Opinion Question 1
I support increasing the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon, and if Question 1 passes, I will support increased funding for public education. The state gas taxes motorists pay when they fill their gas tanks do not pay for the costs of maintaining and building our roads. We shift $500 million a year from the General Fund (sales tax) to the Transportation Investment Fund (TIF) to make up the difference. A 10 cent increase in the gas tax will partially rebalance the funds and leave more money for public schools.
Proposition 2: Medical Cannabis
I signed the petition to place medical cannabis on the ballot this year, and I voted for Proposition 2. There are some issues with Proposition 2 that need fixing, but we should never lose sight of the fact that many Utahns have had their pain alleviated by the use of medical cannabis products. Utahns should not have to drive to other states to buy medical cannabis in order to reduce their pain and to heal.
Proposition 3: Health Care for All
I’m supporting Proposition 3. Utah should join the other 33 states that have passed some form of Medicaid expansion made possible by the Affordable Care Act. Proposition 3 would provide 150,000 Utahns with health care coverage that are currently without affordable health. It will save lives and bring hundreds of millions of our tax dollars back to the state of Utah.
I support the creation of an independent redistricting commission. Lawmakers like me shouldn’t be drawing our own district lines.
Over the last 30 years temperatures have risen twice as fast in Utah as in the rest of the United States. Rising temperatures and extreme weather events cannot be ignored. I am sponsoring legislation this year to place a price on carbon, taxing the burning of fossil fuels: natural gas, coal, and oil. The revenue from the carbon tax will be used to fight air pollution and to reduce taxes.
Five years ago I helped create the bi-partisan Clean Air Caucus in the Utah State Legislature, and I currently serve as one of the co-chairs of the caucus. This year I will be running legislation to provide for free fares on buses and trains during winter inversions along the Wasatch Front.
The public lands are the glory of Utah. The President made a serious mistake and sent the wrong message by shrinking the size of Grand-Staircase and Bears Ears National Monument. I am also opposed to naming any Utah road after the President. I offered an alternative proposal last legislative session: name southern Utah highways the Navajo Code Talker National Highway.
I am running legislation to create a zone around public schools where it will be illegal to openly carry firearms. The Supreme Court has recognized the constitutional right of individuals to own and bear firearms, which I support. I believe that carrying firearms openly in public around public schools is harmful.
Teen Suicide – LGBTQ+
The legislature has paid serious attention to the increasing rate of suicide by young people in Utah, but we have not paid enough attention to a particular group of Utah youth – Lesbian, gay, bi-, transgender, or queer youth, whose suicide rates are significantly higher that other young Utahns.