Government Relations

Our Government Relations team is the lobbying arm of NCRGEA.  Our lobbyist team and Government Relations Committee are responsible for carrying out the legislative goals and agenda as created and adopted by the NCRGEA Board of Directors.

The 2020 Government Relations Committee of the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association is composed of members of our Board of Directors who are appointed by the President.  This Committee is responsible for reviewing proposed legislation, recommending legislative goals for the Association to the Executive Committee, and working with representatives of the retirement systems and the General Assembly to improve legislation to retired governmental employees.  The current membership of the Government Relations Committee is listed below.

Alice Bordsen, Chair
Linda Suggs, NCRGEA President
Vann Langston, NCRGEA Vice President
Bob Atwater
Melissa Bartlett
Suzanne Merrill
Clifton B. Metcalf
Michele Nelson
Tony Perry
Ed Sheary
Sara Stuckey

Our Legislative Agenda

Our NCRGEA legislative agenda is created every biennium and reviewed annually by our Board of Directors and our Government Raletions Committee prior to the start of the General Assembly’s long session.  Long sessions occur in odd-numbered years and short sessions in subsequent even-numbered years.

Because the lobbying goals of the association trend around similar issues: healthcare, pension sustainability, cost of living adjustments for retirees, among others – our legislative priorities and goals do not often fluctuate in subject, but in subject matter.  In more recent years, achieving progress toward our legislative goals has become more complex due to the changing political tides and conflicts that make them increasingly more difficult to accomplish.

NCRGEA Lobbying Efforts

NCRGEA has a team of four registered, contracted lobbyists, who are always represented at the General Assembly.  When in session, we attend House and Senate committees, track bill relevant to our agenda, mission, and strategic goals, and meet with legislators and staff to promote NCRGEA’s agenda.  Cultivating relationships with legislators, legislative staff, “sister” groups and government agencies, including the Office of the State Treasurer, are of utmost importance for the lobbying team.

Our lobbying team is also prepared to speak to support or oppose legislation of positive or negative consequence for NCRGEA members.

Working for You Every Day

Click here to read NCRGEA Executive Director Richard Roger’s recent comments to the Retirement System Trustees.

 

Online Advocacy Kit

The online advocacy kit is designed to help retirees understand the mission and the goals of the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association and to establish their role in this association. Our aim is to provide a guide to help you as a member and other retirees, local and statewide, to share your story with legislators in a positive and productive manner. By providing helpful tips and information on becoming a successful advocate, we believe that our voice will be heard and we can make a great impact for past, current, and future retirees in North Carolina.

Issues of Concern for 2020

Providing a cost of living adjustment for all retireesWe understand that the former way of providing COLAs is neither culturally encouraged in the legislative space nor is sustainable for future retirees. However, through incremental reforms of both the local and the state retirement systems, we can further join those systems together – providing breathing room for the local system to make formative adjustments to provide economic relief for local government retirees.

Begin the process of pension reformBecause of the size and strength of our pension system, North Carolina has been able to operate its retirement systems without reforms. But this is no longer sustainable, and the only way we can provide this benefit, in some fashion, to future generations of retirees, is to review improvements to safeguard the system from uncontrollable or unrecoverable unfunded liabilities.

Maintain the annual required Contribution in the state budgetNorth Carolina Retirement Systems’ actuaries provide the General Assembly with funding recommendations for our state’s public pensions. Having one of the country’s strongest pension systems, we need to maintain this with lawmakers continuing to protect it.

Keep the state health plan “healthy”while we advocate for full funding and no reduction in procedures and services, we are also facing new challenges.

Access to rural broadbandisolation among our elderly is an increasing problem for society. With members in all counties, including 80 rural counties, providing access to the Internet can keep members, families, and communities alike connected.

Ways to Keep Informed

Legislative Updates and Alerts

When the legislature is in session, the NCRGEA staff compiles and shares this information via email updates, website posts, social media posts, and calls to action.  We keep this information up to date to keep you informed. The goal is to provide you with the most current information so you are able to make an informative decision as to how to approach legislators to show your support or opposition on an upcoming issue.

End-of-Session Summary

At the close of each legislation, the NCRGEA lobbying team will provide a synopsis of the decisions made within that session.  Additionally, our team will analyze trends in pension issues, cost of living adjustments and other fiduciary matters of importance to our association members.

NCRGEA Website

Our NCRGEA website has several tools available to help you keep up with legislation and stay informed on past, current and upcoming issues. There are links to Districts, Government Relations , Social Media outlets, as well membership enrollment/renewal, benefits, and tools such as this advocacy kit to help you become a successful advocate for NCRGEA.

Contact with Local and Legislative Members

Through our website, we provide the tools you need to contact your local and legislative members. Whether by phone, letter, or email, contacting our legislative officials is crucial to our mission and goals in the NCRGEA. We provide helpful tips and outlines, as well as sample letters to help you get started in advocating for the topics and issues you believe in. Additionally, you can contact our association regarding any thoughts or issues you may have, or if you have questions, comments, or concerns to discuss.

Contact your Elected Officials

Here you can find direct links to contact information for your statewide elected officials, making it simple to find exactly who you should be talking to based on your location and your issue/concern.