State representatives update residents on recent legislative session

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 09:39 AM.

Back home after what N.C. Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, called “a historic session in Raleigh this year,” he and N.C. Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, spoke and took questions from residents on Friday.

Serving in new legislative posts during a year of sweeping change, neither man ruffled from criticism and both conceded some compromise is essential to get the job done during the event sponsored by the Pamlico County Republican Party.

Touted as a town hall meeting, more than 80 people attended.

Some praised the pair for tax reforms they feel have already enhanced the state’s ability to recruit business. Others were critical over funding for education, Medicaid and unemployment benefits.

Sanderson said he sees the possibility of a special legislative session to deal with some changes in the tax code, which have “caused an outcry loud and far. We started working on the bill, but the law passed is not the end of it.”

While there were no “personal attacks,” there was disagreement, including one person who called the lawmakers’ actions on education, Medicaid and unemployment benefits “morally indefensible” and asked that they “please reconsider these things.”

Speciale said: “We did not expand Medicaid because the Medicaid system in North Carolina is broken” and “I think it is a moral obligation to not spend people’s money they don’t have. There is 30 percent fraud in the system and that is not a smart way to spend money.”

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