Name as it appears on the ballot: Gale Adcock
Campaign website: www.galeadcock.com
Phone number: 919-307-5280 (campaign manager, Jessica White)
Years lived in the district: 23
1. In your view, what are the three most pressing issues North Carolina faces? If elected, what will you do to address these issues?
Strengthening public education, ensuring a strong economy, and increasing access to health care are our three most pressing issues. Education, employment and health status are undeniably linked; policy and funding decisions should be made with this in mind.
Overly-aggressive tax reform has left the state with too little revenue to fund education, economic growth and health care as long term investments in people. I will continue to advocate for policies and funding that consider long term impacts rather than short-lived feel good messages.
2. If you are challenging an incumbent, what decisions has the incumbent made that you most disagree with? If you are an incumbent, what in your voting record and experience do you believe entitles you to another term?
Among other positives, during my first term I voted to raise teacher pay, make capital improvements throughout the UNC system, finish the western crime lab, increase newborn screening for fatal diseases, protect hospital workers from assault, defend water quality, establish needle exchange programs, provide naloxone without a prescription to prevent deaths from opiod overdose, and increase opportunities for entrepreneurs to raise capital.
I voted against redrawing Wake county commission districts, allowing magistrates to decide which of their sworn duties they will perform, and holding retention elections for judges. Because of my commitment to sick family in Virginia I had an excused absence for the March 23 special session and missed the opportunity to vote against HB2.
As pledged during my 2014 campaign, I have worked well with Republicans and Democrats to pass commonsense legislation. I do not participate in partisan bickering and posturing. I have been responsive and helpful to my constituents.
3. The most contentious issue of this year―and this election―has been HB 2, especially in light of the NCAA’s decision to pull its championships from the Tar Heel state. Do you believe that the law has provided any benefits to North Carolina? Do you believe it should be repealed root and branch? If not, in what ways would you like to alter it?
HB2 has had devastating impacts on the LGBTQ community and on our state’s economy. It is discrimination plain and simple and should be repealed.
4. Currently, twenty-nine states have minimum wages above the federal minimum. North Carolina is not among them. Do you believe North Carolina should raise its minimum wage―or, alternatively, give municipalities the ability to raise minimum wages within their jurisdictions?
The state’s minimum wage should be raised.
5. In a similar vein: beyond the bathroom issue, HB 2 also overrode local antidiscrimination ordinances, which has become something of a pattern in recent years, with the legislature preempting local governments from passing laws it doesn’t like. Do you believe the state too often intrudes into local affairs? Why or why not?
As a former local elected official (Cary Town Council, 2007-2011), I am astonished at and opposed to the legislature’s continued intrusion into local government. Local government is closest to its citizens and must have the tools and authority necessary to create attractive, vibrant, diverse and economically strong communities.
6. What, in your view, is an ideal salary for a beginning teacher? If it is more than the $35,000 currently being earned by beginning teachers in North Carolina, how would you work with your colleagues to increase teacher pay?
Raising teacher pay to at least the national average is a reasonable short term goal. A beginning salary of $35,000/year for college-educated professionals with the responsibilities expected of teachers is obviously inadequate. One way to increase money available for public schools is to stop siphoning off public funds for private school education.
Our long term goal should be to create and sustain a first class education system. To do this requires more than funding. Principals and teachers I’ve met in the 17 schools in my House district certainly need funding for TAs, textbooks and technology. But they also need the legislature to trust in their ability to create rich learning environments that meet the unique needs of their students.
7. A federal appeals court struck down the state law requiring voter ID and containing other voting restrictions. Do you agree or disagree with that decision? Please explain your position.
I agree with the appeals court ruling. The voter ID law was a cumbersome, expensive and discriminatory solution to a perceived yet never quantified problem.
8. In recent months, two public servants in the Department of Health and Human Services have accused administration officials of minimizing the risks that Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds pose to nearby water wells. Do you believe the state has taken the proper safeguards to protect drinking water?
Protecting public health is one of the state government’s most important responsibilities. The state should warn citizens of real and potential health hazards due to coal ash ponds or any other contaminant. Regulations that ensure the quality of citizens’ drinking water should not be weakened for any reason.
9. The current administration has been frequently criticized by environmental advocates over things like, for instance, the cleanup of Jordan Lake. Do you believe these criticisms are warranted? In what ways do you believe the state’s current environmental policies have succeeded or failed? What would you like to improve?
Unscientific interventions like Solar Bees are merely ploys to delay implementation of the Jordan Lake rules. These and other delaying tactics must stop and the rules should be implemented as written. Municipalities should have their authority to set water quality standards higher than state standards reinstated.
10. Democrats have called for an expansion of Medicaid, which would provide health coverage for 244,000 North Carolinians. Would you support such a move? Why or why not?
Providing health insurance coverage to an additional quarter million citizens will help unclog emergency rooms currently providing de facto primary care, decrease financial strain on hospitals for providing uncompensated care, diagnose chronic illnesses while they are most treatable and improve the health and economic status of these newly covered individuals.
11. Similarly, in recent months two large insurers have decided not to issue policies on North Carolina’s Affordable Care Act exchange, which puts those on the individual market in something of a precarious situation. What do you believe the state can or should do to improve its citizens’ health care?
I commend BCBSNC for recently announcing that they will continue to issue policies on the ACA exchange in all 100 counties. Now that this is settled, the state should expand Medicaid as well as fully deploy our health care workforce by lifting restrictions on licensed health care professionals that limit access to health care. Doing this will cost the state nothing yet have a positive economic impact: creating at least 3800 new jobs and saving the state $433 million to $4.3 billion in health care costs. Read the key findings of this 2014 economic impact study at http://chpir.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Key-Findings-Final-Version.pdf.
12. Name three things you would change in the current state budget and, if your changes would free up money, what your spending priorities would be.
Personal and corporate income tax rates should not be lowered any further. The earned income tax credit should be restored. Funding for ‘opportunity scholarships’ should be redirected to public education. All organizations that provide covered health care services to female Medicaid beneficiaries should be able to bill for reimbursement.
13. Give an example of a time, during your political career, when you have changed your position as a result of a discussion with someone who held an opposing view.
In 2015 I voted for HB405, Property Protection Act. After the bill crossed over to the Senate, I was contacted by several constituents who were unhappy with my vote. Based on the education they provided during our conversations, I realized that I was not well informed on the ramifications of the bill and that voting for it was a mistake. When the Governor vetoed HB405, I voted to uphold his veto.