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Advocacy


North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh, NC

 

The Chamber believes the best economy is created
when all sectors of a community work together responsibly.
We also believe voting is the most effective way to let your voice be heard.
Stay informed, get to know candidates and electeds, and
respectfully share your views.


Advocacy Committee will meet Thursday, June 1st, at Concord City Hall.

All Chamber members are welcome to participate in our Advocacy Committee meetings. Dates are listed below & fall on the first Thursday in even-numbered months. Time is 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. and RSVPs are requested.  

Chaired by Randy Welch, District Manager/Duke Energy, the meetings are always filled with up-to-date information from knowledgeable members and/or guest presenters.  

2017 Advocacy Positions

Members of the Advocacy Committee prepare our annual document, which is presented to the Board of Directors for approval. The document guides us as we examine issues and take action on matters important to our region.  We are grateful to everyone who helped with this year's platform. Please contact Deborah Carter with any issues that are impacting your business. 


Our Elected Officials 

*Federal: Senator Richard Burr, Representative Richard Hudson, Represenative Thom Tillis
*State: NC General Assembly - Senator Paul Newton/District 36, Representative Linda P. Johnson/District 83, Representative Larry Pittman/District 82, Representative Carl  Ford/District 76
*Local: Cabarrus County, City of Concord, City of Kannapolis, Town of Harrisburg, Town of Midland, Town of Mount Pleasant
 

LATEST UPDATES

NC General Assembly

Charlotte Chamber Legislative Blog
- Kerri Burke, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC
 

1-31-17
Department of Labor Overtime Regulation remains on hold. Read more here!

1-25-17
The North Carolina General Assembly began the 2017 Long Session today. We wish our electeds well as they discuss issues and determine the best course of action for the good of our state.

We appreciate our legislators sharing issues anticipated during this session while with us during the Annual Legislative Breakfast. To follow agendas for both Senate and House, you can sign up to receive daily agendas via email.   

 

FREE
NC Chamber Member Benefit 
for Employers with 
10 or fewer employees

As a member of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber, employers with 10 or fewer employees can enjoy a FREE membership with our state chamber. This is a minimum $1,000 value.  Known as the "Grassroots Alliance", you are vital in helping us and the NC Chamber respond to legislative issues that impact business.  

The free benefits include...
*enewsletters - A bi-weekly "Business Advocate" and/or two-part weekly "This Week at the Capital". You may choose to receive one or both. Content includes legislative & political news, plus survey questions. Your answers to surveys help strengthen our advocacy efforts when we address business issues with our legislators. You may elect to opt-out of the emails at any time.

*Action Alerts
Based on legislative areas of interest that you choose, email alerts are sent with up-to-date information. You can share your views with your legislator/s as legislation is being discussed.  

Communications received are based on your choices, and you may opt out at any time. Contact Deborah Carter if you have questions.

Advocacy Committee 
Chair, Randy Welch/Duke Energy
Meets 1st Thursdays in even-numbered months
2017 Dates: February 2, April 6, June 1, August 3, October 5, December 7

Meeting Notes:

April 6
Chairman Welch led the committee through a review of pertinent legislation with input from staff and committee members.

We also hosted a conference call for legislative updates with NC Chamber's VP of Government Affairs, Gary Salamido. The state chamber is focused on...
1) education & workforce development/maintaining academic standards, surveying members via a SKILLS GAP study with results in early-May; 2) the business climate so NC can remain competitive & both state houses have submitted tax packages; 3) growth & transportation by making sure dollars get to projects as scored by the Strategic Transportation Investments formula and discussing an infrastructure bank; 4) managing economic development effectively through the tier system; and 5) the need for predictability of healthcare costs for businesses as costs continue to rise for insurance premiums and benefits.

February 2
Chairman Welch presided. The Draft TIP 2018-2027 was presented by Phil Conrad, Executive Director of Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization. Warren Cooksey, NCDOT Division 10 Community & Outreach Coordinator provided additional information. Congressional aides Josh Ward/Senator Burr and Georgia Lozier/Representative Hudson gave updates on issues and legislation anticipated.  The DoL Overtime Regulation is under an injunction which has stalled implementation. Stay tuned for information.

December 15, 2016
The committee approved the "2017 Advocacy Positions" draft on December 1st. It was reviewed and approved for presentation to the full board by the Chamber's Executive Committee. Board approved the document at the December 15 board meeting.

 

Thanks for helping pass CONNECT NC Bond in the March 15, 2016 PRIMARY!

Because of the state-wide support for CONNECT NC, our region will benefit tremendously. Our state university, UNC Charlotte, and our community college, Rowan-Cabarrus, will have funds to improve their campuses. Maintaining 21st century-quality assets for instructing students will reap economic benefits. 

The projects approved are listed here.

 

FEDERAL ISSUE ALERT -
DOL Overtime Regulation
 DELAYED

OT Regulation updates

11/22/16
Implementation of OT rule changes has been delayed as ruled by a federal judge. 

10/27/16
OT changes begin December 1! Are you ready?

8/4/16
Many thanks to Kenny Colbert with The Employers Association for sharing information about the December 1, 2016 changes to the overtime regulation. Information can be found here to help guide you in preparing for implementation.

Paycor has also produced easy-to-understand materials that include step-by-step calculations for employers' adjustments to the pay increases.  

The US House of Representatives has submitted H.R. 5813 - Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act - that would enable employers to phase in pay increases over three years. We will continue to monitor the issue and, following the congressional recess, keep you informed.

