News

News

Ballantyne-based LendingTree to Create Almost 500 More Jobs in Charlotte

LendingTree, the online service that matches borrowers with lenders, announced Thursday plans to nearly double its local footprint after receiving state incentives in exchange for keeping its headquarters in Charlotte.

The fast-growing company will add 436 high-paying jobs that pay an average wage of over $100,000 over the next five years, under a deal approved Thursday by the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee. That package includes $8.37 million in state incentives for the Ballantyne-based company.

Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article222680525.html#storylink=cpy

NC Ranked As State Considered “Tax Friendly”

Financial analyst company Kiplinger has released a list of states’ tax climate and North Carolina is listed as “Tax Friendly.” We rank better than our neighboring states of Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.

This is in stark contrast to the days when the North Carolina General Assembly was Democratic-controlled. When Republicans took over the legislature in 2011, North Carolina had one of the highest personal and corporate tax rates in the country and the highest in the Southeast.

Read full article HERE

Stone Receives Endorsement of Charlotte Observer

Rep. Scott Stone received the endorsement of the Charlotte Observer in his bid for reelection. The paper’s editorial board rarely endorses Republican candidates, but still gave the nod to Rep. Stone and called him a “reliable low-tax conservative.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/…/e…/article220428455.html

Rep. Scott Stone Calls on DMV to Add New Locations, Allow Driver’s Ed Teachers to Give Tests

Rep. Scott Stone Calls on DMV to Add New Locations, Allow Driver’s Ed Teachers to Give Drivers’ Tests

 Charlotte, NC – NC Rep. Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg) has sent a letter to DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup and Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, requesting that high school driver’s education teachers be allowed to administer written tests for learner’s permits and road tests for provisional driver’s licenses. By eliminating this duplicative step and allowing driver’s education teachers to perform these functions, hundreds of thousands of trips to local DMV offices can be avoided each year.

“Our driver’s education teachers already know these students,” said Stone. “Teachers administer tests to students as part of their current duties. It makes perfect sense that teachers be able to eliminate a step in the process so that a trip to the DMV office can be avoided completely.”

The fees that are paid to DMV associated with the permits and licenses could instead be paid to the schools or directly to the teachers.

“Currently a DMV official observes a student driving for just a few minutes. This is not a good assessment of whether a new driver is ready to drive unsupervised,” Stone said. “A teacher who has driven with the student for several weeks is best prepared to evaluate that person’s driving skills and attest to whether they should be granted a license.”

Stone also reiterated a request from a September 5, 2018 letter to Commissioner Jessup that the DMV add new locations in high growth, high populations areas, including south Charlotte.

“Given significant growth in the Charlotte region and elsewhere, which often includes many citizens new to our state, it is long overdue for the DMV to add a new location in south Charlotte.”

Additional Benefits & Elements of Driver’s Ed Change:

– Students will not be forced to miss classes to visit the DMV office for their tests and paperwork.

– A teacher in a classroom can more easily verify the identity and home address of the new driver since he or she is already enrolled in the school as a student. This provides additional security and efficiency to the driver verification process.

– Teachers who are given this authority can be granted access to the state DMV system in a similar manner currently given to private inspection stations. Given current technology, it should be relatively easy for the teacher to be able to take the digital photo. Once a student passes the exam, the teacher can log it into the system and the document is automatically printed and mailed to the student’s home.

Some driver’s education programs are provided by private companies, but it is not unprecedented to allow private entities to interface with the DMV process. Private inspection facilities provide real-time information to the DMV as part of registration renewal process.

Background Data

During the 2017 – 18 budget year, the DMV issued the following documents:

Limited Learner Permit          98,270

Limited Provisional License  73,711

Full provisional license          54,629

                                                   226,610

The General Assembly appropriated in the 2018 budget $27,393,768 for Driver’s Education. Department of Public Instruction is tasked with distributing these funds to the LEAs.

Some LEAs charge a small fee to students for the course (for example – CMS charges $65). If at least a portion of DMV license and permit fees also supplemented the cost of Driver’s Education, there could be more funds available for our teachers.

 

 

Rep Stone Joins Legislative Leaders in Providing Hurricane Relief

Rep. Scott Stone joined other legislators yesterday approving $50 million for immediate disaster relief efforts, plus $6.5 million to pay school employees who are out of work, and more will be coming in the future. The initial relief funding will allow the state to apply for and accept federal funding. In addition, the General Assembly approved measures which would waive the requirements for schools to make up missed days due to Hurricane Florence. Teachers will not be penalized for the days which were cancelled.

The $56 million appropriation, which is likely a small portion of what will ultimately be provided to victims of Hurricane Florence, will be taken from the Rainy Day Fund, which has a balance of more than $2 billion.

Dentsply Sirona announces 320 New Jobs in Ballantyne

Dentsply Sirona, the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, has announced a $3 million investment which will create 320 new jobs over three years.

Dentsply Sirona, the Dental Solutions Company™, develops, manufactures and markets comprehensive end-to-end solutions offering many dental and oral health products including general dental supplies and supplies and devices, CAD/CAM restoration systems (CEREC and inLab), digital intra-oral, panoramic and 3D imaging systems, as well as dental specialty products in orthodontics, endodontics, implants and more.

Dentsply Sirona employs nearly 15,000 employees with locations in more than 40 countries worldwide. Positions created by the expansion will include sales, customer service, clinical education, marketing and executive roles. Salaries will vary by position.

This is another great investment in North Carolina and Charlotte,” said NC Rep. Scott Stone, whose south Charlotte district will be home to Dentsply Sirona. “Not only will this investment bring permanent jobs to Ballantyne, but will also bring a large number of visiting dentists who will come the Charlotte for training.”

