Study hard, N.C. Legislature

Under the Republican majority in the N.C. House and Senate, we have gone from an F-rated, ineffective state Legislature to a B-rated, well-run Legislature.

As a lifelong conservative Republican who understands conservative values must come before party affiliation, I wish I could rate the Republican majority with an A, but cannot due to a few major mistakes in judgment that have recently occurred during budget negotiations. Elected public officials need to understand: Conservatives never raise taxes.

We must start being competitive with surrounding states such as South Carolina. I don't know who proposed our gas taxes be increased when South Carolina is already [much] cheaper, but I would love to find out. I imagine South Carolina loves every time they see a North Carolina tag at a gas station.

We will hear many reasons why this was done, though as long as many of our citizens are basically in the position where they cannot afford to drive to work, no reasoning is acceptable.

To be competitive with surrounding states means keeping our gas, income and corporate tax rates in line with other Southeastern states.

Although I am proud with much of the accomplishments from the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly, I strongly suggest a little more thinking on their own versus continuously voting along party line. If the party is wrong let them know why. That is how to gain credibility.

Another disturbing fact is virtually all law-abiding citizens would agree it is important to them that they and their families feel safe at all times. Making cuts to the law enforcement and the judicial system is ludicrous. The county's DA offices are already overwhelmed with cases. You never cut prosecutors’ staff.

Make the cuts where cuts are needed and leave the rest alone. I feel sure that by listening to the needs of our constituents and responding in a timely manner, I will gladly be able to rate this current legislature with an A-rating.

— Jeff Gerber

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