You’ll have to excuse us if active living is a touchy subject to us. Some of our priorities in active living have been longtime goals of ours, but over the years, progress has been limited.
But we’re in the business of advancing equitable health policies so we’re nothing if not optimists. This year, the Strategic Transportation Investment Act needs to be renewed. The STI is a feat. It’s a large bill, a lot of money, and frankly, one of those things that’s prone to make everyone at least a little unhappy. From 2014-2021, North Carolina returned more than $4 million in Transportation Alternative Program funds to the federal government. We transferred another $47 million to other programs. As Katie says, we hate to see it. The funding formula doesn’t work for active transportation, and we’re going to talk about it.
So all that’s to say, here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ll be working on in 2022.
- Promote recurring, permanent appropriations to establish the North Carolina Safe Routes to School program as a permanent program within NCDOT
- Promote the restoration of Master’s pay for teachers, including Physical Education and Health teachers
- Support funding mechanisms that allow local communities to promote access to routine physical activity, including safe bicycle and pedestrian access
As the years have passed, though, active living has intersected more and more with our cross-cutting priorities. Here’s what’s on our list for this year in that area.
- Support policies and appropriations for closing the health insurance coverage gap
- Support policies that reduce inequities and barriers to health, including housing, transportation, and equitable pay and leave policies
- Support policies that maintain and restore local control