Pilot Light: Hackney Remains as House Speaker
Elected to his second term as speaker of the state House of Representatives, Joe Hackney on Wednesday told the newly convened assembly that "we must continue our emphasis on ethics."
Hackney's election came as no surprise. The House Democratic Caucus voted unanimously late last year to re-elect the Orange County lawmaker to a second term. Because Democrats hold a majority in the House, his election was expected.
In his acceptance speech, Hackney challenged his fellow representatives to get to work reinvigorating the state's economy and continuing to improve education.
"My confidence in our abilities stems from the solid foundation established by those who came before us," he said. "We do not start from scratch as we face these challenges. My confidence stems from my belief in you. Assembled in this chamber are teachers, doctors, lawyers, preachers, artists, business owners, parents and grandparents. Some of you have family roots in this state that reach back hundreds of years and others of you are just settling in. My confidence stems from our collective experience."
Hackney also said the state has weathered economic downturns in the past and, "with careful planning, nurtured deficits into surpluses over time." He said it can be done again.
Entering his 15th term, Hackney represents District 54, which encompasses all of Chatham County, part of Orange County and one and a half precincts in Moore County. Newly elected Rep. Jamie Boles, of Southern Pines, represents District 52, which includes the rest of Moore County.
GOP PRECINCTS -- Moore County Republicans have announced their first precinct meetings in preparation for the county convention to be held March 14 in Owens Auditorium on the campus of Sandhills Community College.
Delegates to the convention will be elected at precinct meetings.
Precinct meetings scheduled so far include:
Eureka, Chairman Giles Hopkins (949-3086), 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the home of Neil and Linda Godfrey (949-2439), 25 Goldenrod Drive, Whispering Pines.
West Aberdeen, Chairman Ged Taylor (944-3389), 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Aberdeen Fire Station.
Bensalem, Chairwoman Evelyn Hill (673-6061), 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16, at Virginia's Beauty Shop, 1224 Gurney West Road, Robbins.
Seven Lakes, Chairman Bill Judge (673-1434), 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16, at the Seven Lakes Fire Station.
Little River, Secretary Eli Schilling (315-5415), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Woodlake Country Club.
Pinehurst B1, Chairman Bill Parke (295-5848), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at his residence, 240 Fairway Drive.
Vass, Chairman Ron Atkinson (245-4438), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at his residence, 2551 U.S. 1 North.
Republicans are asked to call their precinct chairs if they have questions.
TRANSPORTATION -- A public hearing has been called for Feb. 16 to consider the proposed fiscal year 2009-2010 Community Transportation Program application to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The hearing will be held during the 6 p.m. meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners in the historic courthouse in Carthage.
The county plans to request $372,672 in funding to provide transportation services for programs operating in the county. These services currently use demand response and subscription services provided by Moore County Transportation Services (MCTS). The county's share of the cost is $50,591.
The application may be inspected at the MCTS offices between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Anyone interested in attending the hearing and needing assistance is asked to contact Timothy W. Thompson, MCTS director, on or before Feb. 12.
COBLE -- Congressman Howard Coble, co-chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus, took to the U.S. House of Representatives floor Wednesday afternoon to support an amendment offered by freshman Rep. Larry Kissell, the Democrat representing North Carolina's 8th District. Coble, a Republican, represents the 6th District.
Coble said the amendment would extend the provisions of the Berry Amendment to purchases made by the Department of Homeland Security. Currently applicable only to the Department of Defense, the Berry Amendment is a Buy American requirement, and Kissell's amendment would extend that requirement to DHS.
However, Coble said that he plans to vote against final passage of the bill and would issue a statement on the subject later.
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