NC State House District 40 — William Watt Jones (D)
Political Party: Democrat
How long in district:
The economy is at the top of voter’s minds in this year’s elections. What do you think elected officials can really do to address it?
What I’ve been saying since the beginning of my campaign is that the first thing we need to do on a state level … is give tax breaks to small businesses over large corporations, because in North Carolina over 85 percent of our employers here are small businesses. If we can help them and get them some extra money from tax breaks or digital tax credits and put people back to work that will reinvigorate the economy. Of course at the federal level, they’re going to have to do the same thing. We need more jobs in this state and we need to help out small businesses. That’s my view.
Why do you think your constituents should elect you?
Most of them hopefully will understand that small businesses are the biggest employers in this state. They’re looking for more money in their pockets and I hope those voters will vote for me that have the same views I do. I think a lot of them do.
Helping small businesses, I think that’s the way to go for these rural communities that have a high poverty rate and a high unemployment rate across the state―some of them have rates above 20 or 30 percent. If we can provide some credit and get those businesses that want to come to this state to relocate to those areas, set up shop and hire people, I think the voters will see eye-to eye with me on that.
I have about 20 years of law enforcement experience. I’ve been a police chief twice. I think we need to work on our criminal justice system. We need to stiffen up some of the laws. Especially with some of the stuff that came out recently about employers who were skirting the system on worker’s compensation. People were getting hurt and not having any medical coverage because the company doesn’t have any worker’s compensation. That’s not giving a fair playing field to those businesses that are operating legitimately.
What do you think of the state’s new fracking law and how it should be implemented?
I don’t think it should be implemented. I was opposed to it. I would’ve voted against it. From everything I’ve seen, fracking is not safe. Even the state geologist has said that if fracking takes place there’s going to a maximum five-year supply. I think a lot of voters in those areas where fracking would take place., from what I’ve seen they don’t want it because it harms the water supply, the ground water. Fracking in North Carolina because of the shale deposits and where they are at in the ground would be totally different here than they would in Pennsylvania or anywhere else because the shale is a lot deeper. Here it’s close to our ground water. I oppose it. I think there’s a conflict of interest with one or two people that are on that commission that was appointed and I’m opposed to it.
In a recent Supreme Court ruling, the court gave states the option of expanding the Medicaid program to cover many low-income adults, and the federal government will be paying for the bulk of the expansion. What, if anything, do you think North Carolina should do about expanding Medicaid?
Medicaid, I think, should be expanded to help those people that need it. Especially the poor that can’t afford medical care and senior citizens and, especially, in my view, people with special needs, because they are going to bear the brunt of any cuts that happen. I think it should be expanded. I also think we should do something about the fraud that takes place. I think we can expand it and find solutions to make it better and cut out the fraud.
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