The North Carolina House of Representatives is the lower house of the North Carolina General Assembly. The House of Representatives consists of 120 members who serve a term of two years. Each member represents an average of 79,462 residents, as of the 2010 Census. The presiding officer of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, who holds powers similar to those of the Senate President pro-tem. The Speaker is elected by the members from their membership for a two-year term. The Speaker’s duties include maintaining order in the House and appointing members to the House standing committees.The North Carolina General Assembly, of which the House is a part, is to convene a new regular session every two years, and the dates for these sessions are set by law. The NC legislature makes decisions on the budget: taxes, tax credits, economic development, education funding, Pre-K, the courts, Medicaid, etc. It also passes laws that set environmental standards such as water and air quality, tax rates, tax credits, criminal justice. Legislators in both chambers serve two-year terms without term limits. Sessions begin at noon on the third Wednesday after the second Monday in January.
Conservative, Christian, pro-enterprise, pro-life, pro 2A, pro-educational choice, pragmatic environmentalist, advocate for the Public Trust Doctrine
In a word, JOBS. Jobs resulting from sustainable economic expansion and rational regulations. Jobs resulting from an effective educational system and a strong Community College System that prepares people of all ages for emerging job opportunities. Included in the recent COVID relief bill (HB1105) is a $14.3 Million appropriation for Catawba and Gaston County to establish the research, development and production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in North Carolina. I will continue to shepherd this project along and see it to completion. This project will provide a unique opportunity for new educational pathways and job/career opportunities for the citizens of our area.
Healthcare services, affordability and sustainability are important to all North Carolinians. Revenue is necessary to support medical care at all levels; personal or government based. Economic activity and job creation are essential to health care solutions. As much as possible, health care should be market driven to be reliable and sustainable. One of the interesting and promising items that has come out of the pandemic is tele-health. This development of remote healthcare has my attention and my family has personally experienced tele-health in a positive and safe way. I will work with my colleagues to facilitate the evolution of this new practice for all families.
Incentives (subsidies) are, unfortunately, an inescapable part of economic recruitment in the United States. The tier system in North Carolina has failed to provide the desired results. Creating an equitable means of "leveling the economic playing field" across the diverse land and population characteristics of our state is challenging. The rural/urban differential in North Carolina is part of our state’s charm. Some places are suitable for industrial development others are suitable for agriculture, some areas depend on tourism. The largest urban areas get most of the economic development as well as most of the funding to solve problems associated with large urban areas. The pandemic is going to create a paradigm change in virtually all aspects of economic activity in North Carolina. It will also have a huge and lasting impact on education, business and leisure activities. Tax policies will have to be reconsidered to accommodate these changing patterns. I will support tax policy that will create jobs and promote economic opportunity at all levels.
Regarding the earned income tax credit; I support tax policy that incentivize enterprise and job creation.
The Legislature will redraw maps in 2021 according to statutory requirements. I believe we will continue to utilize the bi-partisan, transparent process we developed in 2019. This process provided a unique opportunity for all citizens to view the maps as they were being drawn through live broadcasts and a live audio stream that operated around the clock. This unique and transparent process drew praise from virtually all that observed.
I want to improve the quality of life for everyone in HD96: access to affordable healthcare, strong public schools, & fulfilling well paying jobs.
The legislation that will have the biggest impact on the state will be expanding Medicaid. Accepting the Medicaid expansion would cover over 600,000 North Carolinians who currently don't have health care, would keep good-paying health care jobs in our communities, and help keep rural hospitals open. It is estimated accepting the Medicaid expansion would boost our economy here in North Carolina by $400 billion. We have been paying North Carolina tax dollars into this federal program for eight years, and our tax money has gone to other states that are participating in the Medicaid expansion. There is no good reason NCGA has not voted to implement this in our state, and when I am elected, this will be a top priority.
We need to immediately accept the Medicaid expansion. We have been contributing to this with our taxes and other states have been benefiting from the program. This would immediately enroll over 600,000 low-income North Carolinians into the healthcare system. Medicaid expansion would make a real difference in rural communities. Most rural counties are in danger of losing their hospitals, if they haven't already, and many of those hospitals are decreasing the services they offer. By ensuring that more patient's care is reimbursed, hospitals will have a way to generate the income needed to make operating in a small community economically viable. There are other ways of making healthcare more affordable and accessible, particularly in rural areas. Currently, there are restrictions on the kinds of work highly-skilled healthcare workers are able to perform without oversight. By developing a different system of accountability without losing any quality of care, we will expand healthcare in areas that cannot support the necessary number of MDs. If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it is that healthcare is an issue for the public commons. We cannot ignore the well-being of people who are low-income or lack resources, and government has a role in using evidence-based strategies to support health and wellness including providing equipment and issuing directives that protect public health. I will work to ensure everyone has access to quality healthcare.
Since the Republican takeover of the General Assembly in 2011, North Carolina tax policy has become more punitive and regressive than most states. We are the only state to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit which helps working families, and I will work to restore that tax credit. NC also has the lowest corporate tax rate in the country which decreases the ability of our state to generate the necessary income it takes to operate. To offset this deficit, the GOP-led GA imposed taxes on services which had not previously been subject to them, including hair stylists and car mechanics. They eliminated the "back-to-school" tax holiday weekend that helped parents and students, and contributions to 519 college savings plans lost tax-deductible statues. They increased fines and fees that place an unnecessary burden on low-income people. I will work to create a bi-partisan budget that will be signed by the governor to restore the balance of funding between the haves and have-nots. Our state government and municipalities offer tax incentives to companies to encourage them to relocate here. I believe that this is an excellent way to develop the economy. However, I believe that we can ask for more in return. I think it is important to have wage guarantees in addition to job guarantees when creating these agreements. I believe we should seek quality employment over quantity. We want the jobs we are attracting to provide benefits, competitive wages, and skills training.
The GOP won a majority in the NC General Assembly in 2010, the year the US is constitutionally required to take a census and use the data to determine legislative and judicial districts, and they were determined to expand and solidify their majority. According to the now-public Hofstetter files that reveal the insidious ways that Republicans manipulated district lives to suppress the vote of African-Americans to ensure their party's hold of the legislature, it is clear that the GA is not the place for these district lines to be drawn. Even after the Common Cause ruling that mandated new maps for the 2020 election, the General Assembly was still attempting to tip scales to their benefit. I will work for legislation to remove the NCGA from the redistricting process by creating a nonpartisan committee of experts that will use software that decreases the propensity of human manipulation. There are several scholars and computer analysts who have developed exactly the type of computer modeling programs needed to prevent gerrymandering and manipulated districts.