Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays Update

Please accept my best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year. I hope you have plans to spend time with family and friends as we observe the holidays. Be safe if you travel and enjoy the season.

In the words of Charles Dickens, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

Swearing-in Ceremony

There will be a swearing-in ceremony for members of the Guilford County Legislative Delegation on January 7th, which I will be participating in. It will be held at 6:00 PM at Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro. Please feel free to join us for the occasion; the event is open to the public.

2015 Legislative Schedule

The NC General Assembly will convene for "Opening Day" on January 14th. This is the day in which we will officially elect our legislative leadership; adopt the rules of the legislature; and all members of the NC General Assembly will be sworn-in to office. We will then recess and reconvene to begin work on January 28th.

Looking Ahead

Our goals in the 2015 Legislative Session will be to continuing improving our economic climate; strengthen public education; increase government efficiency; and ensure that tax dollars are spent responsibly. We will work to accomplish these goals in a bipartisan fashion. Securing a brighter future for North Carolina is not a partisan issue; it is a matter of doing what is in the best interest of our citizens.

My Door Is Open

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns about public policy. I greatly value any input that you may have to offer on issues related to our state government.

Quote to Remember

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."

- President Calvin Coolidge

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Holiday Update

As we pause to observe the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to take a moment to provide a legislative update.

NC House Leadership

The NC House Republican Caucus recently met to select our leadership for the 2015-16 legislative session. Here is the new leadership team that we selected:

Speaker of the House: Tim Moore
Speaker Pro Tem: Skip Stam
Majority Leader: Mike Hager
Majority Whip: John Bell
Conference Leader: Charles Jeter
Deputy Majority Leader: Marilyn Avila
Joint Caucus Leader: Pat Hurley

These nominations will be made official when the NC House convenes on January 14th for the Opening Day of the 2015-16 legislative session.

Republicans Retain Majority

Republicans were able to defend the legislative majority in both the NC House and Senate in the 2014 elections cycle. In the NC House, Republicans had a net loss of three seats, resulting in a 74-46 majority. In the NC Senate, Republicans gained one seat, resulting in a 34-16 majority.

Lottery Oversight Committee

Earlier this month I was appointed by NC House Speaker Thom Tillis to serve as an advisory member of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on the NC Lottery. I am honored to receive this appointment. My goal on this committee will be to ensure that the advertising practices of the lottery are non-deceptive, and that the generated revenue is allocated exclusively to public education.

Economy Shows Improvement

The latest jobs report shows that North Carolina's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent in October, which is down from 6.7 percent in September. Approximately 17,000 new jobs were added in that time period. There is still work to do, but the data suggests that we are moving in the right direction in terms of job creation.

Honored to Serve

Recently I received a certificate from the Guilford County Board of Elections certifying my reelection to the NC House. It is an honor to serve as the Representative for NC House District 59. I am grateful for every person who supported my campaign, and I appreciate each vote that was cast in favor of my reelection. I will continue to do this job to the best of my ability.

Legislative Schedule

The NC General Assembly will convene for Opening Day on January 14th, 2015, which is when we will officially elect our leadership and adopt the rules of the legislature. This is also the day in which each member of the legislature will take the oath of office. We will then recess and reconvene on January 28th, when we will begin work for the 2015-16 legislative session.

Immigration Reform

President Obama overstepped his bounds when he issued an executive order to reform our immigration system. Domestic policy of this nature should not be dictated by the executive branch; it should originate in the U.S. Congress. The newly-elected Republican majority in the U.S. House and Senate (which will be seated in January 2015) should be given a chance to take office and offer an immigration reform plan.

This is not a partisan issue; it is a matter of enforcing our laws and establishing an immigration system that is fair and efficient.

Christmas Parades

There are two Christmas Parades that I will be participating in this year:

Pleasant Garden Christmas Parade
Sunday, December 7th
3:00 PM

Gibsonville Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 13th
2:00 PM

As always, I am looking forward to participating in these parades. I will be driving my red Ford Mustang, which will be decorated for the occasion.

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you will join me in giving thanks for the blessing of freedom that we enjoy in America. Be safe if you travel and have a great holiday!

