Chamber Members and Stakeholders:
Memorial Day Celebrations
As families gather in observance of Memorial Day, let us be focused on what we are honoring – the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the protections of our liberty. We give thanks to the men and women, from generation to generation, who have served this country. There are at least two local observances of that celebration: this Saturday, May 28th at Cornelius Town Hall is the Veterans Memorial groundbreaking at 11 am and Monday at 7 pm at Birkdale Village in Huntersville.
Local Small Business Recognized with Small Business of the Year Award
Shawn Brodof, founder of Clarity Coaching and author of The Termite Effect – 25 Common Business Mistakes and Their Hidden Consequences was recognized by the Chamber as the Small Business of the Year. Angela Swett with Image Promotions, Inc. and David Boraks with DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net were cited as Honorable Mentions. Proclamations were issued by the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville declaring May 16 – 20 Small Business Week.
Workers’ Comp Bill Passes in House Select Committee on Tort Reform
The House Select Committee on Tort Reform voted yesterday to pass HB709: Protect and Put NC Back to Work. The North Carolina Chamber, along with key business allies, has spent countless hours this session seeking balanced legislation on workers’ comp reform to ensure our state’s business climate is competitive. After extensive negotiations between parties on both sides of the issue, a consensus bill has been approved by the committee that preserves the main objectives of the N.C. Chamber, and a broad business coalition, to create fair and balanced reform for the state’s workers’ compensation system. HB709 will now be voted on by the full House as early as next week.
N.C. Senate Budget Panel Approves Spending Plan Which Cuts Area Transit
The Senate’s chief budget-writing panel on Wednesday approved the Republican-penned $19.4 billion state government spending plan, rejecting amendments to reduce the number of potential teacher assistant layoffs and to keep the state crime lab under Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The Senate Appropriations Committee addressed dozens of amendments over about four hours before passing the two-year budget on a voice vote. The bill, slated for a full Senate vote next week after it was approved by the Senate pensions committee later Wednesday, spends about $129 million more next year than the House plan does. However, it still proposes spending $473 million less than what was recommended by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, who wanted to keep three-quarters of a temporary penny sales tax. The Republican-controlled House and Senate let the full-penny temporary sales tax expire June 30, costing the state $1.1 billion in revenue. Without that extra money, the measure closes an estimated $2.5 billion projected bud get gap for the next fiscal year largely with spending cuts.
The Senate budget eliminates money to extend the light rail to UNC Charlotte and bars Charlotte transit officials from obligating state money for a proposed commuter rail through North Mecklenburg.
Asked whether he expects both projects to be in a final budget, Tillis said, “I believe they will.”
Lake Norman Transportation Commission Executive Director Carroll Gray made a presentation to the Lake Norman Chamber Board of Directors this week outlining the use of HOT lanes to widen I-77, the Cornelius Diverging Diamond, and an update on the Red line. HOT lanes would convert the current high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in both directions between I-85 and Mile Marker 19 i nto high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, and extend those HOT lanes northward to Exit 28 at a cost of around $64 million. The Lake Norman Chamber supports HOT lanes in the Chamber’s 2011 Legislative Agenda.
Many of you have commented you enjoyed my recommended reading list. I just finished a great book “Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham” written in 2005. It’s a Charlotte Mecklenburg County Library book, although I plan to order a copy for my personal library. I enjoyed it that much! The book was not a theology book in as much as it focused on how Graham built his organization on the cornerstone of 21 leadership principles.
I particularly liked the chapters on character and criticism as he built his team, established his vision, and carried out his mission. One particular quote in the book spoke to critics: “Get a friend to tell you your faults, or better still, welcome an enemy who will watch you keenly and sting you savagely. What a blessing such an irritating critic will be to the wise man or woman!”
I hope everyone has a great weekend and if you are traveling or out on the lake – be safe!