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email : Webview : House budget expected next week, likely include pay raises, COLAs

THE SCOOP May 6, 2016

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HOUSE BUDGET EXPECTED NEXT WEEK, LIKELY INCLUDES PAY RAISES, COLAS In what is already a whirlwind session just one week in, the House and Senate agreed on a base “not-to-exceed” figure of $22.225 billion for the 2016-17 budget this week. The figure is an increase of around 2.3 percent over the current year’s spending. Last year, such a compromise was not worked out until eight months into the session, and although this year’s process is a mere adjustment and not an entirely new budget, the speed at which a compromise has been made is staggering. The House is expected to unveil its budget in the next week and hopes to wrap up its debate in two weeks, according to media reports. Also this week, we got a clearer picture of plans for cuts in the Department of Transportation, which could total up to 22 percent of the workforce in some units. https://t.e2ma.net/message/rdpul/7d8p4i[7/25/2016 9:53:38 AM]


email : Webview : House budget expected next week, likely include pay raises, COLAs

Read more in this week’s Legislative Update. Click the image above to watch SEANC’s lobbyists discuss pay raises, COLAs and more.

Cowell in hot water over corporate boards State Treasurer Janet Cowell is in hot water over her decision to join two corporate boards that will pay her more than her elected position pays. This week, editorials from the two largest papers in the state, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer in Raleigh, asked Cowell to rethink her plans, and called on the two men seeking the position in the fall to pledge not to join boards themselves. The Observer stated, “As concerning as any specific conflict Cowell might encounter in the final eight months of her term is the precedent she sets for future treasurers and other public officials. The potential pitfalls are everywhere.” The fiasco made national headlines, with Gawker calling Cowell an “inept pension fund manager and a sellout,” after a Bloomberg story that featured comments from SEANC Government Relations Director Ardis Watkins was published. Watkins told Bloomberg, “It’s disingenuous for the treasurer to say she’ll recuse herself and leave the decision to a person who reports to her and no one else.” The International

Business Times also weighed in this morning on Cowell’s emails pertaining to the process of joining the boards.

The Scholarship Bowl-a-thon is next weekend The SEANC Scholarship Foundation will host its annual bowl-a-thon fundraiser on May 14 at Buffaloe Lanes North in Raleigh. The cost is $20 per person or $100 for a team of six bowlers. A silent auction will also be held where participants can bid on some awesome prizes like theme park and attraction tickets, sports memorabilia from the Carolina Panthers and Carolina Mudcats and more! Register online or find out more information by clicking here.

Thrills of a Lifetime at Carowinds  Looking for a great way to spend a summer day? Check out the rides and attractions at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte. Take a ride on the largest and fastest giga-coaster in the world - Fury 325! With heights reaching 325 feet, a staggering length of 6,602 feet and breathtaking speeds of 95 miles per hour, you are in for the ride of a lifetime! Not a roller-coaster fan?  Check out Carolina Harbor—new this summer and opening on May 21.  This waterpark is bigger and better in 2016 and includes new attractions for all members of the family – from mild to wild. Best of all, Carolina Harbor is included with park admission.

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email : Webview : House budget expected next week, likely include pay raises, COLAs

You can purchase discounted tickets to Carowinds at any State Employees' Credit Union branch. Please note:  The JoyFest concert on May 28 is NOT included with your general admission ticket and requires a separate concert ticket.  Click here for JoyFest tickets.

Last week to win an iPad by recruiting new members! This is the last full week to qualify to win an iPad Mini from SEANC by recruiting new members! For every new member you recruit before May 13, you will receive one entry into a drawing for an iPad Mini, and each member recruited will be entered into a drawing for a Samsung Galaxy Tab A. So get out there and recruit! SEANC added 93 new members in the past week from the departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Revenue and Transportation, The Division of Employment Security, the Administrative Offices of the Courts, Local Government, East Carolina University, N.C. A&T State University, Winston Salem State University, Central Piedmont Community College, Forsyth Technical College, Robeson Community College and schools in Wake and Wayne counties. There’s strength in numbers, and the best way for SEANC to add to its total membership is through members talking to their coworkers. You can best tell your story of why someone should join.  And remember, if you sign up five new members, you receive $20 from our membership incentive plan. Contact Lynn Cote for more information.

Hyatt Legal Plans Need to prepare a will or sell your home?  The Hyatt Legal Plan fully covers attorney fees for services such as preparation of wills, powers of attorney, living wills, real estate transactions, traffic ticket defense and much more.  The plan provides easy access to a national network of experienced attorneys and coverage for

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email : Webview : House budget expected next week, likely include pay raises, COLAs

the most frequently needed personal legal services.  The cost is $12.95 per month and click here for more information or to enroll today.

