Notes from the Capitol: October

by Rep. Craig Horn

The calendar year is winding down, but the North Carolina General Assembly continues to meet both as an assembly and in committee.  I am beginning to wonder where the “part-time” is in the concept of a part-time legislature!  Since adjourning June 18, the legislature met in July and in September and will meet again in November to address the over-ride of gubernatorial vetoes, constitutional amendments and some legislation.
I was appointed to serve on five committees that will continue to meet till the short session convenes next May.  Those committees are: House Select Committee on Military Affairs, Joint Legislative Economic Development  Oversight Committee,  Budget Appropriations Oversight Committee, Study Committee on Prison Maintenance and I am co-chair of the House Select Committee on Methamphetamine Abuse.  These committees allow members of the Legislature to get into the details of their various subjects.
North Carolina will shortly be home to more four-star military generals than anywhere in the world outside of the Pentagon.  The military impact on North Carolina is huge in personnel, purchasing, training and deployment.  Although Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base area is the focus of much of this activity, there is a strong military presence across this state and a huge economic impact.
The coming short session of the legislature will primarily deal with budget adjustments for the second of our biennial budget cycle.  Tweaks are inevitable and necessary as the challenges of these economic times play havoc with even the best-laid plans.  The Budget Appropriations Oversight Committee will play an important role in developing recommendations to the General Assembly on what adjustments are necessary and prudent.
The Study Committee on Prison Maintenance will take a hard look the efficacy of in-house versus contract maintenance for our large prison system in North Carolina.  The House Select Committee of Methamphetamine Abuse will oversee the implementation of House Bill 12 that I wrote and shepherded through the Legislature this past session and was signed into law in June.  This committee is also authorized to recommend action to the Legislature on the larger issues of both prescription and non-prescription drug abuse in North Carolina.
Energy issues continue to garner great attention in Raleigh.  We have both the gas tax and hydraulic fracturing bills in play as well as off-shore drilling and energy management issues.  These are really big issues that will impact North Carolina and our entire country.  There are no simple answers and no quick fixes; every action has consequences that will both cost and save us lots of money.
I am willing and anxious to meet with constituents, schools and organizations across Union County.  Please call my office in Raleigh at 919-733-2406 or email me at Craig.Horn@ncleg to schedule a time for me to come to your home, office, organization or school.  I will make presentations, answer questions and engage in debate on any relevant issue.  Over the coming weeks, I will be participating in programs at Union Academy, several public schools, the Union County Neighborhood Leadership Forum, the League of Women Voters and Warriors & Warbirds.  You can also follow me on facebook and Twitter as well as visit my webpage at www.CraigHorn.com.

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