Friday, March 8, 2013

NC House Update

We are now several weeks into the 2013 legislative session. Although we have been faced with some tough decisions, I feel as though we are on the right track. Here are some updates...
Unemployment Insurance

We passed HB 4, which will allow North Carolina to retire a debt of $2.5 billion to the federal government. This bill brought unemployment benefits in-line with surrounding states, and adjusted contributions to the system. Although this was not a pleasant bill to support, it was the best possible approach to address this problem.

Medicaid Expansion

We need to focus on improving our current Medicaid system before expanding bureaucracy and incurring additional costs. Expanding Medicaid was simply not a prudent idea given the fiscal uncertainty that would be associated with the expansion. Ultimately, we passed SB 4, which blocked both the expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of a state healthcare exchange.  

Vocational Education

We passed SB 14, which will increase opportunities for high school students to enroll in career and technical education programs, particularly in areas with employment needs. This legislation also establishes high school diplomas that indicate whether a student is "college ready," "career ready" or both. This was the first bill that Governor McCrory officially signed into law.

Annexation Amendment

HB 79, which I have introduced as a primary sponsor, would set forth a constitutional amendment to protect private property from forced annexation. If this bill makes it through the General Assembly, it will be submitted to the voters for approval as a constitutional amendment.
Estate Tax
We recently advanced a bill in the House Finance Committee that will abolish the estate tax in North Carolina. I am firmly opposed to the estate tax, and I believe it should be eliminated as part of our tax code. I expect this bill to move forward successfully in the current legislative session.

Notable Bills

Here are some notable bills that I have sponsored:

HB 8 Eminent Domain
HB 9 Speaker/Pro TEM Term Limits
HB 17 Gun Permits / Restaurants & Confidentiality
HB 65 Restore Partisan Judicial Elections
HB 67 Permanent License Plates for Charter Schools
HB 118 Consular Documents Not Acceptable as ID
Quote to Remember
"Courage is what it take to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
- Winston Churchill
It is an honor to serve in the NC House. Each day, I dedicated myself to making informed decisions as to what is best for my constituents. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and feel free to contact me any time.