Last week, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina’s 5th District met with representatives from Surry-Yadkin EMC, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) at her district office in Clemmons.
The group discussed legislative topics important to the co-op, its employees and its members, including the pension plan bill currently being considered by Congress and access to healthcare in rural areas. Congresswoman Foxx is the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which deals with issues like the pension plan bill.
“On the current pension bill and countless other issues, our relationship with members of Congress like Rep. Foxx is critical to maintaining employee benefits and providing affordable, reliable, and safe energy to each of our members,” said Surry-Yadkin EMC Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Puckett. “We thank her for meeting with us and supporting electric cooperatives.”
The pension bill, H.R. 3596 – Rightsizing Pension Premiums Act of 2017, would lower the pension insurance premiums cooperatives pay by 80 percent. Last week, U.S. Rep. David Rouzer signed on as the first co-sponsor of the bill from the North Carolina Congressional delegation, and this week, U.S. Rep Walter Jones joined as a co-sponsor.
“We thank Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. David Rouzer, and Rep. Walter Jones for their support, and we look forward to highlighting other members of Congress who follow their lead,” said Jay Rouse, Director of Government Affairs for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “If H.R. 3596 passes, it gives cooperatives more flexibility to attract and retain a skilled workforce by reducing the overall cost of the pension plan.”