Editor’s note: N.C. Policy Watch is chatting 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. The 2015 session of the legislature gets underway January 14, 2015.
Name: state Rep. Larry Yarborough (Republican)
Occupation: businessman and developer, co-founder of Roxboro MedAccess (urgent care center)
From: Born in Mississippi, lived in Roxboro for more than 20 years
District: Granville, Person counties
Family: wife Dr. Kimberly Yarborough; 3 children, two in college and one in middle school
Hobbies: Playing golf, hunting and fishing
Previous elected office: Person County Commissioner, 2004-2008
Why did you run for office? “Somebody had to do it. Our representative [Democrat “Winkie” Wilkins] was retiring and it seemed like something I was capable of doing.”
What do you think will be the biggest issue at the legislature this year? “The biggest issue for us in my district is the Falls Lake watershed rules which have been which have been unfairly dumped on people in Granville County.” Hopes to delay or reduce impact on development of Falls Lake cleanup.
What’s one specific campaign promise that you’d like to deliver on? Concentrated on changing Falls Lake watershed rules, also hopes his science background (has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering) will help. “I’m beginning to realize that there aren’t a lot of legislators with a scientific background. I’m hoping to contribute to a number of more science-based issues we have, like coal ash.”
Do you think the state should expand the Medicaid program? Why or why not? “I think it’s worth looking at again. From what I understand Medicaid is in better shape than it was a few years ago when that question first came up.”
Says expansion would be helpful to health care businesses. “If we’re in a position where we can control the spending, we want to help as many people as possible but we don’t want to break the budget with it.”
How do you feel about the state’s minimum wage ($7.25 an hour)? Should it be raised? Doesn’t think it should be raised. “I don’t believe minimum wage puts a false number on a value of an employee. If you increase minimum wage, you decrease the number of people employed. I’m more of a free market person.”
Is the state’s funding for public education enough? “It’s always a goal to increase it. We’ve got to be constantly working to improve education, whether through funding or new areas. In my district, charter schools have proven to be very effective.”
What other state issues are on your mind? Economic development in rural areas. “We probably need to take a look at incentives. All of our rural counties up here on the Virginia line see Virginia spending a lot of money to attract new businesses. We need some help.”
What leader do you look up to the most? Why? Former Dem. state Rep. Jim Crawford. “He did great things for his district, he was a solid leader in the legislature and he’s a very good man.”
Name your pet peeve: Doesn’t have any. “I’m a common sense person” that looks at issues by applying common sense.
Contact information: Larry.firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 503-8282