Local Politics

Local lawmaker meets with Obama transition team

Posted December 19, 2008 6:08 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2008 6:50 p.m. EST

— Federal funds should go to states for infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, North Carolina House Speaker Rep. Joe Hackney said Friday.

Hackney, D-Chatham County, recently returned from a Washington D.C. meeting with President-elect Obama’s transition team.

Hackney, who attended the meeting as the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, discussed an economic stimulus package and how the funds should be distributed.

“How can we use this stimulus money to put Americans to work?” Hackney said.

Hackney said he’s like to see the money to toward infrastructure projects, like extending Interstate 540.

“Those are things that we know we need to do. We are going to have to do it whether or not we have a stimulus package and so, it’s a win, win,” Hackney said.

Hackney also wants to see funds go to energy efficiency, Medicaid and food stamps. In addition, he hopes unemployment benefits can be extended.

“There is some talk of whether the states with the higher unemployment rates get a little more than those with lower rates,” Hackney said.

Right now, North Carolina's unemployment rate is the eighth highest in the nation.

“So we’ll be helped by it, I’m positive of that,” Hackney said.