August 17 – Representative Mike Hager Resigns
Due to family issues, Representative Mike Hager has tendered his resignation from the NC House of Representatives. Mr. Hager represents 4 precincts in Burke County. His successor, David Rogers, has been named by the Rutherford County Republican Party and will serve out the remainder of Mr. Hager’s term as well as appearing on the November 2016 ballot for re-election. Mr. Rogers is an attorney in Rutherfordton, NC.
July 1 – Annual Budget Passed
“I am proud that Senate Republicans remained laser-focused on cutting taxes on middle class families and small businesses, making college more affordable, dramatically increasing teacher pay and strengthening our state’s fiscal health and climate for job creation – the policies that have made North Carolina a national leader in these areas,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham.)
- Adopted balanced, fiscally responsible state budgets
- Implemented additional tax cuts and reforms, including cutting the personal income tax rate and making the first $17,500 a family earns exempt from income tax over the next two years – which reduced the tax burden on North Carolina families and small businesses by hundreds of millions of additional dollars.
- Improved the state’s climate for job growth by lowering corporate income tax rates, moving to calculate corporate income tax on the basis of a single sales factor and expanding tools to recruit new businesses, including large companies like automobile and aerospace manufacturers.
- Increased funding for public education by more than $1 billion
- Raised teacher pay by increasing early-career teacher salaries from $33,000 to $35,000 per year and adopting a plan to boost average teacher salaries to nearly $55,000 within three years.
- Acted to make college far more affordable and accessible to students across the state
- Reformed the state’s chronically troubled Medicaid program
- Enacted a compromise plan to safely manage the cleanup of the state’s coal ash ponds
- Invested hundreds of millions of additional dollars for transportation, made possible in part by ending a $216 million transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund. The additional investment will allow the state to build dozens of new highway projects, replace hundreds of structurally deficient bridges and resurface thousands of miles of roads.
- Cut and froze the gas tax to provide much-needed funding stability to ensure the state can continue to build and maintain safe roads, bridges and economic corridors.
- Invested hundreds of millions of dollars in pay raises and bonuses for hardworking state employees and retirees
- Defended the first amendment rights and jobs of magistrates and registers of deeds’ employees whose participation in same-sex marriage ceremonies violates their core religious beliefs while ensuring everyone who is legally eligible to get married will have that opportunity.
- Prohibited ‘sanctuary cities’ in North Carolina
- Ensured able-bodied, childless adults who receive food stamps meet federal work requirements.
- Helped prevent overdose deaths caused by heroin and some prescription narcotics, by making a medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose more easily accessible at pharmacies statewide.