… both sides of the aisle need to set aside their partisan differences and work for meaningful solutions …
MY CAMPAIGN POSITIONS
We need to create not just jobs in the district and the State of Ohio, but strive for sustainable economic development, creating those jobs that will sustain our economy for years and decades to come. In order to do this, we must build upon the existing economic, structural and quality of life strengths that exist in this district. Specifically, we need to partner with our existing energy related industries, along with our educational institutions, to make the district a nationally-recognized center for energy related businesses.
We need to address the political intransigence currently in Columbus. Members from both sides of the aisle need to set aside their partisan differences and work for meaningful solutions to our economic problems. I pledge that if I am elected I will reach out to the other side of the aisle to formulate solutions for our economic and budgetary difficulties, and further pledge that I will not be bound by the positions of the House caucus.
In addressing our budget deficits, I believe that the first step is to analyze our current spending, line by line, to see what programs could be cut without detrimental effects. The second step is to examine the deductions, credits and exemptions from state taxation that have crept into the statutes, which cost the state billions of dollars per year, with an eye toward ending unproductive exemptions, or those that have outlived their usefulness. The third step is to examine the effect of an across the board cut in expenditures. Only after these steps and taken, and the result still found wanting, should any tax increases be considered.
Further, we need to address our still unconstitutional school funding system, and reduce its reliance on local property taxes.
Here are the questions recently posed by the Delaware County League of Women Voters and my responses:
Questions for Voter Guide: Ohio House of Representatives 67th and 68th districts
Please limit your answers to one hundred fifty (150) words per question.
Beyond stipulations in property deeds, fracturing for gas and oil have virtually no provisions for any local control. Would you support or oppose legislation to obtain some degree of local control? Why or why not?
I would support legislation to obtain some degree of local control over hydraulic fracturing. The need for this local control includes the need for monitoring truck and other traffic on lightly travelled county and township roads, because the heavy loads may quickly cause deterioration of those roads, and necessitate additional resources needed for maintenance and upgrading of those roads, which may be beyond the capability of our local governments. Further reasons for such local control would include preservation of the environment, including existing homes and businesses, from the effects of increased truck traffic and noise. Finally, we need some degree of local control to insure the quality of the groundwater, and the effect of the volume of the wastewater and the wastewater by-products on existing municipal and county wastewater processing systems.
What incentives would you support for renewable energy sources?
To the extent possible, I would support incentives under the existing state commercial activity tax structure to give credit for investment in such renewable energy sources that would produce both renewable energy and new jobs. I would also work with our Senators and Congress persons to advocate for such legislation of the federal level, where it would have more effect. Finally, and I think most importantly, I would work with the many existing energy-related companies within the district and the state to encourage their interest in and investment in such renewable energy sources.
What specific legislation would you plan to introduce during the upcoming two-year term in the Ohio House?
ANSWER: My first priority would be to introduce legislation which would have a goal to make our elementary and secondary school funding system constitutional, as it has been ruled unconstitutional four times by the Ohio Supreme Court. I would propose looking at the entire system, and leave no stone unturned in an effort to come to a constitutional solution. My second specific bill I would introduce would be a bill to allow for enforceable open adoptions in Ohio, upon agreement of the adoptive parents, the birth parents and the court, because such agreements would save much time, heartache and expense that I have observed under our current child protective services system. Finally, I would introduce legislation to provide for research and development of high speed rail in Ohio, for planning for our future is important, and high speed rail has many benefits.
What is your position regarding the proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment, Issue 2, the Ohio Citizen’s Independent Redistricting Commission? Please explain.
ANSWER: I support the proposed Issue 2, because I believe that redistricting is too important to be left to the political whims of the sitting General Assembly and state officials. Our current system pays little or no attention to logical geographic characteristics which should play a part in shaping legislative districts. I believe that this amendment would be a good first step in restoring the confidence of the public in our political system.