Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) was named to the Senate Armed Services and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees today. Legislative work in Congress is divided among committees based on jurisdiction, and "A"- level committees are considered the most important.
"Our Armed Forces have always been the backbone of our safety and security as a nation, and North Carolina has played a large role in that history," said Hagan, who has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for military personnel and veterans. Hagan's father-in-law is a 95 year old, retired two-star Marine general, her father and brother both served in the Navy, and her husband Chip, himself a Vietnam veteran, attended Wake Forest Law School with help from the G.I. Bill. "North Carolina is the most military-friendly state in the nation, and I am committed to keeping it that way," she continued. "I'm looking forward to working with our military leaders and our soldiers to ensure we have a 21st century military. We need to find ways to support the next generation of professional soldiers, with programs such as the 21st Century G.I. Bill, and ensure that they have the equipment and training they need and deserve to help keep our country safe."
Hagan has been a strong proponent of education throughout her career in public service. As co-chair of the North Carolina Senate Appropriations Committee, Hagan helped fund innovative learning programs such as "Learn and Earn," which allows students to begin earning college credits at their local community colleges during their senior year in high school and receive an associates degree the following year. Graduates then receive a $4,500 tuition credit for two years at state universities, allowing many students to graduate from state universities with little or no debt.
"From Murphy to Manteo, families I have talked to are feeling intense pressure to make ends meet. The exploding cost of health care and lack of affordable educational opportunities are putting a daily strain on North Carolina families," Hagan said. "I'm honored to be named to the committee that will spearhead the reform of educational programs like No Child Left Behind, reform our health care system, and help make a competitive and affordable elementary, secondary, and college education a reality for all children in this country. We need a 21st Century labor force to compete in the global economy, and the work of building that labor force starts in the classroom.
Hagan recently co-sponsored her first bill in the U.S. Senate, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which originates in the HELP Committee. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would ensure that victims of pay discrimination have the ability to hold their employers accountable and receive back pay to which they are justifiably entitled.