Since I was not interviewed by the DTH, I am writing to provide information about my record.
I chair the House Education Subcommittee on Universities and introduced the bill that gave UNC-Chapel Hill the authority to develop the Horace Williams property as a centennial campus. Also, I put forward an amendment that protected the University's right to retain flexibility in its financial management.
As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, I was an effective voice in support of the Higher Education bond referendum, and I have worked throughout this district and the state for passage of the referendum. As chair of the House Committee on State Personnel, I always promote ample salary increases for the faculty and staff, as well as protection of their health benefits and increases in their retirement benefits. I have consistently voiced my opposition to increases in tuition for students and helped get improved benefits for our graduate teaching assistants.
My work on behalf of this district involves a broad range of issues besides higher education. These include women's health, improving early childhood education, raising teacher's salaries, safeguarding the elderly, protecting our environment, promoting health care for all and reforming our mental health system.
I received the Responsible Choices Award from Planned Parenthood of North Carolina for introducing the contraceptive parity bill, making North Carolina the eighth state in the nation to require insurance companies covering prescription drugs to cover contraceptives.
This year, for my work to improve the state's mental health system, I received the Valand Award from the Mental Health Association of North Carolina and the Legislator of the Year Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Arc of North Carolina. I was recognized for outstanding legislative service by the North Carolina Sickle Cell Program and the Counselors Association of North Carolina.
In addition, I am endorsed by the North Carolina Association of Educators, the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club, the N.C. Conservation Council, NC-NOW, the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Equality NC PAC, the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Chapel Hill News and the Independent Weekly.
I effectively represent the values of this district, this community and the faculty, staff and students at Carolina, and I ask for your vote on Nov. 7.
Rep. Verla Insko