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email : Webview : House bill includes pay raises, COLAs; budget expected next week

THE SCOOP May 13, 2016

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HOUSE BILL INCLUDES PAY RAISES, COLAs; BUDGET EXPECTED NEXT WEEK After a hectic first two weeks at the General Assembly, legislators settled in and got down to routine business this week. The top item on the agenda remains the state budget. A bill was filed in the House that calls for a 4percent pay increase for state employees and public school personnel and a 2.5-percent costof-living adjustment for state retirees. Since it was filed, 16 other representatives have signed on as sponsors. The House is likely to announce its full budget on either Monday or Tuesday of next week, and plan to pass it fairly quickly. It will then be up to the Senate to make changes. The Senate so far has signaled its unwillingness to give full across-the-board raises and COLAs and favors a targeted approach. Read more in this week’s Legislative Update.

Cowell's corporate boards decision continues to haunt her The heat continued this week on State Treasurer Janet Cowell for her decision to join the corporate boards of both ChannelAdvisor and the James River Group investment firm. SEANC members are not alone in seeing major conflicts of interests in this decision. The News & Observer asked the 20 candidates seeking positions on the Council of State, and 17 responded that they would not serve on boards – including both Gov. Pat McCrory and his opponent,

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email : Webview : House bill includes pay raises, COLAs; budget expected next week

Attorney General Roy Cooper. State Auditor Beth Wood said she thought such actions would be fraught with conflict. As Thursday’s editorial from the News & Observer points out, Democratic nominee for Treasurer Dan Blue III originally said he would evaluate board appointments on a case-by-case basis, but changed that position once it was clear that public sentiment was against it. His opponent, Republican Dale Folwell, who is endorsed by EMPAC, said from the beginning he was against the appointments and would not serve on corporate boards. SEANC will continue to speak out against Cowell’s decision in an effort to highlight the conflicts she will definitely encounter while managing your retirement funds.

Got a story to tell? Do you have a story about how your work has positively affected your neighbors and the state? If so, let us know! SEANC would like to feature some of these stories in a series of web videos. Such first-hand accounts would also be a powerful message to send to legislators to point out that state employees make a difference – and should be compensated accordingly. Simply send an email to the SEANC communications department detailing your experience. 

SEANC recruits at state wellness fair SEANC representatives were on hand Wednesday, spreading information and recruiting 24 new members at the N.C. State Agency Wellness Fair in the Jim Graham Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. SEANC also added 113 new members in the past week, including a whopping 77 from the Department of Public Safety alone! Other members came to SEANC from the departments of Environmental Quality, Insurance, Health and Human Services, Revenue and Transportation, the Division of Employment Security, the Administrative Offices of the Courts, East Carolina University, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical College, and schools in Bertie, Burke, Cleveland and Craven counties. There’s strength in numbers, and the best way for SEANC to add to its total membership is through members talking to their coworkers. You can best tell your story of why someone should join. And remember, if you sign up five new members, you receive $20 from our membership incentive plan. Contact Lynn Cote for more information.

Save $$$ on a BJ's membership Join or renew your BJ's membership and save $15 off of the $50 annual membership fee PLUS get 1 bonus month FREE. This offer is not available online or at any BJ's Club location.  Complete

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email : Webview : House bill includes pay raises, COLAs; budget expected next week

and mail the form to the address on the form. Go to the Benefits page, sign in and the BJ's discount membership form will be listed under the featured discounts. 

Gain Peace of Mind with Colonial Life! Thought about supplemental insurance but not sure what is right for you?  SEANC members can receive Colonial Life accident, cancer, critical illness, disability, hospital confinement, whole life and universal life policies at competitive rates, with convenient payroll deduction.  These personal insurance products can enhance your current benefits portfolio and can be customized to fit your individual needs.  For more information on the plans visit the SEANC Insurance page or contact a Colonial Life representative at 888-732-6248.

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email : Webview : House bill includes pay raises, COLAs; budget expected next week

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email : Webview : House budget passes with raises, COLAs; DOT jobs saved, for now

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Friday, May 20, 2016

HOUSE BUDGET PASSES WITH RAISES, COLAS; DOT JOBS SAVED, FOR NOW The House passed its budget with overwhelming bipartisan support Thursday, just four days after it was made public. It includes a 2-percent salary increase and $500 bonus for state employees and a 1.6-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state   SEANC thanks Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) for his leadership and hard work in recognizing that state employees and retirees deserve real raises.  SEANC scored a big win against privatization by securing an amendment to the budget that halt cuts of filled positions and outsourcing in the Department of Transportation until

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email : Webview : House budget passes with raises, COLAs; DOT jobs saved, for now

the department can prove to taxpayers that such measures will save money. The amendment was brought forth by Rep. Gary Pendleton and received bipartisan support as well, with Rep. Darren Jackson and others speaking out in favor of it. The jobs aren’t safe yet, though. The Senate must agree not to make the proposed cuts in its budget, which will likely be announced soon. The budget debate now moves to the Senate. Read more in this week’s Legislative Update.

