Brunswick County’s Commissioners joined county commissioners from across North Carolina in Raleigh last month to set the NCACC’s legislative agenda for the 2017-18 Legislative Biennium.

“Actions taken by the legislature and state agencies can have a profound impact on the ability of county governments to do our jobs and serve our constituents, and the NCACC does an excellent job of advocating for the issues set forth by its members,” said Frank Williams, Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. “As I once heard a commissioner from another county say, ‘if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.’ It is critical that Brunswick County have a strong, active voice in developing our statewide legislative priorities, and I am pleased that our entire board is actively engaged in representing our constituents at the state level.”

Commissioners from across the state gathered to deliberate and vote on the NCACC’s legislative agenda for the 2017-18 legislative biennium at last week’s NCACC Legislative Goals Conference in Raleigh. Each county is entitled to send one voting delegate to the conference, though additional commissioners attend and participate in the event. Proposed goals were submitted by counties from throughout North Carolina. Prior to being considered at the conference, proposed goals were reviewed and refined by the NCACC’s steering committees, then by the Legislative Goals Committee, and then by the board of directors.

Brunswick County Commissioners Frank Williams, Randy Thompson, Marty Cooke, Pat Sykes and Mike Forte attended the legislative goals conference, which included addresses by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper, N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation Executive Director Joe Stewart, and NCACC Research Director Linda Millsaps. Commissioner Randy Thompson served as Brunswick County’s voting delegate, and Commissioner Frank Williams served on the Legislative Goals Committee. Commissioner Williams also serves as Chair of the NCACC General Government Steering Committee, and each of Brunswick County’s commissioners now serves on at least one steering committee.

The five priority goals adopted by the conference are:

  1. Seek legislation to establish a new state-county partnership to address statewide public school capital challenges–including but not limited to maintenance, renovation, construction and debt–through a dedicated, stable funding stream that is consistent from county to county and sufficient to meet the school facility needs of all 100 counties.
  2. Seek legislation to repeal the statutory authority under N.C. Gen. Stat. 115C-431(c) that allows a local school board to file suit against a county board of commissioners over county appropriations for education.
  3. Support efforts to preserve and expand the existing local revenue base of counties, and oppose efforts to divert to the state fees or taxes currently allocated to the counties to the state. Oppose efforts to erode existing county revenue streams and authorize local option revenue sources already given to any other jurisdiction.
  4. Support increased state funding for transportation construction and maintenance needs, and support legislation to ensure that the STI funding formula recognizes that one size does not fit all and that projects in both rural and urban areas are prioritized and funded.
  5. Support legislation and funding to raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction from 16 to 18 with the exception of felony crimes.

The complete goals package can be viewed here.