Visits Macon County Commissioners during July meeting
Sen. Jim Davis (R-50) visited Macon County Commissioners during their July meeting to give an update on the last session of the North Carolina General Assembly.
According to Davis, as he promised while originally campaigning for the seat he now holds, he wanted to visit county commissioners in each of the eight counties he represents during their board meetings, a task, that according to Davis, no other sitting legislator has ever done.
“I have visited the Board of Commissioners in every other county and have saved the best for last,” said Davis. “I wanted to finish in my home county and give an update on the General Assembly's last session.”
Davis' highlights included the passing of the state budget despite Gov. Perdue's veto. “We were able to override the governor's veto of the budget,” said Davis. “That means that all state employees, including teachers, will get the 1.2 percent pay raise that we called for. The budget we passed also calls for $260 million more for educationt.”
The North Carolina budget had received some scrutiny for boasting about restoring $260 million on the state level, while not accounting for the $1.3 billion that will be lost when federal EduJobs money runs out this year. Davis said that legislators could not control the impact the loss of federal dollars would mean for the state, but did everything they could on the state level.
“There is no way we could replenish that money and still be able to live within our means,” said Davis.
According to Davis, the General Assembly is also exploring ways to tackle the state's unemployment problems.
“Our unemployment rate is the fourth highest in the entire country,” said Davis. “We are currently working on a way to float a bond to pay off the money we owe the federal government for unemployment benefits so we will still be able to provide those to our citizens.”
Commissioner Ronnie Beale commended Sen. Davis for his work on the state level to help with the mental health crisis. “Although we were upset that Bill 5191 was passed at the last moment, we thank you for your work and the Senate's decision to delay the effective date until October 2013,” said Beale.”
“I can tell you that I didn't care much for that,” said Davis. “That is yet another I could advocate for local government.”
Commissioners Ron Haven and Kevin Corbin thanked Sen. Davis for always being accessible to the county governments.
“There are 315 miles from here to Raleigh,” said Davis. “I pick up my legislative assistant in Asheville, who you all know is my sister, and I spend my time on the road on the Ipad answering emails and returning phone calls.”
Davis said now he will turn his focus to the campaign trail. Sen. Davis' seat will be up for grabs in the November election where he is set to face-off with former Democratic Senator John Snow. Davis narrowly beat Snow in 2010 for the District 50 seat.