The N.C. General Assembly convened Jan. 25 and welcomed two 49er alums, bringing UNC Charlotte’s total legislative representation to eight members.
Belk and Hunt Williams join these incumbent UNC Charlotte alumni:
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (’93, ’94), BA, MA, Architecture, presides over the Senate and was the first 49er elected to statewide office.
Alums continue to gain influence by serving on committees of particular importance. Reps. Saine and Brawley were renamed senior co-chairs of the Finance Committee (Rep. Saine also serves as co-chair of the Information Technology Committee), Rep. Arp moved up to co-chair of the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Hastings was named co-chair of the Finance Committee.
Additional area legislators serving in leadership roles include Rep. Linda Johnson and Sen. Kathy Harrington, co-chairs of the Appropriations Committee; Reps. Craig Horn and John Fraley, co-chairs of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee (Rep. Fraley also co-chairs the Education - University Policy Committee); Rep. Justin Burr, co-chair of the Capital Appropriations Subcommittee; Sen. David Curtis, co-chair of both the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the Education Policy Committee and Sen. Tommy Tucker, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
Republicans maintained their supermajorities in both chambers, 74 to 46 in the House of Representatives and 35 to 15 in the Senate. This means Republicans have the necessary votes to override gubernatorial vetoes by Gov. Roy Cooper.
Enrollment Growth Funding
As UNC Charlotte remains the fastest-growing campus in the UNC system, enrollment funding tops the University's legislative priorities. UNC Charlotte has experienced a 33 percent enrollment increase during the last decade and expects to enroll more than 29,000 students for the 2017-18 academic year.
Due to this dramatic increase, UNC Charlotte’s need to fund instruction and operations has never been greater. Of the total $46.6 million UNC system enrollment growth request, UNC Charlotte would receive $15 million.
Faculty Recruitment and Retention Fund Increase
Over the past 10 years, this fund has allowed the University to recruitment and retain more than 75 outstanding faculty in a variety of fields.
Increase Salary Funds for University Employees
Increasing salaries for University employees, consistent with all state employees, is an important tool for retaining and recognizing excellent faculty and staff.
Increase Carryforward Authority
Increasing the carryforward amount from 2.5 to 5 percent will result in greater efficiency and savings, allowing the University to address critical campus repairs and renovations. These can include upgrading mechanical and electrical systems, addressing roofing issues, classroom and lab renovations, campus fire alarm upgrades and road improvements.
Increase Approval Authority
Increasing approval authority from $300,000 to $1 million allows the University to more efficiently tackle projects including parking lot resurfacing, roof repairs and road widening.
As an alumnus, friend or supporter, you can help by educating and advocating for UNC Charlotte with the N.C. General Assembly. Do you know any of the legislators featured in the article? Are you willing to contact them when an issue arises? Please email Betty Doster, special assistant to the chancellor.