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NC House of Representatives District 16

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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    Debbi Fintak

  • Carson Smith

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?

Age (optional) 70
Contact Phone (910) 545-4594
Position/philosophy statement To be effective one must know your constituency, listen, create solutions, and passionately work to make change to improve the needs of the people.
Tax cuts that have been made in NC since 2013 have put at risk investments being made in education, family healthcare and economic vitality. Revenue from taxes have decreased since that time. These cuts do not grow the economy for everybody. NC has gone from the highest corporate tax, 6.9%, to the lowest, 2.5%, in the region. We must consider a gradual rise in the corporate tax instead of further cuts. 1.5 million people in NC currently live in poverty and the number will grow once unemployment runs out. Income wealth equity continues to widen. 42% of NC households do not have 3 months of saved money to survive this covid crisis. 1 out of 5 children do not have healthcare and 800,000 students are on a reduced lunch program. A raise in the minimum wage, 7.25%, must also be considered. I do believe in tax incentives to encourage new businesses to move to NC. I especially support film incentives to bring back the film industry to my district and Wilmington.
Unfortunately, we are in very tense times . Covid hasn't helped in creating more frustration and stress resulting in violence on the streets and home. Economic disparity, is a major cause of this frustration. Additional laws and "law and order " tactics is not the solution. Recent protests with moments of violence should be a reason of concern. The way the problem is handled says so much about our country and counties. When handled with troops, tear gas, and fear tactics the situation often is escalated. In my district $87,000 worth of riot gear was requested in a budget for a county that has no history of riots. Those expenditures need to be used to solve the violence problem. It is my belief that alternative ways to solve problems can be employed where police do not always need to be involved. Additional counselors, social workers and clinicians need to be deployed in the community and schools to deal with the frustration and stress our times. More funding for expanding the opioid recovery programs. I am pleased to note that in Pender a community group discussing these matters has convened for the purpose of sharing concerns. The Police do make an effort to try to get to know their community. More diversity in the police force, I believe would help matters as well. Perhaps school programs and career education in the schools might bring a more community hired force in if police are seen in a more positive light.
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