Why I’m the better choice for jobs & the economy
October 4, 2020
by Terri LeGrand
The cost of living is going up, schools are underfunded, and health care costs are out of control. That’s why I believe that we need an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. As a Senator, I’ll take on special interests and fight for working families. Ensuring access to affordable health care for everyone, fully funding our schools, and increasing wages are important steps we must take to begin to bridge the gap for working families.
I support Medicaid expansion, which would grow our economy by $4 billion dollars and create over 37,000 new jobs by 2022. In Forsyth County, Medicaid expansion would add about 1,700 new jobs, create $424 million in new business activity, and create $5 million in new county revenue. In Davie County, we would add nearly 80 new jobs, $13 million in business activity, and $471,400 in county revenue. That increased revenue could be used to increase teacher pay, hire more teaching assistants, and ensure our schools have the resources required to meet the needs of every student.
I support increasing teacher pay to at least or above the national average, restoring funding for National Board Certification, restoring the Master’s Degree pay bump, and reducing the teacher wage gap. Our teachers are working two or more jobs just to make ends meet – all while spending roughly $500 out of pocket to make sure their students have classroom supplies. North Carolina’s teachers deserve fair, competitive wages, and we must provide salary and benefits packages that attract the best and brightest into our schools and create incentives to retain and reward excellence in the classroom.
College isn’t the path for everyone, which is why I support job training programs in every community. I support Governor Cooper’s Finish Line Grants Program, Governor Cooper’s NC Job Ready initiative, and investing in trade schools through community colleges. Community college should be debt free for every North Carolina resident, and we should invest in apprenticeship programs that provide North Carolina residents with a pathway to job security.
Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. I support doing more to support and encourage the growth of small businesses, the real engine of our local economy. COVID-19 has been brutal for our small businesses and their employees. Governor Cooper has taken major steps to aid small businesses in weathering the pandemic, and I strongly support Governor Cooper’s Job Retention Grant Program and the steps being taken to make sure small businesses stay open and their employees get paid.
With millions out of work, I’ll vote to increase the amount and duration of unemployment benefits to ensure that every North Carolinian can weather this pandemic. In 2013, North Carolina Republicans cut unemployment benefits to some of the lowest in the nation. I will work to ensure that people who lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic have the support they need to find a new, good paying job by restoring unemployment benefits, investing in new jobs, supporting Governor Cooper’s clean energy policies and supporting small businesses to create good jobs across all communities.
Everyone deserves a chance to live a life of abundance. Everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential.