Legislative Report


State house

House approves legislation including new science building

In a bi-partisan 76-29 vote, the North Carolina House of Representatives approved legislation for a $2.85 billion statewide bond package, including $90 million for a new science building at UNC Charlotte. The bill calls for the vote to take place on the March 2016 presidential primary.

Rep. Dean Arp, who earned a master's degree in civil engineering at UNC Charlotte in 1999, was the chief architect of the bond package. A well-respected leader in the House and in the engineering and contracting fields, Rep. Arp is keenly aware of the need for facilities at fast-growing campuses like his alma mater, UNC Charlotte.

"We are pleased that Gov. Pat McCrory and the House have proposed a bond package that includes the science building at UNC Charlotte," said Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. "Leaders have recognized the role UNC Charlotte plays in the North Carolina economy and the importance of a new science facility.

“We look forward to working with the Senate as this bond package moves through the process and appreciate their support for investing in higher education.”

Lorden noted that UNC Charlotte accounts for 46 percent of enrollment growth in the entire UNC system in recent years. “We're seeing a strong demand for sciences among our students, with more than 50 percent of students who have declared majors pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees," she said.

Other UNC system campuses also are included among the bond measure’s projects, which total $974 million, up from $500 million in projects in the governor’s original proposal.

Budget negotiations crawl along

Without much progress on budget negotiations between the House and Senate on the $700 million difference and dozens of major policy issues including tax changes, Medicaid reform, etc.; observers hope that a new month will bring action and a resolution.  Like local school districts, UNC Charlotte and the UNC system cannot make final funding allocations for the academic year until the budget is finalized.

UNC Charlotte elected officials on Twitter; get the latest political news from our Niners.

Whether it is Facebook or Twitter, UNC Charlotte alums in elected office are extremely active on social media.

“The rapid growth of social media has opened up a new avenue to communicate with folks back home even when I'm in DC during the week. I love being able to interact directly with my constituents and in many times giving real time answers and getting direct feedback.”   Congressman Richard Hudson, '96

A prolific tweeter, Rep. Tricia Cotham, ’01, has more than 4,700 followers on Twitter.  "It’s a quick, simple and effective way to communicate with so many!" 

Add these Niners to your social media feed and look for UNC Charlotte news by following @unccharlotte and @UNCCLT_News. Follow Betty Doster @bettyniner, special assistant to the chancellor for constituent relations, for more updates from Raleigh.

Rep. Richard Hudson

Congressman Richard Hudson, BA, History, ’96, R - District 8

@RepRichHudson

Rep. Dean Arp

Rep. Dean Arp, MS, Civil Engineering, ’99, R – Anson, Union

@DeanArp, Dean Arp on Facebook

Rep. Bill Brawley

Rep. Bill Brawley, BS, Accounting, ’78, R – Mecklenburg

@Billbrawley, Bill Brawley on Facebook

Rep. Cecil Brockman

Rep. Cecil Brockman, BA, Political Science, ’06, D- Guilford

@CecilBrockman, Cecil Brockman on Facebook

Rep. Tricia Cotham

Rep. Tricia Cotham, BA, History, ’01, D – Mecklenburg

@Triciacotham, Tricia Cotham on Facebook

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, BA, Architecture ’93, ’94          

@LtGovDanForest

Rep. Mike Hager

Rep. Mike Hager, BS, Mech. Engineering, ’87, R – Rutherford

@RepMikeHager, Mike Hager on Facebook

Rep. Kelly Hastings

Rep. Kelly Hastings, Teaching Certificate, ’09, R – Gaston;

@Kellyhastings1, Kelly Hastings on Facebook

Sen. Bob Rucho

Sen. Bob Rucho, MBA, ‘94, R – Mecklenburg;

@SenatorBobRucho, Bob Rucho on Facebook

Rep. Jason Saine

Rep. Jason Saine, BA, Political Science, ’95, R - Lincoln

@Jasonsaine, Jason Saine on Facebook