Richard Yates Stevens | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week
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Richard Yates Stevens 

N.C. Senate District 17

Full Legal Name: Richard Yates Stevens

Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Richard Stevens

Office Sought/District: NC Senate, District 17

Party: Republican

Date of Birth: December 12, 1948

Home Address: 132 Lochwood West, Cary, NC 27518

Mailing Address (if different from home): PO Box 1311, Cary, NC 27512

Occupation & Employer: Senator- NC General Assembly

Years lived in North Carolina: 61

Home Phone: 919-851-1177

Work Phone: 919-733-5653


1. What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

The state of the Economy is our most important issue. We must put priority on jobs, protecting our quality of life and making sure we have good education, transportation and an environment in which businesses can create jobs.

2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you've identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to current goals.

As Wake County Manager for sixteen years and State Senator for eight years, I have worked to maintain and improve the quality of life we all enjoy. By helping to build schools, parks, libraries, roads and maintain open space I have a proven track record of accomplishment. As the prime Senate sponsor of the Congestion Relief/Intermodal Transportation legislation I am working to alleviate crowded roads. As Co-Chair of the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee I am making sure our schools, community colleges and universities are properly funded.

3. How do you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

I am a fiscal conservative Republican. I am committed to a balanced budget, low taxes and a close scrutiny of state spending. I also believe that elected officials of both parties need to find ways to work together to solve our problems.

4. The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.

A quality public education system is critical for a just community. I have been an advocate for education throughout my career in public service. My first priority in the state budget is funding for education.

5. Identify and explain one principled stand you would be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

North Carolina faces some critical choices in the next budget process. We are facing a deficit of $3 billion or more. I will vote to eliminate unnecessary and outdated programs in order to balance the budget and avoid tax increases. The advocates for some of these programs will not be pleased with these reductions.

6. If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment on:

a. Poverty: What steps, if any, do you advocate to lift up the poor in North Carolina?

A quality education system for all children is the key to addressing poverty long term.

b. Transportation needs in the state, including roads and transit in the Triangle?

See above.

c. Job creation: What strategies should the state use to attract new business and lower the unemployment rate?

See above

d. Health care: What should the state do next to address the problem of adults and children without adequate health care or insurance?

North Carolina has a program for those unable to qualify for health insurance to be able to obtain and afford coverage.

e. Foreclosures: What more should the state be doing to help consumers avoid foreclosure and hold onto their homes?

Making sure we have a strong economy with adequate jobs for all.

f. The mental health crisis: Everyone agrees it's a mess. Now what?

The decision to close Dorothy Dix Hospital in Raleigh was a mistake. We must partner with private health care providers and county governments to ensure we have an adequate system of mental health care

g. Taxes: Given the needs, are they too high? Too low? Too regressive? Where else should the sales tax be applied? Should it be raised? What's your position on "combined reporting" for national corporations?

Taxes are too high. The sales tax could be expanded to cover more services IF the rate is lowered. All individuals and companies should pay their fair share of taxes. Our revenue laws are antiquated and must be revised for the 21st Century. "Combined reporting" allows some companies to escape paying taxes on income earned in NC and should be changed.

h. Energy: What steps, if any, should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? What policies should be put in place to incentivize innovation in wind, solar and future energy sources?

North Carolina is a national leader in energy legislation. By passing Senate Bill 3 (I was a co-sponsor). North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS). Under this new law, investor-owned utilities in North Carolina will be required to meet up to 12.5% of their energy needs through renewable energy resources or energy efficiency measures.

7. What local bills would you introduce and how closely will you work with local elected leaders in advancing their legislative agendas?

As Co- Chair of the Wake Delegation I have worked with all the local governments in Wake County and with the other members of the Wake Delegation to ensure that local bills are handled in a bipartisan manner. I only introduce those local bills supported by the governing body of the affected jurisdiction.

8. What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under state anti-discrimination laws, including state personnel laws.

All people should be treated with dignity and respect.

9. Do you support women's reproductive rights, including the "right to choose" as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade? Given that North Carolina has the ninth highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, do you support medically accurate sex education that includes information about birth control?

Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, however I consider myself to be pro life, except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Sex education is best done by parents.

10. What steps will you take to increase transparency and outreach to constituents, and root out corruption, not only personally but among other General Assembly members?

North Carolina was once known as the "Good Government State." Unfortunately that reputation has been tarnished in recent years by scandal and corruption. We need to adopt stricter ethics and campaign reporting laws and we need to insist that all elected officials are held accountable for their actions.

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