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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Utah House District 25

The Utah House of Representatives is comprised of 75 men and women, each representing different areas of the state, elected to two-year terms.

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  • Joel Briscoe

  • Karel Joy McDonough

  • Cabot W. Nelson

Biographical Information

Utah continues to be one of only 11 states with no limit on the amount of money an individual can contribute to a political campaign, and one of only 5 states with no limits on what a corporation can contribute. Do you favor any limits on donations to political campaigns? Why or why not?

What is the legislature’s role in addressing the homeless problem and assuring affordable housing for the working poor?

Not all school districts are able to provide the same resources for their students. How should we support school districts with lesser ability (primarily because of lower property values) to raise revenue?

The Utah State Constitution reads, in part, "Both male and female citizens of this State shall enjoy equally all civil, political and religious rights and privileges." The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Should Utah ratify the ERA which expresses the same view as the Utah Constitution? Explain your position.

Campaign Mailing Address 1124 E 600 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Campaign Email Address
Campaign Phone (801) 425-3038
Twitter @RepJoelBriscoe
Current Employment Retired
Education B.A. English and History, University of Utah
Campaign Website
I favor limits on the amount of money that individuals, businesses, and PACs can contribute to candidates for office in Utah. As the trials involving some of Utah’s recent Attorney Generals have shown, large campaign contributions do more than “open the door” or “provide access” to elected officials for individuals and business groups giving large sums of money. Sometimes the door to elected officials becomes wedged open by campaign contributions in such a way that that door is shut for others. Politicians become heavily dependent on large amounts of campaign contributions from well-resourced groups and individuals to run for re-election and to be successful officials. It becomes a dark symbiotic relationship that should be severed.
Homelessness doesn’t know boundaries. The largest homeless shelters are located in Salt Lake County partly because some Utah cities and counties send homeless people to Salt Lake County so they can avoid full responsibility for their homeless populations. Because it’s a shared state problem the legislature must continue to work with local governments and private groups on comprehensive solutions, which also includes financial support. As housing becomes more and more expensive and wages and salaries lag and don’t keep up, housing becomes ever further out of reach. Solutions for affordable housing for low and moderate income Utahns are available but grossly underfunded. We need to help developers provide more housing geared for people making 50% and less of the AMI (Average Median Income). One of the most effective methods of making housing affordable for low-income Utahns are Housing Choice Voucher Programs, commonly known as Section 8 vouchers.
I am in favor of equalizing “up” and I am opposed to equalizing “down”. Equalizing up means raising the floor for minimum per pupil spending in Utah. Equalizing “down” means spending the same amount of money we spend now, but redistributing it from school districts with more resources to school districts with fewer resources. Compared to the rest of the United States, there are no wealthy school districts in Utah. We should help out poorer school districts, not penalize districts with financial means, which will mean more state support to bring districts up to a higher per pupil spending average. That said, I think we should pivot from focusing on total spending and spending per pupil, and start to focus on funding specific programs and activities that we know will help our children succeed. Such as providing pre-school for every 4 year-old in Utah if their parents want them to attend.
Yes, Utah should ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The recent death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brough a sharper focus to the bravery and effort many women have given to the still incomplete struggle to give women the same rights as men. I want to live in a society where I can have confidence that my granddaughters will have access to all of the opportunities that my grandsons will have and will not be discriminated against because of their gender.
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