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LEGISLATIVE NEWSLETTER November 13, 2013 The General Assembly adjourned in late July, but it is far from quiet

in the halls of the Legislative Building. We continue to receive negative press concerning some of our necessary reforms. When Republicans took the majority in 2011 for the first time since Reconstruction, the former Democratic majority left us with: a $2.5 billion budget shortfall; a nearly bankrupt state health plan; an underfunded retirement system; over $2 billion in debt to the federal government for an overly generous unemployment compensation program; and an array of government projects with large appetites. SENATOR NEAL HUNT
Proudly Representing Wake County in the North Carolina Senate 15 District

The mentality of previous General Assemblies was to tax and spend our way to prosperity, which is terribly misguided and a slap in the face to future generations who will be left with the bill. To put our states budgetary history in a simple analogy, the previous Democratic majority is like Dad who lets you eat candy, watch hours of television, and stay up late. This Republican majority had to come in and act like Mom, making sure you eat plenty of vegetables, do your homework, and get your eight hours of sleep. LACY ELEMENTARY UPDATE Many of you may have heard or seen in the news my reaction to the NCAE (North Carolina Association of Educators), an affiliate of the national teachers union, orchestrating a teacher walk-out at Lacy Elementary School. Several Lacy parents sent emails asking me to step-in when the PTA started to send emails asking for volunteers to cover for teachers as they left their classrooms during instructional time. The purpose of the "gathering" was to protest General Assembly reforms. Let me be clear, I support teachers exercising their First Amendment right to protest. However, walking out of their classrooms and leaving their students in the hands of others was highly inappropriate. Children are there to be taught, not to be

LEGISLATIVE OFFICE 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 309 Raleigh, NC 27603 (919)733-5850

DISTRICT OFFICE 2600 Fairview Road Raleigh, NC 27608 (919)781-3464

babysat. Although teachers were not leaving the building, teachers were walking-out of their classrooms and away from their jobs during school hours. Senator Phil Berger and I sent out a press release and went on camera with several state newscasts to explain our frustrations. Fortunately, Lacy teachers decided to hold their protest before school instructional hours, which is certainly acceptable to me and also to the concerned parents who contacted my office. The NCAE has since denied involvement in championing teacher walk-outs, but they previously had gone on record saying they affirm the desire, and right, of educators to use tactics like a walk-out or strike. The NCAE also removed a toolkit from their website on how to organize a teacher strike after our press release went out. Of course, it is against North Carolina law to strike if you are a government employee.

STANDING COMMITTEES Appropriations, Co-Chair Commerce Finance Health Care Program Evaluation Redistricting Transportation

INTERIM COMMITTEES Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Commission on Governmental Operations Commission on Jordan Lake Program Evaluation Oversight Transportation Oversight

Interviewing with Tim Boyum on News 14s Capital Tonight on November 5, 2013


EDUCATION REFORMS Since this debate over the Lacy Elementary/NCAE walk-out, Ive received numerous emails blasting our education reforms, so I would like to take this opportunity to share some facts. First, our budget protects and even expands funding for public education. It invests over $360 million more in our public schools than the budget we passed last year! We also fully funded enrollment increases in the UNC system and the Community College system. In addition, weve looked into eliminating unnecessary or duplicative state testing so teachers can spend more time teaching their students. Unfortunately, we lacked the resources to provide salary increases to teachers this year, but keep in mind that in 2012, in the first session Republicans had held the majority in the General Assembly since Reconstruction, we provided teachers and other state


