Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

State Representative District 66

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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    Sharon Hirsch

  • Matt Shaheen

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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 63
Education Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of North Texas; Associate of Arts, General Studies, Collin College
Campaign Phone (972) 379-8425
Website https://www.sharon4tx.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Sharon4TX/
Twitter https://twitter.com/sharon4tx
website https://www.sharon4tx.com/
contact P.O. Box 251434, Plano, TX 75025
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OR2ZMVJX04
The critical underfunding of our public schools, along with efforts to divert public tax dollars to unaccountable private institutions, poses a direct threat to our ability to educate our young people and build a workforce for the future of our state. It is important that we elect representatives who believe that public education should fundamentally be a public service, and one of our highest priorities for state investment. The share of funding from the state has fallen well below historic norms, pushing a greater burden onto local districts and taxpayers. Correcting this imbalance is essential not only to the health of our schools but to our state’s economy.
We are charged by our state’s constitution with the provision of free and public schools, and it is incumbent upon the legislature to ensure that we are meeting this obligation. As the past several legislatures have sought to offer greater and more expensive incentives to businesses, we have forsaken the revenue side of our balance sheet and made the funding of long-term priorities, including public schools, nearly impossible. I am committed to restoring the necessary revenue to appropriately fund our schools, and will reject all efforts, such as vouchers schemes, which seek to turn over our obligation to educate our children to unaccountable profiteers.
Yes. Gun violence is fundamentally a public health issue. On this deeply divisive topic, our legislature must find the sort of common ground that we find among ourselves. Measures we can take include requiring background checks for all gun purchases, enacting red flag and safe storage laws, and supporting fingerprint technology. I also believe that assault-style rifles have no place in our communities and that the continued propagation of these weapons is ultimately to the detriment of public safety. We cannot continue to do nothing simply because we cannot agree on everything.
It is a shame that as one of the wealthiest and most charitable countries on the planet, we have not found the will to ensure that every American has access to some basic level of routine healthcare. While we have taken admirable strides to ensure this right for children, disabled persons, and the elderly, the changing nature of our economy has placed more and more workers in a position where they are either without access to insurance or tied to an economic arrangement for the sole purpose of providing insurance for themselves or their family. I believe that there are multiple solutions to this issue, but due to the vast and entrenched nature of private insurance and healthcare delivery, it will take a combination of courageous leadership and thoughtful cooperation in order to decide how our country will respond.
Given that the state is not only educating more students, but a larger share of the nation’s students, it is imperative that we address school funding in the upcoming legislative session. With regard to our infrastructure, congestion and mobility constraints place an increasing burden on workers commuting and businesses bringing their products to market. In addition to new construction, maintenance on existing infrastructure becomes more expensive the longer we put it off. The legislature must shift from a model of large one-time investments to establishing adequate funding on a consistent basis. Finally, water management and conservation is a growing concern for our economy and overall well-being as greater strains are being placed on limited resources both by increasing residential and industrial utilization. Here again, long-term investment will be required in addition to more aggressive conservation plans in order to provide greater security of clean drinking water.
In the modern era, our country has not defined what it is that we want to be. If we are indeed the country of immigrants we were once so proud of, then there must be greater compassion in our conversations. In addition, while we are quick to count the costs of immigration, we far less often consider the contribution of those immigrants to our country, and to the state of Texas in particular. There are an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants in our state, and it is impossible to imagine that if they were all to be deported tomorrow, that we would continue to be what we are today, economically or as a people.
Growing up in the rural midwest, life was fairly simple. There was a neighborliness and sense of connection that we have lost in the complexity of today’s world. As a daughter of The Greatest Generation, my parents were hard workers who had lived through The Great Depression, and I was brought up knowing the value of hard work and loyalty. With this in mind, I have spent my life raising my children with those same values, and pledge to lead with these values in Austin.
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