5/24/16

President Obama signed the Overtime Regulation on May 18, which is expected to become effective December 1. A survey was sent to get feedback from our members about impacts to jobs creation and sustainability. We will share the results with our legislators and keep you posted.

In the meantime, learn more by reading!

5/15/16
The Department of Labor is expected to issue the updated regulation soon. Share your stories with us about the impacts it will have on you and your business. 

4/27/16 - The U.S. Chamber is gathering signatures from local chambers in support of alternative legislation that has been introduced - "Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act". The legislation would stop DOL's proposal and "require more complete analyses of its impacts before issuing a new rule." The Cabarrus Regional Chamber has signed on, along with more than 350 other chambers. You can read the letter here. Feel free to communicate with your legislator about the issue! 

Additional statements opposing the changes have been submitted via letter by members of Congress-including Representative Richard Hudson- and the Society for Human Resource Professionals. Workforce magazine also prepared a good summary of the changes and how small businesses might prepare, should the rule be adopted.

03/01/2016 - The Department of Labor proposed revised regulations in June 2015 to the Fair Labor Standards Act affecting "white collar" overtime exemptions. We will keep you informed as developments occur.


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Our advocacy process involves Chamber leadership, staff and Advocacy Committee members. All work continuously to develop and maintain an active relationship with county/state/national officials and with Chamber members to insure that business concerns are heard and addressed. We offer resources to enhance the business environment in the Cabarrus region and advocate for legislation that reduces business costs and supports business success. The Cabarrus Regional Chamber is your business advocate!

We represent business interests in the following ways:

  • Monitoring legislation at the local and state level that has a potential effect on the business community.
  • Actively promoting responsible legislation that protects the business community.
  • Testifying before government about legislation that will have an impact on the business community, either positive or negative.
  • Maintaining a presence with local and state elected officials to ensure that the voice of our membership is heard.
  • Keeping our members informed on issues that impact their businesses.
  • Taking action via the Board of Directors to promote a healthy economy.

We recognize that some regulation is necessary for a viable free market, but we strongly advocate that government regulation of business operations should be minimal, fair and reasonable. Our efforts get results for our members – results that impact the bottom line!

Chamber Board Representative:
Denise Hallett, Government & Business Relations Manager, NC/Vulcan Materials
Vice Chair, Advocacy

Ms. Hallett serves as a resource and  provides information in relation to the five areas of the Advocacy agenda. Along with staff and members of the committee, a focus on issues that impact economic development, education and workforce development, energy and the environment, healthcare, and transportation & land use is always present. Chamber members are welcome to RSVP & attend the 8 - 9:30 a.m. committee meetings held on first Thursdays in even-numbered months. Visit our website calendar to register your attendance. We appreciate the dedication of committee members to monitoring issues, communicating issues to us and working together to keep our business community strong.

Advocacy Positions are updated annually and distributed to Chamber members, elected and public officials. As issues arise, they are addressed by the Advocacy Committee and recommendations for action needed are made to the Chamber's Board of Directors. The board, in turn, adopts resolutions which are shared with public officials.  

 


 


The NC General Assembly 2017 Long Session has convened. Stay tuned for information about issues your Chamber is following. 

Details of NC General Assembly 2015-16 budget:

Economic Development

-Jobs Development Investment Grant (JDIG) was retained. The cap was increased from $22.5 million to $57.9 million in 2015-16 and $71.7 million in 2016-17. This positive change makes Cabarrus County and all of NC competitive in helping existing businesses expand and attracting new business.

-Historic Preservation Tax Credit was reinstated, though to a lesser degree, for four years. Buildings will qualify beginning January 2016, but there remains uncertainty as to whether projects in 2015 will qualify.

-Redistribution of Local Option Sales Tax was overhauled by expanding the sales tax base for certain services and allotting proceeds only to certain rural counties. Positive results are Cabarrus County and the municipalities will not lose any sales tax revenue that is used locally for services and infrastructure.

 

Transportation

- Total funding will increase by $1.158 billion and 99.5% will go directly to transportation.

The increase will come from 1) additional revenue availability of $708 million over two years for transportation funding in part by ending $216 million annual highway fund transfer and adjusting DMV fees, and 2) $450 million over the biennium that results from passage of

SB 20.  The .5%  - approximately $12 million - will go to Department of Agriculture, Department of Revenue and a few small enterprise programs.

Also enacted was a new formula for motor fuel tax/MFT that will adjust annually based on percentage change in population plus the "Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers". This means some stability will be added to the MFT moving forward due to use of the U.S. city average for energy index contained in October’s detailed report released by Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor prior to the applicable calendar year.

The distribution formula was also changed from 75% to Highway Fund and 25% Highway Trust Fund to 71% HF and 29% HTF.

-$70 million will go to NC Ports for ports modernization which is crucial to our competitiveness.

- Included was a “blueprint” for the $2 billion infrastructure bond for capital projects.

These steps modernize and makes generational reforms for funding our transportation network.  These sustainable transportation reforms will help secure North Carolina’s transportation network for years to come and every part of the state will benefit. 

 

Education

- Full funding is included for teacher assistants with the restriction that the funding be used only for assistants. Starting teacher salary increased from $33,000 to $35,000. Driver education is also fully funded. A funding increase for textbooks and digital learning was also included.

 

For more information on public policy issues, contact Deborah Carter, Vice President of Advocacy at 704-782-4000 x 8101 or dcarter@cabarrus.biz.

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704.782.4000 3003 Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, Suite 2 Kannapolis, NC 28083

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