WHAT HAPPENED: A lot happened that affects the state's finances this week, including the release of the latest Debt Affordability Study. It revealed that North Carolina now has a debt capacity of about $1.1 billion in each of the next 10 years, representing a significant increase from last year as other debt has been paid down. Meanwhile, you can read more about additional local obligations to fund the local government retirement system in order to keep pace with declining investment returns.
WHAT IT MEANS: North Carolina has well over $20 billion in estimated water and sewer needs over the next 20 years, so seeing the state’s long-term capital investment capacity increasing should represent some good news as discussions continue about how to address those needs.
ON TAP: Not a lot of policy talk, at least as far as realistic, likely-to-be-implemented solutions. Instead, it’s election season, with election primaries looming. So look for airwaves to begin filling up with campaign ads touting the virtues and shortcomings of various candidates.
THE SKINNY: Despite the coming focus on elections, League staff is gearing up discussing strategy for the various policy priorities and predicaments of cities and towns as the legislative short sessions comes into view in April. Be on the lookout for efforts intended to boost those priorities.
The White House just announced its plans to host the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, NC on Friday, February 7. The Summit will bring together White House and Administration Officials, State and local elected leaders, private sector and community partners, and other stakeholders for a day of remarks and conversation on community revitalization.
Programming will include discussions from Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other administration officials on topics such as Economic Development and Opportunity, Social Impact Investing and Upward Mobility, Developing a 21st Century Workforce, etc.
An Event Preview Call will take place today, Friday, Jan. 31 at 4:30 p.m. To register for the preview call, RSVP here. Please note, attending the call does not register you for the Summit.
If you would like to join the Summit, you must RSVP per the formal invitation and instructions at the bottom of this email. For more information, please read the WH invitation and FAQ.pdf. The deadline to register is Tuesday, February 4 at 5:00 p.m.
The Board of Trustees of the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (LGERS) voted Wednesday to approve its planned 1.2 percent increase to the system’s employer contribution rate for fiscal year 2020-21 – keeping with their January 2019 decision to amend the Employer Contribution Rate Stabilization Policy (ECRSP) in order to keep the system well-funded. This increase represents over $80 million in additional money to the system from employers for fiscal year 2020-21 (materials from the meeting can be viewed here).
The board voted for contribution rates for general employees to increase from the current 8.95 percent in fiscal year 2019-20 to 10.15 percent for fiscal year 2020-21. Please note that these rates for general employees are only for the pension component of your contribution rates; the death benefit contribution can vary from unit to unit for general employees and is in addition to these rates. The contribution rate for law enforcement officers increases at the same pace, rising from 9.70 percent to 10.90 percent. However, due to an increase in the “Court Cost Offset,” the contribution rate for LEOs for fiscal year 2020-21 will be reduced to 10.84 percent (more information on the offset can be viewed here).
While the League supports protecting the fiscal integrity of the defined benefit system and appreciates the gradual approach of the increases, we continue to stress that the projected increases are significant and that without some action in the future to sustain the system, cost of adequately funding the pension system could continue to increase to a point that employers cannot absorb alone.
Essentials of Municipal Government, the joint training offered by the N.C. League of Municipalities and the UNC School of Government, wrapped up the last of 11 trainings today in New Bern. The course, which has zigzagged the state, provided both newly elected and veteran officials with the knowledge and skills necessary to transition from campaigning to governing.
Simply put, this course served as the one-stop shop for refining your role as an elected official.Thank you to all our members who attended the EMGs.
Today’s municipal leaders face bigger and more complex challenges than ever before, and effectively addressing these issues requires targeted and continuous training and skill-building.
Fundamentals remain important, but a personalized approach is essential. One-size-fits-all courses won’t cut it, and the League’s Advancing Municipal Leaders (AML) program will take you beyond general information
AML is a dedicated course of study for elected leaders, covering a range of topics that are relevant, continuous, affordable, and accessible. This program is practical and targeted, designed to meet you where you are in your career as a public official and make you immediately better in your role as a leader.
It kicks off this spring. Our first two offerings are below. We look forward to seeing you there.
The two courses—New Mayors School and Newly Elected Official Academy—will be held on the same dates in the same location.
Courses will last from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, and lunch is provided. These courses qualify for NCLM continuing education credits.
Course Information & Registration