WHAT HAPPENED: The flags were lowered this week, as North Carolina mourned the loss of two prominent political figures.
WHAT IT MEANS: Rep. Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) passed away Tuesday in the midst of her 10th term, and former Lt. Governor Bob Jordan died at 87.
ON TAP: The legislative calendar may be bare, but the issues march on. The state addressed one of those concerns this week by awarding millions for water and sewer system improvements.
THE SKINNY: Those funds, available through loans and grants, are just a start. The larger issue of water infrastructure and viability, however, comes with a much higher price tag, according to recent studies.
After a battle with cancer, longtime legislator Linda Johnson died Tuesday at the age of 74. Johnson served in the House for 19 years and, in 2019, served as a senior appropriations chair.
Prior to her time in Raleigh, Johnson served eight years on the Kannapolis City School Board. “Linda Johnson had a beloved and infectious spirit that resonated throughout the North Carolina General Assembly every day,” said Speaker Tim Moore.
Former Lt. Governor Bob Jordan also passed away this week. Jordan’s time as a public servant began on the Mount Gilead town council, then progressed into the legislature, where he joined the state senate beginning in 1976. Jordan was elected lieutenant governor in 1984, and served one term.
"He was passionate about education and made a real difference helping people from all walks of life," said Governor Roy Cooper.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced this week that $166 million had been awarded to communities across the state. These funds will be directed toward 88 water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
It's an early step in the face of a far-reaching issue. Studies estimate that North Carolina’s water and sewer infrastructure upgrades will require up to $26 billion.
The entire list of projects can be found here.
Valerie Jones, Mayor Pro Tem of Sedalia, took to the Burlington Times-News to highlight the importance of the upcoming Census.
“It means money,” writes Jones, who also serves as president of North Carolina Black Elected Municipal Officials and a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Black Alliance. “It’s about distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities. It’s 10 questions, 10 minutes of your time.”
Resources and further information on the upcoming count can be found on NCLM’s Census 2020 hub.
Advancing Municipal Leaders (AML), a new education program from the N.C. League of Municipalities, continues next week in Mooresville with New Mayors School and Newly Elected Leaders Academy.
“Very well organized, excellent presenters, great panel discussion, wonderful networking options, great facility. Enjoyed tremendously,” said Mount Olive Mayor Ken Talton.
Dates and information can be found here.