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N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update - Monday, February 20, 2017

N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update Link - Monday, February 20, 2017: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?

Court Upholds Senate Confirmation of Cabinet Secretaries

Last week, a three-judge panel denied Gov. Cooper’s request to continue blocking a state law, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm his cabinet secretaries – an authority provided to us by our state’s constitution. This process will be very similar to the procedure currently underway with our federal government in Washington, D.C. Since the court has removed all barriers to the legislature moving forward with confirmation hearings on the eight appointees that Gov. Cooper has sworn in as acting department secretaries, we expect to announce a revised schedule soon.

Permit Nighttime Hunting of Coyotes in Coastal Counties

I filed Senate Bill 76 (Permit Nighttime Hunting of Coyotes) last Tuesday. Coyotes are nonnative and invasive - they're very destructive to the native wildlife. Currently, there is no closed season for hunting coyotes in North Carolina. Electronic calls may be used and coyotes may be hunted at night, except on private lands in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties. This bill would allow five coastal counties to be coequal with the other 95 counties in our state in regards to the rules of hunting coyotes.

Legislation on Public Meetings/Records Law Violations

Senator Norman Sanderson and I have crafted legislation, Senate Bill 77 (Public Meetings/Records Law Violations), which would add some teeth to the state’s open meetings and public records laws. Under the current statute, one can violate the law with impunity. Currently, officials will knowingly close the door on the public because they most likely will not be held accountable. The people of North Carolina want good government which includes transparency and fairness. If government officials are concerned about opening meeting penalties, they will go the extra mile to ensure transparency. Open government is vital to an informed public.

The leadership of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and the University of North Carolina General Administration hosted several legislators for a tour of the ECSU campus last Thursday. Shown (left to right) are Sen. Kathy Harrington, myself, UNC Board of Governors Member Steve Long, UNC System President Margaret Spellings, ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway, UNC Board of Governors Member Harry Smith, Sen. Phil Berger, Sen. Harry Brown and Sen. Chad Barefoot. Higher education is an invaluable resource for dependable leadership within our communities, state and nation.

 Rural Infrastructure Authority Grants for Beaufort County 

Last Thursday, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority approved funding for two projects in Beaufort County - one utilizing the Community Development Block Grant program and the other taking advantage of the state’s Building Reuse program. A $500,000 grant was awarded to support a downtown redevelopment project to renovate a building previously used by Fowle & Sons General Merchandise in Washington, N.C. The three-story historic building has been vacant for more than 40 years. The renovation will enable New Vision Partners, LLC to operate Castle Island Brewery, a restaurant and brewery on the first floor. The other grant is $25,000 to support the reuse of a 65,000 square foot building, constructed in 1905, that has been vacant for two years. The renovated structure will house Ribeye’s of Washington, and approximately $279,000 of private-sector investment is being applied to this project.
N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update Link - Monday, February 20, 2017: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?

N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update - Saturday, February 11, 2017 Campaign News & Updates N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update - Monday, February 27, 2017

Reduce Unemployment

    North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in March, 2014 according to data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.... ( read more )
Decrease Taxes and Spending

    In 2013, we implemented a comprehensive tax reform that is providing major tax relief to all North Carolina families and making our state more attractive to job-creating businesses.... ( read more )
About Bill Cook and Family

    Bill Cook, aged 69 years, and his wife of 23 years, Holly, have lived in Beaufort County for the past decade. During this time, Cook has met several kind and generous people.... ( read more )