New Jobs Announcement Expected This Week: N.C. House Speaker Says It’s Time To Lower Taxes, Lessen Bureaucracy

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2012

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

Jobs, jobs, jobs.
That’s the message on a bracelet on the wrist of N.C. Rep. Julia C. Howard of Mocksville. Thom Tillis, speaker of the state House from Mecklenburg County, gave her the bracelet the day he was sworn in.
Tillis was in Mocksville last week, meeting with local officials and talking about the economy. He later toured local businesses, including one in which the state is funding a railroad spur line for a new factory to bring some 150 jobs to Davie County. That announcement is expected this week.
“We’re going to be announcing some jobs, jobs, jobs for Davie County,” Howard said. Cooperation between towns, counties and the state is needed to bring those jobs, she said.
Tillis said that while the state legislature is shifting from Democratic to Republican control (He and Howard are Republicans.), how it does business is also shifting.
The legislature worked hard last year to give local counties and municipalities a budget before the deadline, something that has been rare in state government. Expect the same this year, he told the local officials. And don’t expect the legislature to be in Raleigh for a long time.
He gave them more encouraging news. “We will not make up any shortfalls on you all’s backs. Doing that is just a shell game.”
The legislature’s focus, he said, will be on regulatory reform, hopefully rescinding some current regulations that exceed federal requirements.
Tax reform should be completed to make North Carolina more appealing to businesses, he said. Getting rid of government waste would free money to allow those reforms.
Tillis is continuing a policy that helps local governments with economic development projects to provide infrastructure, such as that rail line. The projects must, he said, have a documentable economic impact. He promised quick action on such requests.
Tillis said he welcomes ideas on how to protect the environment, but to do it more simply. And he’s trying to get politics out of the state pension plan.
County commissioner …