As budget negotiations continued this week, most policy issues have been put on hold. Since many of our members are involved in the negotiations, committees are not meeting on the Senate side and very few bills are on the floor. With all of our energy focused on reaching an agreement with our colleagues in the House, I am optimistic that we will have a final conference budget in the near future.
In addition, we are continuing to hold public joint meetings in order to bring greater transparency to the budget process. In a recent proceedings, the main topic of discussion was the need to set our priorities as a state and then fund those priorities. I believe that the Senate’s most recent offer, which included our original 11 percent pay raise for teachers without requiring them to give up tenure, shows we are serious about putting education first.
For years, we have continued to put Medicaid first by covering the shortfalls produced by internal mismanagement and inaccurate cost forecasts. If we keep pouring money into these programs, other priorities, such as education, transportation and public safety will ultimately suffer. As Senator Brown said today during our meeting: these are difficult decisions that we all wish we did not have to make. The unfortunate truth is that we do have to make them.
I will continue to do the best I can during these negotiations to get to a budget agreement that is in the best interests of my constituents and the state as a whole.
As always, I encourage you to contact my office at any time to express your thoughts and opinions on these issues.
USDA Census Shows Sampson and Duplin remain NC ag leaders
Data collected for the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture was published recently and, as expected, Sampson and Duplin Counties are still at the top of statewide rankings in several categories.
The economic impact and market value of Sampson County products has increased by 5%, coming to an estimated total of $1,258,793,000 and finishing just $17,628,000 behind the state leader, Duplin County. While the majority of the production in both counties is associated with livestock production, Sampson County also leads the state in crop production with Duplin coming in at a close second.
According to the 2012 census, Sampson now ranks number one in the state in vegetable, melon, potato, and sweet potato sales, turkey inventory, and hog and pig inventory. Duplin County leads in sales of broilers and other meat-type chickens.
The information gathered was from the 2012 Ag census that is released every five years. 1067 farming operators were used, with 589 of them reporting that farming is their primary occupation.
The camp is for children aged 6-14 and will take place from mid- June to mid- August. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Mamie Moore at 919-965-5240.
District 10 Spotlight
Sampson Middle Student Wins Third Prize in National Poetry Competition
On Monday night, the Clinton City Board of Education recognized Sampson Middle School student Raegan Thornton for placing third in the poetry competition category at the National Junior Beta Convention in Richmond, Virginia.
The teachers and sponsors were Paula Darden, Amanda Byrd, Katrina Boykin and Debbie McDuffie.
Please join me in congratulating Raegan in her accomplishment and wishing her the best in all future endeavors!