Senator Brian Emmaneul Schatz's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (HI) - Sr, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Brian Schatz has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Brian Schatz is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In the U.S. Senate, Senator Schatz has taken an active role to protect the rights of all women. In May 2013, he joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in co-sponsoring the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health Act (MARCH for Military Women Act of 2013). This bill would lift the statutory ban that prevents U.S. servicewomen from using private funds to pay for abortion services at U.S. military hospitals. It ensures that all women have the right to make individual choices about their health care. This is particularly important for women who are risking their lives to defend our country." (
  • "The Women's Health Protection Act would protect a woman's right to a safe and legal abortion by preempting restrictive regulations and laws meant to limit reproductive health services for women, like mandating that doctors perform unnecessary and invasive tests and procedures or forced waiting period for patients. Senator Schatz is an original co-sponsor of this legislation." (

Vote Smart's Research

Vote Smart's Research

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In Hawaii's State Legislature, he helped pass sweeping education reform that gave teachers, administrators, and communities more funding and control to implement effective practices for their schools. He will continue to fight to support our local families and schools -- starting with a complete overhaul of the No Child Left Behind program." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am certain that encouraging the production of Canadian tar sands -- some of the dirtiest oil in the world -- is not in America's national interest. As other agencies, Secretary Kerry, and ultimately President Obama review the environmental analysis, I would urge that they conclude that the environmental impacts of this pipeline are simply too high and reject the proposal. Climate change is the challenge of our generation and we need to be moving forward with policies to support clean energy, not backwards with dirty energy like the Keystonepipeline supports." (
  • "Senator Schatz...called on climate deniers in Congress to stop their repeated attempts to strip the government of its ability to reduce carbon pollution through limits on EPA authority and attempts to approve the Keystone XL pipeline." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Since early in his career, Senator Schatz has supported energy efficiency standards and tax incentives for improvements." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Along with 90% of Americans, Senator Schatz agrees with President Obama that background checks should be required before purchasing a firearm to prevent guns being issued to criminals or people with severe mental illness. He voted for the Manchin-Toomey amendment in April 2013 to close several gaping background check loopholes while still exempting legitimate non-commercial transfers between family or close friends." (
  • "My heart goes out to the victims of gun violence and their families who have worked tirelessly to get their elected leaders to support this commonsense reform. While I support second amendment rights, I stand with President Obama and 90% of the American people in supporting criminal background checks in order to keep our children and loved ones safe." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "...Senator Schatz is committed to expanding access to health care for every family, and to making the Affordable Care Act work successfully." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act established a new minimum Medicaid eligibility level of 138 percent of the federal poverty level, with the federal government funding the entire cost of a state's expansion for the first three years, and never declining support below 90 percent -- the highest federal match your state has ever received. An independent analysis found that in all but 8 states the amount of funding a state would receive for expanding eligibility would exceed the amount it receives through the federal highway program." (

Vote Smart's Research

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Senator Schatz is a long-time, proven supporter of marriage equality." (
  • "The Supreme Court deeming the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional is a victory for all Americans." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Peace Action West works for smarter American approaches to global problems. If we want to address problems like war, poverty, global warming, terrorism -- the US needs to work together, cooperatively, with other nations. It also means overcoming the partisan politics and divisive rhetoric that often drown out alternatives to war. By getting regular Americans involved, we build the political will to break that deadlock. We're the group behind the treaty that ended atmospheric nuclear testing, we stopped President Bush's new nukes, and now we're leading the charge for peaceful alternatives in Afghanistan. Our success comes from engaging average citizens like no other organization. Peace Action West's thousands of members make their voices count on matters that shape our world." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Social Security is one of our nation's most successful social programs, yet many in Congress have attempted to cut its funding or further raise the retirement age." (


Candidate Answer Official Position

Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer Unknown Position

Candidate refused to address this issue.

 Project Vote Smart's Research

Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Hawaii State Legislative Election 1998 National Political Awareness 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.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.

Xa) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Support "buffer zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
i) Other
Yesj) Should Hawaii government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services?

Indicate the principles you support (if any) concerning affirmative action. State government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors:

Yesa) College and university admissions
b) Public employment
c) State contracting
d) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
Xc) End parole for repeat violent felons.
d) Support the use of the death penalty.
Xe) Oppose the death penalty.
Xf) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xg) Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community.
h) Increase state funds for programs which rehabilitate and educate inmates during and after their prison sentences.
i) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
j) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
Xk) Strengthen penalties and sentences for sex offenders.
Xl) Support the blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
m) Prosecute juveniles who commit murder or other serious violent crimes as adults.
n) Support the transfer of Hawaii inmates to out-of-state prisons.
o) Support building a state prison in Kau on the Big Island.
Xp) Support labeling Rohypnol the, "date-rape drug", as a controlled substance, which would make possession a felony.
q) Other
Yesr) Should suspects accused of sexual assault be tested for HIV?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning the economy and employment.

