Bill Faison is running for Governor to ensure a brighter future of all of our children. Our State depends on good jobs, a world class education for everyone and a healthy economy. As Governor, Bill will provide the bold leadership we need to grow quality jobs, secure our kids' education and future, and put our economy back on track. As a legislator for the past seven years, Bill Faison stood up to the GOP Leadership to fight for working families, challenging the leadership on wasteful spending for special sessions for social issues and for ignoring the economy. As a Dad, farmer, and small businessman, Bill knows how working families are struggling. He currently has three children in college and one in high school and wants to ensure opportunities for all kids.
FACING CHALLENGES – ECONOMY, JOBS, EDUCATION, ENERGY
Jobs and the Economy
In September 2011, Bill worked with the Members of the House Democrats’ Business Caucus, a group he chairs, to deliver a practical, common sense solution to a jobs crisis provoked by the Republican Budget which put approximately 36,000 people out of work. The Budget let the one cent sales tax expire last summer. Bill and the Caucus proposed a plan to reinstate 7/10 of a penny back into the Budget so we can put back to work all of the teachers, teachers aides, and other State employees fired by the Republican Budget (6,455 people), rehire the 15,415 private sector jobs lost because of cuts to Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program), and rehire the other private sector jobs lost because of the economic effects of the other job losses.
Bill’s plan goes further, to assist our State’s small businesses, those hiring less than 20 employees. Those businesses make up 86.7 percent of all employers. Big businesses have had plenty of tax breaks but not the little guy. We need to modernize our tax code to give small businesses an incentive to hire. We can pay for these incentives by closing some of the tax loopholes. A Department of Revenue Study in 2009 found $5.8 billion in tax loopholes and that four years earlier, sixty five percent of regular C corps filed tax returns showing no tax due. Further, we can repeal the $39 million Tax Loophole that the Senate Republican Leadership passed in the midst of the Great Recession. With $5.8 billion in tax loopholes already on the books, they passed a new tax loophole for multi-state businesses that allows a business to move all of the money earned in NC to another state without paying any NC income tax.
Everyone has to do their part to get through these tough economic times. Additional big business tax loopholes put more of a burden on the rest of us. By focusing on a smart tax policy, we can help small businesses invest in people and infrastructure.
Bill is the only candidate for Governor to take on the GOP Leadership with a plan, on television in a discussion and with letters asking them to focus on the issues that matter to North Carolina.
North Carolina has been known nationally for our commitment to education at every level. The Republican Budget took us to 49th nationally in per pupil educational spending. This is not good enough for our kids and Bill has ideas. We must promote education and stimulate job growth and economic prosperity for North Carolina’s working, middle class families. Our University System is number seven nationally in patents owned. A single patent can be the basis for a new business. We need to be smart and use common sense policies that take advantage of our Education resources to not only educate people for better jobs but also to promote business development which creates better jobs.
We need to think of our education process as an escalator to work, better jobs and higher compensation, and we need a focus on jobs as a motivator for education. Greater opportunities for better compensation through education is an important component of a practical "drop out" prevention program. We need a renewed commitment to investing in education. We need to be smart about how we invest in education. Where possible we need to make our expenditures benefit us in more than one way.
As a legislator, Bill has been a champion for broadband access for everyone in NC. Bill proposed a goal of providing at least every high school student with a laptop/Ipad for internet access. Every school should be fully WiFi-equipped and at least every high school student should have free true high-speed internet access at home. Bill understands that we should encourage family use of internet access for educational, entrepreneurial and economic purposes. Investing in our children’s education is the key to their future, our economic evolution and our progress as a society. Making this investment in a way that helps our people participate in the information age economy also helps us recovery economically.
Energy policy is an integral component of our national and state economy. National dependence on oil is costly to us as individuals and as a State. As a nation, we know dependence on oil is detrimental to our national security by keeping us tied to dangerous and unstable regimes, and without doubt, burning fossil fuels is detrimental to our environment and has a cost in terms of public health.
Energy policy evokes many opinions. Gas prices have a tremendous effect on working, middle class North Carolinians as they struggle to keep jobs, get new jobs that pay less and potentially travel further for their jobs. Other countries are deep into incentives and new technologies for fuel efficiency, biofuel transformation and new sources.
We need a bold leader who will pursue Smart Energy Policies. Bill has taken on the Republican leadership that seems to be driven by motivating their biggest contributors to give more money rather than serving the needs of the people. Their hydraulic fracturing “fracking” bill is an example of this effort. The bill chases oil at the expense of safe drinking water, coastal estuaries and coastal tourism jobs (67,000) that generate greater revenue ($4:$1). They put $500 million in the bill for well damage and then say they will not damage a well. The Southern Environmental Law Center researched fracking and says gas formations are underneath or upstream from public water supplies for 2.4 million North Carolinians. The cost to quality of life, public health and environmental risk for our water supply has not been quantified.
The fracking legislation goes further to change the State's Energy Policy Council by reducing its members from 16 to 12 and slashing in half the number of public interest representatives who look out for the environment and local communities while tilting the balance to business interests. With respect to regulatory reform, the bill makes it difficult to set environmental rules and instead of addressing specific regulatory problems, there is a shotgun approach to all of it. And while it might sound desirable and business-friendly to streamline the regulatory process, in the end, the result will be a bloated and more cumbersome system requiring detailed analysis and alternatives even in cases where there is agreement on what to do. This bill handcuffs regulators to respond to challenges.
