Name as it appears on the ballot: Verla Insko
Full legal name, if different: Verla Clemens Insko
Date of birth: 02/05/1936
Campaign website: verlainsko.com
Occupation & employer: Retired health program administrator, UNC School of Medicine
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?
Jobs and the economy have to be a high priority for anyone running for office. North Carolina should:
Invest in infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, water, sewer, broadband and clean energy,
Expand community college training programs to prepare workers for the thousands of STEM jobs that are going unfilled in North Carolina due to no qualified job applicants.
2. What issue or issues made you want to run for this office?
Protecting the social safety net, including health care for all and mental health services
Education from pre-K through university
Human rights including the right to vote and the right to reproductive freedom.
3. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective in the N. C. House? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.
My work as a heath program administrator at the UNC School of Medicine reinforced my belief that access to health care is a fundamental human right. I also learned how to work in a large, complex institution and how state government worked for that institution.
My 8 years on the Chapel Hill Carrboro Board of Education and 4 years on the Orange County Board of Commissioners provided board information about education, the budgeting process and the role of local government.
4. District 56 spans from Carrboro to Hillsborough, which includes a large UNC student population. How do you plan to connect with and represent its residents? As you’ve campaigned, what common themes are you hearing from voters?
I am attending many community events throughout the district. I grew up in a farming family and understand the importance of sustaining a vital farming community
The most common theme I hear is concern about how slow this recovery is and how much has been lost in the way of economic security.
5. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I support updating our tax system to include taxing services. That sounds good until I start mentioning services taxed in other states. Everyone wants someone else to pay taxes.
I am interested in investigating teacher pay and teacher development; market rates for hard to fill teacher positions, and similar issues that might deviate from the standard teacher salary schedule.
6. What do you see as the primary sources of our state’s budget problems? What measures should the General Assembly use to address them?
Ensuring tax fairness. We should sunset every tax credit for review and renewal. It is almost impossible to close tax loopholes even when they are out of date and not achieving their goals.
Controlling the cost of Medicaid. The recent study by the national Institute of Medicine revealed $750 billion a year in excess health care cost. A lot of that is in Medicare and Medicaid: unnecessary treatment, excess and duplicate paperwork, fee for service, etc.
7. If you want to decrease state education spending please explain what you would cut? If you want to increase state education spending tell us what areas would see more money?
I would increase state funding for education. Items we need to fund in no order of priority:
Expand pre-K programs to serve all at risk 4 year old students
Fund evidence-based services for special needs students, including gifted students.
Extend the school day and the school year
Increase and improve teacher and principal continuing education programs
Increase teacher pay and improve evaluation, feedback and mentoring programs.
Reduce class size
Restore dropout programs
8. What was your position on Amendment One?
I oppose Amendment One
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? Do you support the recently passed state requirements on ultrasounds and waiting periods for women seeking an abortion? Do you support attempts to eliminate funds for Planned Parenthood?
I support women’s reproductive rights, including the “right to choose” based on Roe v. Wade
I oppose requiring an ultrasound and waiting periods for women seeking an abortion’
I opposed cutting funds to Planned Parenthood
10. Would you support Gov. Perdue’s call for a 3/4 cent increase in the sales tax or another revenue measure to restore cuts or cover other costs? Would you support a revision of the state tax code that led to an increase of revenue?
I supported Gov. Perdue’s call for a cent increase in the state sales tax.
I also support other means of raising revenue, including closing tax loopholes
I support revising the sate tax code to include taxing more services
11. What is your position on capital punishment and the Racial Justice Act?
I believe life in prison without parole makes more sense than the death penalty. It protects the public and costs less. There is no evidence that the death penalty deters capital crimes.
I support the Racial Justice Act
12. Both parties have been criticized for overreaching during redistrictings. Would you support an independent commission drawing the lines in the future?