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General Assembly Update
All eyes were on the House last week, as appropriators rolled out their proposed budget for FY15-16. After consideration in the Finance, Appropriations and Rules committees, the bill was taken up late Thursday and early Friday morning. More than 50 amendments were considered before the legislation passed by a vote of 93-23.
Overall, the House increases spending over the previous year by approximately 6 percent. State employees, including teachers, will receive a 2-percent raise, and the existing step system which increases pay for teachers based on years of service will remain in place. The budget also provides funding for school enrollment increases and additional funding for Medicaid.
Senate leaders are expected to release their version of the budget in the next two weeks. Most observers expect a smaller overall increase in the Senate’s spending plan. Budget Presentation Set for Thursday
I will present my FY16 recommended budget to the Board on Thursday, at 11:30 a.m., inside the Meeting Chamber of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
The presentation will be streamed on www.mecklenburgcountync.gov and live updates will be provided on Facebook and Twitter.
Just prior to the meeting, I will host an informal question-and-answer session for employees inside the Chamber. The session will be streamed on the County’s internal site for employees who are unable to attend. County Employees Recognized at CMPD Awards Ceremony
I’d like to bring the Board up to date on several community awards recently bestowed to County employees.At the 2015 CMPD Awards Ceremony, held last Wednesday, three staff members were recognized for their commitment to our community.
Trauma and Justice Clinician Lisa Murray and her supervisor Sarah Greene were given the Chief’s Award for Excellence in Policing for their assistance to the RAFT Program, an initiative spearheaded by CMPD’s Central Division to respond to the needs of the homeless. Because of their hard work, many of our homeless population were provided with housing assistance and mental health services. Lisa Murray and Sarah Greene both work in our Provided Services Organization.
Another CMPD award went to Youth & Family Services Social Worker Lisa Walls. You might remember her from Chairman Fuller’s State of the County Address from last January. She is the DSS employee who spotted a woman about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge on Monroe Road. If you recall, Walls stopped her car in the middle of the street and helped convince the woman to come back over the railing. CMPD presented Lisa Walls with a Meritorious Award for saving a life. NFL Play 60 Challenge Course Unveiled at Hornets Nest Park
Last week, Park and Recreation and the Carolina Panthers unveiled the new NFL Play 60 Challenge Course at Hornets Nest Park.
The course includes a wide variety of fun and interesting obstacles designed to develop speed, agility, balance and coordination for both children and adults. While the space is designed for all ages, special emphasis was given to providing older children who may have outgrown traditional “tot” playgrounds with a more challenging play scape.
This is the second playground developed through this partnership. This first was installed at Freedom Park last spring.
View pictures of the Challenge Course Watch a short video