Preserving Public Education
Education is the key to individual, family and business prosperity. It is core to a booming state economy. To ensure innovation and opportunity in the future we must never lose sight of the need to invest today in all levels of education: pre-K, K-12, the community college system and the university system. This means recruiting and retaining the best possible teachers, keeping schools physically and technologically up-to-date, and making higher education as affordable as possible.
Ensuring Access to Quality Health Care
As a Nurse Practitioner I understand that everyone needs access to health care. There are two sides to the access coin: insurance coverage to help pay for care and an adequate supply of health care providers to deliver care.
Health insurance allows individuals to seek primary and specialty care in the community, rather than through hospital emergency rooms that by federal law cannot turn away anyone needing care, even when their illness is not an emergency. When people are sick and they have no other options they will go where they know they will be seen. Those of us with health insurance ultimately pay the price with higher insurance premiums to
offset the costs of this uncompensated care. Our hospitals bear the burden as well with over-crowded ERs and the financial drain of uncompensated care. Expanding health insurance coverage eventually benefits everyone.
Even for those who have insurance, many areas of our state are labelled medically underserved. Individuals in these communities often forego care until they are very ill because they cannot travel the long distances necessary to receive care. To meet a growing demand for health care and to give health care workers and taxpayers a full return on their investment in health care provider education in our universities, our health care workforce should be utilized to its full capacity. Restrictive laws and regulations that prevent full practice by licensed health care professionals should be repealed.
Strengthening Our Economy
Growing our economy requires investing in our current and future workforce through appropriate education, supporting small businesses, and recruiting new companies. When it comes to innovation and research, North Carolina is a leader in the South. We need to build on this rich history by preparing our citizens for good paying, highly-skilled jobs of the future. I know from my 7 years on the Cary Town Council that businesses considering relocation put ‘quality of life’ high on their checklist: excellent schools, diverse housing options, sufficient infrastructure (including roads and other forms of transportation), and amenities like sports venues,
leisure activities and the arts. These are important to new residents just as they are to those of us who already live here. Quality education, attractive communities and infrastructure investments drive new businesses to our state.
Protecting Our Environment
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 been a vocal supporter of 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 2013. 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 two additional times continues to jeopardize 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.