Quote to Remember

"All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives. We are grateful for our freedom, grateful for our families and friends, and grateful for the many gifts of America."

President George W. Bush
2004 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rhino Times Endorsement

It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Rhino Times. Below is the editorial written by John Hammer endorsing our reelection campaign. It was published on Thursday, October 30th.

NC House - District 59

Republican District 59 state Rep. Jon Hardister is being challenged by Democrat Scott Jones and Libertarian Paul Meinhart.

Hardister lost his first race for the state House in 2010 to Pricey Harrison. In 2012, he won election for his first term and had a successful first session. He introduced an unusual number of bills for a first term representative and successfully shepherded them through the process to become laws. He received a 100 percent rating by the American Conservative Union and 82 percent from Civitas Action, and a 0 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union, which should give you a good idea of his politics.

Hardister is a popular fellow in Raleigh. At a recent fundraiser for his campaign, Gov. Pat McCrory was the main speaker, and five fellow state representatives attended from across the state to show their support.

Jones likes to run for office. He ran for governor in 2012 and sheriff of Guilford County in 2010, and this time he is running for the state House. If elected, Jones says that he will take money from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and use it to create jobs in agriculture, which is just weird.

Meinhart, as a Libertarian, has very little chance of winning, and he has some odd beliefs for someone who is supposed to be in favor of less government. He favors increasing the minimum wage and increasing Medicaid coverage.

Hardister is the best choice in this race. He has worked with the Republicans to bring about much needed reform in state government including raising education funding and raising teacher salaries. He’s also on his way to being a leader in the Republican caucus. Hardister, at 32, is one of the younger, but not the youngest member of the state House. He represents the future of the Republican Party in North Carolina, and as a native of Greensboro that’s good for our area.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guilford County Sales Tax Referendum

The following is an op-ed that was published in the Greensboro News & Record on Sunday, October 2014 concerning the quarter cent sales tax referendum that will be on the ballot in Guilford County. I was given the opportunity to write this op-ed to explain why I believe that raising taxes is not in the best long-term interest of our community.

VOTE NO: We need to spend wiser and grow the economy

There has been much debate lately on whether Guilford County voters should approve a referendum to increase our local sales tax by a quarter-cent. It is implied that additional revenue generated by this tax increase would be directed to our local school system.

Not many of us would argue against the virtue of having more revenue to spend on public education. Where there is disagreement, however, is on how to best generate additional tax revenue. There is also disagreement on whether the government is spending tax dollars as efficiently as possible.

It is easy to advocate for higher taxes, but taking such action could have negative long-term consequences. This is because high taxes slow economic growth, reduce job creation and shrink the tax base. Therefore, we should focus on growing the economy and putting more people back to work. We should increase revenue by having more people gainfully employed.

Our property tax rate in Guilford County is among the highest in North Carolina. If we raise our sales tax, we would tie 26 other counties for the highest sales tax in the state. If we were to further increase our tax burden, we would make our county less economically competitive.

Another concern with increasing our sales tax is that any additional revenue would not be lawfully dedicated to our school system. Additional tax revenue would go to the county’s general fund, and the commissioners would be responsible for determining how to spend it. While I have little doubt that the current board of commissioners would direct additional funds to public schools, there is nothing that would bind future boards to do so.

It is important to make clear that the education budget has not been cut in recent years, as some claim. At the state level, education spending has increased by nearly $1 billion since 2011. The education budget in Guilford County has increased by more than $30 million during that same time. This is not to argue that we don’t need more funding, but it disproves the claim that education funding has decreased.

Earlier this year, the state legislature created the “Education Endowment Fund,” which allows individuals and businesses to make voluntary contributions to supplement teacher pay. This is a concept that we could explore in Guilford County. It would be a creative way to help provide additional revenue to support our school system.

Moving forward, we should refrain from increasing our tax burden and focus on making our region more economically competitive. Doing this would result in more stable budget revenue for years to come. We should also work to ensure that existing tax dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible.

It is important that we provide children with the strongest, most innovative education system possible. If we focus on growing the economy, we will be able to better support the necessary funding for our school system. As a legislator, I will continue to advocate for government efficiency, economic growth and funding our schools the best way possible.

