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Legislative Update – Budget Conferees Announced

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House and Senate Announce Budget Conference Committee Members
Urge your Members to Support Including HB 250,
the Healthy Food Small Retailer/Corner Store Act with full funding in the final budget!

The North Carolina House and Senate have both passed a budget bills to fund state government for fiscal year 2015-17 (HB 97). However, since the budget bills passed by each chamber contain a large number of differences, the next step is for the House and Senate to convene a conference committee.

Last week, state legislators returned from a week-long vacation to begin negotiating an agreement on the state budget. Last Tuesday, Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), named 82 of the 120 members of the House to the conference committee (including 19 Democrats) that will negotiate the final budget. Last Thursday, Senate President Pro Tem. Phil Berger (R-Edenton) appointed 32 conferees from the Senate out of the 50 members of the Senate.

No one can predict how long the budget conference process may take. The 2013-14 budget expired on July 1. Lawmakers passed a continuing resolution that expires on August 14th to keep state government working as they negotiate the budget details.  Once the budget passes both chambers it will go to the Governor for his signature.

Despite the uncertainty of the timing of the budget, the NC Alliance for Health (NCAH) and many partners continue to work for the inclusion of HB 250: Healthy Food Small Retailer/Corner Store Act with full funding of $1 million in the final state budget.

HB 250 would appropriate $1 million of state funds to the Department of Agriculture to enable store owners to stock and sell nutrient-dense food, which would improve their bottom line and the health of our local communities. Specifically, funding would be available to provide education to both store owners and customers regarding healthy foods and healthy eating, as well as equipment (via loan from local health departments) such as additional shelving and refrigeration so that store owners can sell fresh fruits and vegetables. This helps small business owners provide healthier options to their customers and increase profits.

What Can Advocates Do Now?
Urge House and Senate Budget Conference Committee Members to Include
$1 million in State Funding for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative in the Final Budget!

Click HERE for a full list of House Budget Conference Committee members to contact.
Click HERE for a full list of Senate Budget Conference Committee members to contact.

Click HERE for a description of HB 250 and HERE for HB 250 talking points.

Not sure who your representative is? Click HERE to find out using your address.


REMINDERS:

Obesity Committee Meeting
Monday, August 31
1:30 – 3:30pm

American Heart Association

Quarterly Membership Meeting
Monday, October 5
1:30pm – 3:30pm

American Heart Association

rob@idriveroi.comLegislative Update – Budget Conferees Announced