Senator seeking thoughts on state’s attractions

By Sen. Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist

I hope everyone is having a nice week.

I would like to reflect on the events that happened 74 years ago this week. President Franklin Roosevelt said it best when he declared Dec. 7, 1941 as “A date which will live in infamy.”

The attacks on Pearl Harbor serve as a reminder that the strength of the United States is in our unity and resolve to stand as one, and when we do this, there is no adversary that we cannot defeat. This is also a time to remember those who have fought, and continue to fight, to preserve our freedom and support the aspirations of people seeking freedom around the world.

Question of the Week

I appreciate everyone who responded to last week’s question asking you what things you are thankful for in life. Friends, family, and loved ones were among the most common responses, with others indicating their thankfulness for church and blessings.

I am thankful for all of those things, and want to express my thanks for your trust in letting me represent you in the N.C. Senate. As I discuss in the section below, I recently toured several of our state-owned sites. I would like to hear what state-owned site, park, or attraction is your favorite.

Last month, my office staff and I traveled to the Wilmington area to tour several state-owned attractions and sites, including: The USS North Carolina Battleship, The Aquarium, Fort Fisher, Fort Anderson, Brunswick Town, and The Maritime Museum. I have always been a hands-on person, so I felt it necessary to tour the sites that are effected by the legislation we pass in Raleigh.

These sites are true assets to our state, along with the dedicated citizens who work and volunteer to preserve and maintain them. I would like to thank everyone at the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources and the volunteers who helped line up our trip. I look forward to working with the department and my fellow legislators to help support our attractions for our citizens and boost our tourism industry.

Over the course of the interim, I plan on using this section of the newsletter to give a brief summary of some of the substantial legislation that we passed this session.Our office has also put together a booklet of Agriculture related reforms that we have made since 2011. Contact the office if you would like a copy.

In the last two editions, we have gone over the Farm Act. Follow the link below to view the bill and feel free to reach out to our office if you have any questions.

Senate Bill 519: Amend Child Custody Laws seeks to give parents a level playing field in the courtroom when deciding child custody. While the bill does not direct judges on what to do, it does establish that North Carolina recognizes the importance of having both parents involved in a child’s life.

Under this bill, judges will have to recognize and explain certain opinions that grant greater access to the child to one parent over the other. Having both parents involved in a child’s raising is ideal, but judges will still have to treat each situation on a case-to-case basis, since the ultimate goal is what is best for the child.

This bill simply hopes to insure that each case starts out with the presumption that equal parent involvement is ideal. I believe that SB 519 is good first step and will open the door to further talks, and perhaps legislation, in the future.

House Bill 158: Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act is named after the late Representative Jim Fulghum, who perused this legislation last year until his passing. The bill bans teens under 18 years old from using tanning beds in an effort to reduce skin cancer rates. North Carolina is now one of 12 states that do not allow minors to use tanning beds.

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.

By Sen. Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.

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