Jon Hardister is a Republican state representative from Greensboro.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2014 State Budget Update

The NC General Assembly has passed a $21 billion dollar state budget for the current fiscal year. It was recently signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. I believe this is an overall good budget, and I felt comfortable voting for it.

Crafting a state budget is a tedious process that involves ample debate between the two legislative chambers. For that reason there is no such thing as a perfect budget that everyone will be completely satisfied with. Having said that, I do believe this is a responsible budget that will do a lot of good for our state.

Much of the debate on the budget was focused on teacher pay increases and funding for teacher assistants. We ultimately agreed on a plan that provides teachers with an average 7 percent pay increase, and retains funding for all teacher assistants. Longevity pay for teachers has been rolled into base pay, and we have restored teacher pay steps, which were frozen in 2009.

One of our top goals this year was to provide teachers with a meaningful pay increase. That goal has been accomplished, and it was done without raising taxes. In terms of percentages, this is the largest teacher pay increase in over nine years. In sheer dollar amounts, this is the largest teacher pay increase in our state's history.

Under this plan North Carolina has moved from 45th to 32nd in the national average of teacher pay. Within the Southeast region of the United States, we have moved from 9th to 4th in average teacher pay. This is a significant step in the right direction, and we will continue working to increase teacher compensation in future budget cycles.

Here are highlights of the state budget:
  • Increases pay for teachers an average of 7 percent.
  • Provides most other state employees an average $1,000 pay increase and five extra vacation days. 
  • Retains funding for teacher assistant positions in early grade levels.
  • Provides Highway Patrol officers with a 5-6 percent pay increase.
  • Establishes an education endowment fund that allows individuals and businesses to donate money to supplement teacher pay.
  • Allocates funding to help reduce class sizes in kindergarten and first grade.
  • Makes the SBI an independent agency with its director appointed by the governor.
  • Hires three investigators who will research possible voter fraud for the NC Board of Elections
  • Creates a “First in Freedom” license plate to honor early North Carolina leaders who advocated for American independence.
  • Allocates $186 million for Medicaid contingency. (Working to ensure the efficient operation of Medicaid will be an ongoing endeavor.)
  • Bans individuals and government agencies from using drones to conduct surveillance without permission. 
  • Allocates $3 million to repair the hull of the USS North Carolina Battleship in Wilmington.
  • Provides financial assistance for veterans to attend community college and UNC-system schools.
  • Provides $2 million in funding for University Square in Greensboro. This is a nursing school that is being facilitated as a joint effort between UNCG, A&T, GTCC, and Cone Health.
It was with careful thought and consideration that I chose to vote in favor of this budget. It is balanced in a responsible fashion; it funds the core services of government; and it provides a much-needed pay increase for teachers. And it does all of this without raises taxes on any of our hardworking citizens.

Teacher Pay Charts

Below are three charts that help to explain the teacher pay increases that have been established in our current state budget. 

Chart 1 - Teacher Salary Schedule

This chart shows the pay increase that teachers will receive, which is based on how many years they have been in the profession. There are boxes and arrows indicating how the pay step system will be implemented. All teachers will be receiving a pay increase, although those toward the beginning of their career (particularly those from year 0-12) will receive the highest percentage pay increase. Also, note that longevity pay for teachers has not been eliminated; it has been rolled into base pay, which is received monthly rather than in an annual lump sum.

Chart 2 - Teacher Salary Schedule Comparison

This chart compares past base pay for teachers, with and without longevity pay (green and red lines), with how much teachers will earn under the new pay scale (blue line). 

Chart 3 - Average Annual Salary of Teachers by State

Finally, this chart details where North Carolina stands in the national average of teacher pay, before and after the pay increases. Note that our state has moved from 46th to 32nd in the national average, and from 9th to 4th among states in the Southeast. This is a significant move in the right direction, and we will continue working to provide pay increases as revenue allows. 


Short Session Continues

Although we have finished the process of passing a state budget adjustment, the 2014 legislative session is still underway. There are a few bills that we may try to take up before adjournment. We will likely adjourn in the next week or two.

