Government Affairs Update: Elected Officials Return to Work

Government Affairs Update: Elected Officials Return to Work


After a hiatus, the Raleigh Chamber Government Affairs Department is back on the blog. We’ll be posting regular updates on what is going on in various halls of power that impact the business community. We will also be previewing upcoming Chamber events, sharing opportunities you may want to take advantage of, or sharing interesting ideas or concepts that may come into play in our region.

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The Raleigh City Council took off for a summer recess but are now back in full swing. Here are a few things they discussed in their latest meeting on August 15:

  • The council unanimously approved a spending plan that would see hundreds of millions of dollars spent to renovate PNC Arena, expand the Raleigh Convention Center, relocate Red Hat Amphitheater, begin the Cary Indoor Sports Facility, and other regional tourism projects. This was one of three votes from several elected bodies necessary for the projects to move forward, and a unanimous vote from the council shows they realize how important the projects are to keeping our region competitive and our quality of life high.
  • The council heard an update on development plans for the future S-Line passenger rail service to Richmond, VA. The S-Line is part of a federal plan to improve connectivity between Raleigh and Richmond, but also to connect our city by rail to Washington, D.C. As the line gets up and running, the city wants to make sure that development around the rail stations that are going in is robust and equitable. Keep an eye on this project as it’s going to further energize regions of the city that are already seeing a lot of attention like the Blue Ridge Corridor where PNC Arena’s renovation will spur lots of changes.

The Wake County Commissioners were also out for a summer break, returning mid-August. Top on their agenda was also a vote on allocating tax dollars towards the sports, conference, and tourism projects addressed by the city. After hearing an update from staff, the commission members similarly voted unanimously to approve the projects and move our region forward. In addition to the Raleigh City Council and Centennial Authority votes, our elected officials have shown a strong commitment to these projects and our region’s intent to chase larger events and opportunities for more people from out of town to experience our area. 

It’s been all over the news, so we won’t repeat the details, but the General Assembly returned briefly after being out for many weeks to override several vetoes from Governor Cooper and advance a few select pieces of legislation. Rumors abound about when the General Assembly will finally debate a conference budget, but the current belief is it will be the week of September 11. Whether it will pass that same week or draw out longer is to be determined.

Don’t be surprised if a LOT of policy is packed into what would be considered a financial document. Legislators often find ways to pack in policy priorities that didn’t survive as independent bills. While there’s no guarantee what will be in there as the Senate leadership negotiates with House leadership, there will be plenty to digest when the bill language drops. Also of note is the tenuous start date for Medicaid expansion in NC – leadership has declined to split its start date out from the budget, which was the original deal that was made to get it passed.

First Responders Appreciation Breakfast on Sept. 12

​Staff have been hard at work preparing for the Chamber’s annual First Responders Appreciation Breakfast on September 12. This is an opportunity for the business community to show appreciation for those who risk their lives to save others in our community. Benefiting The 200 Club of Wake County, this year’s breakfast includes a keynote presentation by N.C. Department of Public Safety Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe, Jr., and awards to heroes from each department for outstanding service in the previous year.

Chamber staff work with representatives from all of Raleigh’s first responder agencies as well as members of the business to curate event content that is relevant to our members and first responder attendees. We hope you are able to join us in recognizing the members of our community who keep us safe!
​To learn more about our GA priorities you can visit our webpage.

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About the Author

Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.