I always look forward to the break between our legislative sessions, because it gives me time to meet with folks in the district and learn all I can about the issues that are most important for us here in Buncombe County. I'm especially excited about getting to join the students at Enka Middle School next week for their career day! I'll also be touring local correctional facilities in the coming weeks, taking a look around Buncombe County's new Health and Human Services Building and meeting with constituents. If I or my office can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
More Than 15,000 Rape Kits Remain Untested
Attorney General Josh Stein announced this week that an inventory of evidence held by local law enforcement agencies found more than 15,000 rape kits remain untested around the state. The Attorney General’s office, which saw its budget slashed by 40% last year, is working to devise a plan to process the untested kits. The total cost to process those kits is estimated to be more than $10 million. This is a critical public-safety measure, and I will continue to push for adequate funding for the Attorney General’s office to ensure that this backlog is eliminated and that every rape kit is processed quickly going forward.
North Carolina Continues to Face Adoption and Foster Care Shortages
North Carolina’s growing population and the increasing pressures of the opioid epidemic have left social workers around the state scrambling to find foster parents for more than 10,000 children. The state has seen a 25% increase in the number of children in need of foster care in the last five years, and that is putting tremendous strain on an a system that was already stretched too thin. The NC Department of Health and Human Services is the agency responsible for certifying foster families. If you are over 21, have a stable home and income, with no criminal record, you may be eligible. If you’d like to know more, contact NC Kids at (877) 625-4371.
GE Aviation Announces New Jobs in Buncombe County
I was glad to join to Governor Cooper last week for the announcement of GE Aviation's new investments in Buncombe County. Expansions to their facility will bring more than 130 new jobs to our area. GE has been an excellent community partner and I'm happy to see them increasing their investment and commitment to our area.