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Utah House District 63

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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    Austin Simcox

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.

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Campaign Email Address
Campaign Phone (385) 204-4560
Twitter @austinforutah
Current Employment Walden School of Liberal Arts; Boys and Girls Clubs of Utah County
Education BS in Teaching Social Science from Brigham Young University
Campaign Website
Yes, I do! Contribution limits decrease the influence of corporations, PACS, and wealthy donors while amplifying the voices of the people. Contribution limits encourage candidates to build a broader coalition of support among their constituents rather than spend most of their time on the phone with special interests. In the Legislature, I will support any bills that would limit campaign contributions from corporations or individuals.
The Legislature has an important role in allocating funding and other resources to help solve issues—they should work closely with city and county governments to address each locality’s specific needs. However, through tax policy and other social policies, the Legislature must begin to address the root causes of homelessness and poverty. Our tax system should be modified to shift the burden away from the middle and working classes. We should eliminate taxes on necessities like food. The Legislature can do much to make healthcare more affordable such as ensuring the full expansion of Medicaid which Utahns voted for in 2018; requiring that healthcare providers publish their prices; creating programs to allow those in need to get the medications and treatment necessary; cap the costs of live-saving drugs such as insulin; and much more. Similarly with housing, the Legislature can play a regulatory role in ensuring that prices do not increase beyond what is reasonable.
As a teacher at a Title I school, this is an especially personal issue for me. Education funding in Utah is currently dependent in part on local property taxes; we need to move away from that system. A child’s ZIP code should not determine the quality of the education they receive. This system is also problematic even in areas with sustainable property values. If voters don’t approve a bond, as happened in my district last year, then school districts need to scramble to find new solutions as bricks fall through the ceilings of our students’ schools. Under our current system, wealthy school districts have plenty and poor and rural school districts are in desperate need. Education funding needs to be handled primarily, if not entirely, at the state level so that resources can be distributed more equitably.
Yes, we should. Government’s primary role is to ensure access to society by all individuals within it. I will support any proposal to ratify the ERA or similar language in the US Constitution. Implementation of this language into our federal constitution would further enhance the message that all people deserve equal treatment under the law.