Legislative Update - June 30

June 30, 2014

Greetings,

The first weekend of summer presented several opportunities to attend events in the district. The General Assembly debate continues on budget priorities, compensation for teachers, and local control. Senate Bill 729known as the Coal Ash Bill"passed through the Senate and is now on its way to the House.

Chatham Randolph Megasite Announcement

On Friday, June 20, I attended an event in Chatham County to officially announce the certification of the Chatham Randolph Megasite, hosted by the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation, the Town of Siler City, and the Chatham County Government. The 1,818-acre industrial site is the first certified megasite in North Carolina. Since 2013, the area has undergone a rigorous review process, which was essential in signaling to industries that the area is primed for investment.

Dianne Reid, president of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation, recently said, “The megasite already has been identified as one of the top three sites in the entire South for an automotive plant.” She cites the area’s “central location, access to reliable power, and available water and wastewater capacity as major assets.” Moreover, experts have deemed that the area is ripe with a large, skilled and productive workforce, therefore, making it more attractive to industries.

This is good news for Siler City, especially since more than 1000 jobs have been lost since 2011 with the closing of the Townsend chicken plant. With full-scale marketing efforts across the country and the globe underway, the future looks bright for economic prosperity for Siler City, Chatham County and the region.

Habitat for Humanity 30th Anniversary

On Saturday, more than 300 persons braved the heat to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.
The event was held at Phoenix Place in the Rogers-Eubanks community. On hand for the event were Rep. David Price, Orange County Commissioners, members from the Chapel Hill Town Council and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, and Bob Kucab of the NC Housing Finance Agency. Over the course of these 30 years Habitat for Humanity of OC has built 249 affordable homes in Orange County, making the dream of home ownership a reality for many families. Congratulations and thanks Habitat! 

Hog Day 2014

Saturday was also the second day of Orange County’s annual Hog Day festival. Despite the heat, hundreds attended this historic annual event, held at the Efland Ruritan Club. As always, there was music, food, arts and crafts, games and of course, the BBQ cook-off. This year, for the first time in 31 years, the festival was not sponsored by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to the newly formed Optimist Club of Orange County for a successful fun event!

Coal Ash Bill

On Wednesday the Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 729, the Coal Ash Bill. The bill, which is now on its way to the House, still maintains all of the core elements that were previously reported.

However, some additions to the bill were made before its passage. In fact, I offered two amendments to the bill. The first amendment would have added the Cape Fear Power Plant to the four high priority sites. Unfortunately, the Senate majority did not agree with my insistence on the matter. However, my second amendment did manage to make its way into the bill. The amendment would require Duke Energy to notify state officials as soon as practicablenot to exceed a period of 24 hoursof any unpermitted discharges. Though the bill is not perfect my amendment and others that were added on Wednesday, represent a substantial step in the right direction.

Please continue to contact my office to share your concerns on issues or if my office can be of any assistance to you. Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Raleigh. 

Sincerely,

Senator Valerie P. Foushee

North Carolina House Senate

District 23: Chatham & Orange Counties

Valerie.Foushee[at]ncleg[dot]net

919.733.5804 (o) 919.754.3268 (f) 919.942.2661 (h)

Just so you know...

You can listen live to the chamber sessions, committee meetings, and press conferences on the General Assembly website: www.ncleg.net. Once on the site, click on “audio” and select House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room, Finance Committee Room, or Press Conference Room.

Office hours...

My office will be staffed Monday through Thursday during the week 8 AM until 5 PM.

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