Thank you to the voters of District 27.
I am honored to have your confidence.
I pledge to fight for your concerns in Raleigh and I am humbled by your ongoing support.
The General Assembly adjourned the Long Session on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. I’m grateful for your support as we made the tough but responsible decisions that will help rebuild our economy and restore North Carolina’s place as a leader in job growth and prosperity.
· As we promised, we provided North Carolina families and small businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in tax relief. At the same time, we reformed the state’s chronically troubled Medicaid program and strengthened public education, transportation and public safety.
· While the session was long, we are proud that we were able to defend taxpayers against special interests that wanted to spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars to grow government beyond its means.
· We also achieved these key priorities:
· Adopted a balanced, fiscally responsible state budget that invests in core services, strengthens public education, shores up savings reserves and grows North Carolina’s economy. The Senate cut hundreds of millions of dollars from earlier spending proposals.
· Implemented additional tax cuts and reforms that reduced the tax burden on North Carolina families and small businesses by close to $400 million over the next two years.
· Improved the state’s climate for job growth by lowering corporate income tax rates, moving to calculate corporate income tax on the basis of a single sales factor and expanding tools to recruit new businesses, including large companies like automobile and aerospace manufacturers.
· Increased funding for public education by more than $530 million in the next year alone and continued major education reforms to reduce class sizes and ensure students receive the tools they need to succeed.
· Kept our promise to raise early-career teacher pay from $33,000 to $35,000 per year and provided experienced-based step increases to teachers, assistant principals, principals, State Highway Patrol troopers, clerks and magistrates.
· Invested an additional $705 million for transportation, made possible in part by ending a $216 million transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund – ensuring that money is finally spent on building and maintaining safe roads and bridges. The additional investment will allow the state to build at least 70 new highway projects, replace hundreds of structurally deficient bridges and resurface thousands of miles of roads.
· Put a $2 billion bond package to support critical infrastructure needs on the ballot so voters can decide whether to invest more in the state’s public universities, community colleges, National Guard installations and local water and sewer systems.
· Passed sweeping changes to the state’s burdensome regulatory environment that cut red tape that chokes off economic growth.
· Protected the dignity of unborn children who lose their lives in an abortion by banning the sale of babies’ body parts.
· Ensured able-bodied, childless adults who receive food stamps meet federal work requirements.
· Expanded insurance coverage and access to treatment for autistic children with a bill supported by North Carolina medical providers, parents, advocates and insurers.
· Took action to prevent skin cancer among some of the state’s youngest citizens by prohibiting children under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds.