Name as it appears on the ballot: Mrs. Sydney Batch
Party affiliation: Democratic
Campaign website: www.sydneybatch.com
Occupation & employer: Attorney; Self-Employed
Years lived in North Carolina: 40
1. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of your North Carolina district effectively? What would you cite as your three biggest career accomplishments?
I have continuously served as an advocate for families and small businesses. As a social worker, family law lawyer and small business owner, my life experiences have helped me advocate for legislation that improves the lives of working North Carolinians and their families. As a legislator, I believe that policy and evidence-based research should inform and guide the legislation passed in the North Carolina General Assembly. I have advocated for a number of common sense reforms, including paid family leave, affordable childcare, and mental health access. I am proud to have helped pass an omnibus bill that will improve the outcomes for foster children and families in the child welfare system, as well as increasing the penalties for unlicensed mental health facilities that prey on individuals who have mental health diagnoses.
2. What do you believe to be the three most pressing issues facing the next General Assembly? What steps do you believe the state should take to address them?
1. Lowering costs for families: I voted to lower the income tax rates and I co-sponsored legislation to reinstate the earned income tax and child care tax credit. 2.Protecting women’s reproductive rights: I co-sponsored a bill to codify Roe and Casey. I will continue to sustain the Governor’s veto on bills that severely restrict abortion access and reproductive rights. 3. Keeping our communities safe: I sponsored 6 bills and voted to increase law enforcement funding and training initiatives.
3. To what extent do you support municipalities exerting local control over issues such as regulating greenhouse gas emissions, criminal justice reforms and police oversight, and passing development-regulating ordinances?
I believe that municipalities are more familiar with the challenges facing their communities and may have unique ways to address those challenges. Towns and municipalities should have some flexibility on setting standards, such as tree ordinances and the like, that are in line with statutory authority. However, I believe there are certain areas of the law where uniform regulations would be helpful for every municipality to abide by so that there is consistency and protections for constituents across this state.
4. Do you support raising North Carolina’s minimum wage, and if so by how much? If not, what other initiatives would you take to support low-income families in North Carolina?
Yes, we should raise it to $15 an hour over the course of the next few years and tie it to inflationary measures after that point.
5. With rent, property taxes, and home sale prices all rising, what, if anything, should the state legislature do to address this growing affordability crisis?
I filed a bill this year that would cap the amount a person could offer for the nonrefundable due diligence in North Carolina. This would allow more people to compete with investors who have more liquidity to purchase homes and who can afford larger due diligence amounts.
6. Do you believe that the state government has an obligation to prevent the impacts of climate change? If so, please state three specific policies you support to address climate change.
Yes, and I believe that North Carolina should be the next state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to do our part to help curb global warming. I also voted for HB 951 which has several provisions to address climate change, including a reduction in carbon emissions in NC. I would also expand the use of solar and other renewable energy sources across our state.
7. Would you support an independent process for drawing new legislative and congressional districts?
8. Does the General Assembly have a constitutional obligation to comply with the state Supreme Court order in the Leandro case to fully fund public schools and give every child in North Carolina a sound basic education?
9. When it comes to teacher pay, North Carolina is one of the lowest-paying states in the nation. Schools across the state are facing shortages of educators, support staff, and other key personnel. Do you support raising teacher pay to at least the national average? What else can the General Assembly do to improve working conditions for teachers and make the teaching profession more attractive to potential future educators?
Yes. The General Assembly can also hire more support staff, school counselors, therapists, nurses and psychologists so that teachers can prioritize teaching children and allow other professionals to care for students’ other needs.
10. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling this spring that overturned Roe v. Wade. The legal cutoff for abortion in North Carolina is now 20 weeks. Do you believe the 20-week cutoff is too restrictive, not restrictive enough, or just right? As a state lawmaker, would you support legislation that further limits or prohibits abortion in North Carolina, or punishes/criminalizes abortion providers or patients?
I believe that the current status quo in North Carolina regarding abortion should remain the same, with one caveat. I believe Roe v Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood should be codified at the state level. I am a co-sponsor of legislation to do just that. I agree with the holdings of those cases and believe that a state can add reasonable restrictions to abortion after viability. Prior to that I believe women should have access to abortions without restrictions.
11. Should North Carolina expand Medicaid? Where do you stand on increasing the number of slots for the Innovations Waiver for special needs individuals?
Yes. I also believe we must significantly increase the number of slots for the Innovations waiver. For far too long and for too many years, we have North Carolinians in desperate need of services without the resources to receive them. 12. Do you support reforming North Carolina’s marijuana laws? Do you support full legalization? Please explain your position. Yes, and I believe that we should pass and implement a medicinal marijuana system in North Carolina.
13. Do you support strengthening gun safety regulations such as expanding background checks, banning bump stocks, and raising the age to buy or otherwise regulating the sales of assault-style weapons? Please explain.
Yes. I support common sense gun safety regulations and have sponsored legislation to increase the safe storage of firearms.
14. Are there any issues this questionnaire has not addressed that you would like to address? No.
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