In addition to being an election year, this is also a short-session year for North Carolina’s General Assembly. Chairman of the NC House Ag Committee, James Langdon, representative of Johnston and Sampson Counties says that he doesn’t anticipate legislation involving agriculture to be introduced this year:
“I think it will be calm in the short session. We did the things we needed to do in the long session. Likely we will focus on the budget and possibly some local bills.
The budget will shape up well. We are protecting the right things, because I think that Agriculture is the most important thing in North Carolina. It’s our number one industry and we need to be sure we have the people and the programs that help us do what is necessary.
I think the funding for the Preservation Trust fund will be maintained for this year. But it may change. I agree with the commissioner that it’s important we support that and we need to protect agriculture.
There is still a great deal of interest in the Preservation Trust Fund and I hope we are able to continue to provide this kind of support.
Last year’s long session’s consolidation of several departments under USDA has worked well. We put departments that are very connected to agriculture the place they probably should have been already. This move allows them to connect to the whole ag community in a different way and provide better service.
One of the intents was a cost savings, but more so to provide better service to the people of North Carolina.
I’m not sure we will be able to address the commissioner’s concerns about rule changes in times of hurricane threats. I do think that we will address it at some point as we need to change things that hinder and we need to be able to quickly deal with any issues that arise during a hurricane.”
Chairman of the NC House Ag Committee, James Langdon.