First-term representatives are learning the complexities of how bills are handled and how to behave in committee meetings. This week the powerful Finance Committee sponsored a staff presentation on the current financial state of the revenue and trends that will have an impact on spending. Legislators learned that more than half the state money comes from personal income tax. Corporate income taxes have been reduced and generate less than one billion dollars of the $23 billion budget. Sales and use taxes are up to 30 percent of the state’s revenue or almost $7 billion. As corporate tax rates are reduced, more sources of revenue will come from taxes on services and fees, the legislators were told.
Some of the freshman legislators are young, some in their mid to late twenties. The longest-serving House member is Rep. Mickey Michaux of Durham who has a tenure of 40 years.
Our March 15 Legislative Day for hosiery and textiles executives will include visits and presentation to new legislators. We have learned that lobbying legislators while they are in a learning curve is a winning strategy. They do not forget when they move up in seniority. Since 2010 when Republicans won control of the House and Senate, more than 60 percent of the members have gained seniority—and chairmanships.