LUMBERTON — State Rep. Bill Faison, a gubernatorial candidate, calls the battle for governor one about democratic values and what is the right thing to do for all the people of North Carolina.
The Democrat from Orange County faces five candidates, including Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, in the May 8 Democratic primary. Faison stopped by The Robesonian on Friday to tout a platform that focuses on job creation and protection, and providing all North Carolinians with a top education.
“The future of our children and state depends on good jobs, a world-class education for everyone, and a healthy economy,” Faison said.
The attorney has represented all of Caswell County and most of Orange County in the state House the past eight years. The focus of his practice is helping people who need assistance fighting insurance companies, Faison said.
He has developed a jobs plan that is supported by 70 percent of his colleagues as a way to tackle the state’s current 10 percent unemployment rate, Faison said. The jobless rate is double for blacks and American Indians. His plan calls for tax credits for small businesses that employ less than 20 workers.
“There are 155,000 small businesses in the state that if offered tax incentives could hire workers, and invest in infrastructure and technology,” he said.
His plan also makes needed reforms in tax policy to prevent tax loopholes for out-of-state businesses that only add to the tax burden on people and small businesses.
On Faison’s website, www.BillFaison.com, are his ideas for helping working families, for energy development, education, jobs and employment. The site also contains his job plans and ideas for workforce development that Faison contends will ensure all young people have access to education.
“I want my kids to have a job when they get out of college,” Faison said. “Roughly 50 percent of those coming out of college today don’t get a job that requires a college education. If they have no job or a job that they didn’t have to go to college for, they hurt if they have had to take out student loans to fund their education.”
Faison said the Republican majority in the General Assembly has not been working in the best interest of all North Carolinians.
“They promised they wouldn’t raise taxes, but they passed more than $100 million in fees,” he said. “A fee is nothing but a tax.”
Faison also blasted the GOP budget passed during the General Assembly’s recent long session.
“Their budget included the loss of jobs for 6,455 state workers, including teachers and teacher assistants,” he said. “… There are about 475,000 people out of work now in the state. If they can find another job they are usually taking a 17 percent cut in pay.”
The winner of the Democratic primary will likely face Republican Pat McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte who lost a close race to Beverly Perdue in 2008. Perdue has said she is not seeking re-election.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.