Legislation matters: Local state goverment briefing

What’s the economic spin on the 2007 legislative session? How’s the forecast for 2008’s short session? In what has become a well-attended annual affair, United Way of Asheville/Buncombe County and other local sponsors will host “Impact 2007: A Legislative Briefing” on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., to answer those questions and discuss their relevance to Western North Carolina.

Topics for this year’s program include the state budget’s effect on local-government services and nonprofits; trends in the state economy, including the labor force and health insurance; and a check on the status of work-support programs such as Earned Income Tax Credit, child-care subsidies and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. A nascent movement to make paid sick leave available to all workers is also on the agenda.

According to UWABC Funding Council Manager Ron Katz, the annueal briefing has been going on for at least nine years, and it accomplishes two things of importance to the local service organizations his agency serves: “It gains awareness in the community, and it does build relationships.” It’s an effort, he adds, to help make people aware that state funding policy has particular effects locally, especially in health and human services.

Speakers for the morning are Elaine Mejia, director of the N.C. Budget and Tax Center; Louisa Warren, N.C. Justice Center; and Jill Cox, government-relations director of United Way of North Carolina. Reservations to attend should be made by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 27. RSVP to Ron Katz by phone at 255-0696 or by e-mail at rkatz@unitedwayabc.org. The forum takes place in Room 200 of the Haynes Building on the Enka campus of A-B Tech.

Nelda Holder, associate editor


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