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Political notebook: Voting records of local legislators vary only slightly

Voting records of Rowan County’s legislators appear mostly similar as the North Carolina General Assembly nears the end of the 2015 session.

Rowan County’s senators — Andrew Brock, R-34, and Tom Mcinnis, R-25 — have the most similar voting records. In fact, they’re nearly identical. Of the hundreds of bills voted on in the Senate, Mcinnis and Brock only differed 14 times. In the N.C. House of Representatives, Rep. Harry Warren, R-77, and Carl Ford, R-76, have voted similarly during the 2015 session, but differ on more bills.

In total, Warren and Ford cast differing votes more than 40 times, not including absences. When the pair differed, Ford more often voted against an amendment or bill.

The number of differences, however, is still a relatively small number compared to the hundreds of votes on bills, amendments and various motions.

Votes on amendments to the renewal of the state’s historic preservation tax credit represent multiple differences between Ford and Warren. Ford’s only no vote relating to the historic preservation tax credit for for the bill on its second reading. Ford voted in favor of the tax credits on the third, or final, reading.

Warren voted against every amendment to the historic preservation tax credit bill, including one from Ford. Ford’s amendment proposed to delete more than two dozen lines of text from the bill.

Another difference between the two came on a bill that relates to the reporting of animal-inflicted injuries. Ford voted against the bill on its second and third readings, but voted for an amendment proposed by Warren that changed the reporting period for injuries to 48 hours from 24 hours.

Similarities between Warren and Ford include voting similarly on budget amendments and the 2015 Appropriations Act, which sets state funding levels for two years. The pair also voted identically on a veto override of a bill that allows magistrates and staff in the register of deeds office to be recused from marriage ceremonies.

Tillis, Burr praise passage of Defense Authorization Act

This week, the U.S. Senate approved a draft of the defense authorization bill for next year, and it received praise from both of North Carolina’s Senators.

The bill, which passed by a 71-25 count, lays out various policy requirements for the Defense Department and allocates funding for defense and foreign policy issues.

In a statement about the bill, U.S. Sen Thom Tillis, R-N.C., highlighted an amendment that would increase the C-130 presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield, which is near Fayetteville.

“I am pleased my colleagues came together to pass this vital piece of legislation, which included my amendment to save the C-130 presence at Fort Bragg,” Tillis said. “Our men and women in uniform risk their lives each day and as we face increasing national security threats, both foreign and domestic, our troops need access to the top resources and tools available. While passage of the NDAA is a firm promise to our servicemembers, I now look forward to working with my friends across the aisle to quickly work through the appropriations process.”

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said he hopes the bill’s bipartisan support would prevent a veto.

“Every day, service members fight to secure our freedoms and our forces must have the resources they need to keep our country safe,” Burr said. “North Carolina alone is home to 8 bases and several installations, so maintaining these facilities is critical for the state, as well as our nation’s readiness.”

McCrory announces N.C. Food Manufacturing Task Force

Governor McCrory this week announced the creation of the North Carolina Food Manufacturing Task Force.

The task force is composed of industry experts in poultry, beef, pork, dairy food processing, food packaging, transportation, education and economic development. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler and Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla will serve as voting members.

The task force’s goal is to “leverage existing activities in food processing and manufacturing; establishing a statewide food processing and manufacturing organization, directory and database; creating a proactive industrial recruitment campaign for new business development; and fostering the growth of food manufacturing entrepreneurs and increasing outreach,” a news release said.

 Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246 








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