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
Vann Langston, NCRGEA President
Bob Atwater
Melissa Bartlett
Suzanne Merrill
Michele Nelson
Tony Perry
Ed Sheary
Linda Suggs, Immediate Past President
Sara Stuckey
Mike Taylor, NCRGEA Secretary/Treasurer
Chuck Wooten

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 bills 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.

NC General Assembly 2021 Session

The 2021 session of the NC General Assembly will convene on January 13, 2021.  Below are the committees in the NC General Assembly that NCGREA’s legislative efforts will focus on during this session.  We encourage you to contact these committee chairs, as well as your local legislators, during this year’s session to enlist their support for NCRGEA’s efforts on your behalf.

Double click on the links below.

Contact Your Legislators

You can view a full list of Senate or House members or to find and contact the State Legislators in your area of the state, or click on the following links to view your House or Senate Representation by County:  House    Senate   then click on the county where you live for a list of the House or Senate legislators.

Issues of Concern

Providing a cost of living adjustment for all retireesWe understand that the former way of providing COLAs is neither culturally encouraged in the legislative arena and that it is not 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

Government Relations Updates and Alerts

When the legislature is in session, your NCRGEA staff compiles and shares this information through email updates, this website, 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 legislative session, your NCRGEA lobbying team will provide a synopsis of the decisions made during 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.

Contact with Local and Legislative Members

Through our website, we provide the tools to help you contact your legislators.  By calling, writing letters, or sending emails, contacting your legislators is crucial to our mission and goals at NCRGEA.  We provide helpful tips and outlines, as well as sample letters to help you advocate for the issues in which you believe.   You are always welcome to contact NCRGEA regarding any thoughts or issues you may have or if you have questions, comments, or concerns.