Tuesday, April 23, 2024

NC trend: What you missed from the N.C. Tribune

Marshall expands small business program

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s office is expanding a pilot program that helps new small business creators in rural counties. The Rural RISE NC (Resources for Innovators, Start-ups, and Entrepreneurs) program started in 14 counties to offer business counselors, lender information and a “checklist of crucial steps new business should follow to be successful, such as important tax and reporting deadlines,” according to a news release.

N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
▲ N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall

The program will be available in all 78 counties classified as rural, with business owners receiving emails about it when they file paperwork to create a business. 

“Our data shows that the first three years are the most challenging for new businesses,” Marshall said in a news release. “The sooner we put these entrepreneurs in touch with valuable business resources and funding opportunities, the more likely they will be making good money, creating jobs and supporting their communities.”

Meredith College’s spring poll

Meredith College, a private women’s college in Raleigh, released its spring poll covering a wide range of policy topics including Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, abortion and distracted driving.

Here’s a few of the key numbers:

  • 71% favor Medicaid expansion.
  • 38.8% back additional restrictions on abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, although only 10% favor a total ban on abortion. But 52.6% support keeping the status quo or want easier access to abortion.
  • 60.5% support legalizing medical marijuana, while 37.7% back legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • 82.8% support a law banning drivers from holding a phone while behind the wheel.
  • 47.1% support a version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law that would allow parents to sue if sexual orientation or gender identity is discussed in elementary schools.

Get to know Sen. Paul Lowe

The Baptist preacher has represented Forsyth County in the North Carolina Senate since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2015. He chairs the Legislative Black Caucus and serves on committees ranging from redistricting to finance to health and human services spending.

Last year, he was one of four Senate Democrats who crossed party lines and voted for the original Senate version of the state budget bill. He also worked with Sen. Jim Perry, a Kinston Republican, to co-sponsor the sports betting bill that passed the Senate as well as the “Derby Act,” which would pave the way for Kentucky Derby-style horse racing.

What are the current and past jobs you’ve held outside politics?

  • Senior pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church in Winston-Salem since 1991
  • Former adjunct professor at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh
  • Ministry and missions in the Bahamas, Germany, Ghana, Korea, the United Kingdom and South Africa

What lessons from those roles have you applied to your
elected position? 

I have learned that everything centers around relationships. You can always learn something from the people you work with. They can be wonderful resources.

If you could enact a single piece of legislation into law today,
what would it be?

I would enact automatic voter registration and free community college.

Where do you most enjoy taking an out-of-town visitor in your district?

In no particular order, I would take a visitor to Sweet Potato Restaurant, Village Tavern at Reynolda Village and West End Cafe.

What are your favorite hobbies? 

I enjoy music, concerts, deep-sea fishing, hunting, golf and attending Major League Baseball games.

Who do you most admire? 

Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. Harriet Tubman escaped slavery herself and then went back to save the lives of so many others, and she did so with sheer tenacity, guts, and will. Dr. Martin Luther King sacrificed his life for the benefit of others.

What is the best advice you have received about how to get
egislation passed?

Pick your battles and make relationships. Like I said before, the people you work with can hold a wealth of knowledge. This means that working together with them, making strong relationships and focusing on what you can truly get done are important.

NC Tribune with Colin Campbell

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