In what we hope is a regular feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will talk with some of the newest members of the N.C. General Assembly to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. This will be an ongoing feature, with the goal of profiling all of the new members. Haven’t been contacted for your profile yet? New legislators can contact reporter Sarah Ovaska at email@example.com.
Name: state Rep. Bob Steinburg, Republican
Occupation: Retired, from consumer goods industry. Also wrote a conservative news column for many years.
Lives in: Edenton
Hometown: Upstate New York and Midlothian,Va.
Family: wife Marie; two grown sons; one grandchild.
Hobbies: Avid reader, prefers non-fiction.
Previous elected offices: None
Why’d you run for office?
“I had the skill sets that are necessary to try and impact policy to the benefit of the folks of the state of North Carolina as well as my region.”
What are the major challenges you’re anticipating in the legislature?
“The major challenge that everyone in the country facing is employment. We need to create an environment in which employers would be al to thrive and prosper. We want to create an environment that businesses from other states would find is welcoming and receptive.”
Any one issue that needs addressing?
“Regulatory reform. We need to take a very close look at all the rules and regulations. There are too many.”
How do you feel about:
Voter ID? In favor of it.
Medicaid expansion? “I’m not necessarily in favor of expanding the social safety net. I’m in favor of doing whatever we can to make that safety net work better. I’m not in favor of the national Health Care Act. I’m fearful of it and I’m fearful of what would happen with the system in place. The states are going to be the last barriers.”
North Carolina’s public schools “I’m a believer that the amount of money we’re spending on education is sufficient. I don’t believe we’re spending money in the most effective manner. There’s going to be more school choice and I’m all in favor of that.”
Immigration: “We have a significant number of illegal aliens. You can’t be an illegal immigrant – if you were an immigrant, you’d be legal. We become almost like a refuge like these folks.”
Eliminate or cut corporate and personal income taxes? “There’s going to be tax reform. My feeling is that any steps that we take in terms of tax reform need to be incremental. To scrap the whole systems and start at ground zero in a fragile economy” is not a good idea. “We need to go slowly and we need to be concerned about declining sales tax revenue.”
Who or what has influenced your politics?
President Ronald Reagan and the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.
How do you describe your politics?
Fiscal and social conservative.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
Despite his hard-line politics, “I’m a very compassionate person. I can be bought to tears pretty easily.” Also had a career in radio in the 1970s, working in Kentucky and New York State.