Issues

Health Care

I support Health Care For All, including mental, dental and vision. This principle has been absent from the public debate for too long. When critics say we can’t afford it, let’s examine exactly what it would cost and what the social and medical benefits would be. Our current system is too expensive, too complex and focused on the wrong goals. What we need is a health care system that is much easier to navigate, that is focused on prevention and cure as opposed to treatment, and served to a greater degree by non profit providers. This will lead to better outcomes - longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, and healthier citizens.

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Jobs & Wages

American workers must be able to survive on the income from a full-time job. I support increased prosperity for those who work, beginning with increasing the minimum wage to $15. Cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations has increased income inequality to levels not seen since the Great Depression. This inequality has begun to destabilize the Republic. We must, as a nation, ensure that prosperity is shared and that decreased taxes and increased profits lead to higher pay and better benefits for workers. The recent tax bill will add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, most of the benefit going to corporations and the rich – not working-class Americans struggling to provide for their families.

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Education

Attending college has never been more expensive with the average student who borrows graduating more than $26,000 in debt. While the price of college is increasing, the financing of higher education has become predatory. Borrowers should be able to refinance their loans. The government should not profit from student loans. Just like major corporations, those with college debt should be allowed to seek bankruptcy protection, just as they were prior to 2005.

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Opioid Crisis Solutions

The opioid and pain killer crisis has become the number one cause of accidental death in the United States. This has resulted in the unprecedented decline of life expectancy for U.S. citizens for the last two years. We have not begun to address this emergency in even a half-hearted manner. Until we do, the death toll will continue to rise, more families will be shattered, and our children’s future will be at risk. This is a complex issue. Simple answers, like building more prisons (as proposed by President Trump) will be insufficient, even counter productive. No social or economic group is immune from this scourge, and an addiction in a family is more than any family can handle. We must be willing to try new solutions, including comprehensive marijuana reform, expansion of treatment centers, aggressive prosecution of irresponsible pharmaceutical corporations, and decriminalization of possession for those who are addicted. This will be a job which will require significantly more resolve, and more resources than are currently allocated. The time for action is now.

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Marijuana Reform

I support comprehensive marijuana reform, including legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, and rescheduling marijuana away from a Schedule I Substance at the Federal level. Instead of adding to our overfilled prison system and wasting resources continuing the failed “War on Drugs,” this will create jobs and provide much-needed tax revenue to the Commonwealth. Marijuana is the most effective treatment for certain types of epilepsy in children. It helps those with cancer and PTSD manage their pain and anxiety. Allowing citizens to consume marijuana to manage their pain will help them avoid addictive and dangerous drugs, including prescription opioids and pain killers, heroin, and meth. It is time to end this costly and unproductive prohibition.

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Clean Energy

Energy has long been an important industry in Kentucky. State officials and businesses must look for new opportunities in clean energy that further economic development and job opportunities for Kentuckians. Clean energy, including natural gas, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, biofuels and other technologies, is creating jobs faster than any other segment of the economy, generating $200 billion in revenue each year (almost as high as consumer electronics) and employing 2.7 million people in thisnation. Congress must support tax credits and incentives for generating clean energy, but should also fund job retraining for those who lose their jobs because of changes in the industry. This effort also facilitates cleaner air and waterways for those who enjoy Kentucky’s outdoors for hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and other activities.

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Rural Broadband

The internet is no longer a luxury. Robust broadband is a necessity for students to compete in school, for people to work and communicate, and to handle all the necessary online tasks in a modern world. For those living at or below the poverty line, access to robust broadband is a leading indicator as to whether or not they will be able to work their way out of poverty. Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt championed the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 and Dwight Eisenhower promoted the Interstate Highway System in 1956, Rural Broadband must become a national priority. This is a critical investment in the future of America, and programs like the Connect America Fund must be expanded until every citizen is online. Similarly, in order to attract business and jobs, Municipal Broadband must be encouraged in the cities of the 2nd District.

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Funding for the Arts

It may be hard to imagine a society without art, but when artists and musicians cannot support themselves we run the risk of losing our way as a nation. Government at all levels has reduced funding for arts programs as budgets have contracted in recent years, but Congress must fund and support initiatives to return arts to our schools – to provide culture, enrichment of life, and jobs. I pledge that I will seek job creating productions for the 2nd District - movies, television and music.

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Discourse and Deliberation

Discourse and deliberation have disappeared from our political process. While it is fine to disagree, it is time for all Americans to dial down the rhetoric, speak more civilly, and be willing to engage in reasonable discourse in order to find effective solutions for the serious problems we face. No single political point of view can provide all of the answers, true collaboration is the only effective way forward. I look forward to hearing from citizens in the 2nd District. Whatever your viewpoint, let’s get to working towards improving our District, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and our Great Nation.

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Criminal Justice Reform

Leaders must work to curb the disparities in the treatment of minorities, particularly African-Americans, in the criminal justice system. Law enforcement is twice as likely to stop African-American men, who are also likely to be sentenced to much longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same crimes. I support legislation outlawing racial profiling by law enforcement, providing federal funding for body cameras, encouraging treatment instead of incarceration, pushing programs to help with the transition from prison back into society, and restoring voting rights for nonviolent offenders who have served their time.