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Josh Cutler's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State House (MA) - Sixth Plymouth, Democratic
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Josh Cutler has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Massachusetts State Legislative Election 2016 Political Courage Test

a) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
b) Should abortions be illegal after 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?
g) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
h) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
i) Other or expanded principles:

I support a woman's right to choose.

1) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Massachusetts's budget.
a) Tapping into Massachusetts's "rainy day" fund
b) Decreasing funding for public universities
c) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
d) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
e) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Other or expanded principles:

I support a balanced state budget that prioritizes funding for education, local aid and services for our seniors, vets & neediest residents.

2) 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.
a) Education (higher)
b) Education (K-12)
c) Environment
d) Health care
e) Law enforcement/corrections
f) Transportation/infrastructure
g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

These are all important services. I think this question is overly broad and simplistic. There are some areas where we can reduce spending, for instance in our jails where incarceration rates are dropping, but in other areas such as substance abuse treatment and prevention we need more resources. Bottom line is that we have to have a balanced budget every year and each line item should be scrutinized to ensure we are delivering the right services in the most cost-effective way.

3) 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.
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Cigarette taxes
c) Corporate taxes
d) Small business taxes
e) Gas/Oil taxes
f) Property taxes
g) Sales taxes
h) Income taxes (low-income families)
i) Income taxes (mid-income families)
j) Income taxes (high-income families)
k) Do you support applying sales taxes to all online purchases?
l) Other or expanded principles:

Generally I think we should do whatever we can to minimize the tax burden on middle class families.
I am the lead sponsor of legislation to close off-shore tax loopholes which allow certain corporations to avoid paying state corporate tax by shifting profits to foreign jurisdictions.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
1) Individual
2) Political Action Committee
3) Corporate
4) Political Party
b) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
c) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
d) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
e) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
f) Other or expanded principles:

I helped pass the Massachusetts Disclosure Act to increase transparency in campaign spending and also the Mass. Early Voting bill to make it easier for registered voters to get to the polls. (Starts here in Massachusetts on October 24!) I think the "Citizens United" decision was bad for democracy and I am open to further legislation to address that in whatever we can at the state level to increase transparency in the electoral process.

Noa) 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) Do you support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
d) Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?
e) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
f) Do you support delaying the seizure of assets by law enforcement officials until after a conviction?
g) Do you support additional funding for programs intended to reduce drug addiction in Massachusetts?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Generally, I believe we need to shift our thinking from treating drug addiction as merely a criminal justice problem and instead look at it as a larger public health issue. At this time I am not in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana as we have already decriminalized it and allowed the medical use of marijuana for those who need it.

a) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
b) Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
c) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
d) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
e) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
f) Do you support requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits?
g) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
h) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
i) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
j) Should employers be able to ask about applicants' criminal history before interviewing them?
k) Other or expanded principles:

I voted in favor of increasing the minimum wage and support collective bargaining rights. I have also supported freezing unemployment insurance rates for business to control costs and provide stability. To the extent possible we should also seek to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. I support the MassWorks program to help provide infrastructure funding as a way of boosting economic development. We also need to do more with our community colleges and workforce training to ensure that our workers have the skills needed for a shifting job market.

Noa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
b) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
c) Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?
d) Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?
e) Do you support state funding for charter schools?
f) Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?
g) Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Massachusetts high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

We need high standards, but the current educational testing mandates have gone too far.

Yesa) Do you support state funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
b) Do you support state funding for the development of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil)?
Yesc) Do you support state funding for improvements to Massachusetts's energy infrastructure?
d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
f) Do you support increased regulations of the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
g) Other or expanded principles:

As a member of the Telecom & Energy Committee I helped pass a landmark clean energy bill signed by Gov. Baker which includes major advancements for hydropower and deep offshore wind energy. This legislation will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make progress toward our global warming solutions goals while also create more green jobs.

a) Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
b) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
c) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
d) Should a license be required for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles:

I support responsible gun ownership and the Second Amendment. I voted in support of a comprehensive gun safety bill last session aimed at reducing gun violence by addressing school safety, mental health and enhanced criminal penalties for gun crimes. This legislation was ultimately endorsed by both the Gun Owner's Action League and Stop Handgun Violence, which I believe is testament to our ability to find consensus on a challenging issue and make meaningful changes that are respectful of the rights of gun owners and the 2A.

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) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
e) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
f) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
g) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles:

Most of these questions don't apply anymore here in Massachusetts.

a) Do you support same-sex marriage?
b) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Massachusetts's anti-discrimination laws?
c) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Massachusetts's anti-discrimination laws?
d) Other or expanded principles:
In the following area, 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.

My priorities include addressing our opiate crisis, boosting local aid and protecting our ponds and natural resources. During the current term we've made strides on all three; our ponds are now cleaner thanks in part to state funds I secured for algae and hydrilla treatment; our schools have extra funds thanks to a boost in Chapter 70 aid which I led a bipartisan coalition of 70 lawmakers to fight for; and we have passed two major laws to curb opiates & prescription drug abuse while increasing funding for treatment beds & prevention programs. For details visit www.joshcutler.com.

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