STATE HEALTH PLAN BOARD VOTES ON CHANGES The State Health Plan Board of Trustees rushed changes through last Friday for 2017 that will have a negative impact on your paycheck. Despite requests from SEANC that it put off voting on changes until the legislature announces spending for the plan, the board voted on changes to the plans. The changes include a dramatic deductible increase for the 80/20 plan.  The current deductible is $700 and the board approved an increase to $1,250 as well as other unaffordable cost  increases for state employees and retirees. There would be smaller increases in the 70/30 plan and no change to the Consumer Driven (85/15) plan. See the full document of changes here.  This proposal, while horrible for state employees and retirees, changed from prior versions which would have eliminated the 80/20 plan, or at least increased the deductible to $2,000.   In February, State Health Plan Board member Charles Johnson, a SEANC Past President, successfully fought elimination of the 80/20 plan after outcry from SEANC members and lawmakers. Johnson was the only “no” vote to the changes voted on last Friday. SEANC’s Chuck Stone testified at prior meetings and again Friday that any cost increases would be unaffordable for plan members and would offset any benefit of a potential raise this year. See Stone’s testimony at the Board here: 

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email : Webview : House budget passes with raises, COLAs; DOT jobs saved, for now

SEANC CALLS ON COWELL TO RESIGN  FROM BOARDS OR HER OFFICE SEANC’s Board of Governors voted unanimously last week to call on state Treasurer Janet Cowell to either resign from the two corporate boards she recently joined or step down from her position as Treasurer and allow someone else to serve North Carolina’s interests free from conflicts. The action made headlines around the state and nationally, though Cowell remained adamant that she sees nothing wrong with her decision. The News & Observer questioned the Perry Newsom, executive director of the Board of Ethics that signed off on Cowell’s decision, and he doubled down on his stance. When Newsom says he “maybe has blinders on” on this issue, we agree. There’s no other way to explain how obvious conflicts can be seen as ethical.  The conflicts are clear. The management firm that owns a majority stake in one of the companies also manages billions of SEANC members’ dollars in the state pension system. Also, Cowell serves as Chairwoman of the State Banking Commission, and the CEO of that same company is a director of Yadkin Bank.  Those are two conflicts before Cowell even started serving on the boards. Imagine what else will come up in the next eight months. SEANC President Ross Hailey appeared on an extensive interview on the Freedom Action Network this week to discuss both this topic and the budget. Click here to listen (Hailey’s interview begins at the 36 minute mark). https://t.e2ma.net/message/rx8yl/7d8p4i[7/25/2016 9:51:55 AM]


email : Webview : House budget passes with raises, COLAs; DOT jobs saved, for now

BEAT THE HEAT THIS SUMMER! Summer is almost here and it's time to take advantage of SEANC's great deals at area water parks. Hit the waves at Jungle Rapids in Wilmington, Myrtle Waves in Myrtle Beach, or at Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe in Greensboro. Be sure to check the parks' websites for hours and dates of operation. Members can purchase discount tickets for these water parks at any State Employees' Credit Union Branch (SECU). Click here to find a SECU branch near you. SEANC members can now purchase discounted tickets to Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Va., through the SEANC website or by calling the SEANC office and speaking with a Member Services Program Specialist at 800-222-2758.

SAVE ON YOUR AUTO INSURANCE WITH TRAVELERS! Traveling this summer? Take advantage of SEANC’s competitive auto insurance rates through Travelers Insurance. With convenient payment plans through payroll deduction, you can be safe and have hassle-free deductions. Click here or call 888-695-4640 for more information and to receive a free quote. Already have Travelers Insurance? Contact them today to make sure you have the correct coverage and the best rate.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MEMBER DISCOUNT CONTEST WINNER HENRY BELADA OF DISTRICT 7!   Henry won 4 tickets to Carowinds and one night hotel stay for recruiting the most businesses to give SEANC members a discount. 