Quote to Remember

"There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty."
- Margaret Thatcher

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns related to any legislative topic.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Celebrating our Independence Day is an occasion in which all Americans can take pride. It is a time for us to celebrate the freedom that was secured by our forefathers, which was expressed in the Declaration of Independence. This holiday reminds us that freedom is what made our country great.

This year I will be participating in two 4th of July parades:

Greensboro Fun Fourth Parade -- Downtown Greensboro, starting at 9:30 AM

Historic Kirkwood Parade -- Independence Road in Greensboro, starting at 5:00 PM

As usual, I will be driving my red Ford Mustang, which will be decorated for the occasion.

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

More Updates Coming Soon

The 2014 legislative session, which began on May 14th, is still underway. There is no set date for session to end, but it appears likely that we will adjourn by the end of July. I will be releasing a legislative overview at the conclusion of this year's session. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me if there are any legislative issues you would like to discuss.

Hurricane Arthur

Please keep North Carolina's coastal residents in your thoughts as Hurricane Arthur makes its way to the shoreline. If you live at or are visiting the coast, please be safe and exercise caution. Let's also pray for the safety of the emergency response personnel who will be working to protect our citizens.

Quote to Remember

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."
- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NC House Update - May 2014

2014 Legislative Session

The North Carolina General Assembly will convene the 2014 legislative "Short Session" on May 14. This session will probably last only a few weeks. I am expecting that we will be out of session by mid-to-late June.

Priorities during the Short Session will likely include increasing teacher pay; addressing policies related to public education; working to improve the efficiency of our Medicaid system; finding a sensible solution for cleaning up coal ash ponds; and ensuring that the state budget is balanced in a responsible fashion.

Economy Shows Improvement

North Carolina’s economy is showing tangible signs of improvement. In January 2011 (when Republicans first took control of the state legislature) North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent. In March of this year our unemployment rate was down to 6.3 percent, and over 209,000 net new jobs have been added (since January 2011). In the last year alone North Carolina has added over 50,000 net new jobs.

Unemployment in North Carolina was well above the national average when Republicans first gained a majority in the state legislature. Now the unemployment rate is below the national average, and we are one of the leading states in job creation.

These signs of economic improvement are likely the result of conservative policies that are being advanced in our State Capital. Making North Carolina a better place to do business has been and will continue to be a top priority.

Teacher Compensation

It is my belief that teachers in North Carolina should receive higher compensation. Over the last few months I have visited several schools in Guilford County and witnessed how hard teachers work to educate our children. Unfortunately, the economic recovery and cost overruns related to Medicaid made it difficult to provide teachers with a pay increase in the 2013 legislative session.

Fortunately, it appears that our state legislature may now be in a position to allocate funding to increase pay for teachers. With the economy showing signs of improvement we are starting to experience more stable budget revenue. Therefore, it is my hope that we will be able to provide teachers with a meaningful pay increase when the legislature meets this year.

Common Core

The joint legislative study committee on Common Core recently suggested that we repeal Common Core from state statute and replace it with our own state standards. I believe this is an excellent course of action. It is my hope that this will be accomplished when the legislature meets this year.

Common Core is a set of national education standards related to English and math. Unfortunately, these standards were never tested, there was never a pilot program conducted, and North Carolina adopted the standards with very little debate and virtually no public input. It has turned out that many teachers and parents are unsatisfied with the standards and how they are being implemented in our school system.

North Carolina should have rigorous education standards, but the standards should be set at the state and local level. We do not need a national, top-down approach to how education policy should be implemented. When we craft our education standards at the state level, we should do so with direct input from parents, teachers, and students in our school system.

Medicaid Efficiency

In 2013 there was a roughly $500 million budget shortfall for Medicaid. This year the shortfall appears that it will be closer to $200 million. While any shortfall is not ideal, this is a significant step in the right direction.

Moving forward we must work diligently to make our Medicaid system more efficient and cost-effective. Governor Pat McCrory’s administration has released a plan to improve our Medicaid system, which I plan on reviewing and discussing with legislative colleagues.

Cleaning Up Coal Ash Ponds

The incident involving Duke Energy and the coal ash spill in the Dan River was a serious accident that placed the health of our citizens at risk. That is why policymakers in the legislative and executive branches have been working to find a practical way of preventing this problem from happening again.

