NC Senate District 40: Incumbent Joyce Waddell faces Marguerite Cooke

Republican challenger Marguerite Cooke declined to respond.

Joyce Waddell, Democrat

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree at South Carolina State University, Master of Science Degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Master of Education Degree at UNC Charlotte, Master of Arts Degree at Appalachian State University, and Doctor of Philosophy Degree at University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Professional experience: Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System Administrator; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, District 3; Education Consultant for Early Childhood Programs; North Carolina State Senator, District 40.

Previous public offices: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, District 3; North Carolina State Senator, District 40

Family: Widow, 2 Adopted Daughters

Website: http://www.senatorjoycewaddell.com

Would you support efforts to repeal HB2? Any law that discriminates based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors, is an embarrassment to North Carolina. Last session, I co-sponsored Senate Bill 784, Repeal HB2/Fund Human Relations Commission, which calls for the full repeal of House Bill 2. Every citizen should be treated with dignity and respect. I will continue to support legislation that will fully repeal discriminatory laws passed in the state and local governments and extends the greatest degree of protection for citizens. I will further support efforts that advance equal pay and livable wages for all workers.

Would you support measures to transfer tax revenue from urban to rural counties? The redistribution of sales tax revenue would benefit rural counties at the expense of urban counties. The sales revenue created in urban areas benefit the infrastructure in the community. Urban counties have a great need for services and often face a higher cost of living expense than rural areas. We should strengthen our urban counties to preserve a vibrant economy. If taxes are assessed in urban areas for goods and services provided there, then the taxes collected should remain to pay for the specific tax distribution.

Would you consider raising taxes for education? I would give great consideration to this proposal after assessing its benefits and relationship to others items in the budget. Education funding is imperative and currently given the greatest distribution of taxes allocated. When taxes are raised, education should continue to receive top priority in conjunction with other inclusions. However, it is the duty of the state to provide adequate funding for education. The North Carolina Constitution states that the General Assembly shall provide by taxation for free public schools. I would study the spending of the Education Lottery and request that those funds be used for education as was recommended when the lottery was instituted.

Would you support further tax cuts? I would study specific areas for cutting taxes, taking into consideration families and households that are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. Any tax cut should focus on strengthening the middle class while fostering a strong, sound economy that promotes growth. The state budget includes about $400 million in income tax cuts, which will be offset by the collection of new sales taxes on repair, installation, and maintenance services. The tax system should be sufficient to provide for a balanced budget that benefits families across the state and meets the needs of an effective government.

What would you do to improve Mecklenburg County relationship with Raleigh? Communication is very important. I would focus on positive relations and conduct frequent meetings with the Charlotte city and Mecklenburg County lobbyists assigned to the General Assembly. I would seek opportunities for working with all members of the General Assembly on issues involving Mecklenburg County and other large urban districts in the state of North Carolina. When legislation is presented, it is important that local elected leaders of the three governing bodies work with legislators in Raleigh to provide advocacy and make recommendations.