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NC House of Representatives District 40

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.

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    Gerard Falzon

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    Joe John

Biographical Information

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

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?

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?

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?

Contact Phone (919) 454-5257
Twitter @falzongerard
Position/philosophy statement Pro-Worker, Pro-Family, Pro-Life
My most important priority is to restore the virtue of honor in our governance of the people of NC.  I propose that we define "Honor" as treating others as God wants them to be treated.  I feel that our present government looks down on the working-class person / family.  Our present government, particularly the executive and judicial branches, are not committed to: 1. a person's God-given right to defend their person, their family, and their property in ALL public space in NC.   2. parents' God-given rights and responsibilities to choose the educational option that they deem best for their children' K-12 schooling.  
I fully support the NC Opportunity Scholarship program as a way to achieve freedom of choice, higher quality results, and return-on-taxpayer investment.  I believe that we should promote this obviously popular program rather than end it. 
I support a repeal of the income tax model in favor of a sales tax model for NC.  States that utilize such models (TX, FL, TN, for example) are rapidly growing and highly attractive economies.  This tax-collection model allows them to deal with economic downturns and spikes with nimbleness as opposed to the molasses-grade speed that is achieved by an income tax model.  
Yes.  I am most concerned about § 14-277.2 which prevents a lawful average citizen from bearing a weapon in a public space during certain events while specifically exempting certain others (government officials' security details) from disarming and exposing themselves to danger.  I absolutely want to amend this law so that there is one standard for everyone in NC with respect to the right to life and property.  
Age (optional) 80
Contact Phone (919) 602-4215
Twitter @JoeJohnNC40
Position/philosophy statement I seek to apply my experience at the highest levels of all three branches of government and provide common sense leadership at the General Assembly.
Several: 1) Fair districts representing the will of North Carolina voters--a truly independent, impartial, non-partisan legislative redistricting commission for Congressional and state legislative districts is crucial to ensure that voters select their representatives rather than politicians selecting their voters. 2) A strong educational system, from the beginning years to the community college and university levels, is absolutely essential to allow our children to develop their natural abilities to the fullest and to promote and support a robust economic and business climate in North Carolina. 3) A non-partisan, independent judiciary--as a former NC prosecutor, litigation attorney, and trial and appellate court judge, I know from personal experience how important it is for every person to have a fair and equal opportunity for justice. Our judicial system must stand as an independent branch of government able to exert its constitutional checks and balances on the executive and legislative branches. 4) Medicaid Expansion--under expansion, health care would be provided to hundreds of thousands of NC citizens currently without coverage. With no benefit to our State, NC taxpayers now pay, through their federal tax dollars, for expansion in 36 states and DC which have decided to close the coverage gap. Expansion would also create thousands of jobs and provide billions of dollars to NC hospitals, many of which, especially in rural areas, are struggling to survive.
Meaningful access to public education and in particular to critical pre-K programs depends on adequate funding, provided in significant part by the General Assembly. While every NC child is entitled to a uniform, free public education, that State constitutional guarantee is not meaningful if only minimally complied with. The Leandro litigation highlights this issue. An independent, detailed report filed in that case by a court-ordered independent expert sets out a road map for improving public education. Specific steps identified in the report include the following: A Qualified and Well-Prepared Teacher in Every Classroom, A Qualified and Well-Prepared Principal in Every School, Early Childhood Education, Additional state resources dedicated to improving performance at high poverty schools, State Assessment Systems and School Accountability, Regional and State Supports for School Improvement, and Monitoring the State’s Compliance. In addition, I support raising the pay of North Carolina teaching professionals to the national average within a reasonable, stable salary progression program over time so as to attract and retain capable, dedicated teachers and administrators. The 2021-22 legislative session will feature difficult budgetary choices as a result of significantly reduced State income. Nonetheless, we must at least begin to address these long-standing issues in our public education system.
Generally, I am not a proponent of raising taxes. As a parent who has watched a son build a successful small business from scratch, I believe we must take a hard look at the tax burden on start-up companies and small businesses. Regarding the earned income tax credit, North Carolina appears to be the only state to have repealed its state EITC. An EITC can provide a bottom-up tax cut benefitting low-moderate wage workers because it would operate as a refundable lump sum received from DOR (either as a refund or tax bill credit), not a deduction, thereby reducing overall tax liability. As a legislator, I have supported reinstating the EITC in North Carolina. The issue of government incentives, including tax incentives and cash award incentives, to private businesses is extremely complex and multifaceted. Ideally, the business climate in North Carolina would be so attractive that the consideration of incentives would not be required. Yet, unsuccessful competition with other states which proffer incentives without restraint may put our state's economic growth at risk. Drawing upon my years of experience in issue resolution as a judge, mediator and arbitrator, I want to work with all concerned to develop a sound, consistent and hard-nosed approach to incentives. Common sense suggests that incentives preferably should reward construction, employment and above-average wage goals upon their being accomplished rather than being awarded up front based upon hopes and expectations
The violence experienced in some North Carolina communities is a complicated issue that requires progress on several fronts. First, safety in our communities could be improved by addressing the tragedy of random gun violence with common sense legislation. As a legislator in 2019, I cosponsored HB 454 to establish a "red flag" process setting up an early warning judicial procedure for preventive action by those who are heard after every shooting disaster saying they knew the shooter was a threat. Unfortunately, this bill remains buried in committee. Other common sense measures such as locked storage to prevent unauthorized access or use of firearms, especially by minors or unstable individuals, and universal background checks likewise have merit. However, the root causes of violence run deeper, often stemming from situations in which an individual deems himself or herself marginalized. So, to reduce violence, we must also ensure that all NC children receive a quality education, which in turn will open economic opportunities. Likewise, systemic racism and LGBTQ+ discrimination must be addressed. To these ends, I have sponsored or cosponsored several pieces of legislation, including HB 1129 (Ensure a Sound Basic Education), HB 1130 (Invest in a Sound Basic Education) 1130, HB 874 (Second Chance Act), and HB 515 (Full Repeal of HB 2). However, like HB 454, these bills also remain stuck in committee.