Home England Income Tax Indiana House District 5 candidates on the subject

Indiana House District 5 candidates on the subject


The job of a state representative is to draft and pass laws that benefit the citizens of his district as well as the entire state. Republican Dale Devon narrowly won against Democratic challenger Don Westerhausen in 2018. The two face each other again this year.

You can find more information about the candidates at www.vote411.org.

Dale Devon

Party: Republicans

Job: house builder

Education: Clay High and Real Estate School

Email: dale@devoncustomhomes.com

Campaign phone: 574-271-0686

Facebook: DaleDeVonforStateRep

Don Westerhausen

Party: Democratic

Job: cardiologist

Education: MD, University of Minnesota

Email: kampagne@votewesterhausen.com

Website: votewesterhausen.com

Campaign phone: 574-400-5262

Facebook: VoteWesterhausen

Twitter: @VoteDoctorDon

Indiana taxpayers currently fund four different types of K-12 education: traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools (using “Elective Scholarships” / “Vouchers”), and online education. What, if anything, would you change about the current funding structure for K-12 training?

Devon: Indiana did a great job of educating our children by using coupons and charter schools along with public education funds in schools in Indiana in my opinion

Westerhausen: Given the budget crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to make it clear that my first priority is to keep public school funding up to date. School funding was cut after the Great Recession and has struggled to recover since 2008. Next, I believe that any school that receives taxpayers’ money must be subject to the same guidelines, restrictions, and oversight that are required by our school societies. Since those standards don’t currently exist, it wasn’t until this year that we learned that a virtual school stole $ 86 million in taxpayers’ money by increasing its enrollment figures. We also need to stop wasteful spending on testing. After the General Assembly spent $ 45 million on the ILEARN test in 2020, which was supposed to be an improvement on the ISTEP, a bill had to be passed to indemnify teachers for poor ILEARN test scores. After all, Indiana ranks 51st for teacher salaries. We must keep the governor’s promise to get Indiana one of the top three states in the region for teacher salaries.

Has the Indiana state legislature done enough to address rising health care costs, stagnant wages across the state, teacher salaries, and K-12 education funding? Can the state afford more? What would you recommend?

Devon: Last year, I supported laws that ended the surprise billing and increased transparency in medical procedure billing% Administrator Cost.

Westerhausen: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in Indian’s public health, healthcare and economic infrastructure. Every neighboring state in the Midwest began hitting a minimum wage of $ 15 years ago, leaving Hoosiers behind at the same rate ($ 7.25) since 2009. Rather than investing in public education, health care protection, and other measures that would strengthen Hoosier households, the Republican-led General Assembly has spent the past few years “helping” Indiana workers by raising interest rates on loan sharks – Increased level of over 300% for payday loans and weakened worker protection. I support laws to restore common building wages, repeal laws on the right to work, restore collective bargaining for government employees, investigate government programs that offer paid sick and family leave, and decline payday loan bills. The 2021 legislature will face significant budgetary challenges due to the pandemic. We need to prioritize investments in Hoosiers to ensure a strong recovery.

Should state or federal government laws govern marijuana use? What is your position on the decriminalization or legalization of medical and / or recreational marijuana in the state of Indiana?

Devon: I believe that all drugs should be regulated by the FDA, and I believe that medical marijuana should be legalized to relieve nausea with chemotherapy treatments

Westerhausen: I strongly support the medical uses of marijuana in Indiana. The federal government should end marijuana being classified as a controlled substance under Federal Schedule 1, which states that a drug has no acceptable medical benefit and no acceptable safety results. We have enough evidence that marijuana has clear benefits in managing chronic pain, chemotherapy side effects, and post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans. I support ending incarceration for possession and use of marijuana as laws are disproportionately applied that have resulted in higher incarceration rates for communities of color. As an alternative, I advocate improved access to treatment for mental health and drug use. I am undecided about legalization for recreational use. I would like more data from states that have legalized its use on health and safety impacts. Legalization should be combined with public health education to discourage drinking under the influence and avoid consumption while pregnant.

Some states offer free tuition fees for state colleges and universities. Do you support such an initiative? If so, how would you suggest paying for it? If not, how would you make post-secondary education more affordable for Indiana residents?

Devon: The state of Indiana currently subsidizes approximately 40% for state tuition fees. 21. Scholarship holders receive 100% tuition fees. I believe that every student should have a share in their education costs. Indiana currently ranks 5th in the nation in student grants according to Purdue

Westerhausen: Overall, I support efforts to cut college costs and reduce the need for student loans, but currently do not think it is feasible to make college free for everyone. I want to raise awareness of Indiana 21st Century Scholars Program and its enrollment, which offers 7th and 8th grades the opportunity to enroll in this program which offers free tuition to 2- and 4-year colleges by GPA, income and other requirements are met throughout the high school. In 2018, as part of the Human Resources Development Act, State Representative Dvorak called for a study to examine other states’ successes in offering a free college. I support efforts to replicate proven programs. We should also urge our state universities to follow Purdue’s example of freezing tuition fees for 9 years.

Why is the United States responsible for such a disproportionate number of COVID-19 infections and deaths? How well do you think Indiana has contained the spread of the virus? What specific steps, if any, should the General Assembly take to limit deaths from COVID-19 and help those hardest hit by the pandemic?

Devon: I believe the Republican leadership of Governor Holcomb and DR Box did a great job

Westerhausen: The high number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the US is directly related to the failure of federal leadership to provide clear, evidence-based guidelines to prevent the transmission of COVID and the lack of a national testing strategy. I am proud of the St. Joseph Department of Health for filling this leadership void and advocating for the safety of our community. Our government response has been fair, but I am concerned about the transition to Phase 5 as cases increase and I believe the General Assembly needs to support our local health authorities. The CARES Act was designed to assist individuals, families and small businesses during the pandemic and requires that unspent money be returned after 12/30/2020. So far, Indiana has committed to spending $ 1 billion of the $ 2.4 billion and distributing only 10% of the $ 1 billion. Why the delay? If the state is allowed to use these funds by January, we need to ensure that they are used as intended and that they go to those most in need.

Every ten years we have the opportunity to redraw the legal limits based on the results of the 2020 census. What process should be used to draw these lines, and should the General Assembly do anything this year and in the future to prevent partisan gerrymandering?

Devon: I would support a bipartisan commission to redraw the county boundaries

Westerhausen: Gerrymandering has been used by both parties to gain an unfair advantage in elections. It reduces competitiveness and unfairly benefits incumbents. Many citizens do not feel represented by gerrymandering. Recent state elections show Indiana is roughly 50% Republican and 45% Democratic. Since the redistribution in 2012, Republicans have a super majority of over 60% in the State House, creating an imbalance of power and influence. In 2016, an independent redistribution reform study committee recommended that a bipartisan commission be set up to draw up the legislative maps of Congress and states and submit them to the General Assembly. I would support this legislation but would prefer a non-partisan committee. The aim is to ensure that the representation fairly reflects the composition of the community. Districts should look like squares, not puzzle pieces.

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