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Newsletter from the office of Representative Mary Belk.
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Elaine Powell, Susan Rodriguez McDowell, Christy Clark, and I take a break at the Habitat for Humanity Bipartisan Build.

ELECTION 2018

We’re less than one month away from Election Day 2018 on November 6th and the regular voter registration deadline for 2018 is this Friday, October 12* (unless you live in one of the 28 counties* designated disaster areas due to Hurricane Florence).

However, VOTERS CAN STILL REGISTER DURING ONE-STOP EARLY VOTING, with supporting documentation of residence. It’s important to keep that in mind if your friends, family, or coworkers ask you for information on voting.

Here are some resources that you can use to get ready for election day:

Election Schedule
Check Voter Registration & View Sample Ballot:
https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/
Download Registration Form (Must be at local BOE by 10/12*) 
Absentee Voter Information
Mecklenburg Absentee Ballot Request Form (Mail Deadline 10/30)
Mecklenburg Early Vote Locations & Hours
Official Judicial & Amendment Voter Guide
Rep. Belk’s Thoughts on the Constitutional Amendments
Rep. Cunningham and I with Christine Bowser, Mecklenburg's newest Order of the Long Leaf Pine inductee, attending the AKA/APA 2018 Political Roundtable.

TAKING ACTION IN RALEIGH

Last week the General Assembly took the first step in a long process of rebuilding North Carolina after Hurricane Florence. State agencies and disaster experts are still evaluating the damage caused by the storm. As that information comes in, we expect to return to session on October 15th to continue working on recovery.
 
I joined my colleagues in sponsoring a bipartisan bill to address the crisis facing several school districts in Eastern North Carolina.  Senate Bill 2 takes positive action in two ways:
 
  1. Pays school employees who missed work due to Florence-related      closings rather than forcing those employees to use their leave time, and
  2. Gives school calendar flexibility to local school systems who missed days because of the storm.
 
School employees are already underpaid, leading to problems with attracting and retaining good people. We need to avoid compounding that problem by forcing school employees to lose pay or vacation days when trying to recover from a natural disaster.

Similarly, the State of North Carolina normally imposes strict school calendar restrictions on local schools. Missing so much school so early in the school year would force some systems to eliminate nearly every school holiday for the rest of the year, so our school families and employees needed more schedule flexibility.

My colleagues and I also sponsored a second bill, House Bill 4, that spends $56 million from the Rainy Day Fund on Hurricane Florence relief:

 
  • $50 million for disaster relief and the State’s share of any federal disaster relief programs that require state matching dollars;
  • $6.5 million for school employee compensation (funding SB2);
  • $400,000 for educating displaced voters on how they can still register to vote and participate in the upcoming elections.

The bill also allows local election boards to move voting sites damaged by the disaster and authorizes mosquito control efforts.
The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association welcomed candidates to their annual BBQ, and I attended the Know Your Rights symposium with my friend Anthony Williams from Prisoners Potential Publishing Plus.

GOVERNOR COOPER REESTABLISHES BOARDS & COMMISSIONS

This week, Governor Cooper moved to implement a series of court decisions that upheld his constitutional authority to appoint the majority membership to Executive Branch Boards and Commissions. Those boards are the following: Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board of Trustees; Parks and Recreation Authority; Private Protective Services Board; State Building Commission; Child Care Commission; and Rural Infrastructure Authority.

These boards and commissions do important work for the people of North Carolina. Several of them have meetings scheduled in the coming weeks that directly impact North Carolinians recovering from Hurricane Florence. For example, the State Building Commission should receive briefings on emergency repair work. The Rural Infrastructure Authority needs to be able to consider JDIG grants to economic development projects in disaster counties.

Due to the widespread damage wrought by this storm, among other pressing issues, it is urgent that the Governor’s Office take swift action to reconstitute these boards and commissions so the State’s business can be conducted.