“We are excited to grow in North Carolina with the establishment of a U.S. commercial hub in Charlotte for our sales activities and the ongoing educational programs offered through our Dentsply Sirona Academy,” said Don Casey, chief executive officer of Dentsply Sirona.

 

Television Ad – People First, Politics Last

Stone Campaign Releases First Ad of 2018 Campaign

“People First, Politics Last” ad will begin to air this week

Representative Scott Stone’s campaign for NC House District 105 is launching its first television commercials this week. The spot, entitled “People First, Politics Last” features south Charlotte resident Laura Gaska, whose mother faced challenges in dealing with her assisted living facility.

“We didn’t know Scott, but Mom’s battle became Scott’s battle.” Gaska says in the ad. Gaska, along with another constituent, brought the issue to Stone’s attention several months ago. Gaska’s mother, Carol Ann passed away a few weeks ago. She was grateful that her mother was able to see that progress was being made on this important issue.

“When Mom passed, she passed knowing that Scott Stone was going to continue that fight,” she said in the ad.

Stone filed HB 1071, the Assisted Seniors Financial Protection Act earlier this year to help residents of assisted living facilities who were experiencing unfair price increases and unwarranted discharge. The legislation successfully put a spotlight on some facilities which were taking advantage of a loophole in the existing law. This prompted the assisted living industry to assess its own practices and publicly admit that not all facilities were following the “spirit of the law.”

“Our seniors are among the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Rep. Stone. “It is incredibly important to ensure they are protected. These protections must be not only health related, but also financial. As our senior population grows these issues will continue to grow in importance.”

The ad also highlights the need for a more constructive tone in our political debate.

“We have too much hyper-partisan rhetoric and political acrimony. We need to set politics aside and have cordial, constructive dialogue when discussing issues.” Stone said. “It is what the people of this state want. It is the only thing that will allow us to come together.”

 

Rep. Stone Demands Answers of DMV for Secret Drivers License Office


On August 28th, Rep. Scott Stone sent a letter to the DMV commissioner to get answers on why there is a secret driver’s license office set-up only for special people. This is while taxpayers are taking time off of work to stand in line for 5+ hours.

In this letter, I asked DMV Commissioner Jessup to provide an explanation as to why this secret driver’s license office is in operation. North Carolina taxpayers deserve to know who had access to it, why those individuals were selected, and how they were notified. The significant frustration already felt from all those waiting in long lines at their local DMV facilities will only be compounded as they learn of the secret, invitation-only office.

In the letter, Rep. Stone said, “While North Carolinians across the state are spending hours waiting for service at other facilities, it appears that special invitations were sent to senior state employees for speedy, 20-minute appointments. Having a separate set of rules and privileges for a special few state employees is an affront to the taxpayers who pay their salaries.”

Read full letter here

WBTV news broke the news about the secret office and reported on our letter to DMV. Watch here: https://www.wbtv.com/story/38981195/lawmaker-presses-for-answers-after-wbtv-investigation-into-secret-dmv-office

 

Rep. Stone Announces Agreement with Assisted Living Industry on Financial Protections

NC Rep. Scott Stone (R-Mecklenburg) announced today an agreement with the assisted living industry regarding financial protections for seniors residing in Adult Care Homes. Earlier this month, Stone filed HB 1071 Assisted Seniors Financial Protection Act, to address escalating resident charges and unwanted discharges from facilities.

Assisted Living presser Photo

The NC Assisted Living Association and other industry trade groups have agreed that not all facilities are following the “spirit of the law” regarding the amount charged to residents. Industry leaders have committed to work with legislators and the Department of Health and Human Services during the next few months to address issues identified in HB 1071. In exchange for this commitment from the industry, Stone and the other bill sponsors have agreed to keep the legislation from moving forward in the remaining days of the General Assembly’s Short Session.

“Our seniors are among the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Rep. Stone. “It is incredibly important to ensure they are protected. These protections must be not only health related, but also financial. As our senior population grows these issues will continue to grow in importance.”

Rep. Stone has been fighting on behalf of seniors and their families to ensure that they are protected financially from run-away costs at assisted living facilities. While Mecklenburg DSS and the Ombudsmen, who advocate for seniors, do the best they can when residents file complaints about these issues, there are limits to their authority. The current rules adopted by the Medical Care Commission are being interpreted differently by different facilities. The fact that the industry has agreed to work with its member facilities to ensure the spirit of the law is followed is a victory for our seniors.

“Today we take a great step forward in ensuring our seniors are protected financially. This is the first step in what will likely be a long, ongoing process.”

This issue has received significant press attention during the past few weeks, including this Charlotte Observer article – READ HERE.

“Seniors can rest assured that we are looking out for them and will ensure they are protected.”

Assisted Living presser Photo 2

Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Introduced in NC House

North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast, and one of only 18 in US which does not require voters to show any form of identification. This could change if a new constitutional amendment is passed.

HB 1092 was introduced which would put the measure on the ballot this fall for consideration of North Carolina citizens. Rep. Stone is proud to be a co-sponsor of the bill.

Scott Stone co-sponsors Voter ID amendment

Scott Stone co-sponsors Voter ID amendment

Every state and national poll shows strong bi-partisan support for a voter ID requirement to ensure that there is no voter fraud. North Carolinians are already required to show IDs for many routine activities, such as renting a car, flying, filling a medical prescription, and banking.

“Having an ID is a basic civil right,” said Rep. Scott Stone. “We need to ensure that every citizen has a proper form of identification. Without access to a proper ID people would be unable to take advantage of many of the benefits this state has to offer. If opponents of this constitutional amendment can find people whom might be adversely impacted by this requirement, they should help those people get a proper ID. That would help those individuals the most.”