Issues & Legislation
On the Issues
At the beginning of 2011, Governor Bev Perdue and legislative Democrats had driven North Carolina to the edge of a $2.5 billion cliff. When I and the rest of the new Republican majority arrived at the General Assembly, it was worse than we could have imagined – record deficits, maxed out debt limit, the highest taxes in the Southeast, high school graduation rates ranked near the bottom nationally and unemployment near 10 percent.
During my first legislative term, I worked hard to create policies that would bring our state back from the brink, clean up the mess created by years of Democrat policies and do what I promised I would do.
I am proud to stand on my legislative record during the 2011 session of the General Assembly. Please take a look at some of the policies I supported that will help get our state back on track:
Jobs and the Economy
Senator Hise believes a balanced state budget and policies that allow businesses to create jobs are among the best tools we have for reviving our economy in western North Carolina. Senator Hise has worked to create policies that will help change our state’s business climate and encourage increased investment from the business community, including:
- Balanced a $19.7 billion bipartisan budget that filled a $2.5 billion deficit, cut taxes, reduced government spending by $1 billion and reformed public education.
- Ended a “temporary” sales tax hike that would have cost North Carolina families nearly $1 billion. Gov. Perdue and her Democratic colleagues raised the taxes in the peak of the recession and promised they would end this year, but they fought to keep them anyway.
- Ended Democrats’ “temporary” income tax surcharge and enacted a $50,000 income exemption for job-creating businesses.
- Supported tax reforms that will return more than $1 billion to the private economy, where the resolve and creativity of our state’s citizens and businesses will turn that money into lasting new jobs.
- Passed medical malpractice and tort reforms to help North Carolina lure medical jobs and make health care coverage cheaper and more accessible for everyone.
- Eased burdens on North Carolina businesses by making changes to the state’s regulatory environment and simplifying outdated, confusing and unnecessary rules and regulations. More than 15,000 new regulations and changes have been implemented over the past decade, while nearly 10 percent of North Carolinians are currently unemployed. These much-needed reforms create a stronger environment for private-sector job creation.
Currently, more than 1 in 4 high school students in North Carolina do not graduate, putting us near the bottom in national graduation rankings. Many that do graduate are ill-prepared for post-secondary education, straining our community colleges and universities by requiring extensive remedial coursework.
Senator Hise supports real changes and improvements to education – reforms that will help more students graduate and create a more educated workforce, which we all know is the cornerstone of a vibrant economy.
Senator Hise was proud to support these education reforms:
- Funded 1,100 additional teachers to lower class sizes in grades 1 through 3, since smaller class sizes are proven to boost student achievement.
- Supported a new, reading-intensive program that keeps students from advancing to fourth grade until they’re proficient. Studies show that students who read at grade level by fourth grade are far more likely to graduate high school.
- Funded the development and implementation of a program that will pay teachers and state employees based on merit to ensure our students have the quality teachers and our teachers are rewarded for their hard work.
- Eliminated the cap on the number of innovative public charter schools. The arbitrary, 100-school cap, imposed by Democrats, kept more than 20,000 families on a waiting list to enroll in a charter school. North Carolina students and families deserve more education options.
Senator Hise feels strongly that the federal government should not force North Carolinians to buy any product, including health insurance.
He supported a bill to protect North Carolina citizens from President Obama’s overreaching federal health care law and give you the right to opt out of the mandate to purchase health insurance. The Protect Health Care Freedom measure (HB 2) said North Carolinians: cannot be forced to purchase health insurance; cannot be prevented from purchasing their own health care; and cannot be forced to provide care.
Senator Hise sponsored a hugely popular measure requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Studies show photo ID requirements boost voter confidence and participation. Gov. Perdue later vetoed the voter ID legislation.
Second Amendment Rights
Senator Hise strongly supports protecting the Second Amendment rights of North Carolinians. Bills Senator Hise supported during the 2011 session included legislation to increase safeguards for property owners who use a weapon in self-defense and to expand the number of places citizens with a concealed carry permit can carry firearms.
For a listing of and information about bills sponsored by Senator Hise, please visit:
For a listing of and information about Senator Hise’s legislative votes, please visit:
Appropriations on Health and Human Services
Commerce - Member
Education/Higher Education - Member
Insurance - Vice-Chairman
Pensions & Retirement and Aging - Member
Program Evaluation - Member
Redistricting - Member
Transportation - Member
©2012 Paid for by Ralph Hise for NC Senate | Treasurer, Shirley Hise | All Rights Reserved