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State Representative, District 45 - RUNOFF

The House of Representatives, together with the State Senate, constitute the Texas Legislature. The duties of the legislature include consideration of proposed laws and resolutions, consideration of proposed constitutional amendments for submission to the voters, and appropriation of all funds for the operation of state government. All bills for raising revenue considered by the legislature must originate in the House of Representatives.
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    Rebecca Bell-Metereau (Dem) Professor Texas State University

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    Erin Zwiener (Dem) Author & Educator

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Biographical Information

1) Should Texas legalize marijuana for medical use? Why or why not.

2) What should the state’s role be in immigration enforcement? Please explain.

3) The state’s contribution to education funding has decreased in recent years. How could the legislators approach replacing the four-billion dollar cut from public education funding?

Education BA, MA, PhD Indiana University
Experience Peace Corps; Fulbright, Interpret 4 Air Force; Recycle Comm, Bond Commission; TxState Special Asst to Pres; Planning/Zoning; HOA Pres; Dir Media Minor
Campaign Email PO Box 425 San Marcos Tx 78667
Campaign Phone (512) 665-2157
Texas should legalize marijuana for medical use because it has proven benefits for a variety of symptoms, including glaucoma, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, side effects of cancer treatment, some types of epilepsy, to name just a few. Because of a variety of factors, including the lobbying influence of alcohol and some pharmaceutical industries, information about the beneficial medicinal properties of marijuana has been suppressed, and research into other uses discouraged. Let's follow the model of states that have successfully implemented its use and relieve many people's suffering.
The state should follow laws regarding refugees, provide humane and legal assistance for those who turn themselves in to border police seeking asylum. This has been an international standard for decades, and it is enshrined in our tradition as a nation. The state should not take over duties of federal agencies, and it should institute laws that help ameliorate the condition of people seeking asylum from violence, rape, exploitation and trafficking, offer temporary family shelter and not separate children from their parents, provide just, humane treatment of fellow human beings seeking refuge.
We should immediately tap the rainy day fund to fill shortfalls; state should fund 50% of education, relieving property tax increases. Let's seek long-term solutions by reallocating our budget. We spend $160,000 per year to house each prisoner in excessive jail sentences, including long-term solitary confinement, which is costly and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, not rehabilitation. We should eliminate the costly high-stakes testing doled out in no-bid contracts & increase funding for special education to the national average. Education is key to progress and must be a top priority.
Education Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Emphasis Nonfiction
Experience Conservation Partnership Builder for Nonprofits Writing Educator for K-12 Students Organizer of Indivisible Town Hall in Dripping Springs
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone (512) 842-7173
Yes, and furthermore, I support full legalization of marijuana. Medical marijuana provides therapeutic and palliative benefits to people who suffer from multiple ailments and is a far safer alternative to opiate pain medications. Marijuana in general is less dangerous than alcohol and could be safely regulated and taxed for state income. In addition, enforcement of marijuana-related crimes disproportionately impacts people of color and low income people. The people of Texas get no benefit from marijuana being illegal, and our law enforcement resources should not be wasted on it.
Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, not a state one. Our immigration system has needed reform for three decades. The existing system encourages people to come here for work and then punishes them for it. The State of Texas should have no role in propping up that broken system. I will fight for an immediate repeal of the discriminatory law Senate Bill 4 that encourages our law enforcement to racially profile Texans. I will also work to prevent undocumented immigrants from needlessly getting into legal trouble by giving them access to Texas drivers' licenses.
Education must be restored as a priority in Texas. Free public education was included in the original constitution of our state, but the legislature has pushed more and more of the cost burden onto local school districts. In 2017, the state only funded 38% of the cost of public education. I will support an amendment to the state constitution to require the state to fund at least 50% of those costs every year. Recommitting to public on will come with a price tag, and we must have hard conversations about revenue. We must shore up the franchise tax and investigate new revenue streams.