We’ve been talking with area legislators over the past few weeks. It’s part of an effort to bring you their views, in their words. Today the focus is on Representative Chuck McGrady, Republican of Henderson County. On a day when McGrady was preparing for a busy week known as "crossover" - in which most bills have to pass one chamber and "cross over" in order to be considered still alive this session - he took the time to speak with us about issues ranging from taxes, politics, the environment, social issues, and more. The full conversation is above. Below are some parts of the interview we've highlighted.
McGrady is an increasingly influential member of the Republican party, as evidenced by his presence on some key committees. That gives him a key role in crafting this year's budget. In the segment below, he talks about some of his budget priorities.
With the crossover deadline approaching, many bills are being rushed through various committees and chambers. One expected to be discussed would make changes to a 1971 law called the State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA. That bill would mean far fewer projects would be subject to environmental review. As a self-described conservationist, McGrady says he can't support the bill in its current form (as of Monday 4/27). He talks about it below.
McGrady has already put his stamp of approval on changes to the state gas tax and on more money for state incentives. He's also dealt with bills that are more divisive, albeit somewhat reluctantly. In the segment below, he explains his vote in support of a bill mandating a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion in North Carolina.
Another bill McGrady supported that largely divided Democrats and Republicans was one that made changes to Wake County elections. The bill draws districts for the Wake County Board of Commissioners in a way that opponents have criticized as overly partisan. After an election in which Democrats swept the commission, a News & Observer analysis found that had the law been in place in November, Republicans would instead hold a 5-4 majority despite being outvoted by 30,000 voters. McGrady says he's not a fan of having politicians draw districts, but he supported the bill for reasons he explains below.
That conversation is one of a series of talks we've had, and continue to have with area lawmakers, in an effort to bring you their views, in their words. You can find links to our other conversations below. The full conversation with Rep. Chuck McGrady is at the top of this post.