One word to describe the Legislative Short Session would be “busy.” A typical day at the legislature during the short session would be meetings starting from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., with session sometime in between.
Rep. Brody is a member of seven committees and two caucuses. He also has a perfect attendance record.
1. Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Vice Chair)
4. Commerce & Job Development
6. Health & Human Services
7. Regulatory Reform
8. Legislative Prayer Caucus
9. Agriculture & Rural Caucus
Along with committee meetings, Rep. Brody has scheduled meetings throughout the day with a variety of groups to discuss current legislation. Among this month’s scheduled meetings were:
- N.C. Electric Cooperatives
- N.C. Recycling Association
- N.C. Pork, N.C. Cattle & N.C. Dairy Products
- Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
- N.C. Economic Developers Association
- N.C. Housing Finance Agency
- Southern Environmental Solutions
- Bayada Home Health Care
- N.C. League of Municipalities
- N.C. Airport Association
- N.C. Technology Association
- N.C. Manufacturing Alliance
- N.C. Dept. of Environment & Natural Sciences
- CMC- Union & Anson
- Associated Builders & Contractors of the Carolinas
- N.C. Association of Realtors
- The National Federation of Independent Business of N.C.
- Landscape Architects
- Concerned Women for America
- State Board of Education
Civitas Action — Legislative Rankings
Rep. Brody was honored to be ranked #13 for the “Most Effective Conservative” in the N.C. House of Representatives by N.C. Civitas Action. House Pages
Rep. Brody was honored to recommend two High School students from his district, Meredith Little (Parkwood High School) and Kayley Tyson (Tabernacle Christian School), to serve as House Pages for the week of June 16.
Pages spend a week at the General Assembly assisting members and their staff and learning about the structure of North Carolina government. Rep. Brody enjoys seeing students from his district (Anson and Union County) serving as House Pages at the legislature and encourages any students interested to contact his office.
Leadership Anson Visits the Legislature
Rep. Brody enjoyed meeting with the 2014 Leadership Anson Class when they visited the Legislature. Rep. Brody and Sen. McLaurin sat down with the group for lunch to discuss current issues before the legislature.
N.C. House Budget
The N.C. House voted unanimously on their fiscal year 2015 proposed budget that included:
- An average 5-percent teacher raise — without forcing teachers to opt out of tenure to get the raise
- Funding for K-3 Teacher Assistants statewide
- Full funding the Governor’s Career Pathways pilot program to provide differentiated pay to teachers demonstrating effectiveness or assuming additional responsibilities
- Providing $18.7 million to reinstate Master’s pay and reimbursement for advanced degrees in field of study
- Allotting $5.9 million to offer veterans and dependents in-state tuition rates via the Yellow Ribbon matching fund program at UNC and Community Colleges beginning Fall 2014
The bill also includes boosting starting teacher pay by 14 percent over the next two years to $35,000, bringing North Carolina’s starting teacher pay to among the top in the Southeast.
Teacher pay raises and education support are the bill’s priorities. Other key provisions include a $1,000 raise for state employees, a salary increase of between 5 and 6 percent for step-eligible Highway Patrol Troopers and long-term coal ash management and clean-up funding of $1.8 million.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
Coal Ash Legislation
The N.C. House passed Senate Bill 729, “The Coal Ash Management Act of 2014”, in a 94-16 bipartisan vote, which requires all coal ash ponds to be cleaned by 2029.
Like the Senate version, the House bill creates a Coal Ash Management Commission to oversee the assessment, planning and clean-up of all coal ash ponds across the state.
Ponds will be assessed and grouped into one of three classifications based upon risk to surrounding water supply. High-risk ponds will be required to be cleaned by 2019.
Other key components of the House coal ash bill include:
- Requires an emergency action plan in the event of a future spill
- Requires every pond in NC to be classified in one of three clean-up prioritization categories
- Mandates a quarterly written report to the Environmental Review Commission and Coal Ash Management Commission on the status of coal ash clean-up.
The bill will also encourage the development of creative and innovative solutions for coal ash use statewide while creating parameters that ensure safe beneficial use. Several changes were made to the Senate version of the bill including:
- Moves the proposed Coal Ash Management Commission to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
- Extends the moratorium for rate cases related to coal ash clean-up to the end of 2016
- Requires DENR to study deadlines listed in the Act and report the findings back to the Environmental Review Commission by the end of 2014
- Shortens the required response time from 30 days to 24 hours to provide potable drinking water in the event of drinking water contamination
Coal ash cleanup was a legislative priority of the House and Senate for the short session. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence.
Common Core Legislation
The House passed HB 1060 “Replace Common Core State Standards with North Carolina’s Higher Academic Standards” that would allow for the creation of a non-partisan review board to examine the effectiveness of Common Core standards in North Carolina. Changes would be suggested to the State Board of Education.
The bill is the result of interim study from the Joint Legislative Research Commission on Common Core. Lawmakers heard from educators, administration and members of the public while gathering information to make this next step toward strengthening and adapting North Carolina’s curriculum to the needs of our students.
Rep. Brody attended the following district meetings:
- Wadesboro Town Hall Meeting (Anson)
- Lilesville Town Hall Meeting (Anson)
- Union County Commissioners Meeting