WCQS has been conducting a series of interviews with area lawmakers home from Raleigh after the recently completed legislative session. Our eighth interview is with republican Senator Jim Davis. His District 50 spans seven counties in western North Carolina: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon, Haywood, Jackson, and Swain counties. You can find the full conversation with Senator Davis above. Some highlights are below.
One issue Sen. Davis has been working on for some time is allowing a vote on an annexation of Lake Junaluska by the city of Waynesville. Despite what seems to be bipartisan support for the measure in the legislature, it keeps getting stalled up. I asked him why that is, and followed up with questions regarding local control.
The issue of local control emerged again later in the interview when I was asking Sen. Davis about natural gas drilling in North Carolina. Davis is a strong proponent of allowing the controversial drilling method of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" to occur in the state.
Sen. Davis was a sponsor of Senate Bill 2, which allows magistrates to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. On December 9th, a lawsuit was filed challenging SB2 in federal court. When we spoke earlier, Davis defended sponsoring the bill.
Sen. Davis and I spoke the day after 2 gunmen opened fire in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and wounding many others. I asked him what, if anything, could be done at the government level to help prevent such tragedies. We also discussed the issue of Syrian refugees, which has been a hot topic in North Carolina since the terrorist attack in Paris.
You can find much more in the full conversation above, including Davis' views on abortion and his take on changes to sales tax distribution in the station. 5 of his counties are seeing the new tax dollars, and 2 aren't. You can find the links to the other conversations in our Legislative Wrap series below.