League of Women Voters – VOTE411.org responses
What would be your priorities if elected?
Advocate on behalf of working families. This means supporting a living wage for workers, supporting public education (no public tax dollars for private schools), developing a loan program to make college and vocational education affordable to those families. Also, protecting pension programs and improving the deplorable state of Indiana’s nursing homes. A number of other problems need addressed including the opioid crisis, the sad state of the DCS, reinstatement of the “common construction wage” and rescinding the “right to work” act.
What is your position on an independent redistricting panel in 2021?
Please explain your position.
Indiana is a poster child for partisan gerrymandering. Admittedly, both parties have been guilty of this offense in historical terms. However, technology has permitted modern gerrymandering to become so sophisticated as to permit the truth to be told that politicians indeed select their voters. A more fair system of creating legislative districts is now required.
What should the state government change, if anything, about education funding and policies? Why?
First, end this indefensible practice of subsidizing private schools at the cost of our children in public schools. End this insufferable system of testing our students and pitting school districts against one another. Create a student loan system which both makes higher education affordable and helps stop the “brain drain”. This idea proposes a student loan program for Hoosiers that allows for an annual 10% loan forgiveness for each year after graduation that they remain in Indiana’s workforce. If they stay 10 years, the entire loan is extinguished.
What is your position on raising the minimum wage in Indiana?
Please explain your position.
Our minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a poverty wage not a living wage. The lame argument that the “market” should set workers wages is indefensible. The “market” did not provide a safer workplace, a 40 hour work week, child labor laws, or prevention of discriminatory practices in the workplace. Our pathetic minimum/poverty wage provides no incentive to rise up out of the poverty families experience while failing to pay the most basic of living expenses on $290 a week.
What changes, if any, would you support to Indiana policies related to gun control? Why?
I would support comprehensive background checks (removing the gun show exception), ban “bump stocks”, limit high capacity magazines, and determine what “military weapons” should require additional regulation.
What changes, if any, do you suggest to Indiana’s tax structure and funding priorities? Why?
Any business person will claim that “profits” are tied to wise investments. The same is true for the people of Indiana. To bring a return on the spending of public tax dollars, we must invest wisely. To provide a skilled and intelligent work force, Indiana must invest in both its public education as well as its higher education and vocational training. Shortchanging these resources will result in a talent shortage and continued stagnation in worker earnings. Our continued lack of investment in education, combined with the Indiana children’s crisis with the DCS and the opioid epidemic creates the belief that the prison industry is the only surefire investment available. We must be able to recognize that the wise investment of tax dollars saves money for us all in the long run.