Legislative Update from Rep. Iler — October 9, 2023

The last two weeks as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly has been interesting, but rewarding. Interesting by meeting with citizens across the county, while waiting for the budget to become law.  Rewarding once the budget became law, and our citizens knew funding was coming back to improve our way of life.

     The last week in September I had a series of meetings with small groups and individuals on a wide range of issues.  Monday was a political event to support a municipal candidate in one of our towns near my home. (He was a friend before he decided to run.)  Tuesday was a small group of educators concerned about some of the content they were being required to teach.  Wednesday was the meeting of the Brunswick Shoreline Protection Association and later an on-site meeting with a Leland resident about a hazardous waste area next to his neighborhood.  That night was the Mayoral candidates’ forum in OIB.  Thursday morning, I was with a group of HOA board members discussing House Bills 311 and 542, and their impact on HOA/POA issues.  Lunch that same day was with an officer of POAs in our county on similar issues.  The rest of the week was answering emails and phone calls.  People wonder if we are “off” when we are not in Raleigh, and this is a good example of what we do to stay in touch with our citizens’ concerns.

     After waiting 10 days for the budget which we passed on Sept. 22nd to become law, it finally did on Monday Oct. 2nd.  The Governor has 10 days to sign or veto a bill, or it becomes law without his signature.  It contains raises of 7% for state employees, 7.4% average raise for teachers, 9% for bus drivers, 4% COLA for retirees, as well as substantial raises for state correction officers and law enforcement.  There are appropriations of $2 billion for water and sewer upgrades, $620 million for mental health, $70 million for school safety, and millions for election integrity.  It bans vaccine mandates, expands school choice, and gives a $1.2 billion tax cut, which impacts every taxpaying family or person.

     This 1400-page document has a lot of good projects for our infrastructure, our public safety, our parks & recreation areas, and transportation.  Here are a few that impact Brunswick County directly:

  • $25,000,000 to Brunswick Community College for Workforce Development center and Public Safety center capital projects.
  • $13,500,000 to Brunswick County Airport for improvements to the Cape Fear Jetport.
  • $1,729,000 to Town of Calabash for capital improvements or equipment at the Calabash Waterfront Park project.
  • $1,073,570 to Town of Ocean Isle Beach to support Phase 2 of the Town Center Park project.
  • $1,800,000 to Grissettown-Longwood Fire & Rescue for 2 new fire engines and related equipment.
  • $580,000 to Town of Northwest for park renovations & stormwater drainage projects.
  • $1,500,000 to Brunswick Sr. Resources. Inc (BSRI) to support Calabash Meadows Sr. Living Community project.
  • $2,500,000 to Town of Shallotte for the Price Landing project at Mulberry Park.
  • $250,000 each to support projects like Belville Riverwalk, Boiling Spring Lakes Fire and Rescue, BSL Library, and others.

     Many of these projects were at the request of our Brunswick delegation members: Rep. Miller, Sen. Rabon, and myself.  The Cape Fear Jetport project was part of a $300 million transportation reserve that supported 38 airports across the state.

     This week we expect to be in session at least on Tuesday for important votes that will impact NC for years to come