Bill understands that a secure, stable and predictable energy supply for future economic growth and job creation lies in a menu of options, not further dependence on one technology and one source. The fracking legislation promises jobs and relies on one technology and one source. We must look at ways to balance environmental standards and health considerations with the need for jobs and the economy. We face difficult and critical times on both environmental and economic fronts. And, risks to public health have exponential costs and attendant economic burden associated with healthcare costs which are increasing at a rate out of all proportion to any other costs within our society.
Economic development is critical to our society and even more so following the Great Recession as we struggle with a fragile recovery while teetering on the brink of a double dip into recession. People are struggling with high unemployment, business failures and shrinking wages. We must address the critical need for jobs and business growth to promote jobs. But we must strike a balance between our important values including; protecting our environment, health, and quality of life, and promoting and creating jobs, businesses, and economic opportunity. The answer is a smart energy policy that achieves this balance
Over the past decade, States have played an increasingly important role in providing financial support to renewable energy development and projects, with funding often derived from state-established public benefit funds. States are using a range of financial tools for renewable energy projects that range from rebates, to competitive grants to loans; and, policies for tax incentives, net metering and interconnection rules, and renewable portfolio standards.
Bill understand that the answer is a strong energy policy, one that protects individuals and the environment and public health, while advancing our way of life and current and future economic security. We need to use these tools and policies in a portfolio of effective programs and initiatives that work in North Carolina.
To truly pursue smart energy policy, we must look to regulations for offshore drilling/shale drilling projects to allow the safe, responsible development of offshore and inshore energy; investment via tax credits for new technology; incentives for conversion to alternative fuels; and a plethora of energy efficiency options for homes, industrial buildings, public buildings, start-up business incentives for energy efficiency; and a patent/licensing policy at our Universities related to energy technologies.
A Smart Energy Policy, led by Bill, will present financing and policy options and an evaluation of various energy sources while providing programs that are sufficiently targeted, funded and supported by the market with appropriate financing, investment and participation opportunities through rebates, incentives, grants, loans and loan guarantees, leases, contracts, tax credits, sales and property tax exemptions and public projects.
A PLAN FOR ALL WORKING FAMILIES
A 21st Century Workforce
As our kids enter high school, Bill understands that technological readiness is critical so that they enter the workforce, community college or college with preparation for the jobs of the future. The future workforce is challenging, changing and competitive. We know students are struggling in schools where spending has been cut. We know that community college and university students and their families are suffering from increased tuition costs and less time due to increased outside work to make ends meet.
Workforce readiness must be among our priorities to build the future. A well-prepared, engaged workforce using the latest technology and best practices will increase our state’s economic growth and individual family prosperity. There are ways we can help those disproportionately affected, ways we can help all of our kids develop skills for the future while earning now for increased educational costs. In the past, certain trades engaged apprenticeships. The jobs of the future can be filled with young workers when they are taught the basic skills in our educational institutions and on the job. The jobs of the future will require a new commitment to workforce flexibility, work/family balance and a new commitment to a 21st Century work ethic so that all of our kids have access to world class schools, opportunities, skills and have the resources to prepare them for future jobs.
North Carolina’s high schools, community colleges and universities have suffered extensive cuts in our GOP-led General Assembly. Bill understands the need to invest in high growth job segments, entrepreneurship and small businesses. We need to engage public-partnerships to save money on traditional textbooks and move to electronic ones; create apprenticeships for high growth job sectors for women and minorities; create additional work-college cooperatives that reduce the tuition burden on families and students and help businesses train a pre-entry workforce. Work cooperatives are integrated into the academic curriculum, paid positions that provide sequential, ongoing experiences. The average co-op student graduates with 18 months of experience
A FIGHTER FOR A BETTER FUTURE
Bill grew up on a family farm in Knightdale NC, the son of a Veteran and Sunday School teacher. His Dad served on the Wake County School Board so he learned early on the importance of public service and education. At Enloe High School in Raleigh, he was the Student Body President. After High School, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then attended law school at UNC. When his parents were killed by a drunk driver, just as he was preparing to take the Bar Exam, Bill learned from tragedy. Bill is the proud Dad of six children, two grown, three in college and one in high school. His kids are his inspiration.
Bill Faison has been a successful small businessman and attorney for decades. He knows what it is like to generate and meet a payroll, fight for all of us against all odds. He was elected to the NC House in 2004 where he immediately began fighting for people, pushing rural broadband access so everyone has access to the internet economy, and as Chairman of the House Democrats’ Business Caucus, fighting for jobs in the wake of a recession that has left working families in distress.
Bill is fighting for a better future for all of our kids. Please join Bill in working to get us back on the right path for NC for jobs, the economy, education, energy and our future workforce. We need to put people back to work. We need to put teachers back to work. We need to ensure technology access for all working families and kids. With your support and your vote, we will restore our State’s leadership in education, get folks back to work, help small businesses, protect the environment while advancing an energy plan.
Now is a critical time for North Carolina’s future. We are at a crossroads. Either we will have a government that is focused on: helping people through these tough economic times with a focus on job creation not depletion, providing meaningful support for a world class education for all children (not taking us to 49th nationally in per pupil spending), protecting our ground water and air quality from deliberate contamination, respecting a woman’s right to control her body and make decisions for her own healthcare, embracing and supporting the diversity within our society, protecting people from racial discrimination in the administration of our laws, encouraging and supporting everyone’s right to vote; or, we will have a radical social agenda that rejects the fundamental values we hold so dear.
Support Bill with your time, your contribution and help him move this campaign across the state toward a brighter future. Jobs. Education. Energy. Working together, we can fix this.