Last updated: July 30. 2014 11:11AM - 251 Views
By Sen. Gene McLaurin

Pictured, front row, from left, Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), Donna McLaurin. Back row, Senator Michael Walters (D-Robeson), Senator Gene McLaurin, Senator Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg).
Pictured, front row, from left, Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), Donna McLaurin. Back row, Senator Michael Walters (D-Robeson), Senator Gene McLaurin, Senator Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg).
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I was pleased to present and explain Senate Bill 201 in the N.C. Senate last week. This local bill will allow Stanly Community College to save money, by enabling the Stanly County Commissioners to construct classroom buildings on the community college campus — as opposed to leasing buildings off campus at a potentially higher cost. I was glad to work with Representative Justin Burr, who introduced the bill. The bill passed the Senate 49-0 and is headed to the governor for his signature.

My wife Donna and I enjoyed being in China Grove for the 32nd Annual Farmers’ Day celebration to honor this beautiful small town made up of many farming families. On this 125th Anniversary of China Grove’s founding, I encourage you to visit this town in Rowan County located off of Highway 52. We had the opportunity to visit Goodman’s Farm Supply — operated by the Goodman family since 1963 on Main Street in China Grove. The Goodman family introduced us to Serendipity corn. If you have never had this variety of corn, please try it. You will not regret it. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am always looking for ways to promote N.C. agriculture and support our farmers and farm supply businesses.

While traveling in Anson County, be sure to try Pee Dee Orchard, owned and operated by Chesley Greene, who is famous for his amazing peaches and homemade ice cream. Recently I had dinner with other Senate colleagues in Raleigh after session. For dessert, we ordered peach ice cream and I was proud to learn and share with friends that the peaches were from Pee Dee Orchard. The Greene family grows over 20 different varieties of peaches.

It was great to be with several thousand people at the recent dedication of the new Carolinas HealthCare System Anson Hospital. This new hospital will serve many patients in our area. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to build this new state-of-the-art hospital.

Representative Ken Goodman and I have worked for weeks now to shepherd House Bill 1033 through the legislature. This bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate, and will enable the Richmond County Commissioners to help homeowners living adjacent to Ledbetter Lake to make much needed repairs to the Ledbetter Lake dam. Once the bill is signed by Governor McCrory, the county will begin the process to upfront the cost of dam repairs which could total over $2 million, and then recoup those costs by assessing only those homeowners affected. Other Richmond County residents will not be assessed.

I was pleased to provide a legislative update to the Rockingham Civitan Club, and recently met with veterans in Richmond County at the Hamlet Lions Club appreciation banquet at the Hamlet National Guard Armory.

On a final note, I would like to recognize the Scotland County Board of Education and Scotland County Commissioners who have shown us all how to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars while protecting the integrity of our public schools when they recently reached a consensus on local school funding. The two boards have shown great positive leadership by coming up with this agreement. I salute board members, their families, and their staff for their hard work and dedication. Local issues are always best handled on the local level.

Despite the fact that we have been in session, I have had a chance on weekends and even some week nights to get out and see many of you in the community, and celebrated my 58th birthday this past week. My only staff member, Katie Stanley, made banana pudding to share. My wife Donna joined us for dessert. If you would like to try this recipe, please see it on my Facebook page, as well as photos from other events in the community.

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