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The Campaign Trail
Rep. Kyle Hall: Don’t Turn Your Back on Small Business, Governor PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 21 August 2019 09:41

Don’t Turn Your Back on Small Business, Governor

By Representative Kyle Hall (R-Stokes)


Small businesses are the engine of North Carolina’s economy, yet they all suffer from one problem: access to affordable health insurance. This message doesn’t change whether you’re in Kingor Charlotte. This message doesn’t change whether you’re in a coffee shop or a barbershop.   


Under The Affordable Care Act, admittance to Association Health Plans (AHP) became limited. As a result, thousands of North Carolina small business owners and independent contractors were displaced by the system. 


To make matters worse, premiums across the nation and in particular North Carolina skyrocketed to crippling heights. In fact, a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrates that in 2018 North Carolina had the 7th highest premiums in the nation.


When compared to larger business ventures, it is evident that small businesses often face higher healthcare costs. According to data in a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, small businesses pay 8-18% more for health insurance than their large business counterparts.


Small businesses play a crucial role in our local communities and generate positive economic and social impact. However, limited options in the healthcare marketplace creates an environment with the potential to stifle the growth and success of the small business climate that North Carolina has always fostered. 


President Trump issued an Executive Order that would increase access to Association Health Plans for small businesses and independent contractors. Now is the time to follow President Trump’s lead and find an affordable solution for our small business community. 


The General Assembly listened to these concerns and took action. Last week, we passed Senate Bill 86 (H.B. 464) the Small Business Healthcare Act with a strong bipartisan vote in both the House and Senate. The bill now sits on Governor Cooper’s desk. 


If signed into law, Senate Bill 86 would offer small businesses a real solution that they deserve by utilizing Association Health Plans. These plans would allow small businesses and independent contractors to group together through their trade associations to purchase health insurance. 


For example, Sally the Realtor is a member of the North Carolina Realtors Association. On her own, health insurance is very costly for her and her family. If Senate Bill 86 becomes law, Sally the Realtor could choose to purchase her health insurance through the North Carolina Realtors Association, thereby pooling with other Realtors and lowering the rate. This would result in Sally receiving plans and rates that are nearly identical to the ones that employees at larger businesses, like R.J. Reynolds or SAS, receive. 


Instead of being forced into a faulty one-size-fits-all market, small businesses would once again have a choice with their healthcare options with Association Health Plans.


Under S.B. 86, small businesses will receive a broad range of coverage. In fact, the bill requires that AHPs in North Carolina cover preexisting conditions, preventative care and both hospital and primary care doctor visits.


The bill would provide opportunity to the thousands of small business owners across the state who have been forced to pay higher costs or go without proper care. Most importantly, this legislation does not diminish quality of insurance, but instead creates choice and delivers the care that our small businesses need.


This is a common sense piece of bipartisan legislation. Now is the time for Governor Cooper to set politics and his Medicaid-for-all agenda aside and sign a bill that provides a free market solution to closing our coverage gap. Governor Cooper, do the right thing and sign S.B. 86.

Representative Kyle Hall has served the 91st District in the North Carolina House, which includes all of Stokes County and portions of Surry County and Rockingham County, since 2015.


Sen. Berger Refutes Gov. Cooper's Claim That GOP Is Blocking Teacher Raises PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:25

Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) today issued the following statement regarding Governor Roy Cooper's strange accusation that Republicans are holding up the teacher pay raises that Republicans passed and Governor Cooper vetoed.

"Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget and refuses to sign any new budget unless the legislature first passes Medicaid expansion. The budget he vetoed included the 6th and 7th consecutive pay raises for teachers.

"Instead of being honest with teachers by saying he’s holding up their pay raises over his Medicaid expansion ultimatum, he’s telling them that it’s really the mean Republicans who are blocking their raises, even though Republicans passed the budget that includes teacher raises.

"I have to hand it to him, it’s a bold strategy to block pay raises passed by Republicans, refuse to negotiate unless the legislature passes Medicaid expansion, then blame Republicans for teachers not getting their raise."


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:27
Cooper Accuses Republicans Of Blocking Teacher Raises PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:22
The following is statement from Governor Roy Cooper's Office: 


Many North Carolina teachers head back to school this week to prepare for the first day of class. Unfortunately, these hardworking teachers have not received a state pay raise this year because Republican stalling is holding up budget negotiations. Governor Cooper’s budget compromise proposal would offer teachers a raise more than twice as big as the Republican budget.
On Tuesday in Raleigh, Governor Cooper is meeting with educators from across the state to talk about the importance of a significant teacher pay raise for teacher recruitment and retention, which is vital to student success. 
“I am vetoing this budget because it fails in many ways.”
When Governor Cooper vetoed the budget earlier this year, he was clear that it fell short on several points. The lack of Medicaid expansion has gotten the most attention because of Republican stubbornness on the issue, but the Governor’s veto was also about Republican efforts to shortchange public education. Here’s what the Governor actually said the day he announced his veto:
[The Republican budget] values corporate tax breaks over classrooms. Gimmicks over guaranteed school construction. And political ideology over people. 
For starters, let’s look at education. We trust our teachers to educate our children. Let’s put our money where our trust is. Instead of another corporate tax break, let’s pay our teachers and show them the respect they deserve…
…Let me be clear about something – I am not vetoing this budget just because it fails to expand Medicaid. I am vetoing this budget because it fails in many ways. This budget is an astonishing failure of common sense and common decency.
Cooper’s Raise is More Than Twice the Republican Raise
Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal, sent to the legislature on July 9, included an average 8.5% raise for North Carolina teachers. The Republican budget offered a 3.8% raise. A significant raise for our teachers is an investment in our students. It will help attract and retain more high-quality educators and allow those teachers to stay focused on the classroom instead of worrying about making ends meet. This is vital for student success. 
North Carolina is competing with other states for top teaching talent. A 3.8% pay raise over two years is not enough to stay competitive with recent pay raises in neighboring states and, based on current projections, could cause North Carolina to drop in the national ranking of teacher salaries. 
Republican Stalling is Preventing a Teacher Raise
Governor Cooper’s compromise proposal has languished with Republican leaders for 42 days while they attempt to override his veto in vain. That’s 42 days that could have been spent negotiating a consensus budget that would show our teachers the respect they deserve. The reason that teachers have not yet gotten their state raise is because Republican leaders have spent their time trying to override the veto instead of negotiating. 
The Bottom Line
On all the metrics, Governor Cooper’s compromise offer is better for public education than the Republican budget. When he vetoed the Republican budget, Governor Cooper was joined by teachers because they support his efforts to do more for our students. School is just about back in session. Governor Cooper is ready to negotiate a budget to move our state forward by investing in public education and a significant teacher pay raise, he just needs Republican leaders to come to the table.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:27
NC Democrats Run TV Ad Critical Of GOP Legislators PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 15:14

RALEIGH - The North Carolina Democratic Party says it's started running a television ad criticizing Republican leaders at the General Assembly for passing laws that hurt women on issues from abortion and child care to Medicaid and the public schools.


The state party said Tuesday the 60-second commercial is running on cable TV in the Charlotte and Raleigh markets. A party spokesman declined to say how much money is being spent on the ad. An email sent to party supporters asked for more donations to keep the ad running.


The ad features Governor Beverly Perdue, state legislators and former Cabinet secretary and longtime party activist Betty McCain, who said "the GOP has declared war on women." The ad includes footage of Republican House leaders Thom Tillis and Paul Stam.


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