LINKS OF INTEREST Berger/Hunt Press Release on NCAE Walk-Out WRAL News 5 Coverage of NCAE Walk-Out Interview with News 14 Capital Tonight Heritage Foundation

employees their first pay raise in five years. There are two opinions on education reform. One opinion is to preserve the status quo by funding public schools with minimal accountability. Under this mentality, North Carolina will continue to see more than 1 in 5 students dropping out before receiving their diplomas and about 80% needing math and reading remedial instruction before entering our community colleges. The other opinion, which I have taken, is to change the establishment philosophy, moving away from the status quo and toward a metric that values results. We passed the Excellent Public Schools Act, which will strengthen student literacy and graduation rates, give parents tools to make better informed decisions about their childs education, and increase classroom accountability while rewarding our most effective teachers. North Carolina is blessed to have some of the best teachers in the nation. In fact, we lead the nation in National Board certified teachers. We should reward and recognize the effective teachers and make sure that the small handful of ineffective teachers either improve or find new professions. Thats why instead of permanent job-security to all after only a few years in the classroom, teachers will work under contracts that are renewed based on performance the same model every other profession employs. The focus should definitely not be on ensuring that ineffective teachers keep their jobs for life and earn the same wage as high-performing teachers; rather, it should be about rewarding our best teachers. Our new pay for excellence system will fund annual pay raises for the best teachers based on data and evaluations. Beginning in 2014, the top 25 percent of teachers identified by their local school boards will receive up to four-year contracts with built-in annual increases. That means over the next four years, these most effective teachers will earn an additional $5,000 through a permanent salary increase. Change is never easy, but we must find solutions that will improve student learning.

The Impact of Obamacare Governor McCrory Press Release on Dog Adoption Event ABC-11 WTVD Coverage on the pet adoption event at the Governors Mansion

Interview with WRAL 5 on October 31, 2013

THE UNAFFORDABLE CARE ACT (AKA OBAMACARE) On the national front, Americans are now seeing just how much of a nightmare Obamacare really is. The current, most obvious problem is that the US Department of Health and Human Services cant seem to fix the health care exchange website. Fewer than 50,000 Americans have thus far signed up for Obamacare, a fraction of the half-million enrollees the Obama Administration apparently anticipated in the first month. Obamacare isnt just a techies worst nightmare; its an absolute nightmare in general. It adds an estimated $1 trillion over 10 years to our already astronomical national debt, and puts patients under the control of Washington bureaucrats interrupting the normal doctor patient relationship. Under Obamacare: Everyone must sign up for insurance, or pay a fine; The cost to purchase insurance has skyrocketed; Insurance companies are cancelling old plans; Many seniors will no longer be able to keep their Medicare coverage due to the deep cuts Obamacare makes; $27 billon in new taxes to drug companies and $20 billion in new taxes on medical device makers will be tacked on (making access to health care costly and difficult); Many doctors (particularly the best and brightest) will leave their practices because Obamacare adds 18 million people to the Medicaid program, which on average reimburses doctors at only 56 percent of cost; $52 billion in new taxes are placed on the backs of businesses by mandating that employers provide health insurance; Businesses will cut full time employees work hours to part

time hours in order to avoid paying for their insurance; and, By 2019, over 80 million people in the US will be on Medicaid (North Carolina already spends over $4 billion annually on Medicaid alone for our 1.5 million enrollees).

Now, those politicians who voted for Obamacare are hiding from their vote, including North Carolinas own, Senator Kay Hagan. The Wall Street Journal recently published that the Senators up for reelection in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still arent offering solutions for anything other than thei r own growing political jeopardy. On the other hand, Republicans have encouraged free market reforms to the health care market place such as increasing competition by allowing health insurance companies to sell across state lines; providing tax incentives for private health savings accounts; and expanding High-Risk Insurance Pools such as the one we have in North Carolina.

In September, I welcomed a Russian delegation to the floor of the Senate. It was a pleasure to inform them of our states legislative process and to learn more about their government.

IN OTHER NEWS On Saturday, November 16th from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM, there will be a dog adoption event at the Governor's Mansion. The Wake County SPCA, the Humane Society of Charlotte, and the Guilford County Shelter will provide as many as 30 dogs for adoption. This is sure to be a great event and as the owner of several rescue dogs, I encourage you to join us! Kids are welcome! Congressman Howard Coble has announced that he will retire at

the end of his term, which expires January 2015. Congressman Coble has an extraordinary career in Washington and I wish him the best on his retirement. THANK YOU Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter! It is truly an honor to represent Wake County in the North Carolina Senate. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you. Sincerely,

Neal Hunt

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