October Legislative Report

Paul Fogleman,

Why Business Should Care

Paul Fogleman

Paul Fogleman

With Washington gridlock resulting in a federal government shutdown, it is no surprise that business executives throw up their hands and tune out voices of politicians. Partisan rhetoric drowns out calls for reason. So let’s focus on company goals and strategies and ignore shenanigans of lawmakers.

But can we? Those same lawmakers are devising mandates, regulations, and so-called tax reforms. Over the past 20 years, the staff and industry supporters at the Manufacturing Solutions Center have invested energy and resources to head off unrealistic mandates. Example: proposed testing and labeling for lead content in socks.

On the horizon at the state level will be more efforts at tax reform. The good news here is the goal to eliminate corporate taxes and reduce personal income tax. But revenue has to come from some sources and this may entail the supply chain and energy purchases.

Also, the state of North Carolina has a big hole to fill in the unemployment compensation account.

Over the next 12 weeks or so, candidates for the 2014 elections will be announcing, including those who have supported the textiles, hosiery, and furniture industries. They will need our support. And as business leaders we should care who goes to Raleigh or Washington.

Hagan-Tillis Matchup?

Veteran observers of politics in North Carolina are forecasting the U.S. Senate race will include incumbent Senator Kay Hagan of Greensboro and House Speaker Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County. Senator Hagan is not likely to have a primary battle in the spring, but Speaker Tillis has an announced GOP primary opponent, the Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte, a prominent Baptist leader. Harris is reaching out to the more conservative wing of the Republican party although Tillis has supported the conservative agenda of his House caucus, including the constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriages in the state. He is a former IBM employee.

Sen. Hagan has called for revisions to the Affordable Care (Obamacare) Act although she supports the concept. She comes from a business background. As a state senator, she was a co-chair of the Chamber’s Appropriations Committee. In her current role, she assisted in the recruiting of funds for the new facilities for the Manufacturing Solutions Center.

During the recent session, Tillis endorsed the increased funding for the Textiles Technology Center and the Manufacturing Solutions Center.

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