Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

State Representative District 89

2-year term. Must be 25 years or older, a US citizen and a resident of Texas. Responsible for representing the citizens of his/her district in the US House of Representatives.

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  • Candidate picture

    Ray Ash
    (Dem)

  • Candy Noble
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years? If elected, how would you approach this issue?

School finance in Texas has generated lots of talk but little legislation in recent years. What is your philosophy on the future of public school funding?

Do you believe America has a problem with gun violence? If so, how do you plan tackle it?

Congress and the President want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have taken steps to dismantle it. What role should the government have when it comes to health insurance?

Texas adds about a thousand people a day. This rapid growth has caused several problems. What are the top three issues the government should address because of this growth?

As a Texan, what do you believe is missing from the conversation about immigration and border security? How would your beliefs influence your approach to those policies?

Describe a unique experience from your childhood that shaped who you are today.

Age 73
Education Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law; B. S. Degree in Accounting from Rider University
Campaign Phone (609) 977-8898
Website www.rayash4hd89.com
Facebook facebook@RayAshTXHD89
contact Ray Ash
Public School Financing is, and will continue to be the most critical issue Texas will face over the next 5 years. When elected, I will propose, author, and support all legislation that returns the State's level of funding of Public Schools to the level that existed in 2008 (48%). That level of funding is now down to 38% and the difference is being made up by the increase in property taxes. Also, I will insist that all lottery money be used for funding Public Education, as it was promised when the lottery was first proposed in Texas. Another critical issue is infrastructure mainly because the Texas economy is growing at such a rapid pace and we have not planned well enough into the future to accommodate such growth. I would propose and support legislation that addresses more public transportation, broad band internet expansion to rural areas, and protection of the environment.
Texas is currently number 41 in public school education, and that is unacceptable considering the mass influx of new residents. Most of those new residents are bringing their kids with them and we must get serious about more funding for public schools. The states of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts fund their public schools at the rate of $14,000 to $19,000 per student per year; Texas only funds its public schools at the rate of $8,700 per student. It is no small coincidence that Princeton, Yale, and Harvard Universities are located in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts; there is a definite connection between public school education funding and quality of higher education. Texas is not a poor state, yet Texas teachers earn on average $7,300 less than teachers in other states, which attributes to high teacher turnover rates in Texas. Finally, better prepared high school students are more likely to go to and excel in college; and make better employees in industry.
Yes America has a problem with gun violence, because quite simply guns are too easy to obtain in too many states. I would propose background checks that were commensurate with the type of weapon being purchased. For instance, if you wanted to buy a pistol or hunting rifle, then a valid driver's license should serve as proper ID; however, if you wanted to purchase an assault weapon (AR-15, etc,) then that background check should be more deliberate and thorough, and pay close attention to any mental history of the purchaser. As an Army Veteran, I am quite familiar with weapons of all types and I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. However, I also know that certain weapons do not belong in the hands of certain civilians.
Although it could use some "tweaking" and improvements,the Affordable Care Act was a fine piece of legislation. It provided for exactly what it's name implies: Affordable Health Care. Further, the state of Texas has left $10 Billion "per year" on the table since 2010 because it still refuses to accept the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicaid. That is $80 Billion over the past 8 years, that could have gone to assist millions of Texans who do not have health care. Whereas I do not believe that government should try to solve all our problems, some problems are too big for individuals to tackle; health care is one of those problems, and the Affordable Care Act filled the gap between no coverage and some coverage for millions of Texans.
1. Public School Funding because of those 1,000 people per day, 40% of them are school age children. 2. Infrastructure because, "If You Build It, They Will Come" may have worked in the movie "Field of Dreams", but it is too late for that in Texas, because they are already here. 3. Gun Violence and mental health issues; because, not so strangely, they go together.
Texas is a border state; there will always be border issues. However, I am reminded of a movie I once saw called, "A Day Without A Mexican". The Texas economy depends too heavily upon labor from different countries, and especially upon Mexican labor, to not get immigration right. I believe in DACA, and a Pathway to Citizenship for millions of Mexicans who have been living peaceably in this country for years now and who have contributed to not only the Texas economy, but the entire United States. Further, I believe a "Wall" is a waste of money and will do no more good that the fences already in place. And finally, I am firmly against separation of families; I am the 4th generation of a slave, and through conversations with my grandfather, I know what that is all about.
I single-handedly founded a Teenage Baseball League in New Jersey. The situation was that I was a Little League manager for many years, and I would watch year after year how the boys who graduated from Little League (at age 13) would have no where to go and keep themselves busy. The result was too often unwanted run ins with the law. So I decided, that the best way to keep inner-city children "off the streets" after Little League, was to form another league, ages 13-15, and that is exactly what I did. All by myself, I went to Babe Ruth headquarters (which happens to be in New Jersey) and secured a Charter, paying the $750 fee myself. I then solicited the support of 8 sponsors from local business; recruited 8 managers and coaches; secured the baseball field rights from the City of Trenton; and made the season schedule for all the teams. I know that my efforts kept thousands of young men off the city streets and I am extremely proud of that.
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