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Susan Almy's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State House (NH) - Grafton 13, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for State House - Grafton 13
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What is the Political Courage Test?

New Hampshire State Legislative Election 2014 Political Courage Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

Pro-choicea) Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Nob) Should abortions be illegal after the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Nof) Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?
Nog) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for abortion procedures?
Noh) Do you support the prohibition of public funds for organizations that perform abortions?
i) Other or expanded principles:

A woman's body is her own. A junior high student in my class disappeared from town forever before abortion was legal. I have worked in third-world places where the doctors told exhausted malnourished women who had had multiple pregnancies that they would die with the next, but they would not help them with contraception, and a place where pregnant women who couldn't feed another mouth threw themselves on rocks to try to abort. I believe strongly that the rights of the born supercede the rights of the unborn. And now they are trying to take away the right to contraception?

1) State Spending:
Using the key, 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.
Slightly Increasea) Education (higher)
Slightly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Environment
Slightly Increased) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement/corrections
Slightly Increasef) Transportation/infrastructure
Slightly Increaseg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

Today only state law enforcement could perhaps lose funding without eliminating key services, it had enough power over the years to avoid cuts. Almost all environmental programs are fee-funded and usually managing to do what they are supposed to, at least at a minimal level. Corrections and all the rest are cut so much already that they cost more than they should have for basics due to recidivism, fewer qualified workers, increased addiction and major health problems, increased private costs that make a public service less efficient at the public goal. But we have no money to increase funding.

2) State Taxes:
Using the key, 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
Slightly Increaseb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increased) Gas/Oil taxes
Greatly Decreasee) Property taxes
f) Other or expanded principles:

We do not tax alcohol, we take the profits! We need to re-assign the cost of the roads so energy-efficient cars and trucks pay proportionate to the damage done (weight per axle, distance), but how to do it is technically complex. The legislature knows that the recent small increase (in gas tax, not price) was not enough to fill the need. Government, like housing, food, clothing and luxuries, cannot be provided for the same dollars it cost in 1970 or 1990, and that's what we've tried to do for decades. Inflation-adjusted revenues are down a quarter in the last decade.

3) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing New Hampshire's budget.
Noa) Tapping into New Hampshire's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Increasing tuition rates at public universities
Noc) Reducing or eliminating public worker collective bargaining
Nod) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
Noe) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
Nof) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
g) Other or expanded principles:

We are past the point where any of that works. Previous staffing cuts worsened working conditions so much too many good people left, and they are hard to replace at NH state salaries. The rainy day fund is peanuts, because dis-investing more to feed it is a worse decision. Our students go elsewhere to cheaper colleges, and don't come home to improve our economy. Reducing Medicaid rates causes higher NH health insurance premiums; removing the few non-mandatory Medicaid services worsens our workforce, therefore our economy and our welfare budgets. But if we have no new revenue, we cut.

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) Political Action Committee
Yes3) Corporate
No4) Political Party
Yesb) Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?
Noe) Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?
f) Other or expanded principles:

1a-d tricky to do. A1-4 may be unconstitutional. Voluntary limits lose to inflation and then get ignored. But the wealthiest Americans have 99% of the megaphone and are seriously influencing elections even in NH, for their own interests. And our Founders' greatest mistake (not having prescience) was to leave redistricting in the hands of the majority party. Democrats in NH need 53% of the statewide vote to be the majority in the state House, and 57% to take the Senate. And if we had the power for decades, we'd do the same thing the Republicans have done.

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

d and e should not be yes and no - a judge or jury should decide whether the circumstances justify such charges. f: our police have plenty to do without this, and we don't want illegals to be afraid to ask for help when there's a crime against them or another.

Yesa) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesb) Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
c) Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Yesd) Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
e) Do you support government spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
f) Do you support providing direct financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure?
Yesg) Do you support an increase of the minimum wage?
h) Other or expanded principles:

a: only if they do more harm than good; b: if can find money; c: don't know enough to say; d: only if available to all (state constitution), effective, and affordable; e: depends on proposal; f: see d; g: we have to reinstitute a minimum wage first! NE's cost of living makes the minimum wage impossible to survive on here, so taxpayers have to subsidize some businesses by providing food stamps and other services to their workers.

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

b: I am not in the education area, it depends on how they are evaluated; c: don't know; d: without public education our country will become even more segmented, polarized and unAmerican; e: if the charter school is producing good results, and within the limits of a strained budget; f: need-based and ability-based, not either alone; g: we need educated young people who will stay here and cut our race towards a state of seniors only

Yesa) Do you support state funding for the development of alternative energy?
Nob) 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 New Hampshire's energy infrastructure?
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yese) Do you support government regulations of greenhouse gas emissions?
f) Other or expanded principles:

a,c,d: have to find revenue source other than General Fund; b: we don't have any; e: the way we're doing it, with cap and trade to let the producers and consumers figure out the best way to achieve it.

Yesa) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Should background checks be required on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows?
Yesc) Should citizens be allowed to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Should a license be required for gun possession?
e) Other or expanded principles:

a: you mean restricting some people? - people who have demonstrated they are a severe threat to others; c: with a permit - and make the conditions of the permit more explicit; d: a registry. If we need ID to vote, we ought to have a way to identify those severe threats that already have guns. The NH Constitution is strong on the right to bear arms. But we put restrictions for the public safety on the First Amendment to the US Constitution, so we ought to be able to do that for arms without violating the spirit of it.

Yesa) Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Noc) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Yesd) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act?
Yese) Do you support requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance?
Yesf) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yesg) Do you support allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes?
h) Other or expanded principles:

b: if we can't get a, we have to waste a lot of money going through the commercial system, and it needs more reform; c: only if they are regulated complete plans with good oversight; d: integral to the ACA reform and public health; e: the price of not doing (a); f: but only ones sufficiently high to compensate for lost quality of life and earnings (and lawsuits are mostly necessary because we don't have (a) to get people all the care they need - I wonder how malpractice lawsuits work in every other developed country?).

Yesa) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Yesb) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in New Hampshire's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesc) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in New Hampshire's anti-discrimination laws?
d) Other or expanded principles:
In the following area, on an attached page, or via e-mail, 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.

First, my assigned role: estimate as well as possible how much revenue a rapidly changing economic and legal system will provide for next term's budget. Second, try to find ways to add to that which do not offend our state's culture nor its constitution, because the estimate will not be enough to sustain current spending. Third, work on my secondary project, crafting and passing a legal and enforcement structure for condominium and homeowner association governance to give the sixth of NH residents who live in them some security in their investments.

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