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VP External Legislative Update:
Dear NCCCFA members:
On Thursday, July 16, 2015 I called into the legislative review at the North Carolina Community College System Office (NCCCS). The state budget continues to remain in limbo. There is still hope that a budget will be passed by the August 14 deadline. The NCCCS is still pushing for salary increases on all sides, and it is not too late for our faculty members to call/write/visit their representatives in Raleigh and ask them to include a salary increase. On the plus side, the Senate does seem to be open to funding community colleges year round for all curriculum courses (in their budget they wanted only UGETC classes to be covered). Some other interesting updates are as follows:
The Senate passed on the floor a proposal for community colleges to have access to optional 403B retirement plans.
It is very likely that tuition increases will not be backdated and will start on January 1.
There is concern that the legislature will require community colleges to provide driver's education classes.
The House is currently working on a bond measure for infrastructure as the governor had requested. However, the house is using $200 million as their starting point. The NCCCS and the Presidents Association are pushing to increase this amount. Based on a survey of community college presidents, the infrastructure needs across the state are closer to $776 million. The system office is urging members to talk to their representatives and remind them that even though we appreciate $200 million, they truly need to consider a higher number. Since the bond measure will go for a vote in November, it is helpful to remind them that a higher number will make it more likely that we, as voters, would vote on the measure.
As always, I urge you to look up your state representative and senator for where you live and where you work (if they are in different legislative districts). I will be happy to provide assistance in contacting your representatives, and if you like I will happily help you meet with them in Raleigh. Furthermore, please click the “what’s hot” link on the www.ncccfa.org website for more detailed links to legislative information. You can direct your questions to me via my email (email@example.com) and you can also follow me on Twitter @DrTahmasebVP.
Kambiz Tahmaseb, Ph.D.