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Utah House District 45

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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    Wendy Davis
    (Dem)

  • Steve Eliason
    (Rep)

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 PO Box 726
Sandy, UT 84091
Campaign Email Address wendy@wendydavisutah.com
Campaign Phone (801) 449-1005
Twitter @wendydavisutah
Current Employment Western Governors University
Education Bradley University-BA Political Science; Virginia Tech-MA Political Science; University of Utah-PhD Political Science
Campaign Website www.wendydavisutah.com
We should consider modifications to Utah election law that would place parameters on campaign contributions. Excessive campaign contributions from individuals or corporations can unduly influence candidates or elected officials. If we purport to have a citizen legislature comprised of everyday people, parameters on campaign contributions will enable pathways for more everyday people to engage in elected politics. I believe it is better for our democratic process when we have a truly representative government that is comprised of people who are not influenced by excessive campaign contributions.
Utah previously funded a Housing First program that provided affordable housing to the unsheltered with minimal pre-conditions. This enabled individuals to attain employment, tackle mental health and addiction issues, and work on building a sense of belonging. There is evidence that Housing First is more effective than other approaches to homelessness. We should reinstate this program.

High housing costs are challenging for the working poor. The state can work with municipalities to incentivize developers to build and promote affordable housing. We can create more tax incentives for developers to build rental units and housing for low-income households. We can move toward permitted inclusionary housing, giving cities more freedom with fewer restrictions. The responsibility for affordable housing is a shared responsibility between state, county, and municipal governments and in partnership with private industry and nonprofit organizations.
Voters should vote “No” on Amendment G. This amendment will allow the legislature to direct funds previously reserved for education to other programs. With less funding, school districts may be forced to increase property taxes to supplement the difference. This will burden our hard-working families and our citizens on fixed incomes. It will create a greater divide between the communities that generate ample revenue and those that do not.

The state has many levers that they can pull with respect to education funding. We should look at existing revenue streams. Education funding can come from a variety of sources: federal funding, income tax, sales tax, and voluntary taxes. We should ensure our tax dollars are directed to the most important thing—the education of our children and in support for our teachers.

All Utah children should be afforded similar educational experiences regardless of their zip code. Reliance on property tax is inadequate; it does not ensure equity.
The legislature should vote on the ratification of the ERA. Voters deserve to know how lawmakers will vote on this issue. Many contend that equal protections are guaranteed by the Utah Constitution. Evidence demonstrates that Utah women are not equal under the law in all conditions. We have one of the largest wage gaps in the country because the law does not require that women are paid the same as men for the same work. For these reasons and many more, it is past time for Utah to revisit and to ratify the ERA.

Ratification is only the first step toward equality of all people. The language of the Utah State Constitution is still problematic. It does not provide specific protections for either population mentioned. The Utah Constitution mentions “male and female”; it is not inclusive of all people regardless of sex, gender, or identify. Even if the ERA is ratified, we have much work to do to truly recognize all people as equal and and to ensure they are afforded the same protections.
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