How was your first term in the NC House of Representatives?
I am incredibly appreciative and grateful to all my supporters who helped me win my last election. It’s an honor to represent the hard working people in District 98. I have worked very hard as a Freshman legislator to bring respect and value to my office, be available and accessible to all my constituents, make common sense decisions, and have fun.
I have maintained my monthly coffee chats throughout District 98. I also started a Facebook group called LKN Election Connection which offers transparency between elected officials and constituents. Lastly, I always encourage any of my constituents to either attend a Coffee Chat or even make the drive to Raleigh. I will make time to visit with you and will even try to schedule a personalized tour of the State Capitol. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 919.733.5828.
How many bills did you sponsor and co-sponsor?
- Introduced 70 total bills; 23 as the primary sponsor and 47 as the co-sponsor.
What leadership roles do you have?
- I was elected by my peers to serve as the Freshman Majority Whip and serve as the Vice Chairman of the Commerce & Job Development Committee.
- I was selected to serve on the UNC Board of Governors Strategic Planning Committee as a NC House Liaison
What committees do you serve?
- Vice Chairman of the Commerce & Job Development Committee
- Member of Agriculture, Banking, Environment, Finance, Education K-12, Regulatory Reform and Public Utilities, Annexation & Deannexation Subcommittee
- Only NC House Freshman serving on the Joint Legislative Committee for Government Operations.
- Member of the Transportation, Local Government and Capital Interim House Committees.
- UNC Board of Governors Strategic Planning Committee – NC House Liaison
What accomplishments did you achieve this year?
- I was ranked the 2nd Most Effective NC House Freshman (out of a class of 20 freshman legislators) for the 2015-2016 term. This effectiveness ranking is a bi-partisan ranking decided by surveys sent to all the registered media, lobbyist and House members.
- I received the All Star Legislator Award from Education Freedom Alliance.
- I received the Emerging Legislative Leader of the Year Award from an association focused in renewable energy.
- The NC Speaker of the House selected me to attend an Academy for Emerging Legislative Leaders. This was a bi-partisan academy and I was the only attendee from both the NC Senate and the House.
How many high schoolers did you sponsor as House Pages this session?
We are allowed up to 5 House Pages during the long session but I was able to host 9. In the short session we are allowed 2 House Pages but I was able to sponsor 3. I personally interviewed top high schoolers as recommended by the school’s administration. From the interview I was able to make nominations for the House Page program. I made sure that every public school located in District 98 had at least one participant in this incredible program.
Can you provide a summary of the State’s budget?
- FY2015-2016: $21.735 Billion
- FY2016-2017: $21.921 Billion
- K-12 Funding 5.0% ($410M) increase from the base budget
- Fully funds Teaching Assistants
- Fully funds Driver Education
- Increases funding for Textbooks and Digital Learning
- Invests $1.5M for NC’s Transforming Principal Preparation Program
- Invests in School Connectivity Initiative to bring broadband access to all K-12 schools
- Increases Opportunity Scholarships by 129%
- Provides $7.5M to 58 Community Colleges across the State for workforce training
Health & Human Services:
- Increases support for community mental health services
- Raises age of foster care to 21 and provides funds for Youth Villages
- Provides funds to State Medical Examiner
- Restores cuts to seniors for Home and Community Care Block Grant
- Increases market rates for Child Care Subsidy and includes “Grandparent” fix
- Eliminates the transfer from the Highway Fund to the General Fund
- $440M in additional road funding
- $70M in port modernization
- Eliminates 50 Raleigh-based, non-field positions
- Continued funding for modernization of the DMV
- Increased funding for contract resurfacing and the bridge program
- Reduced tax-payer dollars used for Board of Transportation travel expenses
Agriculture & Natural Resources:
- Supports dredging of coastal inlets to keep waterways open
- $1M for Military Buffers through Farmland Preservation
- Additional funding to support Oyster Industry
- $1MFY1 and $2MFY2 for Tourism Funding
- $1.3M department-wide DENR administrative cut
- Eliminates $1.5M for State-wide branding initiative
Salary & Benefits:
- All teachers and State employees will receive a $750 2015 year-end bonus
- Teachers will receive step increase raises based on experience
- Starting teachers (0-4 years) will realize salary increase from $33,000 to $35,000
- All sworn members of the State Highway Patrol will receive a 3% increase
- Starting Highway Patrol salaries increase from $35,000 to $36,050
- No reductions in State retirement benefits
- Increases General Fund appropriations to National Guard Pension Fund
Justice & Public Safety:
- Grants for body-worn video cameras for law enforcement agencies
- Provides funding to outfit all Highway Patrol cars with cameras
- $1.6M in funding for HERO Grants to combat sex crimes
- Funds to prevent inmates from smuggling and using cell phones
- Additional funding for court modernization
- New Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs
- New Dept. of Information Technology
- New Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources for management of State attractions
- $17.5M for Workforce Housing Loan Program to develop low-income housing
- Government Budgetary Transparency for responsible State government
- $600M to Savings Reserve and R&R
- $186M to Medicaid Contingency Reserve
- $225M over the biennium for a Medicaid Transformation Reserve
- Cuts Personal Income Tax rate by 0.26% to 5.499%
- Increases Standard Deduction in 2016 from $15,000 to $15,500, non-taxable
- Unlimited deduction for both Medical and Charitable
- Maintains Corporate Income Tax reduction trigger
- Phases in Single Sales Factor over 3 years
- $3M for OneNC Small Business Fund
- $2.5M annually for Rural Economic Development Grants
- $30M for Film Grants
- $8M in FY2016-2017 for Historic Tax Credit
- JMAC funded on recurring basis – $6.9M FY2015-16 and $7.5M in FY2016-17