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NC State Senate District 35

The North Carolina State Senate is the upper body of the North Carolina Legislature and consists of 50 members who serve a term of two years. Each member represents an average of 190,710 residents, as of the 2010 Census. The Senate elects officers from their membership including the President Pro Tempore.The North Carolina General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to convene a new regular session every two years. 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.

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  • Todd Johnson

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    Jose Santiago

Biographical Information

1. What do you see as your most important priority if you are elected? [Youtube video for this question or text or both].

2. Education policy and funding issues have been in the news lately. What are your views and priorities on how this should be addressed in the coming year?

3. Tax policy can be used to address many issues –giving subsidies to companies coming to NC, balancing the needs of urban and rural areas, providing family support such as the earned-income tax credit, etc. What are your views about the tax policies in NC?

4. Many communities in North Carolina are experiencing significant violence. Do you think that changes to the laws in our state would improve safety in our communities?

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Age (optional) 57
Mailing Address PO Box 1313
MONROE, NC 28111
Contact Phone (980) 253-1757
email address
Twitter @SantiagoForNC
Position/philosophy statement I will stand up for equality and compassion and fight for Medicaid expansion, quality education, common-sense gun laws, and protecting the environment
North Carolina currently has a very regressive and unfair income tax system, which results in middle-class and low-income North Carolinians having to pay a larger share of their incomes in state and local taxes than the wealthiest North Carolinians pay. The problem began in 2013 when the Republican legislative majority changed North Carolina’s tax system to give large income tax cuts to benefit wealthy individuals and large corporations while doing nothing to help poor and middle-income families and individuals. As a result of those tax changes, NC now has $3.5 billion less in annual revenue that it would have had under the old tax code. That is revenue that would have been available to invest in education and infrastructure but is no longer available. Those tax system changes also eliminated a tax credit that helped more than 1 million NC families make ends meet. Instead, I favor restoring the earned-income tax credit and reforming our taxation system to cut the taxes of middle-class and low-income North Carolinians. I believe those cuts should be funded by having wealthy individuals and large corporations pay their fair share.
We must treat violence as a public health concern. We need to reach the families in our communities and make sure that everyone feels important and cared for. The solution must begin with an excellent early childhood education program and adequate funding for our public schools that includes support for services such as counseling and school psychologists. We must also ensure that all our high-school graduates can afford to attend our state public colleges and that all our workers earn a living wage. High-violence areas need to be addressed just any other epidemic by identifying and focusing on hot spots. We must then treat them with preventative measures that strengthen the bonds between members of the community. By focusing on the drivers of violence, providing adequate education and skills to our youth, and providing easy access to community services, we can reduce crime and violence in the long run. Finally, there is a strong relationship between the easy availability of firearms and gun violence. That is why I favor requiring background checks for all gun sales, allowing Extreme Risk Protection Orders / Red Flag Laws that enable courts to take guns away from those at a high risk of committing violence, and removing the firearms from domestic abusers.