Senator José M. Serrano's Political Positions

Office: State Senate (NY) - District 29, Democratic, Working Families Minority Conference Chair
On The Ballot: Running, Working Families, Democratic for U.S. House - District 15
Running, Democratic, Working Families for State Senate - District 29
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José Serrano's processing deadline has not passed. The result of José Serrano's Political Courage Test will be released in upcoming weeks.

What is the Political Courage Test?

New York State Legislative Election 2004 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.

Key

Candidate Answer
Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.
Unknown Answer
Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

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

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Authorize pharmacists and nurses to dispense emergency contraception (“morning-after” pill).
h) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.

Greatly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increasec) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Greatly Increasee) Law enforcement
Greatly Increasef) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Greatly Increaseg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
i) Should the Assembly adopt a contingency budget when a budget is not approved for the new fiscal year?
j) Other or expanded principles

State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Estate taxes
Maintain Statusf) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Maintain Statusi) Property taxes
Maintain Statusj) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusk) Vehicle taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
Nom) Should Internet sales be taxed?
n) Other or expanded principles

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

Yesa) Do you support limiting the number of terms for New York governors?
Undecidedb) Do you support limiting the number of terms for New York state senators and representatives?

c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

Yes1) Individual
Undecided2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Undecided4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yese) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yesf) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesg) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in New York are closed?
Yesh) Should New York recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Noi) Should New York restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
j) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in New York.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
e) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xf) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xg) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
h) Allow prosecutors to try an accused terrorist based solely on the testimony of an accomplice.
i) Let prosecutors get a single warrant to tap every telephone used by a suspected terrorist.
j) Prevent judges from tossing terror evidence out of court if the authorities seized it in good faith under a warrant that later proved defective.
k) Give prosecutors the right to obtain state tax information about suspected terrorists.
l) Other or expanded principles

Drug Law Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drug laws in New York.

a) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
b) Strengthen penalties for those convicted of distributing drugs while armed.
c) Strengthen penalties for those convicted of distributing drugs to, or with the aid of, minors.
Xd) Send first time non-violent drug offenders to rehabilitation treatment centers, not correctional facilities.
Xe) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xf) Expand the degree of judicial discretion in drug law sentencing.
g) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xe) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xf) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
Xk) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
Xl) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Other or expanded principles

Education Funding Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education funding.

a) Schools should be funded equally by state funds and local property taxes.
b) Schools should be funded primarily by local property taxes.
c) Schools should be funded primarily by state funds.
Xd) Funds from affluent school districts should be redirected to meet the needs of poorer districts.
Xe) New York should increase the number of video lottery machines to help pay for education.
f) Other or expanded principles

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.

Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Increase the state minimum wage.
g) Other or expanded principles

Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:

Yesa) Public employment
Yesb) State college and university admissions
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
Xc) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
d) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xe) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
f) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
Xe) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
g) Support current licensing requirements for gun possession.
Xh) Ban .50-caliber rifles.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
Xb) Require insurance companies to provide mental health services at parity with physical health services.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in New York.
Xh) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles

Medicaid Funding Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Medicaid funding.

Xa) Funding for Medicaid should come primarily from the state government.
b) Funding for Medicaid should come exclusively from the state government.
c) Funding for Medicaid should come from both the state and county governments.
Xd) Shift long-term care Medicaid payments currently made by individual counties to the state.
e) Cap every county’s portion of Medicaid payments at present levels.
f) Create a preferred drug list to reduce Medicaid costs.
g) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xh) Other or expanded principles

New York State could eliminate its counties' Medicaid responsibilities by giving New York State the revenue from one percent of the sales tax

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

a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xb) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xc) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
Xf) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
i) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 75 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.

If elected, my top three priorities would be the following: advocate for a school funding formula that provides quality education to all children in New York; push for passage of an increase in the minimum wage that currently leaves thousand of working families in poverty; and push to repeal the Rockefeller Drug laws -- the harshest in the nation -- that have cost taxpayers billions, destroyed thousands of families and that simply do not cut crime.