Editor’s note: The following is from an email from state Rep. Paul Tine, I-Kitty Hawk. No additional reporting was done.
January 26, 2015
Message from Rep. Paul Tine about the priorities for the district over the next legislative session and inviting input.
The first issue I will attempt to address for the District will be transportation. From Bonner Bridge, to dredging our ports and inlets, to funding of our ferries and local roads we have a lot of issues that need work. We need to make adjustments to the transportation funding model and this will be one of my highest priorities.
Enhancing our public education in the region is another priority. I will be looking to protect our small schools funding while we revamp how we fund our community colleges. There are two bills that I will be putting forward, one to help establish a presence in Washington County and one that will help our colleges respond more quickly to workforce development needs in the area. I will explain in more depth in future communications.
The third priority will be to push for Medicaid expansion so that we can keep our rural hospitals open. To be sure, this is only a temporary solution. To really solve the problem we need to get people back to work so they can afford their own health insurance. In the meantime, however, we are in a difficult position. The federal government withheld billions of dollars and said the only way we will get our own tax dollars back is if we follow their model. My hope is that we will be able to develop a state system of expansion that will keep our hospitals open while our economy recovers.
We also must continue to push for property insurance reform. We need better information and more transparency in the rate-making process so that we can develop more equitable rates across the state. This session I will be working to bring about these changes.
More To Come
In future communications I will be talking about several other initiatives including an overhaul to our oyster fisheries so that we can put fisherman back to work while helping to clean up our waterways, making some adjustments to our unemployment system and some local bills to help with beach restoration and protection.
In the meantime, please reach out to me with ideas on how to make our district better. My cell is (252) 305-5133, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.