THE KEY ISSUES

Democratic State Senate Candidate for District 26

Tax Pledge: Prior to casting a vote to spend your tax dollars, I will ask and answer the following question:

How will the expenditure of this resource benefit my constituents in a measurable way?

It might not be our fault, but it is our responsibility.

Education

Create Educational Partnerships – Partnering with local businesses, trade organizations, non-profits, and universities will benefit our students and Commonwealth as we better prepare students to enter the marketplace of ideas and dollars. We need more apprenticeships across our educational landscape that maximize opportunities for students while meeting the needs of our business and non-profit communities. This is a win for families, communities, and education- enhancing opportunities and advancement for ALL.

Guarantee School Safety – We need to serve the whole child, not just test scores.

  • Additional emotional and mental health experts are needed in every school. Currently most mental health professionals are shared by numerous schools with a common service ratio of approximately 1 professional per 1200.
  • School Resource Officers (SRO’s) belong in every school, who are trained not only to protect those at school, but also build relationships with students and staff to promote a culture of safety and respect.
  • We need to implement some common sense gun laws – not threaten the 2nd Amendment. We are ready to have an honest conversation.

Establish Headstart for All – Expand Headstart so it is accessible to all children in Kentucky. We must begin schooling earlier with public daycare run by educational professionals and managed on a local level that focuses on developing our children’s imaginations, emotional and social development, and reading skills. Through a Headstart for All program we can also address the daycare difficulties faced by so many of our citizens.

School Revenue – We need to revisit the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) formula and find a more equitable solution to school funding and revenue generation. The Oldham County School District receives less than most districts in the Commonwealth. We need to examine the unfunded mandates required of schools.

Improve use of public school infrastructure- School buildings should not sit empty after students leave for the day. Schools should be the hub of the community. Empty buildings can be filled with adult learners, community development projects, and family services. Empty buildings can host job training, college classes, computer classes, parenting and life skills classes, GED programs and basic work skills development classes that will increase the value of our workforce, support our families, and provide for personal growth.

College Tuition – I will advocate for reduced cost and free Community College.

Public Pensions

A Pension is a Promise to more than ALL of our public workers. The combination of incentives used by our Commonwealth to attract quality public servants is literally a commitment to our entire community. It is imperative that our representatives pursue new and innovative ways to fund the pensions and healthcare of our public servants.

The agreements between our legislators and our Police Officers, our Firemen and our Teachers are in fact contractual obligations. If our Legislature fails to meet their/our existing obligations we risk squandering the credibility required to negotiate any of their proposed alternatives to our current system. A failure to honor our current agreements when paired with the proposed reductions of benefits will hamstring our ongoing efforts to attract the quality and quantity workers we require to: Patrol our streets, Extinguish our fires, and Educate our children.

Infastructure

Improve public safety by addressing the dangerous intersection of Hwy 22 &  Hwy 53 in Ballardsville. Examine traffic studies throughout the district to look for trouble spots.

Address safety and functionality issues on I-71.

Flood Protection- The Municipal Sewer District (MSD) reports they need $683,000,000 to maintain and make the necessary changes for the steadily increasing flooding.  Oldham County also suffered in the last flood (February 2018). We need to make sure infrastructure continues to meet our needs and keep our citizens safe.     

Complete existing projects in Oldham and Jefferson Counties. OC has numerous forward looking road projects underway and we need to assure that these are completed on budget and in a timely manner. For example, the intersection of Hwy 393 and Hwy 146 was due to get an underpass beneath the railroad tracks. The delay is slowing economic development of The Oldham County Reserve as well as development of Commerce Parkway. Kroger and another shopping center were scheduled to build, but plans have been put on hold. We are missing out on economic development because of the delay.

HB 227 is bad for Kentucky.  House Bill 227 would cut the rate utilities pay homeowners for excess solar power they produce for the grid essentially killing the industry and 1,200 jobs in Kentucky, mostly blue-collar installation workers.  We should grow the solar industry and the jobs it creates.

Expand Internet Access

Support Broadband initiatives – Promote Kentucky Wired.  It is our responsibility to ensure everyone in our district has access to the knowledge, networks, and resources the internet offers. It allows all of us to be more informed and active citizens as well as fairly compete in today’s digital economy.

Improve High Speed internet – We need the fastest internet possible in order for our state to compete in both national and global marketplaces. 21st century education and commerce is digital. Kentucky can’t be left behind.  We must lead; we have the talent to.

Regulate the internet fairly and equitably – Net neutrality means more money for Kentuckians and Kentucky. Its loss is our loss. Internet needs to be classified as a utility to create equity in our commonwealth and provide opportunity for our digital entrepreneurs.

Revenue and job creation

Raise the tobacco tax.  Provide an immediate bump in tax revenue to cover recent cuts to education and public services.

Target local business growth. Good business means more revenue. With input from residents and business owners in District 26, we can develop positive business growth through innovative ideas and next generation technologies.

Expand Gambling Keep Kentucky dollars in Kentucky. Horseshoe Casino in southern Indiana collects an average of $255,000 a day in taxes. Many of those dollars are from Kentuckians crossing the river for entertainment. Let’s bring the fun home and keep that money on our side of the river.

Modernize our tax code to reflect a 21st century economy. Kentucky needs an “Amazon tax” like several other states across the Union.  We need to cut corporate welfare programs that encourage less than fair treatment to our citizens and Commonwealth.  The Herald-Leader found that Kentucky  forgives $13 billion each year, more than we collect — this offers grim insight into how privileged companies get huge tax breaks while small businesses and individual taxpayers continue footing the bill for diminishing state services.    

Support hemp production in Kentucky. – Hemp can help to revitalize family farms throughout the state. We need to diversify with hemp crops to join a growing and profitable market.  The manufacturing base from hemp can be used to create biodegradable plastics, paper, clothes, to batteries. The list is almost endless. Hemp is good for our planet, health, and economy.  We must lead the way in hemp production, manufacturing, education, and marketing.

Legalize medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states. In addition to helping many of our fellow Kentuckians struggling with medical conditions, medical marijuana can provide a guaranteed revenue stream.

Right to Work reduces wages and hurts working people.  It has failed to bring in the businesses and industry that were promised.  It’s bad for business; it’s bad for people. Right to Work (For Less) needs to go!

 

Healthcare

We must make healthcare more accessible and affordable.  Insurance companies are making it harder for people to get the care they need as they are motivated by profit and not care. No one should lose their home or go bankrupt because they get sick.  I will be a steady voice fighting for Medicare for all.

We must combat the opioid crisis.  We must address the root causes of addiction, find safer ways to treat pain, and stop the spread of hepatitis C that is spreading at a rapid rate through the use of dirty needles.  We need more treatment centers with experts in the field. Medical marijuana can help individuals with chronic pain and PTSD. And needle exchanges will help curb and stop the epidemic of hepatitis C spreading.