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Daughtridge calls for ‘long-term vision’

By Staff
Says state leaders must pinch pennies
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
CHOCOWINITY— Rep. Bill Daughtridge, R-Nash, said he intends to be the voice of financial reason in the state Legislature when he spoke at the Down East Republican Club meeting Thursday night.
Daughtridge has focused his legislative efforts on fostering the state’s growth and economic development, he said. That same focus should be applied when the General Assembly considers all the bond requests at its feet this session, he said. The state has about a $1.5 billion bond capacity, he said, and taking on any more than that could jeopardize its healthy financial ranking.
Daughtridge described himself as “one of the voices of small business in the Legislature.” He is serving his third term in the House and plans to run for state treasurer in 2008. In his second term, he served as chairman of the House Commerce Committee and vice chairman of the House Finance Committee. When it comes to economic decisions, Daughtridge said he and new House Speaker Joe Hackney, D-Orange, are at “polar ends of the spectrum.”
Medicaid will be “on the top of the docket” during the General Assembly’s session, he said. “That’s the singular thing that’s making poor counties poorer.”
Daughtridge said he felt confident Republicans in state leadership positions would be able to come together — and vote together — on crucial issues. He believes there is more variation on political stances from Democrat to Democrat, whereas Republicans are closer to being on the same page.
Daughtridge said his priority for the legislative session is to think about people over issues.