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Trudi Schmidt's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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What is the Political Courage Test?

Montana State Legislative Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Pro-choicea) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
e) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
f) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Yesg) Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Noh) Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
i) Other or expanded principles

I am pro choice, but I also believe males need to take responsbility for their actions. He needs to understand that intercourse can result in a pregnancy and is he ready to be a parent at this time in his life. Is he ready to sign adoption papers and cooperate when the birthmother is choosing to place this child for adoption. There are 3 choices in this country--adoption, parenting or abortion. He better be just as involved as she is in this decision. Dads & moms need to be talking about prevention to their sons and daughters.

1) State Spending
Indicate what state funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Education (higher)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Maintain Statusd) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories

Taxes need to be used to provide servicesone area is to have an educated workforce. Ctizens need to feel safe, and health care needs to be provided for children whose parents have a low income. Kids need to be healthy in order to go to school and become educated. I dont' know what you mean by environment--safe work environment, clean air, clean water, of course.

2) State Taxes
Indicate what state tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one level per category; you may use a number more than once.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Business equipment taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Oil and natural gas production taxes
Maintain Statusg) Property taxes
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Maintain Statusj) Income taxes (high-income families)
k) Other or expanded categories

MT is a tax friendly state. We rank 6th in some areas and 8th in other areas out of 50 states. We need to to provide services to our citizens--education--higher ed, K-12, corrections and health and human services. Which ones are we going to cut? Those 3 account for 80% of the budget.

3) Budget Stabilization
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Montana's budget.
Yesa) Establishing a "rainy day" fund
Yesb) Issuing the early release of certain non-violent offenders
Noc) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs and layoffs for state employees
Noe) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
Nof) Privatizing certain government services
g) Other or expanded principles

privatizing is many times more expensive. There are ways to reduce the secure beds in the prison system, and it has been done by requring treatment, and having offenders in lower cost facilities. DUI offenders, drug users require treatment and the sooner the better before they offend again.

Yesa) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Montana governors?
Nob) Do you support limits on the number of terms for Montana state legislators?
c) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions to candidates for state government?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Party
Yesd) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
f) Other or expanded principles

I think it is a disadvantage to MT citizens to have term limits for legislators. The lobbyists and the govt employees don't have term limits, and this is who legislators have to deal with the most. The legislators are at a disadvantage because the two mentioned groups have a lot of info and the legislator doesn't, and it requires good questions and knowing if all the info asked for has been given. The legislature is like boards--you need new people , mid-term, and experienced; we lack the experienced because of term limits. Voters should decide who stays, not term limits.

a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
b) Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
c) Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?
d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
e) Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
f) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
g) Other or expanded principles

Questions a-e aren't appropriate; they are decided in a court of law + each is handled individually and there isn't a blanket yes or no response to these. I can't say if I would support the question re immigration as I haven't been on a committee to hear the pros and cons to make an informed decision re this.

a) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
b) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
c) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
d) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
e) Do you support increased spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
f) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
g) Other or expanded principles

A varied format is necessary to create and sustain jobs and and to incentivize job creation. There are many things to consider so that one industry isn't compromised to the advantage of others. What do you mean by direct financial assistance compared to indirect? Is increased spending needed on infrastructure projects? Federal aid is a big part of infrastructure--would you turn down federal funding? Every state, MT included, must keep up on infrastructure. It's called prevention--keep up maintenance to avoid a disaster.

a) Do you support national education standards?
b) Do you support requiring public schools to administer high school exit exams?
c) Do you support using a merit pay system for teachers?
d) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
e) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Montana high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
g) Other or expanded principles

1. State standards are important; state educ. systems vary. 2. What is meant by exit exams? When they graduate, transfer, or when they enter 9th grade? 3. Has a merit pay system worked anywhere in any other state? 4. Public education needs to be funded first before we create another layer of schools. 5. State govt funds higher education a number of ways do we totally rely on federal & private for scholarships. If there is a surplus, then providing some form of scholarship is not objectionable to me. 6. Why are they illegal? Should it by case by case?

a) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
b) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
c) Do you support providing financial incentives to farms that produce biofuel crops?
d) Do you support state funding for improvements to Montana's energy infrastructure?
e) Do you support the state management of wolf hunting in Montana?
f) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
g) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
h) Other or expanded principles

There is not a surplus now; we will need to prioritize and get the biggest bang for each dollar. If it means adding employees to manage something, we won't be able to do it. Agencies are having to make cuts and are working on ways to be creative in managing their resources.

a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
b) Do you support requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
d) Do you support requiring a license for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles

There are gun laws in place now. I doubt that any new legislation will pass. These are heard before the judiciary committee, and often worked out in subcommittee if the issue is contentious. People need to be sensible and respect their neighbor, and work towards the betterment of their community so that it is a safe place to live. How that is done is for people to be invested in their community and be proud of the place where they live, and want to make it a better place.

a) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
d) Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?
e) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
f) Do you support continuing to allow physician-assisted suicide in Montana?
g) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles

The marij. issue is out of control; there needs to be some restrictions. People are being cared for in hospital emergency rooms and they are required to provide the care. There has been too much partisanship around the health care issue. Many foreign countries have universal health care--everyone has a right to health care coverage. Is it better to force people to go to emergency and the hosp forced to cover the cost or is it better to spread the cost to everyone?

a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
b) Should Montana allow same-sex couples to form civil unions?
c) Do you support state funding for stem cell research?
d) Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?
e) Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?
Yesf) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Montana's anti-discrimination laws?
g) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Montana's anti-discrimination laws?
h) Other or expanded principles

If we had a surplus, yes on stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research.

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

We are projected to have a deficit for 2013. We need to be prudent in working through the issues related to a projected deficit. Medical Marij. needs to have restrictions - it is out of control. Prescription drug abuse is a major issue--that needs to have a system in place to monitor the abuse. DUI laws need to be changed.

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