Chair Jacobs, Commissioners Howerton and Reckhow Participate in NCACC’s 2018 County Assembly Day
Durham, NC – On May 27, 2018, Commissioner and North Carolina Association of County Commissioners President Brenda Howerton presided over the NCACC’s 2018 County Assembly Day, which featured speakers Governor Roy Cooper, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, and other legislators. Howerton was joined by BOCC Chair Wendy Jacobs and Commissioner Ellen Reckhow at the event, which drew about 200 county commissioners and staff from all over the state. Each year, the event brings together state and county leaders to discuss important policy issues.
“County Assembly Day is always a great opportunity to get updates on the latest issues from leaders in our state legislature, talk with other county commissioners from across the state and meet in person with our local delegation as well as other state representatives about issues of importance to Durham County, our region and state,” Jacobs said.
Among other things, counties discussed the need for public school facility funding, and urged legislators to pass the Public School Building Bond Act, which would authorize a referendum on the ballot in November for a $1.9 billion statewide school construction bond. County officials also asked for more resources to deliver fast and reliable internet access to under-served areas of North Carolina.
The event featured remarks from Governor Cooper, who described his mission to help North Carolinians become better educated, healthier, and more prosperous through investments in education and workforce development. He also affirmed the need to provide more flexibility and resources to counties to close the internet gap.
General Assembly leaders in the Senate and House, President Berger and Speaker Moore discussed their desire to continue to expand jobs throughout the state by supporting a favorable business climate. They also provided an overview of their budget priorities as reflected in the recently released proposal that adjusts the state’s biennium budget. Budget adjustments include a pay raise for teachers, additional lottery funds for public school construction, and incentives for internet service providers to facilitate the deployment of broadband access.
The event also included a panel discussion with N.C. Senators Jim Davis and Valerie Foushee, and N.C. Representatives Becky Carney and John Torbett, all former county commissioners, who serve on the General Assembly’s County Caucus. The panelists discussed how their experiences and perspectives as former county commissioners inform their work in the General Assembly, the relationship between the state and counties, and how counties can effectively work with their state legislators.
As part of County Assembly Day, county commissioners visited legislative offices to meet with members of their delegation and advocate on behalf of counties. Legislators also joined county commissioners for lunch on the Halifax Mall lawn outside the General Assembly to strengthen their relationships and continue the dialogue on county issues.
“County Assembly Day is an excellent opportunity to not only visit with our local delegation but also network with other legislators and legislative staff on the issues facing Durham County and the Triangle region,” Reckhow said.
Editors: Print quality photos may be downloaded for use at: https://ncacc.smugmug.com/2018-County-Assembly-Day. Photos should be credited as follows: Photo courtesy Chris Baucom/NCACC.
About the NCACC
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of advocacy, research, risk management and education and leadership training.