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General Assembly Update
As expected, two bills that threaten Mecklenburg County’s revenue streams moved forward in the General Assembly.
In the Senate, the budget included the sales tax redistribution plan that would send Mecklenburg County tax revenue to other areas of the state. I would like to again thank Senator Bob Rucho for standing up for Mecklenburg County as the lone member of his caucus to vote against this plan. Senator Rucho has spoken with me repeatedly about this issue and I appreciate his efforts to protect the County. Senators Ford, Jackson, and Waddell joined Senator Rucho in opposition to this redistribution.
In the House, legislation to exempt builders’ inventories from property taxes moved forward but with amendments that mitigate the potential revenue loss to Mecklenburg County. I want to thank Rep. Becky Carney for introducing an amendment on the floor that narrowed this exemption to single family residences rather than including large multifamily projects. With the support of the bill sponsor and Reps. Alexander, Brawley, Cotham, Cunningham, Earle, Jeter, Moore and Schaffer, the amendment was adopted.
As the two chambers begin negotiating a compromise on the budget, we expect committees to resume consideration of policy bills including legislation on the Board’s legislative agenda and legislation that could potentially erode local authority. We will be closely following those developments and will communicate with you as legislation progresses.
As for the budget, legislative leaders have begun discussing the need for a continuing resolution to keep state government functioning past June 30, in anticipation that the full budget will not be complete by that date. Health Department Offers Free HIV Testing for National HIV Testing Day
In preparation for National HIV Testing Day on June 27, Mecklenburg County Health Department and Carolinas CARE Partnership are teaming up with Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS to encourage community members to know their HIV status. To help with the effort, Walgreens locations at 3251 Freedom Drive, Charlotte and 4701 South Bld., Charlotte will be offering free HIV testing over a three-day period at the dates and times listed below:
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that all Americans be screened for HIV as a routine part of medical care, many Americans have never been tested or are not being tested as often as recommended, according to national surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Of the more than 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in seven do not know that they are infected and only three in 10 are receiving ongoing care and treatment
More information about HIV/AIDS including testing sites in Mecklenburg County is available here. County Partners in Mayor’s Youth Employment Program
Starting today, more than 70 high school students will get a glimpse of what it’s like to work in local government thanks to the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP).
These students will serve as paid interns for the next eight weeks in County departments such as Park and Recreation, DSS, LUESA and Child Support Enforcement.
For many, this program will provide first-time work experience and could open the door to career choices that students may not have considered otherwise.
If you have any questions about MYEP, contact Rossana Seitter at 980-395-2492 or Rossana.Seitter@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Charlotte Recognized as 2015 Playful City USA Community
Thanks to a strong partnership between the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, I am pleased to announce that Charlotte has received a 2015 Playful City USA designation for the first time. The national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.
The Park and Recreation Department played an instrumental role in the application process providing key information and guidance on several parks, facilities and programs that were evaluated for the award.
Many of these facilities were the result of the City’s Neighborhood Matching Grants (NMG) program, in which neighborhoods are able to receive matching funds to perform projects that improve quality of life. Over the past 20 years, the City and County have worked together on 53 projects focusing on playgrounds or recreation areas through the NMG program.
Two Playful City signs will be placed on Park and Recreation property later this year.You can learn about the County parks and recreational programs at www.parkandrec.com.