In this year’s legislative session I am expecting that we will agree upon a plan to direct Duke Energy to ensure that such an accident doesn’t happen again. This will need to be done in a sensible fashion that protects the environment without placing undue regulations on the private sector. I look forward to reviewing plans related to this topic when the legislative session begins this year.

Balancing the State Budget

Ensuring that the state budget is balanced in a responsible fashion will be a major focus in this year’s legislative session. Raising taxes to balance the state budget will not be an option (as was often done in the past). Our focus will be on funding the core functions of government while spending your tax dollars wisely.

Reelection 2014

It has been an honor to serve as a Representative in the NC House, and it would be a privilege to continue serving. I do not have a primary opponent, but I am facing competition in the general election (which will be held on November 6). With your support, I am confident that we will secure a successful reelection campaign this year.

We will be planning campaign activities over the summer and into the fall. Stay tuned for updates on how to get involved in our reelection campaign. I would be honored to have your support.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to vote in the Primary Elections on May 6. In fact, early voting has already started. Be sure to cast a vote so your voice will be heard.

Quote to Remember

“Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time.”
- President Gerald R. Ford

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


April 15, 2014


Greensboro, NC - Rep. Jon Hardister (R- Guilford) released the following statement today concerning the closure of Forest Oaks Country Club:

It is with great sadness that I receive the news about the closure of Forest Oaks Country Club. I have many fond memories of attending the PGA golf tournament that took place at the club, and I am also a former member. Right now my thoughts are with the employees and the families who are being affected by the closure. It is my hope that this situation will be resolved and that operations of the club will be underway again soon.

Rep. Jon Hardister


Thursday, April 10, 2014

There Really Is No Free Money

This is an op-ed that I wrote about the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina. It was published in the Thursday, April 10 issue of the Rhino Times.

The Greensboro City Council recently voted in favor of a resolution asking the State of North Carolina to expand Medicaid. This expansion would be offered by the federal government as a part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It has been explained that the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expansion for the first three years, and then the State would assume 90 percent of the cost thereafter.

While I respect the views of the City Council, I disagree with their stance on this topic, and I maintain that the state legislature made the right decision by choosing not to expand Medicaid. Here are the reasons why I voted with our conservative majority in favor of not expanding Medicaid:

The costs are hard to predict. After three years the State would have to assume 90 percent of the cost, and it is hard to predict what the cost would be. And there is a good chance that it would cost more than what our budget forecasters predict.

The federal government would not cover the increased administrative cost of expanding Medicaid. Our taxpayers 
in North Carolina would incur these expenses. It would increase government bureaucracy, which would create long-term budget obligations.

It is unwise to rely on the federal government. While the federal government claims to pay 90 percent of the cost after three years, there is no guarantee that the feds will uphold their promise. If the feds renege on their promise, then North Carolina’s taxpayers would have to pay the bill.

The federal government is not financially stable. Our national government is spending enormous amounts of money and growing trillion dollar budget deficits. This type of spending is unsustainable and problematic. If North Carolina were to partake in the Medicaid expansion, then we would be contributing to the problem. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as “free money.”

It doesn’t make sense to expand a system that is in need of repair. Our focus should be on improving the quality of our current system. If we expand Medicaid, then we would be making it much more difficult to streamline the system for long-term sustainability.

Expansion would result in thousands of individuals dropping out of private health insurance plans, and then enrolling in Medicaid.
The proposed expansion of Medicaid is crafted in such a way that it would result in thousands of individuals leaving private health insurance in order to enroll in Medicaid. This would expand bureaucracy and shift additional costs to our taxpayers.

It is important that we take a cautious, methodical approach when making decisions that will have a long-term fiscal impact on our State. We also need to be skeptical about any action that will result in the expansion of government bureaucracy. As a legislator, it is my duty to protect taxpayer dollars to the best of my ability.

