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At the end of a long and difficult year, one full of unexpected challenges, its important to pause and reflect on our accomplishments both on the campaign trail and in the NC legislature.

Legislative Update:

Facing an unprecedented public health crisis, our legislature took action to provide disaster relief for North Carolinians all across our state. We have much more work to do next year, but so far we have passed disaster relief legislation that includes:

$125 million in small business assistance loans through Golden LEAF $84 million for expanded COVID-19 testing and contact tracing $75 million to help local schools with…


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Photo: Adobe Stock

North Carolina leaders must prioritize health care, especially reproductive health care, during the pandemic and beyond.

After enduring an election cycle unlike any other, North Carolina legislators are turning our focus back towards the critical work ahead of us in 2021. During my reelection campaign, I talked to many constituents who were concerned about their health care. Some were recently unemployed and unsure of how they could afford their next few months of medical care. Others were worried that one unplanned health expense could put their family into debt beyond repair. …


Should we change our compensation system?

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In August of 2019, I visited two state prisons in North Carolina: Central Prison, the intake facility for all male felons over the age of 22 with sentences longer than 20 years, and the Correctional Institute for Women, which is the state’s primary correctional facility for women and houses the largest offender population in the state.

During these visits, I spoke with wardens, hospital administrators, nurses, safety officers, cafeteria workers, and inmates about what it is like to live and work in prison. I learned a lot from administrators and prison employees who spoke…


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A recent report released by the NC Department of Administration entitled “The Status of Women in North Carolina: Health and Wellness” reveals a dire situation for women’s reproductive health in our state.[i] The report’s findings state that, “Wide disparities persist in the health of women by race and ethnicity, as well as by geography.” The report also states that policy makers have the power to improve health and wellness. …


My floor speech made in the NC House on crisis pregnancy centers

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The last time this year’s budget was debated, I voiced my concern about the Health and Human Services funding we’ve appropriated to the Human Coalition, and the expansion of their “Continuum of Care” pilot program. In the last fiscal year, they received an appropriation of $300,000, and even though the Department of Health and Human Services did not recommend that we increase their funding this year, the Conference Committee report quadrupled the Human Coalition’s funding to $1.2 million.

In a report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on April 30, DHHS stated that the “model piloted by the Human Coalition…


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Yesterday, I made these remarks on the floor of the NC House regarding the Joint Conference Committee Report on the NC Appropriations Act of 2019

Thank you, Madame Speaker. Members, I rise today to express my sincere disappointment with this Budget and the funding which has been appropriated to K-12 public education.

When we talk about this budget, we should point to not what it does, but what it doesn’t do. We should all note that this “compromise” budget somehow spends less on education than either of the original House or Senate Budgets. This budget leaves total school funding 2.9% below pre-Recession levels when adjusted for enrollment growth and inflation. …


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Tammy has been seeing her family practice physician for 22 years. He was the doctor who detected symptoms which led to her cancer diagnosis many years ago. “I can’t imagine seeing anyone else after all these years.” Unfortunately, Tammy has to find a new physician by next year. Tammy’s doctor posted a notice in his office telling patients he would no longer accept insurance provided by the State Health Care Plan as of June 2020 because of a mandatory requirement that he participate in the North Carolina Health Information Exchange. This requirement isn’t new, but it’s recently caused some confusion…


Restoring Retirement Health Benefits Can Help

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My sixth-grade daughter recently commented that every teacher she had in elementary school was no longer at her school. When I thought back on the amazing educators she had, it struck me that she was right. All six teachers were no longer working at her old elementary school. Some had retired, but most had left the teaching profession to work in other careers. As a parent, I’m sad because I miss seeing these teachers as the friends and wonderful people that they all are. But as a legislator, I’m angry. …


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My middle school daughter has a bright future ahead of her. She is smart, curious about science and attends a wonderful public school where she is supported and encouraged to pursue any career she wants. But right now, no matter what field she decides to pursue, she will get paid less than the boy sitting next to her in class. Why? Because she is a female.

Right now, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides some protection against gender discrimination, but it does not provide a constitutional guarantee against discrimination based on sex. …

Julie von Haefen

Representative for NC House District 36

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