THE FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

Paul Fogleman,

At least six North Carolina legislators are not seeking re-election in 2016.

The most viable is Rep. Paul Stam of Wake County, a six-term veteran who is Deputy Speaker of the House. Stam has championed causes for the most conservative members of the Republican caucus, including expansion of vouchers—or scholarships—for students who prefer private schools. However, he sometimes teamed up with Rep. Rick Glazier, a progressive Democrat, on some issues. Glazier resigned his seat before the session ended.

A common complaint among those retiring is the low pay for legislators who average $13,800 a year for service. However with $105 per diem for living expenses the actual income for lawmakers is about $30,000 a year—still low for those without other income. Legislators actually are in session an average of three and a half days a week. To raise the pay would require a bipartisan undertaking—not likely in an election year.

THE LOWDOWN ON ECONOMIC INCENTIVES

A report coming out of Raleigh this week indicates that 40 percent of the companies approved for Jobs Development Incentive Grants (JDIG) actually have not added a single person to the payroll. But neither did these companies receive any compensation. The report has fueled debate over the effectiveness of the state’s business recruiting programs. Former Gov. Beverly Perdue had announced toward the end of her term in office that over 49,000 jobs had been created in the four years of her administration. Actually the total jobs added from the companies approved for grants was 19,000. Yet the state did not pay for jobs not added. (Note the Commerce Department reported that over 200,000 jobs were added to business payrolls from 2009 to 2013 when the Perdue administration ended.)

HOLIDAY SEASON HAS POLITICAL OVERTONES

For the first time, the filing period for candidates in North Carolina will occur while most voters are thinking about Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and family gatherings. Candidates, including incumbents, will be lining up at Elections Offices December 1-21 to pay filing fees. The reason

The Legislature moved the primary to early March. This means the short session will begin April 25, a month earlier, giving lawmakers more time to craft a new budget. The traditional lobbying day for hosiery and textile executives will be held May 18. Mark your calendar.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

We appreciate the renewal of annual memberships which started this month. We welcome O’Mara Inc. as a new member. Our activity in Raleigh continues as we attend meetings of Legislative committees and receptions sponsored by Republicans and Democrats. None of this is possible without support of the companies we represent. Next year we will be breaking new ground. We thank you.

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