Guest speakers included state Rep.
Tuesday's event was the fourth and last installment of the
"Your issues and concerns are my issues and concerns," Farmer-Butterfield told the crowd of business leaders.
Farmer-Butterfield provided an update on the state budget, which remains in limbo following Gov.
"Whether or not the
Farmer-Butterfield said she is a primary sponsor of 19 bills and co-sponsor of 129 bills.
"We're talking about 148 bills I'm advocating for," she said.
One of those bills Farmer-Butterfield has championed would expand the state's Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act. She said residents have indicated to her that it's an important issue and the hope the expansion occurs.
Farmer-Butterfield said Medicaid expansion would cover 500,000 North Carolinians and create 34,000 jobs.
"We are talking about jobs and economic development," she said.
Farmer-Butterfield said 90% of Medicaid expansion in
She said the Republican version passed the health committee and is expected to receive a floor vote. She's hopeful that
HEMP, BROADBAND, HISTORIC TAX CREDITS
Farmer-Butterfield said the state's farm bill has been held up amid concerns from law enforcement groups that allowing the production and sale of smokable hemp will interfere with enforcement of marijuana laws. While hemp is smoked for the legal compound CBD and does not produce a "high" like its cannabis cousin, current police field tests can't distinguish legal hemp from illegal marijuana.
"It has passed the House and is over in the
Farmer-Butterfield said a component in the farm bill's current draft would authorize a study of hemp regulations.
Other items discussed included a bill for broadband expansion in rural communities.
"We are very supportive of that," Farmer-Butterfield said. "It's passed the House and hopefully it will pass the
Several leaders asked questions and discussed issues at the state level including
Van Dyk said the bill passed the
"We have the developers," she said. "We have the investors, the lenders. They only thing we are waiting for is to hopefully get those historic tax credits renewed again and we will be able to finalize that deal and it will become a 100-room, full-service hotel.
Van Dyk said city officials have been told the developers' deadline is the end of October.
TOURISM AND FILMING
Lewis, who represents the
"We are operating under last year's budget now," Lewis said. "We would like the budget passed."
He said from economic development to capital projects and filming incentives, the group believes government should operate in its current year needs.
"We are a
Lewis said the film industry is beginning to come back to
"In the budget, there is a
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