The Raleigh Report by Representative Phil Shepard – March 1, 2013
NC House of Representatives
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 530
Raleigh, NC 27603
Raleigh, NC – This week was “Education Week” in the North Carolina House of Representatives. We were honored to host educators from around the state for several question-and-answer sessions with Speaker Thom Tillis and other House leaders on the future of education in North Carolina. We met with superintendents on Tuesday, Principals of the Year on Wednesday, and Teachers of the Year on Thursday. Many of these educators also took advantage of the opportunity to meet individually with their House members. These meetings have been incredibly productive. One of the visiting superintendents even remarked that this was the first time in more than 40 years that a group of superintendents had been invited to the General Assembly for such a discussion!
This week was all about listening to our educator’s concerns as we continue our work toward improving outcomes in K-12 education and prepare our state’s workforce for a new economy. We have already taken several positive steps on education reform this session, including passing legislation providing additional vocational education opportunities and expanding digital learning in our state. As we continue work on education modernization this session, we will continue our ongoing dialogue with educators throughout the state.
In addition to the meetings that took place in Raleigh with our educators I attended a luncheon with the Southeast Education Alliance on Monday to discuss education with the public school superintendents in the southeastern part of our state. Representative Cleveland and Senator Brown attended this event as well. I truly enjoyed this opportunity to learn how I can help our educators. This week I was also honored to have Betty Gurganus, Clerk of Court in Onslow County, come by my office for a visit.
In the first week of session the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5, which provided assistance to the group home residents who were in danger of losing their Medicaid-covered personal care services. Because of recent changes to Medicaid eligibility requirements, a number of residents of mental health group homes were in danger of having their benefits cut off. This bill guarantees this would not be the case. The Senate passed the bill with an additional provision covering Alzheimer’s care units and the House agreed with the changes this week and sent the bill to Governor McCrory for signature.
A few other important bills that we are discussing in the House are House Bill 97- Lottery Funds Used for Digital Learning, House Bill 105- Require Pulse Oximetry Newborn Screening, and Senate Bill 10- Government Reorganization and Efficiency Act. I understand that several people have been especially concerned about Senate Bill 10 and I am grateful for your emails in regards to this issue. The House is working to make significant changes and improvements to the bill.
As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have. I enjoy hearing your input as I continue to make decisions to help all of the people of North Carolina. If you wish to stop receiving this newsletter email us back and let us know so that we can take you off of our mailing list.
Rep. Phil Shepard
|Committees for the 2013-2014 Session