Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

TX Representative, District 70

2-year term. Must be 21 years or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Texas, and a resident of the district represented. Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which he/she is elected in the Texas House of Representatives.

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    Julie Luton

  • Scott Sanford

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Biographical Information

Taxes: Should school property taxes and/or franchise taxes be reduced? If so, what sources should be used to make up the resulting public school funding shortfall? Do you support transparency for school taxes that are sent to the state under Robin Hood?

Transportation: What are the main transportation needs in Texas, and how should they be funded?

Education: What changes, if any, should be made to public education in Texas?

Healthcare: What legislation would you support, if any, to ensure comprehensive, affordable healthcare for all Texans?

Emergency Preparedness: What does the state need to do to be prepared for and provide emergency services and funding after natural disasters?

Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of the Texas Legislature, and what is your position on these issues?

Education Bachelor of Arts in English, General Business Minor from Missouri Southern State College
Experience Joplin Chamber of Commerce RSI, Inc. Kessinger/Hunter Crosslines nonprofit Forrest T. Jones, Inc. Owner, The Milton Company Volunteer/President YMSL, Wolford PTA, Evans PTO, various other organizations
Campaign Phone (469) 215-7092
The state should return to traditional Texas values of providing a quality public education by ensuring full funding for our school system. Homeowners and local school districts pay a disproportionate cost to educate our children. The franchise tax is necessary as businesses have the responsibility and opportunity to invest in the education of Texas’ future workforce.

School funding formulas must be updated, and so-called “school choice” should be removed from consideration because outcomes will hurt our free, efficient public education system.

I support transparency to Texans in all matters.
Our transportation network is struggling to serve the state’s increasing population. Issues include lost economic activity due to delays, safety issues of aging bridges and roadways, and worsening air quality from congestion.

More funding is needed (TxDOT estimates another $60B in the next 5-10 years). Pass-through toll projects, raising the gasoline tax, and managed-lane roads are options. We also need to consider future technology that will impact transportation, such as driverless vehicles and mass transit projects.
The state should fulfill its state-mandated constitutional responsibility and fully fund public education. Our state-mandated testing schedule should be reduced so teachers can teach curriculum rather than teaching testing content. Our teachers need raises and incentives to induce talented, motivated educators to stay in the teaching field and to attract potential new educators.
Our state employees currently enjoy affordable healthcare with premiums paid by the state. I would like to consider a basic model for the state as a whole, funded by reductions in administrative costs, price negotiation with insurers, and more reasonable costs from pharmaceuticals. Private payments for insurance would be virtually eliminated, and tax increases on individuals might not be necessary as businesses can repurpose what they are currently paying in premiums to fund a much larger group, saving money for Texans in the long run. Private citizens could also purchase supplementary plans according to their needs.
Texas is projected to bear increased costs related to weather and climate change, including flooding in coastal cities. It’s clear that the federal government, while willing to provide disaster funding and help, expects the states to handle its own disasters. I will advocate for setting aside more budgetary dollars for disaster response, plus insist on better state pre-planning to mitigate effects from a natural disaster. This planning should include stronger floodplain regulations, studies on the impacts of continued development and growth, and better reservoir and land management.
Oil and gas were economic engines, but the new story is Texas leading in renewable energy, especially with our plentiful supply of solar and wind power. Studies project over 6 million new jobs in construction and operations are possible. The state should create no roadblocks to expanding renewable power.

Texas’ ability to meet demand for clean water is about to be tested since demand is going up and supply is decreasing. These shortages translate into health risks and economic loss. Conservation and protecting our watersheds’ ability to provide clean water for homes and businesses will be key.

Last but not least, the United States is the only nation on the planet that has indicated it will not abide by its prior commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. Our state and nation can’t afford to give up a seat at this global table. In fact, hundreds of mayors, governors, universities, and businesses have expressed support for staying in the Climate Agreement, and I will do the same.
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