North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Stephen Ross (R- Alamance)
Stephen Ross was first elected to public office in the early 1990s, serving on the Burlington City Council for 16 years. He went on to serve as Burlington’s mayor from 2003-2007, then won election to the NC House in 2012.
Ross has used his position in public office to help his employer, Wells Fargo, and the financial services industry while also voting against legislation that would aid working families. He looked out for big banks over working families, sponsoring a bill that would have prevented the public from seeing details about North Carolina’s Wall Street transactions. He voted for predatory lending bills that helped companies sell high-interest rate consumer loans and enhanced the profits of consumer finance companies and against aid for working families, including ending the Earned Income Tax Credit and slashing unemployment benefits.
Ross has voted for multiple bills that damage North Carolina public schools. He voted for a bill that would have allowed organizations outside of colleges or universities to offer education preparation programs and supported legislation that cut taxes for the rich while failing to meaningfully raise teacher salaries.
Since winning election to the legislature, Ross has consistently supported bills that endanger the environment. These include repealing the OBX plastic bag ban, failing to fully fund GenX cleanup, limiting the compensation people can receive in lawsuits filed against corporate, foreign-owned agricultural operations for disturbances, allowing the aerosolization of “garbage juice,” and deregulating environmental policies.
Ross has repeatedly voted with the Republicans in the NCGA to block Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, costing the state $21 billion in federal funds from 2016 to 2020. Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion that covered 500,000 low-income North Carolinians and was fully funded by federal tax money for 3 years, and 90 percent of costs thereafter. They did it again in 2018, using a procedural vote to block an amendment that would have improved healthcare in rural North Carolina.
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Ross works for Wells Fargo, the third largest bank in the country, and used his position in public office to help the financial services industry while voting against legislation that would aid N.C. families.
- Since 2012 Ross has received at least $25,500 in PAC money from the financial services industry.
- Ross was the primary sponsor of a bill that would have prevented the public from seeing the details of North Carolina’s Wall Street transactions for at least ten years.
- In 2013 Ross voted to enhance the profits of predatory consumer finance companies as they further trapped low-income people in debt.
Ross voted for multiple bills that damage North Carolina public schools by cutting teacher pay and per pupil spending.
- Ross voted in favor of Senate Bill 599, which would have allowed organizations outside of colleges or universities to offer educator preparation programs.
- Despite Ross’s website saying he will work for better schools, he voted for budgets that let education in North Carolina fall further behind by cutting taxes for millionaires instead of raising teacher salaries to the national average.
Since winning election to the legislature, Ross has consistently supported bills that endanger the environment.
- Ross voted for H56 which tied the repeal of the Outer Banks plastic bag ban to inadequate GenX funding.
- Ross voted for H467 which limited the amount of compensation people could receive in lawsuits filed against large, foreign-owned agricultural operations for disturbances.
- Ross voted for S131 which overturned policies meant to protect stream beds, beaches, and air quality.
Ross has repeatedly voted to block Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, even when fully funded by the federal government.
- Ross and the Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion that covered 500,000 low-income North Carolinians.
- The expansion was fully funded by federal tax money for 3 years, and 90 percent of costs thereafter; failure to expand was estimated to cost the state $21 billion in federal funds from 2016 to 2020.
- In 2018, Rep. Bobbie Richardson proposed an amendment that would expand Medicaid under the ACA to H998, but House Speaker Tim Moore ruled the amendment out of order and Ross and other House Republicans sustained the ruling, blocking Medicaid expansion.
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