02/08/07 — Kerr renamed co-chairman of Senate Finance Committee

View Archive

Kerr renamed co-chairman of Senate Finance Committee

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on February 8, 2007 1:50 PM

After sitting in session for almost two weeks, North Carolina's state senators got their committee assignments Wednesday and for those representing Wayne and surrounding counties, the results were good news.

All three senators, John Kerr, D-Wayne County, Fred Smith, R-Johnston County, and Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin County, were reappointed to the same committees as last session, including their positions on various Senate appropriation committees and the Senate Finance Committee.

The finance committee addresses the state's revenue streams, while the appropriation committees address state expenditures.

Being on both, Albertson said, is a rare feat.

"It helps you have a better understanding of what the revenue streams are that come into the state and the expenditures that are going out. It helps you have a broader view," he said. "It gives you a chance to have a voice in each place."

And on the finance committee, Kerr's voice will be louder than some as he will once again serve as co-chairman.

Among the issues the finance committee will likely address this year, Kerr said, are the requests for a water and sewer infrastructure bond -- a special concern of his -- a school construction bond, a land preservation bond, more revenue streams for individual counties and a possible reform of the tax system.

"Those bonds are going to be big issues. We've also got a couple of study committees looking at the tax structure and those things. The other big issue is going to be working with the county commissioners to try to make a decision on whether or not to give every county in the state the right to levy another one-cent sales tax or other revenue streams to help the counties with the Medicaid match," Kerr said. "We're just trying to make sure we're a well-run conservative state and do not overtax. Thankfully we have a AAA bond rating to help us borrow money cheaper than just about any other governmental agency in the country.

"But we've got some tough issues. We're going to have a busy year."

Albertson also is returning as chairman of one of the largest Senate committees -- the Agriculture/Environmen-tal/Natural Resources committee.

"I represent the largest agricultural district in the Senate and two of my counties -- Duplin and Sampson -- are the two largest agricultural counties in the nation," he said. "Agriculture is big in my district and it's important."

The individual committee listings include:

John Kerr, D-Wayne County -- appointed to the same committees as last session:

Appropriations on General Government and Information Technology

Appropriations/Base Budget

Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Finance -- co-chairman

Finance Subcommittee on Capital and Infrastructure Financing

Information Technology

Judiciary II (Criminal)


Ways and Means

Fred Smith, R-Johnston County -- appointed to the same committees as last session:

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources

Appropriations on General Government and Information

Appropriations/Base Budget

Education/Public Instruction


State & Local Government

Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin County -- appointed to the same committees as last session:

Agriculture/Environmental/Natural Resources -- chairman

Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources -- vice-chairman

Appropriations/Base Budget -- vice-chairman


Judiciary I (Civil)

Pensions, Retirement & Aging

Rules and Operations of the Senate

State & Local Government

Ways and Means