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State Government
State Fleet Reforms Save Taxpayers $9 Million PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 15:00
Raleigh - Governor Pat McCrory’s reforms to the Division of Motor Fleet Management are saving taxpayers $9 million by contracting with a fleet management company for the maintenance and repair of the division’s 7,300 vehicles. This change is expected to increase efficiencies in Motor Fleet’s internal garage and reduce operating expenses by approximately $1.8 million annually, or $9 million over five years. The contract began on July 1, 2016.
 
“We never stop looking for ways to save taxpayer's money and improve customer service in North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory. “North Carolina’s vehicle fleet will be maintained and repaired in a more cost-effective way, providing better service, safety and accountability to our customers.”
 
By contracting with a private vendor, the state will improve customer service, eliminate administrative processing costs and improve the productivity of its automotive technicians. The fleet management vendor will improve service by accepting customers’ repair and maintenance calls on a 24/7/365 basis, rather than the current service provided only during normal state government business hours. Once a repair call is received, the vendor arranges for service to be performed by a certified automotive facility at pre-negotiated prices. The state then receives only one bill from one vendor each month, rather than hundreds of bills from multiple vendors. In addition, Motor Fleet will employ a garage module that will compare the state’s automotive technician productivity to industry standards. This will allow Motor Fleet to set benchmarks for technicians and improve employee performance.
 
Vehicle telematics will also provide Motor Fleet’s customers with additional data that will improve safety and reduce operating expenses. Agencies will have access to vehicle data in real-time that will allow them to make better business decisions about vehicle utilization. In addition, the telematics units can provide in-cabin feedback to drivers to encourage good driving behaviors (e.g., speed, acceleration and braking). This feedback will improve vehicle safety and further reduce operating expenses.
 
McCrory Signs Bill Reinstating Right To Sue In State Courts For Discrimintation PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 12:52
Governor McCrory issued the following statement regarding legislation signed today to restore the right to sue for discrimination in state courts:
 
“Today, we have restored the right to sue for discrimination in state courts, which I requested before this year’s legislative session began.  With this action we have now reinstated all statewide non-discrimination policies that were previously in place, meaning North Carolina is now one of 49 states that allows citizens to sue in state court for employment discrimination.
 
The modification to House Bill 2, restores the right to file discrimination lawsuits in state court — within one year of the alleged offense. The legislature and governor left intact the most controversial provisions of House Bill 2, including preventing cities and counties from imposing LGBT protections broader than state law. HB2 also requires transgender people in government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates rather than the gender they identify with.
 
In two separate lawsuits, six North Carolina residents and the U.S. Department of Justice have sued to halt HB2. A federal judge will hear arguments next month on whether to block provisions of the bill while the lawsuits are pending.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 13:03
 
Senator Apodaca's Resignation Opens Door For Return As Lobbyist PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 July 2016 14:03
Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca resigned his Senate seat Friday, a few months before his term officially ends.
 
The resignation opens the door for Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, to return to the General Assembly in January as a lobbyist. 
A six-month “cooling off period” is required for lawmakers who become lobbyists. 
 
Apodaca is one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, and he announced last year he wouldn’t seek another term.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2016 14:08
 
Average Teacher Pay Exceeds $50,000 In New State Budget PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 14 July 2016 16:04

Governor Pat McCrory signed the $22.5 billion state budget Thursday at a Union County elementary school. The budget includes an average 4.7 percent pay increase for teachers across the state, meaning that for the first time in state history, average pay will be more than $50,000 a year including local supplements by counties.

Public-school teachers will receive raises that vary based on experience and are targeted at mid-career teachers after a recent round of raises focused on entry-level teachers.

 

McCrory touted tax cuts for the middle class that he said will save them $132 million, tuition reductions at three N.C. colleges and investments in mental health and substance abuse programs.
 
The budget provides an income tax cut by raising the standard deduction from $15,500 to $17,500 over two years for a married couple. The standard deduction is the amount on which taxpayers owe no taxes if they don’t itemize their returns.
 
Tuition will drop to $500 per semester for North Carolina residents at Elizabeth City State and Western Carolina universities and UNC Pembroke, with the price set at $2,500 for nonresidents. A new policy across all UNC system schools will guarantee that students pay the same tuition price over at least four years.
 
The state has a projected surplus of $425 million, McCrory noted. He went on to discuss the advantages of building up a rainy day fund, which he called the “fiscally responsible thing to do.” The budget adds $475 million to that fund.
 
“Sooner or later, the economy is going to take a hit, and we better be ready for it. We’re building up a rainy day fund to 7-8 percent of the budget, and I’m proud of that. You don’t get political points for that,” McCrory said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 July 2016 16:09
 
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