159 Georgia Together
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House Races

Georgia House Races

A look at all the 2018 races for the Georgia House of Representatives

House District 34

All statements, answers, and information found within the 159 Georgia Together voter guide were collected via an electronic survey. Due to the sheer volume of information collected and the number of candidates that submitted survey data, all of the information presented in the guide is verbatim per the input from the survey participants (including any spelling or grammatical errors).

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Matt Southwell (D)

Top 3 Priorities If Elected

Expand HOPE Scholarship
Increase minimum wage
Expand Medicaid.
These will provide the foundational skills and resources needed for the least fortunate to improve their position in life.

DO YOU SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PREVENT BUSINESS OWNERS AND EMPLOYERS FROM DENYING SERVICES TO LGBTQ PEOPLE AND OTHERS BASED ON THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS?

Yes.  I am the B in LGBTQ. This is personal for me. But beyond that, the Georgia Constitution's freedom of religion section states "the right of freedom of religion shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness". Discrimination is licentiousness. It is expressly forbidden by the Georgia Constitution.

DO YOU SUPPORT ENDING CASH BAIL FOR LOW-LEVEL OFFENSES? 

Yes.  Cash bail disproportionately harms low-income defendants without sentencing. It too often results in loss of work, leading people to a life of destitution. It us a punishment with serious long-term effects without the defense of due process.

DO YOU SUPPORT THE CREATION OF A NON-PARTISAN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION?

Yes.  Voters should pick their elected officials, not the other way around. Lawmakers have an inherent conflict of interest in regard to redistricting. 

WOULD YOU SUPPORT AN ENGLISH-ONLY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IF IT WERE ON THE BALLOT?

No.  It is the duty of government to serve all it's citizens. We cannot do that if we do not speak the languages our people speak.

DO YOU SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF WORKERS TO FORM A UNION AND BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY?

Yes.  In the post-Citizens United era this is more important than ever. Unions protect the workers from the ramifications of corporate greed. And they can organize in opposition to the outside influence of corporate money in politics. 

DID YOU/DO YOU SUPPORT GUNS ON CAMPUS?

No.  Students, teachers, administrators, and law enforcement all agree campus carry was a bad idea. They are the experts on this, so I will defer to their judgment. 

DO YOU SUPPORT ELECTRICITY RATE INCREASES TO COMPLETE TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS AT PLANT VOGTLE?

No.  When completed, Bottle expansion will produce 2.2GW of power for a minimum of $25 billion. That's over $11 per Watt. Meanwhile, solar plants are being built that will cost under $2 per Watt. Solar isn't just cleaner - it is the financially responsible use of taxpayer money. 

DO YOU SUPPORT CHANGING GEORGIA'S VOTING SYSTEM TO A VOTER-MARKED (PEN OR PENCIL) PAPER BALLOT WITH OPTICAL SCANNERS?

Yes.  DRE is not truly auditable. Voter marked paper ballots are the only way to have a verifiable election free of concerns about hacking.

DO YOU SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF EARLY VOTING?

Yes.  Voter participation is the lifeblood of democracy. Expanding early voting is not just a way to increase representation for low-income and shift workers, it is good for the health of our government.

DO YOU SUPPORT PUBLIC VOUCHERS BEING USED FOR PRIVATE AND/OR CHARTER SCHOOLS?

No.  Vouchers take money away from public schools that are already struggling financially. This actively harms the communities served by these public schools.

DO YOU SUPPORT MEDICAID EXPANSION OR ANOTHER GEORGIA-SPECIFIC PLAN TO EXTEND HEALTH INSURANCE TO LOW-INCOME GEORGIANS?

Yes.  Medicaid expansion will provide more Georgians with affordable care, improving not only their health but overall healthcare outcomes in Georgia. This will reduce the cost of care and cost to insure for all.

WILL YOU SUPPORT POLICIES AND LEGISLATION THAT INCREASE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING ABORTION, AND OPPOSE POLICIES AND LEGISLATION THAT LIMIT OR REDUCE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING ABORTION?

Yes.  I'm not a fan of abortion, but it is a necessity in many cases. The best way to reduce the rate of abortion has been shown many times to be increasing accessibility and affordability of contraception and providing youth with comprehensive reproductive education. 

WOULD YOU SUPPORT EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES AND PUT THE PROGRAM ON A MORE STABLE FISCAL PATH?

Yes.  Current retirees paid into Social Security and deserve to reap it's benefits. Future retirees are paying into it and deserve to reap it's benefits. Failure to protect Social Security is essentially theft of taxpayer money.

DO YOU SUPPORT A LIVABLE WAGE OF A MINIMUM OF $15 PER HOUR?

Yes.  Raising the minimum wage will reduce poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. Further, by putting more money in the hands of those most likely to spend it, it will stimulate the economy in the long-term. In the short-term, however, a sudden large increase can shock the economy and hurt some businesses. This is why I propose an incremental increase paired with a tax break for small businesses to help them offset the initial shock of increased labor costs until revenue balances out. This way, small business can maintain its workforce and keep prices static to remain competitive with large corporations.

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Bert Reeves (R, Incumbent)

Top 3 Priorities If Elected

No response yet

DO YOU SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PREVENT BUSINESS OWNERS AND EMPLOYERS FROM DENYING SERVICES TO LGBTQ PEOPLE AND OTHERS BASED ON THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT ENDING CASH BAIL FOR LOW-LEVEL OFFENSES? 

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT THE CREATION OF A NON-PARTISAN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION?

No response yet. 

WOULD YOU SUPPORT AN ENGLISH-ONLY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IF IT WERE ON THE BALLOT?

No response yet.

DO YOU SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF WORKERS TO FORM A UNION AND BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY?

No response yet. 

DID YOU/DO YOU SUPPORT GUNS ON CAMPUS?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT ELECTRICITY RATE INCREASES TO COMPLETE TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS AT PLANT VOGTLE?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT CHANGING GEORGIA'S VOTING SYSTEM TO A VOTER-MARKED (PEN OR PENCIL) PAPER BALLOT WITH OPTICAL SCANNERS?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF EARLY VOTING?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT PUBLIC VOUCHERS BEING USED FOR PRIVATE AND/OR CHARTER SCHOOLS?

No response yet. 

DO YOU SUPPORT MEDICAID EXPANSION OR ANOTHER GEORGIA-SPECIFIC PLAN TO EXTEND HEALTH INSURANCE TO LOW-INCOME GEORGIANS?

No response yet. 

WILL YOU SUPPORT POLICIES AND LEGISLATION THAT INCREASE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING ABORTION, AND OPPOSE POLICIES AND LEGISLATION THAT LIMIT OR REDUCE ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING ABORTION?

No response yet. 

WOULD YOU SUPPORT EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES AND PUT THE PROGRAM ON A MORE STABLE FISCAL PATH?

No response yet.

DO YOU SUPPORT A LIVABLE WAGE OF A MINIMUM OF $15 PER HOUR?

No response yet.