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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash)

by Jazmynne Williams

Sen. Rick Horner (R-Johnston, Nash) is currently serving his second term in the North Carolina Senate. Prior to his election to Senate, Horner served as a board member of the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Board for over fourteen years.

Since his election in 2016, Horner has made inconsistent claims about his support for health care access and education. Horner said the state should “take a serious look” at Medicaid expansion, but provided no further information on his position. Horner supported the 2019 budget, which failed to expand Medicaid. The 2019 Republican budget would have cut DHHS’s budget by $42 million.

Horner said he wants to bring urgency, accountability, and quality to education in North Carolina but as a lawmaker his votes did not support these claims. Horner, whose wife is a teacher, campaigned on teacher pay and said, “we need to listen to teachers,” but criticized the teacher rally and failed to follow through with his votes. Horner was the primary sponsor of a bill requiring school districts to repeal discipline policies that warned about racial disparities. Read more here.

"Not everyone up here was screaming bloody murder," Horner said when asked about the tensions between lawmakers and educators.” (Rocky Mount Telegram, 5/17/18)

Summary

Horner supported the 2019 budget, which failed to expand Medicaid. Medicaid expansion would have brought health care to more than half a million North Carolinians and would not have required a tax increase.

  • Despite saying NC should “take a serious look” at Medicaid expansion, Horner supported the 2019 budget, which failed to expand Medicaid.
  • More than half a million North Carolinians would gain access to affordable health care if the state expanded Medicaid, 90 percent of which is paid for by the federal government.
  • The 2019 Republican budget would underfund Medicaid by more than $60 million and include a $15 million cut to Medicaid.
  • The 2019 Republican budget would have cut DHHS’s budget by $42 million.
  • Horner called Medicaid an “entitlement” and said it was therefore impossible to underfund.

Horner said he wants to bring urgency, accountability, and quality to education in North Carolina but as a lawmaker, his votes have not supported these claims.

  • Horner, whose wife is a teacher, campaigned on teacher pay and said, “we need to listen to teachers,” but criticized the teacher rally and failed to follow through with votes.
  • Horner sponsored a bill to pay teachers for advanced degrees but failed to push it across the finish line and supported a budget that did not include pay bumps for teachers with advanced degrees.
  • Horner has made conflicting statements about teacher pay and has advocated for higher teacher pay but has also criticized teachers who have rallied for more funding and voted for budgets that did not provided adequate funding for the education system.
  • Horner was the only member to vote against a bill that would limit class size.
  • Horner was the primary sponsor of a bill requiring school districts to repeal discipline policies that warned about racial disparities.

Read more about Horner here.