EVERYONE WINS WITH SEANC RECRUITING! SEANC added 101 new members in the past week, including workers from the department of Agriculture, Commerce, Environmental Quality, Health and Human Services, Insurance,  Public Safety and Transportation, Employment Security

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email : Webview : House budget passes with raises, COLAs; DOT jobs saved, for now

Commission, the Administrative Offices of the Courts, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, N.C. School of the Arts, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington, Winston Salem State University, Davidson Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Isothermal Community College, Wilkes Community College, and schools in Beaufort, Burke, Halifax and Johnston counties. Congratulations to two members who won big thanks to their recruiting efforts recently! District 17 member Tenisha Kelly won an iPad Mini in the most recent recruiting challenge drawing last Friday, while District 10 member Derek Mowry won a Samsung Tab A. It’s important to note, though, that when new members are recruited, everyone wins, because the more members we have, the stronger our voice is at the legislature! The Membership Committee recently increased incentives payments for recruiting new members.Until July 22, members receive $5 for every new member they sign up. Also, the committee approved a new membership challenge until July 22 as well.  The first 20 people to schedule a membership recruitment event will receive $25, and anyone who schedules an event before July 22 will be entered in a drawing for $250. Contact the Member Relations Department schedule your event today!  

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email : Webview : Bills would harm state retirees; Senate budget due Tuesday

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Friday, May 27, 2016

BILLS WOULD HARM STATE RETIREES; SENATE BUDGET DUE TUESDAY What was expected to be a down week at the General Assembly between the passage of the House budget and the announcement of the Senate’s proposal wound up being quite the opposite. Bills filed in both the House and Senate this week would have harmful effects on both SEANC and state retirees. If passed, they would strip state retirees’ rights to have association dues, PAC donations and even insurance premiums easily deducted from their pension checks. The House version of the bill will be heard in the House Pensions and Retirement

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email : Webview : Bills would harm state retirees; Senate budget due Tuesday

Committee on Tuesday. We need all members to contact all legislators on the committee and tell them why this reckless bill needs to be changed. We also request that you please consider coming to the committee’s meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Legislative Building in Raleigh. Also at the legislature, it’s the Senate’s turn to weigh in on the spending plan for the next year. According to media reports, the Senate plans to roll out its proposal in Senate Appropriations Committee meetings on Tuesday. Once there, the debate will move fast, with votes scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday on the Senate floor. And the Department of Transportation seems to be moving forward with restructuring plans despite the House passing an amendment to their budget last week that implements a moratorium on cuts until cost savings can be proven. Click below to watch this week’s video edition of the Legislative Update featuring SEANC’s four lobbyists. Also, click here to read the Update.

KEEP WATCH OVER SEANC FINANCES The SEANC Audit Committee, created by the 2015 Convention to monitor the association’s finances, is seeking qualified members to fill current vacancies, as well as candidates for the committee to be voted on at the 2016 Convention. Please submit a letter and resume to Director of Operations Chuck Stone if you are interested in serving on this important committee, which meets six times a year to review the finances of both the central office and each district.  To qualify, members must possess a background in finance or money management.  Also, the committee has created an email address where members can anonymously report potential financial problems at any level in the organization. To report a problem, https://t.e2ma.net/message/fcc2l/7d8p4i[7/25/2016 9:51:27 AM]


email : Webview : Bills would harm state retirees; Senate budget due Tuesday

email auditcommittee@seanc.org. 

EVERYONE WINS WITH SEANC RECRUITING! SEANC added 61 new members in the past week, including workers from the departments of Health and Human Services, Public Safety and Transportation, East Carolina University, N.C. A&T State University, N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Robeson Community College, and schools in Beaufort, Forsyth, Pitt and Halifax counties. The Membership Committee recently increased incentives payments for recruiting new members. Until July 22, members receive $5 for every new member they sign up. Also, the committee approved a new membership challenge until July 22 as well.  The first 20 people to schedule a membership recruitment event will receive $25, and anyone who schedules an event before July 22 will be entered in a drawing for $250.  Contact the Member Relations Department schedule your event today! 

SAVE ON VACATIONS THIS SUMMER!  Going on a family road trip this summer?  Visiting the mountains or the beach?  No matter your destination, SEANC members can save on summer travel with car rentals, AAA, Choice Hotels, theme park tickets and more!  Visit the SEANC Benefits page to find enrollment forms and more information on how to save and be safe as you travel this summer.  Questions about discounts? Contact a SEANC Member Services Program Specialist at 800-222-2758.

SEE BETTER FOR LESS WITH SEANC! Members can see more clearly for less thanks to affordable vision coverage from SEANC Insurance! This insurance offers cost-effective nationwide benefit plans and includes eye exams, lenses, eyeglass frames and contact lenses. The enhanced plan option covers many eyeglass lens extras such as progressive lenses. Discounts are available on non-covered cosmetic options and laser vision correction procedures. Click here for information on signing up for coverage or contact a Member Services Insurance Specialist at 919-833-6436 or 800-222-2758. Also, be sure to check out ALL of SEANC's insurance programs on the SEANC Insurance page to save even more money!

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email : Webview : Bills would harm state retirees; Senate budget due Tuesday Share this email:

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Scoop May 2016