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Vivian Watts' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State House (VA) - District 39, Democratic Minority Caucus Policy Chair
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Vivian Watts has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2015 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Virginia State Legislative Election 2015 Political Courage Test

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?
e) 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:

e) I support parental notification, only if there is a judicial override as currently provided by statute in Virginia.

1) Budget Stabilization:
Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing Virginia's budget.
Yesa) Tapping into Virginia's "rainy day" fund
Nob) Decreasing funding for public universities
Noc) Reducing state employee salaries AND/OR pensions
Nod) Instituting mandatory furloughs AND/OR layoffs for state employees
Noe) Reducing benefits for Medicaid recipients
f) Other or expanded principles:
2) 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)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
d) Health care
Maintain Statuse) Law enforcement/corrections
Maintain Statusf) Transportation/infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories:

d) 1 - Greatly increase Health care by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act
1 - Greatly increase: Mental Health
1 - Greatly increase: Nursing Home Staffing

3) 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
Greatly Increaseb) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusc) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusd) Small business taxes
Slightly Increasee) Gas/Oil taxes
Maintain Statusf) Property taxes
Maintain Statusg) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Income taxes (mid-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Income taxes (high-income families)
k) Other or expanded principles:

h), i), j) are in the context of the need to adjust Virginia's income tax brackets with inflation as we do with federal income taxes

a) Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates?
No1) Individual
No2) Political Action Committee
No3) 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:
Yesa) 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?
c) Do you support legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana?
Yesd) 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) Other or expanded principles:

c) I support decriminalization the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
f) Until (1) ICE has the funding and the manpower to retain and deport those with criminal records and (2) Congress has an effective internet database in place to check legal status, it does not make sense to spend state4 and local money to try to enforce immigration laws more broadly, only to see those detained, released by ICED pending a hearing for which many will not show. Hopefully, ICE will act in ALL cases to deport those with a criminal offense record whom we do detain.

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

a) particularly improving our transportation infrastructure
b) Virginia is a low-tax state
c) we should streamline and simplify as well as periodically do detailed analysis to determine effectiveness of the regulation and cost/benefit of the regulatory requirements.
g) However, I believe that this should be a federal program.

Noa) Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?
Yesb) Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?
Yesc) 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?
Noe) 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 Virginia high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?
h) Other or expanded principles:

g) if the student is applying for legal status and parents have been paying Virginia taxes
Other:
Students who are home schooled, in a charter school, or in a private school must be required to pass the same standard tests required for public school students in K-12

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

- Development of off-shore wind power generation
- Energy conservation incentives
- Incentives to develop, clean coal technology
- Expanded transit of all types
- Telecommuting

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

b) whenever the seller's sales volume exceeds a number to be determined that indicates that the seller is operating as a dealer

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?
c) Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?
Yesd) Do you support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
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:
Yesa) Do you support same-sex marriage?
Yesb) Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Virginia's anti-discrimination laws?
Yesc) Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Virginia'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.

1. Increase K-12 funding and change the school funding formula to reflect actual ability to pay based on the taxing authority granted to localities and difference in total tax collections across localities.
2. Mental health reforms to reduce the number of persons with mental illnesses in local jails by diversion and through continuity of treatment to reduce recidivism; to give access to appropriate treatment for persons with dual diagnosis; and to provide the intensity of services needed by persons with severe ID/DD close to their families.
3. Expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, freeing state funds for the above.

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