. Moreover, the new pay scale should insure that longevity pay equivalents are now included in the pay scale and that the percentage raises announced by the legislature are on top of base and longevity pay received for last school year. The difference is that longevity pay will no longer be paid as a separate, once-a-year payment but will be included in monthly payments. To put it somewhat differently, the new pay scale is intended to include the old base pay, plus the old longevity pay, plus the raise for the particular step of the pay scale where the individual teacher falls.
The Burke County Republican Party played host to approximately 350 Burke County residents at its annual Lincoln Day Dinner. The keynote speaker was Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry. Commission Berry informed the group about the many facets of the Department of Labor and related several personal stories about the Departments interaction with the citizens of North Carolina. She also announced that she will be seeking re-election in 2016. Governor Pat McCrory and US Senator Thom Tillis were guest speakers and updated the attendees on state and federal items of concern.
Many Burke County officials stated that this was the best turnout in years. Chairman Richard Epley announced that Burke County only needs 60 additional Republican registered voters to call Burke County REPUBLICAN!