Last Week at the General Assembly
Paycheck Protection Program
HB 334 which passed the House 111-2 on Thursday, will exempt the loan forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program Loans from Income Tax in North Carolina.
PPP loans were given to businesses which agreed to keep workers on their payrolls during the COVID-19 pandemic. In most cases, these loans will be forgiven by the Small Business Administration as long as certain program requirements are met. Ordinarily, loan forgiveness is considered taxable income under state and federal law. However, Congress has chosen to remove PPP loan forgiveness from Federal Income taxation, but North Carolina so far has not. H 334 will help businesses still struggling to recover from the pandemic, by ensuring they keep more of the money they earn.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Mobile Medical Units
On Wednesday the UNCP College of Health Sciences Mobile Health units came and parked outside of the Legislative building. UNCP has done an incredible job in distributing the Covid-19 vaccine to rural nursing homes and other underserved rural areas with these units.
Last year, I worked very closely with Chancellor Cummings, UNCP and local representatives, Representative Brenden Jones and Senator Danny Britt to secure funding for this project.
I was happy to help sponsor UNCP this week at the legislative building and I hope that other universities will soon be able to follow their model.
Tax Policy Trip to Baton Rouge
I was honored to have been invited to Louisiana’s state capital, Baton Rouge, to share with their House members how North Carolina has reformed our tax policy. I had many productive conversations with their Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, and several other members of the Louisiana House delegation.
NC lawmakers: Making daylight saving permanent
I am the primary sponsor of House Bill 307 that would permanently observe daylight savings time in North Carolina. Switching our clocks is an outdated practice that is a nuisance twice a year. Observing daylight savings time year-round would mean that we would have longer day-lit afternoons to spend time with family after work, support small businesses, and enjoy the natural world around us. For some, the real benefit comes from no longer losing an hour of sleep. Hopefully, Congress will not snooze on these benefits and will pass a federal law to grant NC and many other states the power to do so - and it’s about time.
North Carolina House approves K-12 scholarship program alterations
I am a proud sponsor of House Bill 32, The Equity in Opportunity Act. This bill, which is now being voted on in the Senate, would increase the opportunity for school-choice by making alternative educational options more accessible for those who need it. Especially during the pandemic, individualized education options are more important than ever. We need to give families the tools to decide what options best fit their needs- this bill will do just that.
On the House Floor
H 244, which would add partisan labels to School Board elections in Lincoln County, passed the House by voice vote and now moves over to be heard by the Senate.
H 32, the Equity in Opportunity Act, passed the House by a vote of 69 in favor and 49 against. The bill would expand the eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships in North Carolina. I am a Primary Sponsor.
NC average teacher pay is now $54,392 per year, second best in Southeast
Under the Republican Majority in the legislature, average teacher salaries have increased by over $8,000. I strongly believe that teachers play a crucial role for the future and we need to give them the tools to succeed. Hopefully during the upcoming state budget process, Gov. Cooper will be willing to negotiate rather than vetoing possible teacher salary increases as he has in the past.
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