What the Passage of the Connect NC Bond Can Teach The Rest of the Country

On March 15, while the media and the pundits were talking on cable news about how divided we are as a country, something remarkable happened in North Carolina.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents came together to pass the Connect NC bond by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority.

At a time when it seems like we are more distant from our friends, family and neighbors than ever before, we showed that as a state, we CAN come together to do what’s right for North Carolina and our future. By passing the $2 billion bond to invest in our state’s incredible community colleges, universities, state parks and national guard facilities, we proved that we can unite as a state and look towards the future and work together to solve problems.

That’s what North Carolina is known for. It’s what we’ve always done as a state.

It’s the reason that over the last three years, we focused on rebuilding North Carolina’s economy and lifting us out of one of the worst recessions in our state’s history.

It’s the reason we’re turning unemployment offices into career centers, and modernizing state government services like the DMV to provide better customer service.

It’s the reason we reformed our 60-year old tax code, and updated it for the modern world, unleashing the innovative spirit of our entrepreneurs, the world-class work ethic of our farmers and the gritty perseverance of our manufacturing workers. Instead of taxing North Carolina families with the highest income taxes in the southeast, we lowered their tax burden and put more money back into their paychecks. And in the process, we became one of the most competitive states for jobs in the country and will be even more competitive in the future.

It’s the reason that when we saw that veterans were moving out of our state for opportunities elsewhere, we worked together to pass in-state tuition for our brave men and women and made it easier for them get jobs so they can stay here in North Carolina and raise a family.

It’s also the reason that we’ve turned the tide of neglect and started investing in our schools and helping students achieve. It’s the reason we’re raising teacher pay faster than any other state, bringing innovative digital learning technologies to the classroom and focusing on helping our children to graduate with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

It’s about the future.

To those out there who turn on the news and are worried about the direction of our country and our state, the passage of the Connect NC bond shows that there is a path forward. A path where we put aside our differences, and focus on the kind of future we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.

2016 Race for Governor

We need to continue this kind of visionary, forward-thinking leadership, and stay focused on solving our state’s problems, not take our state back to the days of record high unemployment, higher taxes, and bigger government. We need a governor who will lead, and who will do what’s right to prepare our state for the future.

We need a governor who will continue to focus on jobs, improving education and raising teacher pay, not someone who won’t show up for work when it matters or hide and simply do or say what’s politically expedient. We need a governor who will stand up to Washington, D.C. when they step out of bounds, not step aside.

And we need a governor who isn’t afraid to tackle the toughest challenges we face as a state like drug addiction, mental health, infrastructure and public safety.

Together, we can continue this kind of visionary leadership for another 4 years.