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North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Nelson Dollar (R-Wake)

Rep. Nelson Dollar is a Republican representing House District 36. He has been in the General Assembly for over a decade and has been senior Chairman of the Appropriations Committee since Republicans took control of the House in 2011. Working as House Republicans main budget writer Dollar, according to the News & Observer, “officially […] is senior chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Unofficially, he’s the House gatekeeper.”

Dollar consistently uses his gatekeeping power and influence to write budgets and policies that deeply cut education funding, failing to provide teachers with salary increases that meet the national average. While claiming there is not enough funding to increase teacher pay and provide stipends for teachers spending out of pocket money, he found ways to lavishly spend taxpayer money on himself and his friends. Dollar went on a taxpayer-funded “booze cruise” that cost taxpayers over $31,000. The cruise provided complimentary gift bags, beer, and wine to Dollar and 13 other legislators while North Carolinians were stuck waiting in long lines and in traffic delays. While failing to improve per pupil funding he did think there was more money to pay politicians, sponsoring a bill to raise his own pay in 2017.

Dollar used his position of power in the Republican House caucus to get lucrative consulting contracts for his business. Since 2004, Dollar’s consulting firm, J.N. Dollar & Associates received over $700,000 in disbursements from registered North Carolina campaign committees, including disbursements from 13 legislators while they were in the state legislature.

 In addition to providing tax breaks for his wealthy friends and spending taxpayer dollars on himself, Dollar consistently voted against policies that would benefit his constituents. He voted against Medicaid expansion, advocated for cutting child care subsidies, and supported a budget that eliminated the ability to access health insurance for state employees hired after 2021. 

Read more information about Dollar here

“[The General Assembly] did the best that could be done for education with the resources that we had available to us at the time.” -Nelson Dollar (Winston-Salem Journal, 7/24/14)

Dollar, one of the most influential members of the House, consistently voted for policies that shortchange education at every level, instead prioritizing tax cuts for big corporations and his personal gain.

  • Dollar supported budgets that cut as much as 20 percent of the Pre-K budget and has voted for budgets that cut university funding.
  • Dollar is the architect of a budget provision that made fully funding enrollment growth in schools optional, making it easier for Republicans to continue to cut educating funding.
  • Dollar voted for the 2016 Republican budget that kept teacher pay below $35,000 a year.
  • Dollar voted to lower class sizes but failed to provide additional funding to offset the cost.
  • Dollar voted for a budget that allocated only a 6.5 percent pay raise for teachers whereas Gov. Cooper’s proposed budget allocated an 8 percent pay raise.
  • Dollar voted for H13, which reduced class sizes to 19 to 21 students for K-3 classes at a cost of $388 million per year.
  • Rather than providing money to subsidize out of pocket expenses for teachers, Dollar supported a budget that continued the Republican trend of cutting corporate taxes
  • Dollar went on a taxpayer funded “booze cruise” with 13 other legislators, which cost taxpayers $31,101 and showed his true priorities.
  • Dollar sponsored a 2017 bill to pay himself more.

While dramatically slashing education funding, Dollar used his influence to get payouts of over $700,000 from campaign committees for his own business, and cut billions in taxes for big corporations

  • Dollar’s business, J.N Dollar and Associates, received over $700,000 from NC campaign committees since Dollar joined the legislature.
  • His firm experienced a jump in earnings after he joined the legislature, and in the 2014 election cycle, booked nearly $150k of work for the NCGOP
  • Dollar supported the Republican agenda that placed tax breaks for out of state corporations ahead of raising teacher pay to the national average.

In addition to providing tax breaks for big corporations and spending taxpayer dollars on himself, Dollar consistently voted against policies that would benefit his constituents. He voted against Medicaid expansion, advocated for cutting child care subsidies, and supported a budget that eliminated the ability to access health insurance for state employees hired after 2021.

  • Dollar supported tax reform that eliminated tax breaks for middle class North Carolinians
  • Dollar chairs both the Health Committee and the Healthcare Reform Committee and has opposed policies that would make healthcare affordable for everyone.
  • In 2018 Dollar voted against expanding access to health care despite the fact that NC has the third most expensive health insurance in the country.
  • Dollar voted for the 2017 budget that reduced accessibility of health care by eliminating health insurance eligibility for state employees hired after 2021.
  • Dollar voted for the tax cap constitutional amendment that locks in tax breaks for the wealthy
  • Dollar supported reducing child care subsidies in both 2011 and 2017.

 Read the full profile here