North Carolina House Representative for District 32 Terry Garrison has written and released his latest from the NC General Assembly. In Volume 1, Issue 5 for December 2017, Garrison and his office released the following text.
Since being sworn into office of the House of Representatives for District 32 (Vance, Warren and Granville Counties) of the North Carolina General Assembly on January 11, 2017, serving as a legislator has been a tremendous learning experience. The session was action packed with a limited time for newcomers to learn the legislative process. My 28 years of experience as a Vance County Commissioner was quite helpful with trying to adjust to this level of governance.
Serving on committees was where the real work occurred on legislative bills to be considered for approval. My committee appointments included Appropriations, Appropriations-Transportation, Education-Community College, Environment, Judiciary IV, State and Local Government I, and Legislative Redistricting. Additionally, I served on House Democratic Caucus Work Groups of County, Housing, Rural and Indian Affairs. I was also selected to serve as a vice chair of the Freshman Democratic Class.
Learning how to get a bill introduced was challenging. I did, however, manage to sponsor five bills— H372-School Calendar Flexibility, H390-Counties/Internet Infrastructure, H603-Small Farms to Healthier Schools Initiative, H638 Public School Construction & Lottery Changes, and H804 Add Additional Assistant District Attorney District 9B. Also, I co-sponsored nine bills.
During this legislative session, 1,551 bills were introduced; 214 were adopted. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed 13 bills and the General Assembly overrode all of them. Some of the most egregious bills vetoed and overridden were H100-Restore Partisan Elections for Judicial System, S68 Bipartisan Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, H239-Reduce Court of Appeals from 15 to 12, H576-Allow Aerosolization of Leachate, and 656-Electoral Freedom Act.
The legislative session this year was termed a long session because it was the year to approve and adopt the biennium budget. Approving a budget is perhaps the most important action a government can take. The NC General Assembly adopted a $23 billion biennium budget on June 28. Although the budget contained many positives, it could have provided more funding for education, particularly for K-3 grade levels to meet the legislative mandate for class size.
Legislative Redistricting remains the #1 hot button issue to be addressed for the NC General Assembly. Currently, the District 32 design contains little change. A final decision on redistricting is likely to occur in early 2018. Democrats will need to gain six seats in the House or nine seats in the Senate to prevent veto override by Republicans who currently hold super majorities in the House and Senate. Judicial Redistricting is the #2 hot button issue with final decision also likely in 2018.
It was my privilege to sponsor four youths as Legislative Pages—Ashton Murphy and Jabriel Steed of Vance County and Jordon Page and Tonia Hunter of Warren County. A Granville County high school student will be sponsored to attend the Legislative Youth Leadership Assembly in February 2018.
Several citizens within the House District 32 contacted my office during the year with questions, concerns, or requests for help with issues. I have tried to be as responsive and accommodating as possible. In particular, it has been gratifying to support various local programs, services, special occasions, and other activities where possible.
I wish to express my sincere thanks to supporters and voters for electing me as State Representative for District 32 for 2017-2018. I look forward to returning to legislative session on January 10, 2018.