The executive orders signed today can be found here:

Executive Order No. 68: Reconstituting the Child Care Commission
Executive Order No. 69: Reconstituting the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board of Trustees
Executive Order No. 70: Reconstituting the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority
Executive Order No. 71: Reconstituting the Private Protective Services Board
Executive Order No. 72: Reconstituting the Rural Infrastructure Authority
Executive Order No. 73: Reconstituting the State Building Commission
We will get quite a bit of rain, but the people of the Florida panhandle will need our help recovering from Hurricane Michael after it passes. 

HELP NEEDED FOR HURRICANE RECOVERY

In just two years, the people of Eastern North Carolina have experienced the devastation of two major hurricanes, Matthew and Florence. Many parts of the State have gone back to our normal and lovely early autumn weather, but our neighbors in Eastern North Carolina are just now drying out from Hurricane Florence and the massive floods caused by several days of heavy rain. 

Relief agencies have moved beyond the need for donations of supplies and are now recruiting civic organizations to send teams of volunteers to help with clean-up and reconstruction. If you are unable to donate time, please consider sending a monetary donation to the NC State Relief Fund or one of the many charities that are assisting in the recovery process. 

Hurricane Recovery Resources:

Donate to Florence Recovery
Text Florence to 20222.
Visit governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery
Volunteer time at https://www.nc.gov/agencies/volunteer/disaster-assistance
Disaster Recovery Agencies Seeking Donations

FEMA Applications
https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

General Recovery Help
Dial 211 or 888-892-1162
https://www.nc211.org/
Text Florence to 898211
Download the Ready NC app
https://www.ncdpsgov/florence
 
Finding Reputable Contractors
Search for licensed contractors at https://nclbgc.org/search/license
Download free mobile app called "NCLBGC Search"

Insurance Information
www.NCHurriClaims.com
Call Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.

Farmer Disaster Recovery Information
NC State Extension’s NC Disaster Information Center https://ncdisaster.ces.ncsu.edu/
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Disaster Information http://www.ncagr.gov/disaster/

Disaster Distress Hotline for Counseling and Emotional Support
1-800-985-5990
https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline

Food and Nutrition Services
How to buy hot food with your food and nutrition benefits https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/north-carolinians-enrolled-food-and-nutrition-services-program-can-use-benefits
Lost your EBT card?  Replace it by calling the EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.

NC Small Business Disaster Recovery Resources
http://www.sbtdc.org/hurricaneflorence/ for general resources
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened Business Recovery Centers (BRC) in New Bern and Greenville to help businesses impacted by Hurricane Florence. For more information visit: https://www.ncdps.gov/florence/sba-business-recovery-centers
 
Disaster Legal Resources
NC Legal Aid:  http://www.legalaidnc.org/get-help/self-help-library/disaster-relief
NC Bar Association:  https://www.ncbar.org/florence/


Domestic Violence Hotline: If you or someone you know is trapped in a domestic violence or partner abuse situation, please call Safe Alliance at 704-332-2513 and they can help you.

Mecklenburg Compost & Mulch are now available for purchase from the new Compost Central Recycling Disposal Center. Visit their web page for details and pricing.

Property Tax values and histories in Mecklenburg County can be searched on this site that includes links to Polaris and information about the reassessments that occurred in 2011. You can find more detailed information on real estate values on the Mecklenburg Modria site. 

Charlotte 311 is your connection to city services, including Animal Control, Street Maintenance, Bulky Trash Pick-up, Parking Enforcement, and all other non-police related matters. Dial 311 or visit their website to fill out a form and have your issue addressed as soon as possible.    


Voter Information: You can find your current information on the NC Voter Lookup page. You can also find interactive versions of the new House & Senate maps HERE.   
 
Don’t forget! Visit NCCash.com today to see if you have unclaimed property under the supervision of the NC Treasurer’s office.

My office is here to help you navigate any issues you may have with state services. Please call myself or my legislative assistant, Ralph Belk, at 919-733-5607 or email me at mary.belk@ncleg.net with any questions or concerns
Mecklenburg County NC House Districts Effective for the 2018 Election 
Copyright © 2018 Representative Mary Belk, All rights reserved.


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