Local elections were held November 8, 2022, and the results are in with a couple of changes in our region. In the nine-county Centralina region, 68 total member seats were on the ballot in the 2022 local government general election. Out of these positions, 43 were contested.
Category: Capitol Corner
New district maps played a significant role in North Carolina’s 2022 state legislative elections. With the redrawn district lines, the Centralina region saw a net gain of two districts in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, a few districts in both the Senate and the House experienced a reshaping that changed their coverage areas.
Tuesday’s elections resulted in four new members for North Carolina’s congressional delegation and one new Senator. Representative Ted Budd (R) won the Senate race and will succeed the retiring Senator Richard Burr (R). Having gained a new seat in the House of Representatives from the 2020 Census, the North Carolina House delegation in the next Congress will consist of 14 members. The new NC delegation will be evenly split with seven Republicans and seven Democrats. Of the four newly elected members, there are three Democrats and one Republican. All four have served in the state senate.
With the Congressional appropriations process under way, the National Association of Counties (NACo), National League of Cities (NLC), and others are directing local governments and key stakeholders to ask their Members of Congress to support adding an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) flexibility bill to the year-end omnibus appropriations package or to the next must-pass legislation. The bipartisan bill is titled the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (S. 3011/H.R. 5735).
Earlier this summer, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden. The legislation provides federal action in three main areas: taxes, healthcare and climate. To deliver approximately $370 billion in climate and clean energy funding, the Act makes reforms to the tax and healthcare systems, including a new minimum corporate tax, an extension of ACA health insurance subsidies and authorizing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
Advocacy and Appropriations: The U.S. House of Representatives is in recess until September 13. The Senate is in session until August 5 before breaking for the rest of the month. Centralina has historically scheduled meetings during the August-long recess with the region’s congressional delegation while lawmakers are in the state. Given the changes that will occur in November primarily as a result of redistricting, we have decided to hold these meetings after the elections. Centralina’s members should still take advantage of opportunities to advocate for local and regional priorities when seeing Members of Congress locally. The best strategy in these encounters is to keep your message short and sweet.
Capitol Hill Recognizes the Importance of Regional Councils: As Congress works through the appropriations process, it funds numerous competitive grants in multiple agencies. When these grants list local governments or non-profit agencies as eligible applicants, regional councils and councils of governments are often left out.
Every year Congress must pass spending legislation to fund the government. This is handled by the 12 subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee that are in charge of deciding how federal funding will be distributed among all programs within all federal agencies. The process officially starts with the Administration submitting to Congress the President’s budget for that fiscal year. The President’s budget details a vision for spending, but Congress decides where the money will flow.
On Monday, April 4th, congressional lawmakers unveiled a $10 billion agreement for emergency Covid-19 funding to help with costs like vaccines, tests, therapeutics and other supplies. Thankfully the bill does not rescind billions in state funding under American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pay for the new spending package, after an earlier proposal called for taking back about $7 billion from 30 states, including North Carolina, to do so. Congressional negotiators had initially looked to take back funds promised to states to help pay for the emergency Covid funding while working on the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill for the current fiscal year.
Congress has passed the $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that funds the federal government through September 30, 2022 and delivers $14 billion to help Ukraine, clearing the bill for President Joe Biden’s signature. This is the first annual funding package in a decade not under the Budget Control Act of 2011 and therefore increases to many programs were possible. There is an almost seven percent increase for non-defense agencies to $730 billion. A six percent increase is included for national defense for $782 billion.