We must invest in educating our children. This means continuing to fund our public schools as well as providing an alternative to folks who don’t find public schools a good fit. My sons attend a public elementary school in Wake County, and we love it, but it might not be the right fit for everyone. North Carolina should continue to lead the way on School Choice; charter schools, vouchers for private schools and home schooling are all options that should be available. Every politician says that we must invest in schools. I disagree. We must invest in children. As a State Senator, I will be a champion of School Choice and will work tirelessly to ensure that every child in this state has an opportunity at a world-class education. I will fight for the appropriate funding to improve classrooms, to retain and recruit the best teachers, and to make schools a source of pride for North Carolinians. My father recently retired from the Wake County Public School system after 32 years as a teacher; I know the struggle teachers face, and I want to be part of the solution.
I will also work to improve Pre-K options for lower income families. I will strive to improve our community college and university systems. I am especially proud of our community college system. My experience as an Adjunct Professor at Wake Tech Community College for the last 4 years has reinforced the value of these schools.
Governor Cooper is wrong on Medicaid expansion. The 90% perpetual funding from the federal government is a paper tiger. The Governor seems to not understand, or care, that those “Free Federal Dollars” are still our tax dollars being used to increase the size of the federal government. I do not believe that 90% funding will continue in the future, and a vote for expanding Medicaid is a vote to leave North Carolinians holding the bag when that house of cards collapses. Of the 500,000 North Carolinians the Governor says should be added to the Medicaid rolls, most have no disabilities, no infirmities and no dependents; experts project that 200,000 or more are already covered by private health plans. We should focus on eliminating policies that reduce competition and use natural market forces to drive prices down. Physicians should be required to tell you ahead of time the costs, and you as a patient should be able to shop around for the best price.
We need to continue to grow the North Carolina economy by reducing the administrative burdens on small businesses. As a State Senator, I promise to work tirelessly to improve economic conditions for all North Carolinians. In addition to maintaining competitive tax rates and recruiting the best business to North Carolina, we must remember our history. We must do more for our Farmers. We should immediately begin the process of decriminalizing Hemp and Marijuana production. Our rich agricultural history and resources put North Carolina in a unique position to lead the nation in this growing market. We owe that to every struggling farmer in this state.
Criminal Justice Reform
I spent the first 5 years of my career struggling in district court trying to grind out a living on various court appointed lists. That first-hand experience in court rooms and jails all over this state has shown me how desperately we need meaningful criminal justice reform. We need to do more to intervene on behalf of juvenile offenders to prevent them from becoming adult perpetrators. We need to decriminalize some controlled substances and re-evaluate who goes to prison and why they should be incarcerated. Among other reforms, we should revisit structured sentencing and eliminate cash bonds.
Move Central Prison
This genuinely baffles me. Why in the world do we still have Central Prison (and the Women’s Prison for that matter) in the middle of downtown Raleigh? Those are incredibly valuable pieces of real estate. There are about 95 other counties that would love to have those prisons and the jobs they create. Wake County could make a much better use of those parcels. There is no other major US city which has that State’s main prison within the city limits.
The value of human life is intrinsic, and doesn’t begin or end at a particular stage of viability. The Center for Disease Control estimates 60 Million abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973. That is nearly 20% of the Unites States population. We need to improve sex education and provide support and services to those in need. By improving access to support and services, we can help people choose life. Specifically, on this issue, Governor Cooper was wrong to veto the “Born Alive” Bill (Senate Bill 359) and as a State Senator I would vote in favor of “Born Alive” legislation.
2nd Amendment Supporter
I am a big supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I am an NRA member, gun enthusiast and hunter (when someone with land invites me to hunt). I firmly believe that the 2nd Amendment protects all the other Amendments. Specifically, I think we need to revisit the National Firearms Act and pass the Hearing Protection Act at the federal level. As a State Senator, I will oppose any measure to restrict the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.