For these reasons I maintain that we made the right decision by choosing not to expand Medicaid. Doing so would involve too much fiscal uncertainty, and it would place the financial burden squarely on the shoulder of North Carolina’s taxpayers. Our goal moving forward should be improving the integrity of our Medicaid system by making it more efficient, cost-effective, and predictable.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Potential Voter Fraud in North Carolina

Today the Legislative Elections Oversight Committee, which I have the privilege of serving on, met to hear a report from the State Board of Elections. The report was presented by officials from the SBOE, including Kim Strach, who is the Executive Director. Much of the report explained procedures that are being used by the SBOE, including how voter ID laws are being implemented and how voter registration is tracked.

There is one portion of the report that is very alarming. The SBOE has discovered evidence indicating that there have been numerous cases of voter fraud in North Carolina.

According to the SBOE, North Carolina recently began participating in an "Interstate Crosscheck" with 27 other states. This crosscheck allows participating states to compile and share information related to voter registration.

According to the information compiled in the crosscheck, the SBOE has identified 765 cases where there is an exact match of a voter's first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the Social Security number -- registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in North Carolina and the other state in the 2012 general election.

The SBOE has identified 35,750 other cases where there is an exact match of a voter's first and last name and date of birth -- registered in North Carolina and another state, and voted in North Carolina and the other state in the 2012 general election -- but the Social Security numbers have yet to be verified.

Also, the SBOE has identified 155,692 cases where there is an exact match of the voter's first and last name, date of birth, and last four digits of the Social Security number -- registered in both North Carolina and another state, but has not voted in North Carolina in a recent election.

Obviously these are very alarming numbers. It appears likely that there have been thousands of cases of voter fraud in North Carolina. This means that people's vote may have been disenfranchised by people who committed voter fraud by casting multiple ballots, distorting the outcome of an election.

Moreover, there are currently only 28 states that are participating in the Interstate Crosscheck system. If we were to factor in all of the other states that are not participating, such as California, New York, and Texas, chances are good that the numbers of possible voter fraud would be much higher.

All of this is still being investigated by the SBOE. I am hopeful that we will have more detailed information soon. Besides the bad news of potential voter fraud, it is great to see the SBOE working to promote integrity within our elections system.

This news highlights the reasons why we moved forward with voter ID and other election-related reforms in the 2013 legislative session. Our goal is to increase the integrity of our elections system by making the process as fair, efficient, and honest as possible.

Voter fraud doesn't exist if you don't look for it. I have thought for a long time that the reason why there aren't widespread cases of voter fraud is because there has not been proper oversight. This report from the SBOE may prove that theory to be correct.

Also, to make matters more interesting, the SBOE has identified at least 81 people who appear to have voted after becoming deceased. This indicates that there is either voter fraud or technical errors within the elections system. The SBOE is in the process of investigated this matter as well.

We owe it to our citizens to get to the bottom of this situation as soon as possible. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available. This matter will continue to be monitored very closely by the SBOE and members of the General Assembly.

Below are screenshots from the SBOE report that was presented today.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Press Release: Rep. Hardister to Seek Reelection

January 15, 2014


Rep. Jon Hardister

Rep. Hardister to Seek Reelection

Agenda will Include Improved Job Growth, Government Reform and Increased Teacher Pay

Greensboro, NC - Today Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) announced his intentions to seek reelection to the NC House of Representatives.

"After careful consideration I have decided to seek a second term in the NC House," Hardister said. "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our community, and it is my hope that the citizens of Guilford County will allow me to continue serving."

Hardister cited tax reform as a major accomplishment made by the legislature last year. "It had become imperative that we simplify our tax code and lower tax rates in North Carolina," Hardister said. "Reforming our tax code was an important step in making our State more attractive for job creation."

"Other important legislative measures that were made last year include the passage of a balanced budget, reducing regulations on the private sector, and allowing parents to have more control over their children's education," Hardister said.

Hardister said that increasing teacher pay and improving the Medicaid system will be notable goals in this year's legislative session. He also said that it will be important to continue working to make government more efficient and to promote sound economic policies.

"There is more work to do, but the process of making North Carolina the best place to live, work, and raise a family has begun," Hardister said.

Hardister was elected to the NC House in 2012 and is currently serving his first term as a legislator. Four of the bills that Hardister filed as the lead sponsor have become law, along with numerous bills that he cosponsored. He received a high rating by the NC Chamber of Commerce and the NC Free Enterprise Foundation for his work in the 2013 legislative session.