We hope your September is off to a great start! We’ve put together the below newsletter update to keep you in the know about the work my colleagues and I are doing to serve our communities.
As work in the General Assembly begins to slow down, we are afforded the opportunity to spend more time in our districts and with our families. This has provided me with the ability to visit with local leaders and constituents from across Lenoir, Greene, and Jones counties – discussing issues that are important to our region.
In this newsletter, we have included the latest developments, legislative efforts, and events happening right here in our corner of Eastern North Carolina. As always, please feel free to reach out to my office should you need any assistance. Your continued support and prayers are greatly appreciated.
At your service,
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the loved ones of the faculty member who was killed on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.
To our Tar Heel family: UNC-Chapel Hill has opened a hotline for concerned parents, loved ones, and community members who have questions.
The number is: 919-918-1999
Six More VETO Overrides
My House colleagues and I voted to override 6 more of the Governor’s Vetoes, making Law to:
✅ Expand access to charter schools
✅ Prevent men from competing in women’s sports
✅ Prohibit transgender surgeries for minors
✅ Affirm parental rights in education
✅ Keep home ownership affordable
These overrides are a monumental win for millions of North Carolina families, businesses, parents, students, and athletes.
Second Annual Greene County Job Fair
The Second Annual Greene County Job Fair, hosted by The North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region and Lenoir Community College is set to take place on September 13, at the Greene County Wellness Center in Snow Hill. Last year's event was a great success with 30 employers and 100 jobseekers. This year, they are working to expand their offerings and have even more employers participate. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!
Anniversary of Mt. Calvary Christian Academy & Mt. Calvary Free Will Baptist Church
I had the privilege of honoring and celebrating the 55th Anniversary of Mt. Calvary Christian Academy and the 65th Anniversary of Mt. Calvary Free Will Baptist Church in Hookerton, NC.
In commemoration of these significant milestones, we presented the church with a State Flag which was flown over the North Carolina General Assembly, along with two certificates of achievement — one for the church, and one for its school. I am grateful for all that God has done through this school, this faithful congregation, and its dedicated staff. I am excited for their bright future.
Best wishes to all of the teachers and students for an outstanding school year. Thank you for all that you do for our community, and thank you for your prayers as I represent Greene, Jones, and Lenoir County in the state legislature.
SB 169: Town of Trenton Municipal Elections
I recently presented an Amendment to Senate Bill 169 that will move municipal elections for the Town of Trenton to take place in even-numbered years, beginning in 2024.
This change will align Trenton’s municipal election cycle with regular General Elections for higher offices, creating the opportunity for more voters to participate in the process and have their voices heard at the local level.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: H&T Trucking
There are exciting things going on in Greene County! This week, the North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for H&T Trucking, Inc., marking the completion of its expansion project. They added a mechanical shop, wash-out bay, and office space to its facility in Bullhead, NC.
This project brings an investment of more than $450,000 to Greene County and is anticipated to create more than 70 additional jobs in our community. This is a significant amount of growth in Eastern North Carolina and this small family-owned business plays a pivotal role in driving our economic development, particularly in support of our agriculture industry.
Battle of the Badges Tournament
I had the privilege of spending time with law enforcement and first responders at the Historic Grainger Stadium for the Battle of the Badges Tournament, presented by Lenoir Community College & DEPS - Down East Protection Systems.
This two-day softball tournament showcased healthy competition between teams of community heroes from various state and local agencies. It’s always a joy to spend time with Sheriff Jackie Rogers and organizer Sam McLawhorn of Kinston PD. I also enjoyed speaking with KPD Chief Keith Goyette and many other first responders. Thank you to all who serve and keep us safe.
“Welcome the Teachers Back” Tour
As students head back to the classroom, we were able to kick-start our “Welcome the Teachers Back” Tour! Sheriff Jackie Rogers, Commissioner J Mac Daughety, Lenoir County Board of Education Member Michelle Davis Cash, and I had the opportunity to show our appreciation to educators and administrators for their exceptional efforts, by hand-delivering breakfast as they embark on their first week back in the classroom.
We were able to stop in and fellowship with these schools:
Pink Hill Elementary School
Woodington Middle School
Moss Hill Elementary School
South Lenoir High School
Contentnea Savannah School
North Lenoir High School
Banks Elementary School
LaGrange Elementary School
E. B. Frink Middle School
Northwest Elementary School
Kinston High School
Rochelle Middle School
Lenoir County Early College High School
A special thank you goes out to Jo’s Cafe in Pink Hill, Fatbaby's Country Cooking in Kinston, and Bojangles — whose contributions played a pivotal role in making our tour such a success!
Visit to Filling Station w/ U.S. Senator Ted Budd
It’s always a great day when it’s spent in Eastern North Carolina, but this day was exceptionally great as I was joined by my friend U.S. Senator Ted Budd for a visit to The Filling Station — a community-based non-profit outreach embodying the vision of Psalm 107:5 by providing nourishment, fellowship, education, and support to Jones County, North Carolina, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. I’m so thankful for their Executive Director, Mary Ann LeRay, and their team of wonderful Committee and Board members who are working hard to make invaluable contributions to the well-being of our community.
Governor's Veto of Election Integrity Legislation
Governor Cooper vetoed our legislation (SB 747) that ensured the integrity of our elections system by prohibiting private funding of election administration, setting Election Day as the deadline for absentee ballots, ensuring transparency with poll observers, and establishing a process for removing ineligible voters from the voter rolls.
These measures are critical to ensuring voters are able to trust the very foundation of our democratic process. Unfortunately, Governor Cooper would rather keep his partisan control of elections administration, leaving the public in the dark. But have no fear, we will be overriding the Governor’s veto soon — delivering transparency and accountability in our elections system.
We’re continuing to stay busy at the NC General Assembly, meeting with constituents and various groups as we continue to address critical issues that affect our community. Our session has been very productive thus far, with significant accomplishments made.
Since our last newsletter, we have had the following bills become law: