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.
Our District has been poorly represented and underserved by the State Legislature. If elected I will work for you - not the party bosses in Raleigh.
Healthcare is too expensive in our state. In fact, NC is one of the most expensive states in the country for healthcare. People with private insurance plans face rising premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. While many others have no insurance at all. Our people work too hard to not have affordable healthcare. I support Medicaid expansion to cover hundreds of thousands of hardworking North Carolinians. Expansion will lower overall healthcare costs for everyone. This investment will create thousands of good paying jobs and will strengthen our economy. No single legislative action would be more transformational than expanding Medicaid. Furthermore, it's simply the right thing to do.
Public education is the fundamental building block of our economy and society. Every student in North Carolina deserves access to a quality public education and we owe every child a fair chance to succeed in life. Our public school system is the cornerstone of that promise.
In rural North Carolina many public schools are in desperate need of investment in maintenance and capital improvements. Teachers and students are also being shortchanged on school supplies and textbooks. I support Gov. Cooper's proposal for a statewide school bond to fund long overdue investment in our public schools - especially in rural counties that don't have the tax base or resources to modernize their schools.
Over the last 10 years our state has witnessed a shrinking commitment to public education by state legislators who have re-directed public money to fund private schools and enacted reckless tax cuts at the expense of working people. I will work to restore education funding and invest in our schools and teachers by fighting for a state budget that fully supports our public school system.
I will also work to eliminate private school vouchers and cap the growth in for-profit charter schools that operate without the same accountability as traditional public schools.
Teacher morale is at an all-time low and I will treat them as the professionals they are and work to raise their compensation to the national average. This will help to attract and retain the best teachers for our public schools.
One of the most egregious failures of the Republican led General Assembly over the last 10 years has been their misguided tax policies. They have implemented reckless tax legislation that has showered the wealthy and large corporations with massive tax cuts while raising taxes on working people and gutting public services. These policies have resulted in increased sales taxes and fees for working families. While these working families may be paying lower income taxes, they are actually paying more in overall taxes because of hidden fees and higher sales taxes.
If elected I will work to reinstate the earned-income tax credit that will allow the working poor to keep and spend more of their hard earned paycheck. I will also work to restore the progressive income tax policy that our state prospered under prior to the GOP takeover which will benefit working families.
If elected I will work to adopt tax incentives for companies who invest in rural communities desperately needing jobs and economic growth. Urban areas are already exploding with growth and do not need incentives because they are attractive for companies to relocate there since they have the desired infrastructure, amenities and trained workforce.
Health care access and cost is in fact the top issue for most voters and that's why Medicaid expansion is my number one legislative priority. Billions in Federal dollars for Medicaid expansion have been available to North Carolina for years but the heartless Republican-led General Assembly has failed to enact expansion for purely ideological reasons. In fact, GOP legislative leaders can't even articulate a rational argument on why they are against Medicaid expansion. The truth is that no rational argument exists. That's why you never hear one.
If the NC General Assembly would do the right thing and pass Medicaid expansion, it is estimated that up to 600,000 hard working North Carolinians would gain health care coverage. To date, 37 states and counting have expanded Medicaid. This includes many states with Republican legislatures and governors. It's hard to understand why our state's legislative leaders continue to cling to this flawed policy choice that is contrary to what a super-majority of states have implemented and what most people in North Carolina support. Not only that but hundreds of thousands of hard working North Carolinians who would qualify through this program have been denied preventive health care and insurance coverage. Medicaid expansion would ultimately lower health care costs for everyone in North Carolina and the data from other states proves it.
And lastly, Medicaid expansion would create good paying jobs and boost the economy of our area.
Pamlico, Hyde, Dare and Currituck Counties are home to some of the most unique and treasured coastal environments found on Earth. Our economic engines - farming, fishing, forestry and tourism - can only thrive through a renewed and aggressive commitment to safeguarding our water and land resources. The GOP-led General Assembly has simply not been up to the task and has implemented an assortment of legislation that undermines the protection of our cherished natural resources and threatens the health and safety of our people.
How have they done this? For almost 10 years now we have witnessed vital protections of our land, water and air stripped away by lawmakers. The General Assembly has protected corporate polluters from civil penalties and environmental crimes. Furthermore, the Department of Environmental Quality has been defunded and this has crippled its ability to perform critical regulatory oversight of our natural resources. If elected I will work to restore vital environmental protection policies and regulations.
I strongly believe that we can grow the economy and create jobs while protecting our natural resources. We can adopt common-sense regulations that protect our air and water quality - and that's not anti-business - in fact it's pro-business.
Additionally, I pledge to protect our coastal environment and preserve our unique way of life by working for a permanent ban on offshore energy exploration or drilling off our coast.
Serving as your state representative for the last two years has been the most rewarding endeavor I have ever taken on! Having a positive impact and he
Health care Has got to be our number one priority given our current situation.
Has got to be our number one priority given our current situation.
We must continue to provide for teacher raisers and find our education system.
We must continue providing relief for so many that have been affected by COVID-19. We need to address the Unfair and inflated prices the pharmaceutical industry is placing on us.
I believe the state agencies should listen to local agencies and environmental groups that contribute so much information. More collaboration between all of the entities will result in better policies. I have been and will continue to be involved and in tune with the Audubon Society and the Coastal Federation. I believe protesting our coast in our inland waters is paramount to our future success.