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Every citizen deserves access to clean air, clean water, and open spaces. It is the duty of the legislature to be good stewards of these resources and to ensure that they are protected and available for generations to come.

I have long supported the implementation of the Jordan Lake Rules to protect western Wake County’s water resources. After a decade of hard work to craft reasonable rules that consider all stakeholders, a push to shelve them was unfortunately successful in last year’s session. As a health care provider I know that prevention is always more effective and less costly in the long run than treatment of any kind, yet this is the short sighted solution that ultimately passed in the General Assembly. The decision to postpone the rules until 2016 jeopardizes Western Wake citizens’ right to clean drinking water and allows upstream pollution to continue unabated.

The preservation of open space improves quality of life, naturally mitigates storm water runoff, provides recreational opportunities, preserves some of our state’s rural heritage and protects fragile ecosystems. That is why I support the restoration of the state’s conservation tax credit and increased funding for the Clean Water Management and Parks and Recreation Trust Funds. These programs promote public-private partnerships that preserve unique environments and protect our natural resources.