Xa) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Support limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses and professionals for product liability or malpractice.
d) Increase funding for state job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xe) Ban workers' compensation claims for stress attributed to disciplinary actions on the job.
f) Legalize casino gambling in Hawaii.
g) Support a state lottery.
h) Support a state lottery if all the funds were used to fund education.
Xi) Oppose a state lottery.
j) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

Xa) Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators.
b) Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
Xd) Favor charter schools where independent groups receive state authorization and funding to establish new schools.
Xe) Support sex education programs which stress abstinence.
Xf) Support sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.
g) Increase state funds for school construction and facility maintenance.
Xh) Increase state funds for hiring of additional teachers.
i) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xj) Grant the University of Hawaii more autonomy in running the university system.
k) Other
Yesl) Should the state Board of Education be appointed by the Governor instead of elected?
m) Do you support establishing elected county school boards in place of the state Board of Education?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

Xa) Require the use of cleaner burning fuels in order to prevent pollution.
Xb) Support "self-audit" legislation which creates incentives for industries to audit themselves and clean up pollution.
c) Require a cost/benefit analysis to determine the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations before they are implemented.
d) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
Xe) Provide funding for recycling programs in Hawaii.
f) Request added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environmental regulations.
g) Suspend participation in unfunded, federally mandated environmental protection legislation.
h) Restructure the electric utility industry to allow consumers to choose their power company.
i) Limit public access and research projects on the Mauna Kea mountaintop.
Xj) Support the state proposal to buy the Queen's Beach area in Hawaii Kai for $11 million to use as a state park.
k) Other
Yesl) State environmental regulations should not be stricter than federal law.
Nom) Do you support the proposal to buy the Waiahole ditch system?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding government reform.

a) Do you support limits on the number of terms of the following Hawaii officials?

Undecided1) State Senators and Representatives
Undecided2) Governor

b) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?

Undecided1) Individual
Undecided2) PAC
Undecided3) Corporate
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Undecidedd) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yese) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Undecidedf) Would you vote to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring an annual balanced federal budget?
g) Other
Noh) Do you support Hawaii holding a constitutional convention to evaluate the state constitution?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Xb) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Hawaii's annexation.

a) Support recognizing the laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
b) Support creating a council of Native Hawaiians who would be consulted before the approval of land transactions in the Hawaiian Islands.
c) Support nation-within-a-nation sovereignty similar to Tribal Nations.
d) Support secession from the United States and establishing Hawaii as an independent sovereign nation.
e) Oppose Hawaiian independence from the U.S.
Xf) Other

Leave matters of Hawaiian concern to those of Hawaiian descent.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.

Xa) Provide tax incentives to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.
Xb) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care, through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care when necessary.
Xc) Provide health care to uninsured children and low-income families through Hawaii's QUEST health insurance program.
d) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xe) Use state funds to continue some Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants.
Xf) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Guaranteeing medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
h) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.

Xa) Increase state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
Xb) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xc) Increase state funds to provide child care to children in low-income working families.
Xd) Deny or suspend state-issued permits and licenses to parents who are delinquent in paying court-ordered child support.
e) Favor banning smoking in public places.
Xf) Increase state funding for Head Start in order to serve additional children and/or increase services from a half to a full day.
Xg) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
h) Support state funding of programs for at-risk youth such as guaranteed college loans and job training and placement.
i) Other
Yesj) Do you believe that the Hawaii government should include sexual orientation in Hawaii's anti-discrimination laws?
Undecidedk) Do you believe that the Hawaii government should recognize same-sex marriages?
Undecidedl) Do you support a constitutional amendment granting the Hawaii Legislature the power to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples?

Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories. Select one level only.

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increased) Environment
Slightly Increasee) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Slightly Decreaseg) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Maintain Statush) Welfare
i) Other

Indicate the tax levels you will support. Select one level only.

Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gas taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decreaseh) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusi) Excise taxes
k) Other
Nol) Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?
Undecidedm) Do you support implementing state property taxes?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.

Xa) Maintain the five-year limit on welfare benefits.
Xb) Require that able-bodied recipients participate in work-related programs in order to receive benefits.
Xc) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
Xe) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
Xf) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
g) Allow welfare recipients to remain eligible for benefits while saving money for education, starting a business, or buying a home.
Xh) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
i) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.