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Nebraska State Legislature - District 45

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    Susan Hester

  • Rita Sanders

Biographical Information

Does Nebraska need to change its method of redistricting? Why or why not?

Do you feel there is a need for voter ID? If so, why and how should it be implemented?

How should the problem of prison overcrowding be handled?

Does Nebraska need a paid family medical leave program? Why or why not?

Should there be increased restrictions on money in politics? Why or why not? What specific restrictions would you support?

What is your plan to ensure Nebraska’s infrastructure and economy are stable during and post pandemic, such as COVID-19?

Occupation Retired Bellevue Public School Teacher
Education Bachelors Degree in Secondary Social Studies Education earned at The Ohio State University. Masters Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in High Ability Learners from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience None
Volunteer experience Bellevue Public Schools Foundation Executive Board, ENCAP Board, CDBG Committee for the City of Bellevue, Bellevue Together, Kiwanis, Bellevue Women's Club, Bellevue Fraternal Order of the Eagles
Address 403 Dennis Drive Bellevue, NE 68005
Marital Status Married
Age 70
Nebraska, like much of the United States, needs to change its method of redistricting. Leaving this entire process to partisan participants will not and has not resulted in fair redistricting. We need a process where the people choose their elected officials, not politicians choosing who they represent. The only way to do that is a nonpartisan commission that is transparent and accountable to the people, not a political party or special interest group.
No, there is no need for voter ID to vote. There is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem either in Nebraska or the other states. If fraud were to be discovered, it can be handled on a case-by-case basis. I do think that offering government identification to people who want it is a good idea. But requiring an ID to vote disenfranchises low income families, minorities, students who move around a lot, and elderly people. We should encourage more people to be engaged in our democratic process, not less.
Prison overcrowding in Nebraska is a real crisis. First and foremost, we need to protect the public and keep violent offenders in jail. However, we need to explore ways to rehabilitate non violent offenders through programs such as drug courts, rather than incarceration.
This is an interesting question in the days of COVID-19. Yes, we need paid family medical leave programs. People need to be able to take care of a sick person in the family or be able to stay home from work themselves when ill. Businesses will be more successful in the long run if their employees are safe, healthy and productive. There probably will need to be various ways this is handled based on the size of the business, but some way for workers to accrue leave needs to be put in place.
There should be more restrictions on money in politics. Elections should be based on merit, rather than special interest groups spending large amounts of money through dark money groups to buy elections. Unfortunately, the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court limits the types of restrictions can be put in place. However, I would look at ways to make elections fair so that the people choose their representatives.
Right now, business and workers are hurting. It is easy to understand why some want to return to normal, but we need to take care of the safety and health of the people first. I applaud efforts done at the state and federal level to help workers who have been laid off and for businesses who were forced to close or scale back during the pandemic. However, if this drags out for months, we will need to do more. The most important thing we can do is to listen and do whatever we can to support workers and local businesses. We also need to ensure that our schools, long-term care facilities, and others impacted by this remain strong. This won't be an easy fix. It will take a bi-partisan effort at all levels of government to get things back on track, and I'm willing to listen to any idea, regardless of who presents it.

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