Hagan listens to locals concerns

Published 9:16 pm Monday, October 29, 2012

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan made a stop in Beaufort County on Monday. As part of her Round Tables with Kay campaign, she listened to concerns of Beaufort County residents at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center.

“This is my 79th one, and my goal is to hit all of the counties by the end of the year, and this rain isn’t helping,” Hagan said after the discussions.

She said the purpose of the visit was to meet people face to face and to take their issues back to Washington, D.C.

She heard from people asking for more federal help with college expenses and others who said employment was a major issue.

“I’m working on some bills having to do with college debt,” Hagan said.

Before sitting down for a talk with each table, she addressed everyone gathered at the center. She said the state needed to “go big, go long and go smart.”

Going big is decreasing the deficit with $4 trillion in cuts. Going long is looking at the tax codes and finding long-term solutions for small businesses.

Going smart is getting high-speed broadband Internet access that would also benefit small businesses.

Hagan also talked about unemployment. She told the audience the issue with jobs is really with training and education. North Carolina needs more college programs that train people for the jobs available.

“And that’s what I’m working on,” she said.

Hagan said her America Works Act addresses the issue.

Annette Eubanks, regional ombudsman for the Area Agency on Aging, discussed transportation needs for seniors.

“I think it was a great opportunity to connect with her,” Eubanks said.

Norma Latham asked about Medicare coverage for mental illnesses. When she said she had lost coverage, Hagan’s staff took on the task of straightening out the problem.

“Regardless of whether she can do anything, I’m very impressed,” Latham said. “This was the first time I ever knew or met her. She has a lot of knowledge and is willing to serve the people.”